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Diabetes quick fix: Indian-Spiced Chicken with Cumin-Scented Rice and Spinach

By Linda Gassenheimer • Dec 15, 2017 at 7:00 AM

Tandoori chicken, with its delicate blend of spices and intriguing aroma, is one of my favorite Indian dishes.

One characteristic of the dish is it is cooked in a special tandoor oven in most restaurants. Another important characteristic is the ginger, garlic, coriander and cayenne yogurt sauce that it is cooked in. For this dinner, I have captured the essence of tandoori chicken with this easy yogurt sauce.

Although not made in a special oven, the meal fills my requirement for some great Indian food that can be prepared quickly.

All of the spices can all be found in the spice section of the supermarket.

Helpful Hints:

— Chicken tenderloin can be found in most supermarkets. If not available, use boneless, skinless chicken breasts and cut into 2-inch by 5-inch pieces.

— Basmati rice is a type of long-grain rice grown in the foothills of the Himalayas and is a popular rice in India. It is fragrant and smells like popcorn while cooking. Long-grain white rice can be used instead.

— Diced fresh onions can be found in the produce section of the supermarket.

— A quick way to peel and chop fresh ginger is to scrape the skin with the edge of a spoon and then scrape it with a grater.


— Place water for rice on to boil.

— Prepare ingredients.

— Start rice.

— Make chicken.

— Finish rice.

Shopping List:

To buy: 3/4 pound boneless, skinless chicken tenderloins, 1 carton plain non-fat yogurt, 1 bottle ground coriander, 1 small bottle ground cumin, 1 small package basmati rice, 1 small bottle cayenne pepper, 1 small box raisins, 1 small bunch fresh mint, 1 small piece fresh ginger, 1 container fresh diced onion, 1 bag washed, ready-to-eat spinach.

Staples: canola oil, minced garlic, salt, black peppercorns.



Recipe by Linda Gassenheimer

1 cup plain, non-fat yogurt

1/4 cup loosely packed fresh mint leaves plus 2 tablespoons, chopped

1/2 inch fresh ginger, peeled and chopped (1 tablespoon)

1 teaspoon ground coriander

Pinch cayenne

2 teaspoons canola oil

3/4 pound boneless, skinless chicken tenderloins

1/4 cup fresh diced onion

1 teaspoon minced garlic

Mix yogurt, 1/4 cup chopped mint, ginger, coriander, and cayenne together. Heat oil in a nonstick skillet just large enough to hold chicken in one layer over medium-high heat. Add chicken and onion to the skillet. Brown chicken 2 minutes. Turn and brown 2 minutes. Lower heat to medium. Add garlic to the skillet. Spoon yogurt sauce over chicken. Cover with a lid and cook 3 minutes. A meat thermometer should read 165 degrees. Sprinkle with remaining 2 tablespoons chopped mint and serve.

Yield 2 servings

Per serving: 318 calories, 84 calories from fat, 9.3 g total fat, 1.5 g saturated fat, 4.3 g monounsaturated fat, 111 mg cholesterol, 295 mg sodium, 13.4 g carbohydrate, 0.9 g dietary fiber, 0.9 g sugars, 43.7 g protein

Exchanges: 1/2 fat-free milk, 1/2 carbohydrate, 5 lean meat

* * *


Recipe by Linda Gassenheimer

1/2 cup basmati rice

5 cups washed, ready-to-eat spinach (5 ounces)

1 tablespoon canola oil

2 tablespoons raisins

1/2 teaspoon ground cumin

Salt and freshly ground black pepper

Bring a large saucepan filled with water to a boil over high heat. Add the rice and let roll in the boiling water 10 minutes. Add spinach and immediately drain the rice leaving 2 tablespoons water in the saucepan. Add the oil to the saucepan and return the rice to the pan. Add the raisins and cumin. Toss well. Add salt and pepper to taste.

Yield 2 servings

Per serving: 25 calories, 68 calories from fat, 7.5 g total fat, 0.6 g saturated fat, 4.4 g monounsaturated fat, 0 mg cholesterol, 64 mg sodium, 47.1 g carbohydrate, 2.7 g dietary fiber, 5.7 g sugars, 5.8 g protein

Exchanges: 2 1/2-starch, 1/2 fruit, 1 vegetable, 1 fat


(From “Mix ‘n’ Match Meals in Minutes for People with Diabetes” by Linda Gassenheimer, published by the American Diabetes Association. Reprinted with permission from The American Diabetes Association. Gassenheimer’s latest book is “Delicious One-Pot Dishes,” published by the American Diabetes Association. To order either book call 1-800-232-6733 or order online at www.shopdiabetes.org)


©2017 Tribune Content Agency, LLC

Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.

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