NORTHWOODS COOKS: Recipes designed for diabetics

According to, more than 34 million Americans have diabetes.

Mexican or tex mex taco salad in a bowl
Meeting with a registered dietician is helpful for people dealing with diabetes. Taco salad is one of the diabetes-friendly recipes recommended by a dietician at Sanford Health in Bemidji.
Adobe Stock

Changing eating habits can be the most challenging aspect of diabetes self-management.

Alicia Van Den Heuvel is a dietician at Sanford Health in Bemidji. She shared some online recipes for people with diabetes.

“I would like to also stress the importance of meeting with a registered dietitian,” she said. “We can help patients understand how diet or food affects their diabetes as well as provide further education on specialized meal ideas, recipes, how to count carbohydrates for blood sugar control, weight loss and ongoing support to help overcome daily challenges. This is most often a lifestyle change for people, and we want to help them have long-term success.”

Easy Egg Muffins


nonstick cooking spray

1 cup thawed, squeezed, frozen, chopped spinach

6 eggs

4 egg whites

1/4 plain nonfat Greek yogurt

1/4 tsp. salt

1/4 tsp. black pepper

1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese


Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Spray each cup of a muffin pan with one spray of non-stick cooking spray. Add 1 heaping tablespoon of the thawed spinach to the bottom of each muffin cup in the muffin tin.

In a medium bowl, whisk together the eggs, egg whites, yogurt, salt and pepper. Evenly divide the egg mixture among the 12 muffin cups. Top each egg muffin with 1 teaspoon of parmesan cheese.

Place in the oven and bake for 20-25 minutes or until the eggs are slightly firm to the touch. Remove from the oven and set aside to cool for 5 minutes. Serve or store in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to one week, or freeze and store in a freezer bag for up to 3 months.

To reheat from the refrigerator, place the muffin uncovered on a plate in the microwave for 30 seconds. To reheat from frozen, place the muffin uncovered on a plate in the microwave for 1 minute.

Taco Salad

1 small head of romaine lettuce, torn into small pieces

3 fresh tomatoes, chopped


1 cup chopped green pepper

1/2 lb. lean ground beef

1 small onion, chopped

1 garlic clove, peeled and quartered or 1/8 tsp. garlic powder

1 tsp. Mexican seasoning, low salt

1 15-5-oz. can pinto beans, rinsed and drained

Optional: Salsa

Put lettuce in a large bowl. Add tomatoes and green pepper. Cook ground beef thoroughly. Drain off fat and rinse.


Return meat to the frying pan. Add onion and garlic and cook until soft. Add Mexican seasoning and beans. Dish lettuce on plates. Add meat mixture on top. Serve with salsa if desired.

Sheet Pan Chicken, Green Beans and Potatoes

2 medium, red potatoes, chopped small (2 cups total)

16 oz. chicken tenderloins

1 tsp. olive oil

10 oz. frozen cut green beans

4 Tbsp. unsalted butter


1 tsp. Italian dressing mix

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Spray a 9-by-13-inch sheet pan with cooking spray. Place the raw chicken strips down 1/3 of the pan. Place the potatoes down another 1/3 of the pan. Finally, lay the frozen green beans down the last 1/3 of the pan.

Bake for 20 to 30 minutes. Check chicken for doneness after 20 minutes. Melt the butter and drizzle over the entire pan of chicken, potatoes and green beans. Sprinkle Italian dressing dry mix over the entire pan.

Readers are invited to submit their favorite recipes to enjoy, along with a note about what makes them special. Send recipes to

Lorie Skarpness has lived in the Park Rapids area since 1997 and has been writing for the Park Rapids Enterprise since 2017. She enjoys writing features about the people and wildlife who call the north woods home.
What To Read Next
Get Local