Wednesday, October 1, 2014

150 best Indian, Asian, Caribbean and more Diabetes recipes: Book Review


I am not the meatloaf type.  Or a tuna casserole woman.

Why?  I find the standard North American fare very boring.  I love ethnic food and exotic spices and complex flavours. I am spoiled to live in ridiculously multicultural Toronto which is a mecca for ethnic food of almost any variety.  But we don't eat out much.  Its costly, the girls, like most kids, are not adventurous eaters, and most restaurant food is loaded with hidden sugar, salt and fat.

Thankfully, I love cooking and love cooking ethnic dishes.  So I was excited to receive this book to review.  Although no one in this house has diabetes, I assumed a cookbook aimed at diabetics would simply contain healthy, low sugar, reduced carbohydrate recipes that anyone can enjoy.  I was right!
Written by registered dietician, Sobia Khan, it has lots of delicious recipes!

I love this book!  It starts with some background on diabetes and prediabetes and discusses the relevance for multicultural communities (some ethnic groups are particularly at risk).  It also contains a section giving general tips on how to make traditional recipes healthier.  One of my favorite parts of this book is the section reviewing the key herbs and spices for various types of cuisine.  Very useful and informative!

The rest of the book is broken down into sections based on cuisine: South Asian, Chinese, Hispanic and Caribbean.  There are also appendices with basic stock recipes and nutrition information.

There are so many recipes in here I want to try!  Mouth watering curries, Chinese dishes like hot and sour soup, braised tofu and eggplant, cactus salad, Colombian rice with coconut, Trinidadian stewed black-eyed peas, and more.  I made one that really caught my eye and will share it with you soon.

My only complaint is that many of the recipes, particularly the Chinese ones, contain sugar, which seems odd.  There are many better sweeteners that are healthier for everyone and safe for diabetics. If I make any of these, I would substitute with coconut sugar, stevia or something else.  Likewise, although Khan suggests using brown rice instead of white in the into section, many recipes still call for white rice.  I don't care what's traditional, everyone should switch to brown rice, even if you don't have diabetes!

The book is also peppered with lots of tips and suggestions for combining recipes to make a whole meal.

Although each recipe is not accompanied by a photo, each section has a series of colour photos featuring a handful of the dishes in that section.

If you want to learn more about ethnic cooking, and/or want to learn how to lighten up the dishes you already make, this book is a good bet.

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