Updated 09 February 2017

4 easy diabetic recipes

Whether you are diabetic or not, these delicious and nutritious recipes are simply too good to resist.

A diabetic diet need not be boring. Masterchef South Africa 2012 runner-up Sue-Ann Allen developed a number of delicious and nutritious recipes for the Novo Nordisk Media Cookout that was recently held in Cape Town.

Whether you are diabetic or not, these easy-to-make dishes are simply too good to resist:

Spiced butternut soup with cumin seed croutons

(Serves 4 as a starter)


  • 700g butternut cubed
  • 2 tsp garam masala
  • 1 tsp chilli powder
  • 1 tsp coriander and ginger spice
  • 1 Red onion finely chopped
  • 750ml chicken stock (homemade preferred as less sodium)
  • 1 ½ tsp salt
  • ½ white pepper
  • ¾ cup low fat cream
  • Fry light spray
  • Fresh coriander for garnish


  • 3 slices od wholewheat bread, cubed
  • ½ tbs cumin seeds
  • Fry light spray


Spray the base of a large sauce with Fry light. Sauté onion over medium heat for 3 minutes until beginning to soften.
Add the butternut and allow to brown slightly. Deglaze with the stock and season with the salt and pepper.
Add the dry spices and Stevia powder.
Allow to cook until butternut had softened, allow 15 minutes.
Add cream and cook for a further 5 minutes. Taste and adjust seasoning if necessary.
Blend until smooth with a stick blender, if the liquid is to thick add hot water to thin to desired thickness.

For croutons

Dry roast the cumin seeds in a pan over medium heat, 1 minute, remove.
Spray the same pan with Spray light and return to the heat, add the bread cubes and toast until almost browned, add the cumin seeds and toss, allow to toast with the bread.

To serve

Pour the soup into serving bowls and divide the croutons between the soup, garnish with fresh coriander.

Pan Fried Hake with Portuguese spice and a quinoa salad side

(Serves 4 as a main)


  • 4 x 200g Hake fillets, skin on
  • 1 ½ Tbsp Portuguese spice
  • Juice of half a lemon
  • Light fry spray
  • 2 tbsp spring onion to garnish

Quinoa salad

  • 1 cup of quinoa
  • 1 ½ cup cucumber cubed
  • 200g baby tomatos halved
  • 3 tbsp spring onion chopped
  • 1 ripened avo cubed
  • Juice of half a lemon
  • Salt and pepper


For the salad

Place the quinoa with 2 cups of water in a saucepan over high heat, bring to the boil and then reduce. Allow to simmer for 15 minutes. Remove from the heat to a bowl. Add 1 Tbsp light olive oil, lemon juice and season. Mix well.
Add the cucumber, tomatoes, spring onion and avo. Stir to combine. Set aside until ready to serve.

For the fish

Gently rub the flesh of the fish with the Portuguese spice.
Spray the skin side of the fish fillets and fry skin side down in a non-stick pan for 2 ½ minutes. Turn and fry flesh side down for a further 2 ½ minutes.
Remove to a plate and dress with the fresh lemon juice.

To serve

Divide the salad between 4 plates, serve the fillet flesh side down on the salad.
Garnish with spring onion.

5 Spice Chicken on cauliflower purée with baby spinach leaves

(Serves 4 as a main)


  • 4 skinless chicken breasts
  • 2 Tbs five spice powder
  • 1 Tbs honey
  • 200ml fat free milk
  • 2 Tsp salt
  • 1 Tbs black pepper
  • 30g fresh coriander chopped.
  • 45ml Olive oil
  • 200g baby spinach leaves – washed and drained
Five spice powder

  • 1 Tbs Fennel seeds
  • 1 whole star anise
  • 1 Cinnamon quill
  • 1 Tsp sczechuan peppercorns
  • 1 Tsp sea salt flakes

Cauliflower Purée

  • 750g Cauliflower florets
  • 100ml low fat cream
  • 50ml low fat milk
  • Salt and pepper to taste


For the purée

Place the cauliflower in a medium sized saucepan with 100ml of water, replace the lid and steam over medium heat for 15 minutes until cauliflower is soft, remove the lid and allow the liquid to evaporate.
Add the cream and milk and allow to cook with the cauliflower for 2-3 minutes. Remove from the heat and blend with a stick blender until smooth. Season to taste. Replace the lid and keep warm.

For the five spice powder

Dry pan fry all the ingredients over medium heat for 2-3 minutes, tossing frequently to ensure the spices do not burn. Remove to a pestle and mortar and grind until you have a fine powder. You keep the left over spice powder in an airtight jar for use at a later stage.
Butterfly the chicken breast and place in a flat baking dish, rub each breast with the five spice powder, ensuring it has been worked into each breast. Drizzle with the honey and then pour over the milk. Allow to marinade for at least 30 minutes. Do not leave it for longer as the chicken will go powdery when cooking as the proteins break down.
Heat the olive oil in a large pan, and carefully place the chicken breasts in the pan. Fry the breast for 2 ½ minutes each side, they will start to take on a lovely brown colour and release juices into the pan, season.

To assemble

Spread the purée on the plate and arrange with the spinach leaves neatly, then place a chicken breast on top and drizzle with the pan juices. Garnish with the chopped coriander.

Layered Fruit glass

(Serves 6)


  • 20 strawberries
  • 1 cup bluberries
  • 1 cup pineapple chunks
  • Juice of 1 lime + zest
  • ¼ cup desiccated coconut
  • 100ml lite coconut milk
  • 400ml fat free Plain yoghurt
  • 1 Tbsp honey
  • 1 ½ cups low GI muesli


Mix the yoghurt with the coconut milk, lime juice, zest and honey
Hull the strawberries and cut into quarters. Layer the fruit into stemmed beer glasses
Top with the yoghurt mix, then the muesli, finish with the desiccated coconut

 - (Recipes provided by Novo Nordisk)


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Dr. May currently works as a fulltime endocrinologist and has been in private practice since 2004. He has a variety of interests, predominantly obesity and diabetes, but also sees patients with osteoporosis, thyroid disorders, men's health disorders, pituitary and adrenal disorders, polycystic ovaries, and disorders of growth. He is a leading member of several obesity and diabetes societies and runs a trial centre for new drugs.

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