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Diabetes quick fix: Roast beef pita pocket with tomato with onion relish and Greek summer salad

By Linda Gassenheimer • Jul 16, 2019 at 7:00 AM

Here’s a cool idea for a warm summer evening or just a quick sandwich supper. Tomato and onion are mixed together to make a tangy uncooked relish that captures their refreshing texture and flavor. The relish and roast beef make a tasty, colorful filling for a pita pocket.

Look for large pita bread. I find the whole-wheat bread has more texture and flavor than the plain. If you can only find small pitas, use two per serving.

Helpful Hints:

— Roast chicken can be substituted for roast beef.

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


— Prepare onion and tomato relish and set aside to marinate a few minutes.

— Make the Greek Summer Salad.

— Complete the pita pockets.

Shopping List:

To buy: 6 ounces sliced lean deli roast beef*, 1 package whole-wheat pita breads (6 1/2 inches each), 1 bottle dried oregano, 1 bottle/can green or black olives, 1 container fresh diced tomato, 1 container fresh diced onion, 1 bunch cilantro, 1 cucumber, 1 large green bell pepper.

Staples: balsamic vinegar, reduced-fat vinaigrette dressing**, salt, black peppercorns.



1 cup fresh diced tomato

1 tablespoon fresh diced onion

1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar

3 tablespoons fresh cilantro

Salt and freshly ground black pepper

2 large whole-wheat pita breads (6 1/2 inches each)

6 ounces sliced lean deli roast beef, cut into strips*

Mix tomato, onion, balsamic vinegar, and cilantro together in a bowl. Add salt and pepper to taste. Toast pita bread in a toaster oven to warm slightly. Do not let it get too crisp. Cut pita breads in half and open pockets. Spoon half the relish into the pockets. Add the roast beef and finish with the remaining relish.

Yield 2 servings.

Per serving: 360 calories, 62 calories from fat, 6.9 g total fat, 2.6 g saturated fat, 2.5 g monounsaturated fat, 45 mg cholesterol, 410 mg sodium, 47.6 g carbohydrate, 7.2 g dietary fiber, 7 g sugars, 29 g protein

Exchanges: 2 1/2 starch, 1 vegetable, 3 lean meat


1 teaspoon dried oregano

2 tablespoons reduced-fat vinaigrette dressing**

2 cups peeled and sliced cucumber

2 cups seeded and sliced green bell pepper

10 green or black olives

Mix oregano and vinaigrette dressing in a medium-size salad bowl. Add the cucumber and green bell pepper slices and olives. Toss with dressing.

Yield 2 servings.

Per serving: 77 calories, 28 calories from fat, 3.2 g total fat, 0.5 g saturated fat, 1.6 g monounsaturated fat, 1 mg cholesterol, 150 mg sodium, 11.5 g carbohydrate, 4 g dietary fiber, 5.9 g sugars, 2.3 g protein

Exchanges: 2 vegetables, 1/2 fat

* Look for oven-roasted choice top round roast beef, no salt added, that contains (per ounce) 45 calories, 1.7 g fat, 0.75 g saturated fat, 20 mg sodium (example: Boar’s Head brand)

** Look for reduced-fat vinaigrette dressing containing (per tablespoon) 11 calories, 1 g fat, 4 mg sodium


(From “Fast and Flavorful Great Diabetes Meals from Market to Table” by Linda Gassenheimer, published by the American Diabetes Association. Reprinted with permission from The American Diabetes Association. To order this book call 1-800-232-6733 or order online at www.shopdiabetes.org)


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