Curried Sweet Potato Fajitas
Diabetes Friendly Thursday
Creating Recipes With A Cause!
To learn more about DFT click here. For more recipes this week, please read until the end of the post.
India, being the world capital of Diabetes, it is our humble effort to generate awareness and well being among our audience and participants.
The median age in Indian diabetic type-2 patients is 35 years and every family has at least 1 diabetic or borderline case.
Proud to be a DFT blogger. DFT goes Tex-Mex this time!
Tex-Mex, the taste bud sensational fusion is grabbing my attention quite intently these days.
The flavors, the spices have a familiar, heart-warming reach. What better way to enjoy a healthy meal of deliciousness than fajitas, burritos and the such?!
But this one is slightly different to what one would expect.
I bring to you here, oven roasted sweet potato with onions, red pepper; spiced with Indian spices flavored with reduced fat feta and coriander in whole wheat tortillas. This is delicious, believe me, it is so simple to make, yet so satisfying.
I must say I found the roasting process so much easier being taken over by the oven leaving my hob free for my flat breads! They get done almost simultaneously.
I have prepared this filling on four occasions until now. Once using regular potato and the rest with sweet potato. Twice in a wrap , once as a side and once as a mini pizza after-school snack, with homemade mini sweet-potato flatbreads, with cheese melted on top for my kids. All the four were very enjoyable indeed.
This being a diabetes friendly post we will be using wholewheat flat-bread and minimal feta cheese to add a zing.
For nutritional benefits of the main ingredients please read the foot-notes. For someone with diabetes the carbohydrate load(which ultimately are the sugars) they consume is very important and how it is balanced with vegetables and other fiber/protein rich ingredients. Which is to say PORTION CONTROL becomes a priority so that the blood sugars do not go too high or too low causing complications.
In general they are allowed 45-60g of carbohydrates in a meal and 15g in a snack (this depends on their weight and advised calorie intake)
We, in the DFT team put a LOT of thought into every single ingredient used in our recipes. Providing such recipes is a responsibility and we try our best to not misguide anyone.
If interested in reading more about the ingredients please read the foot notes.
- whole wheat tortillas - 6(organic/preservative free) you can make your own whole wheat tortillas too.
- sweet potato - 2 large
- red bell pepper - 1 large
- red onions - 2
- white onion - 1
- red chili powder - 1 & 12/ tsp (use as per tolerance)
- cumin powder - 1 tsp
- coriander powder - 1 tsp
- reduced fat feta cheese - ½ cup crumbled
- fresh coriander chopped - ½ cup (you can use more)
- ice-berg lettuce (healthier Romaine lettuce can also be used) - torn into pieces - 2 cups
- olive oil - 1 tbsp
- rice vinegar - 1 tbsp
- salt to taste
- low-fat sour cream/hung curd/Greek yogurt - ½ cup (use as needed)(for vegan version omit this or use vegan yogurt)
- chop sweet potato, onions, red bell pepper into wedges.
- place them in a large bowl. to this add vinegar, olive oil, red chili powder, cumin and coriander powders, salt and toss well.
- now spread this on a large oven proof tray and bake at 200 deg C for 35-40 min. stir once midway. keep an eye on the vegetables from 30 minutes onwards. take the tray out once you see well roasted wrinkled veg.
- once done, to prepare the fajitas, place these roasted veg over a warmed up whole wheat tortilla.
- sprinkle feta, chopped fresh coriander, torn iceberg lettuce leaves. spread some hung curd or greek yogurt or low-fat sour cream.
- cover from one side. fold over the edges, continue to roll to form a wrap.
- serve with a spicy dip or enjoy just as is.
Sweet Potato: Although sweet potatoes are primarily carbohydrates, some studies have shown that they help stabilize blood sugar and lower insulin resistance. The reason for this being, sweet potato tends to increase the levels of a protein hormone called Adiponectin, produced by our fat cells which play an important role as a modifier of insulin metabolism. People with healthier insulin metabolism tend to have higher levels of Adiponectin, while those with poorly regulated metabolism have lower levels.
Coming to carbohydrate levels, one baked medium-sized sweet potato has 26g of carbohydrate, 3.8g of fiber. the fiber does not contribute towards rise in blood sugar. Hence on a balance it comes to 22.2g of carbohydrate which is within acceptable limits of carbohydrate allowed (about 45-60g)
They are also a good source of Beta Carotene(Vitamin A), Vitamin C and B6 (helps in the health of the nervous system and helps renew cells). It is known to provide sizeable amounts of Vitamin A for school going children. Not simply that, the Beta Carotene makes it a stand out anti-oxidant food known to increase the activity of 2 key anti-oxidant enzymes copper/zinc superoxide dismutase and catalase. Antioxidants healp cleanse the body off toxins.
Anthocynanins and other color related pigments in sweet potato are equally valuable for their anti-inflammotory properties.
A good source of over 30 different carotenoids, as also Vitamin C (boosts your immunity and keeps your skin youthful) and Vitamin E, potassium (helps maintain blood sugar), folic acid and fiber. Low in fat. Has anti-oxidant and anti-inflammatory properties. Capsaicin in the peppers can boost metabolism. More here.
Red bell peppers have 11 times more beta-carotene and 1.5 times more Vitamin C.
The sulfur content causing the pungency, in fact, may have a role in anti-clotting and help prevent unwanted clumping platelets. This assumes importance since diabetes is often associated with/and/or raises the risk for heart disease.
The sulfur compounds have also been known to lower blood levels of cholesterol and triglycerides.
Some studies have shown that onions can help increase our bone density and may be of special benefit for women in menopausal age. This, however, needs frequent consumption, i.e every day.
When it comes to anti-inflammatory properties, a sulfur component found in the bulb of the vegetable has been shown to inhibit the activity of macrophages which play a key role in immune mechanisms. The role of macrophages is in general, a good thing, however, in critical unwanted inflammation, they can play a role in control.
Antioxidant, quercetin in onions prevent oxidation of fatty acids. When we have fewer oxidized fatty acids, our body produces fewer pro-inflammatory messaging molecules and our level of inflammtion is kept at check. Read more here.
Lettuce leaves especially Romaine Lettuce:
Lettuce leaves especially Romaine Lettuce has very low Glycemic Index. 2 cups of raw lettuce provides 1 calorie. Brings 8% of recommended dietary fiber. Very low in fat content. But brings forth loads of vitamins and minerals. read more here.
Yogurt, for every 6 oz provides 8 g of protein and 12g of carbohydrates, while Greek yogurt has 12g of protein and a third of the carbohydrates as compared to natural yogurt. Read here for dairy choices in Diabetes and here about yogurt in every day diabetic diet.
Feta is Greek cheese traditionally made with sheep’s or goat’s milk. Many commercial variations available today are made of cow’s milk and is firmer in texture.
Since feta has a strong flavor you can add just 1 oz to your meal and feel satisfied. This serving contains 74 calories and 6g of fat. Guidelines suggest keeping saturated fat intake to less than 10% of total daily calorie intake. This amounts to 22g per day for a 200 calorie diet. Feta contains 4g of saturated fat falling well below this limit. It also has 4g of protein per oz.
1&1/2 oz of feta accounts for 1 cup of milk.
One oz of feta also provides 14% of recommended dietary allowance of calcium and also many vitamins and minerals.
There is a concern that feta is salty. Feta contains 315mg of sodium per oz. Recommended daily allowance for a normal person is 2300mg of sodium per day. For someone with heart disease, kidney disease or high blood pressure, less than 1500g per day is recommended. Hence, stick to 1 oz of feta, since other contents in the meal such as hummus, salad dressings, sauces etc might contribute to the sodium too.
As compared to other cheeses such as cheddar feta is low in fat and calories (113 cals per oz, 9g of fat, of which 6g is saturated), brie (94 cals per oz with 8g fat of which 6g saturated).
Fresh Coriander: Animal studies have shown that use of coriander in diet helped stimulate secretion of insulin thereby helped in reduction of blood sugar. They are also known to reduce bad cholesterol(LDL) and increase good (HDL) cholesterol.
Herbs contain phytochemicals having a role in prevention of cancer and other chronic diseases. Coriander is a phytonutient-dense herb.
I am not a nutritionist or dietitian. My knowledge and information is based on my research and reading from different resources. Please consult your doctor or dietitian before making any changes to your diet.
Check out other recipes this week: