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Advice for people with diabetes and their families

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Vegetarian diets

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Fresh vegetables and diabetes

It’s no secret that fresh vegetables play an important, not to mention nutritious, role in any healthy, balanced diet – however, many of us still struggle to achieve the recommended daily intake.

Increasing the variety and quantity of vegetable content in your diet will have a positive impact on both yourdiabetes managementand overall health and wellbeing.

Are

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 you and your family are hitting that all-important 5-a-day? With a variety of different vegetables now coming into season, it’s a perfect opportunity to make the most of what locally-sourced, fresh ingredients have to offer. Over a third of the food we eat each day should be solely fruit and veg; this may sound like a lot, but it’s achievable with only a little extra effort. 

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We’ve collected some of our favourite vegetarian recipes for you to try at home. From crunchy kale to hearty beans, this selection incorporates a wide range of seasonal vegetables that we promise will bring colour, taste and nutrition to these wholesome dishes. It's best to aim for variety - try and include vegetables of all different colours to maximum the vitamins.

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We've included some veggie takes on classics, such as pizza and chilli, and some recipes you may never have thought about cooking before, from Pad Thai to tofu kebabs. It may be as simple as taking a traditional classic, such as lasagne, and giving it a veggie twist - you could experiment with a meat-free alternative or purely use vegetables to create the filling. All tasty, filling dishes, there really is something for the whole family to enjoy... and not a single bit of meat in sight. 

It needn't be a completely lifestyle overhaul...

Why not try a ‘’? Take up the challenge and try to have at least one meat-free day each week, experimenting with a broad variety of tempting vegetables.

If you still want your dishes to have a 'meat' element, there are plenty of great alternatives available in supermarkets and shops, such as Quorn or vegetarian soy-based mince. You could also try bulking out meals with beans, lentils and pulses.

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Roasted vegetable pizza

This gorgeous gluten-free pizza is a great idea for people with or without coeliac disease, and healthier than a takeaway version.

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Kale and green lentil soup

 

A nutritious, flavoursome soup that's quick and simple to make. Vary the vegetables according to your personal tastes.

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Mediterranean pasta salad

This makes an excellent packed lunch option - with all the Mediterranean flavours it's a nice alternative to sandwiches.

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Smoky tofu kebabs

 

A delicious vegetarian alternative to meat kebabs. With thanks to celebrity chef Sophie Grigson for this recipe.

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Spinach, red onion and potato tortilla

This is perfect warm or cold – perfect for lunch on-the-go, a picnic or barbecue.

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Macaroni cheese

 

Skimmed milk and reduced-fat Cheddar, with added vegetables, makes this a lower-fat but tastier and better-balanced dish.

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Vegetable chilli

 

This versatile dish can be served with rice or baked sweet potatoes, wrapped with a salad, or made into enchiladas, tacos or nachos.

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Black-eyed bean, feta and herb burger

 

A tasty meat-free burger packed with protein. Can be served with or without a bun and alongside helpings of salad.

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Bean and mushroom enchiladas

 

A hearty family meal that’s easy to make, cheap and nutritious. Can be eaten hot or cold.

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Pad Thai

 

Stir-fried noodles and vegetables with a spicy, slightly sweet flavour. Packed with vegetable and nut goodness.

Over to you...

Have you got a favourite veggie recipe? Tried one of ours and want to share your thoughts? Know a great way of cooking a certain vegetable? We'd love to hear from you so do get in touch atenjoyfood@diabetes.org.uk

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