Bobby and Jamie Deen's diabetes-friendly dishes

Paula, Bobby and Jamie Deen have teamed up with Novo Nordisk to demonstrate that diabetes management doesn't have to stand in the way of enjoying delicious food.

Strawberry-Cream Cheese French Toast in a new light

Adapted from Paula's original Strawberry-Cream Cheese French Toast recipe

Makes -- 6 servings

Prep Time -- 25 minutes

Cook Time -- 20 minutes

Difficulty -- Easy

Ingredients for Strawberry Syrup

3 cups strawberries, sliced

1/4 cup sugar

1/2 teaspoon fresh lemon zest, divided

2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice

Ingredients for French Toast

2 large eggs

1 cup minus 2 tablespoons nonfat milk

1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

4 ounces reduced-fat cream cheese (Neufchâtel)

1/4 cup fat-free ricotta

2 teaspoons granulated sugar

12 slices reduced-calorie wheat bread, crusts trimmed if desired

1 cup strawberries, sliced

2 teaspoons butter

2 tablespoons canola oil

To prepare syrup (may be done up to 3 days ahead; store in refrigerator)

In medium saucepan, combine strawberries, sugar, 1/4 teaspoon of lemon zest, and the juice. Bring to a boil; reduce the heat and simmer, stirring occasionally, until strawberries are soft and the syrup is thickened and reduced by 1/3 in volume, 12 - 15 minutes. Set aside and let cool to room temperature before serving. Makes about 1 1/4 cups.

Cooks' Note -- If a thinner syrup is desired, strain the hot syrup through a fine mesh strainer into a clean container and let cool.

To prepare the French toast

In a medium shallow bowl, whisk together eggs, milk, and vanilla.

In a small bowl, gently combine cream cheese, ricotta, sugar, and remaining 1/4 teaspoon lemon zest, just until blended. Spread on 6 bread slices and top with the sliced strawberries. Top with the remaining 6 bread slices and press around the edges to seal.

Melt butter in the oil on a griddle over medium heat. Dip the sandwiches in the egg mixture for a few seconds on each side, draining off the excess. Place in the skillet and cook until golden brown, 2 - 3 minutes per side. Serve with the strawberry syrup.

Test Kitchen Tip -- No time to make the syrup? Serve the sandwiches with pure maple syrup or a light sprinkle of confectioners' sugar instead.

Per serving (1 sandwich with 2 tablespoons strawberry sauce, sprinkled with confectioners' sugar) -- 300 calories, 12 g fat ( 4.5 g saturated, 0 g trans), 90 mg cholesterol, 310 mg sodium, 39 g carbohydrate, 4 g fiber, 13 g protein.

Making it lighter

Used reduced fat or nonfat dairy products to cut saturated fat.

What's the difference?

Strawberry-Cream Cheese French Toast in a new light cuts out 300 calories, 400 mg sodium, and 50 g carbohydrate from the original.

Homerun Veggie Burger in a new light

A Diabetes in a New Light original recipe

Makes -- 6 servings

Prep Time -- 15 minutes

Cook Time -- 20 minutes

Difficulty -- Easy


1 tablespoon olive oil

2 (4-inch) Portobello mushroom caps, chopped

1 onion, finely chopped

1 red bell pepper, chopped

3 1/2 cups baby spinach

1 cup refrigerated TVP (textured vegetable protein), from a 12-ounce tube

2/3 cup unseasoned whole wheat bread crumbs

1/4 teaspoon salt

6 (4-inch) low-carb, reduced-fat whole wheat pita breads (such as Joseph's Flax Oat Bran & Whole Wheat)

6 tablespoons roasted red pepper hummus

6 tomato slices

6 tablespoons cilantro leaves


Heat oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add mushrooms, onion, and bell pepper and cook, stirring occasionally, until tender, about 8 minutes. Add 2 cups of the spinach and cook, stirring, until wilted, 3 - 4 minutes. Remove from the heat; let cool slightly.

Preheat the broiler. Line a broiler-pan with foil. Lightly spray the foil with cooking spray.

Transfer the mushroom mixture to a food processor. Add the TVP, bread crumbs, and salt; pulse just until blended. Shape into 6 (3-inch) patties. Place the patties on the pan and lightly spray with cooking spray. Broil, 4 inches from the heat, until the patties are heated through and lightly browned, about 4 minutes per side.

Place the pita breads on each of 6 plates. Evenly divide the remaining spinach among the pita breads. Top each with 1 patty, 1 tablespoon hummus, 1 tomato slice, and 1 tablespoon cilantro leaves. Serve at once.

Making it lighter

Mushrooms, bell pepper, and spinach add fiber and texture.

To keep the fat and carbs down, instead of using rice or beans, use textured vegetable protein and low-carb, reduced-fat pita breads instead of burger buns.

Vanilla Pound Cake with Black Cherry Sauce in a new light

Adapted from Paula's original Vanilla Pound Cake recipe

Makes -- 16 servings

Prep time -- 15 min

Cook time -- 35 min

Difficulty -- Easy

Ingredients for the cake

Nonstick baking spray with flour

1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour

1/2 teaspoon baking powder

1/4 teaspoon baking soda

1/4 teaspoon salt

2 large eggs, at room temperature

2 large egg whites, at room temperature

1/2 cup fat-free or low-fat (1%) buttermilk

1 (4-ounce) jar pear baby food

1 vanilla bean split lengthwise, seeds scraped, or 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

3 tablespoons unsalted butter, at room temperature

2 tablespoons canola oil

1 cup sugar

Ingredients for the Black Cherry Sauce

1 (12-ounce) package frozen pitted dark sweet cherries, thawed

1/2 cup water

2 tablespoons sugar

1 tablespoon cornstarch

Grated zest of 1 lime

To make the cake

Preheat the oven to 325°F. Spray a 10-cup Bundt pan with nonstick baking spray with flour.

Whisk flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt together in a medium bowl. Whisk the eggs and egg whites in another medium bowl until frothy. Whisk in the buttermilk, pear baby food, and vanilla until blended.

With an electric mixer on medium speed, beat butter and oil in a large bowl until blended, about 1 minute. Gradually add sugar and beat until fluffy, about 2 minutes.

Reduce the speed to low. Alternately add the flour mixture and the egg mixture, beginning and ending with the flour mixture and beating just until blended.

Scrape the batter into the pan; spread evenly. Bake until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean, 30 - 35 minutes. Let cool in the pan on a rack 10 minutes.

Remove the cake from the pan and let cool completely on the rack.

Meanwhile, to make the cherry sauce, bring cherries, water, sugar, cornstarch, and lime zest to a boil in a medium saucepan. Reduce heat and simmer, stirring constantly, until the sauce bubbles and thickens, about 1 minute. Transfer the sauce to a bowl (makes 2 cups). Serve with the cake.

Per serving (1 slice with 2 tablespoons sauce): 170 calories, 4.5 g fat (1.5 g saturated, 0 g trans), 35 mg cholesterol, 95 mg sodium, 29 g carbohydrate, 1 g fiber, 3 g protein.

Making it lighter

Reduced some of the butter and used pureed baby-food pears and heart-healthier canola oil, saving lots of saturated fat and fatty calories.

Can't find baby-food pears in the supermarket? Whirl some drained canned pear halves (look for the ones packed in juice or water) in a blender or food processor until smooth.

Used fat-free buttermilk instead of sour cream.

What's the difference?

Vanilla Pound Cake with Black Cherry Sauce in a new light cuts out 270 calories, 12.5 g fat, and 38 g carbohydrate from the original.