There’s a goldmine of nutrients that comes with the greens and vegetables that can help people with diabetes get their required nutrients while decreasing blood sugar.
Thanks to salads, eating veggies and greens need not be boring.
Selecting the right ingredients helps keep things tasting great, and good for your body.
We found five of the best tasting and easy to make salad recipes that are diabetes friendly and can help control and manage diabetes. They’re also great for everyone in the family.
Whether you’re a vegetarian or you love meat, try these five mouthwatering salad ideas.
1. Turkey Spinach Salad with Beets
This salad boasts a combination of delightful flavors from sweet blueberries, to smoked turkey, and tart goat cheese.
All three are dressed up in a tangy orange balsamic dressing, and can be served together with long thin breadsticks dipped in hummus, and fresh slices of pear.
- 2 cups of fresh and packaged baby spinach
- 1½ ounces lower-sodium sliced smoked turkey breast (or ¼ cup chopped, cooked chicken breast)
- ½ cup packaged refrigerated canned small whole beets or whole baby beets (cut into thin wedges)
- 2 tablespoons slivered red onion
- ¼ cup blueberries
- 2 tablespoons crumbled semi-soft goat cheese
- 1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
- 1 tablespoon orange juice
- 2 teaspoons olive oil
- Place the spinach on a plate, or in a salad bowl, and top with turkey, beets, red onion, blueberries, and cheese.
- Dressing: Combine orange juice, oil, and vinegar in a small airtight container. Cover the container and shake the ingredients well.
- Drizzle the dressing over the salad.
2. Mixed Greens Salad with Blood Oranges
In this satisfying, yet quick to make salad, bitter greens are balanced with a honey-orange dressing.
Serve it with grilled chicken, garlic shrimp, or cheese toast for a well-rounded meal.
- 2 chilled blood or Cara Cara oranges
- ½ teaspoon kosher salt
- 2 tablespoons honey
- ½ teaspoon ground pepper
- 2 tablespoons cider vinegar
- ⅓ cup extra-virgin olive oil
- 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
- 4 heads Belgian endive, cut crosswise into 2-inch pieces
- 8 cups torn red or green butter lettuce
- 3 cups torn radicchio
- 4 cups arugula
- Slice half an inch off both ends of the oranges
- Squeeze the juice from the orange pieces into a large bowl
- Whisk in the vinegar, honey, salt, mustard, and pepper while whisking in the oil gradually until combined
- Keep aside 2 tablespoons of this dressing in a bowl
- Remove the peel and white pith from the oranges using a sharp knife and discard them
- Slice the oranges into thin rounds
- Add the arugula, lettuce, endive, and radicchio to the bowl and combine
- On a serving platter, place the greens and orange slices as toppings
- Drizzle with the two tablespoons of dressing
3. Steak and Mango Salad with Cilantro Dressing
Crisp jicama, sliced mango, and a simple lime-cilantro dressing add citrus freshness to this beef salad.
If you want a change of flavor, you can use mint instead of the cilantro.
- 12 ounces beef flank steak or boneless beef top sirloin steak, cut 1 inch thick
- 5 ounces jicama, peeled and cut into thin bite-size strips (1 cup)
- 8 cups torn romaine leaves
- 1 small red onion, cut into thin wedges
- 1 medium mango, seeded, peeled and sliced
- ⅛ teaspoon salt
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- ⅓ cup lime juice
- 2 tablespoons snipped fresh cilantro
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- ⅛ teaspoon ground black pepper
- 1 tablespoon honey
- Trim the fat off of the steak and sprinkle with salt and pepper
- Place the steak over medium coals- on the rack of an uncovered grill; grill until medium done at 160 degrees fahrenheit for 18-22 minutes for top sirloin steak, and 17-21 minutes for flank steak
- Dressing: Whisk olive oil, lime juice, honey, cilantro, and garlic in a small bowl
- Divide the romaine and top with jicama, steak slices, red onion, and mango
- Drizzle the dressing over the salad on each plate
4. Fresh Green Bean Salad
A sweet and spicy chili-lime dressing adds to this simple, crisp, summer side dish of sweet peppers, fresh green beans, and edamame to create this delectable salad.
- 1 pound fresh green beans and/or wax beans
- 1⅓ cups chopped red sweet pepper (1 large)
- 2 tablespoons water
- ½ cup sliced scallions (4)
- 1 (10-ounce) package frozen shelled edamame, cooked and cooled according to package directions
- 1 large clove garlic, minced
- 2 tablespoons honey
- 2 tablespoons lime juice
- 2 tablespoons canola oil
- ⅛ teaspoon salt
- 1 to 2 dashes bottled hot pepper sauce
- ½ teaspoon chili powder
- Snap the beans into two or three pieces each and combine them with water in a dish; cover and microwave on 100 percent high power for 6-7 minutes until tender, crisp, and still vibrant green
- Drain and rinse with cold water
- Toss the sweet pepper, green beans, scallions, and edamame in a bowl
- Dressing: Combine oil, garlic, chili powder, lime juice, hot pepper sauce, and salt in a screw-top jar; cover and shake well
- Pour dressing over the vegetables and combine
- Chill for at least 2-24 hours before serving
5. Beet, Orange, and Red Onion Salad
Want a light, easy to make, yet refreshing salad?
This beet, red onion, and orange salad takes only 15 minutes to prep and is a great choice for an accompaniment to a main course or meal.
- 1 (5-ounce) package assorted greens
- ⅓ cup thinly slivered red onion
- 3 tablespoons white balsamic vinegar
- ¾ cup refrigerated mandarin orange sections in extra light syrup, drained
- ¼ cup honey-roasted sliced almonds
- 1 (8-ounce) package refrigerated cooked whole baby beets, such as Melissa’s® brand, drained and cut into quarters
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- ⅓ cup crumbled reduced-fat feta cheese (1-ounce)
- ⅛ teaspoon black pepper
- Whisk together olive oil and vinegar in a small bowl and set aside.
- Divide greens equally
- Top them with oranges, beets, feta, black pepper, oranges, and almonds
- Drizzle with the reserved oil-vinegar dressing
Any of these salads are sure to be a hit whether its day or night. However, always check with your doctor or your diabetic educator before making any decision on your treatment plan or diet.
Diana Paul is a certified nutritionist who writes for leading health blogs. She is a master herbalist, yoga teacher, forager, and wild-crafting writer She is focused on helping people transform life blocks to opportunities. Based in NYC, she often holds health seminars and lectures.