Simple Diabetes-Friendly Recipes

Book: Clean and SimpleMaintaining a diabetes-friendly diet can be challenging, especially during the various holidays throughout the year. Here are a couple of recipes perfect for your next brunch. These recipes are excerpted from the just-released “The Clean & Simple Diabetes Cookbook: Flavorful Fuss-Free Recipes for Everyday Meal Planning,” authored for the American Diabetes Association by Jackie Newgent. Available on Jan. 7, the cookbook offers a primer on the diabetes-friendly lifestyle, with step-by-step guide to easy cooking and more than a hundred recipes, including 25 that only have three ingredients.

Smoked Salmon Open-face Sandwich

serves: 1 • serving size: 1 sandwich • prep time: 10 minutes • cooking time: 0 minutes


  • 2 tablespoons Neufchâtel (light cream cheese)
  • 2 tablespoons plain 0% fat Greek yogurt
  • 1 thin slice whole-grain rye bread
  • 1 ounce thinly sliced smoked salmon
  • 1 large, thin slice red onion, separated into rings
  • 1 (3-inch) piece English cucumber, unpeeled, thinly sliced into coins
  • 1 sprig fresh dill, finely chopped

Kitchen Tools:

  • Cutting board
  • Chef’s knife
  • Measuring spoons
  • Small spoon
  • Small bowl
  • Luncheon-sized plate
  • Spreader or butter knife


In a small bowl, stir together the Neufchâtel and yogurt.

On a luncheon-sized plate, spread the bread with half the Neufchâtel mixture. Top with the salmon, onion and half the cucumber slices.

Serve the remaining cucumber slices and remaining Neufchâtel mixture on the side.

Sprinkle everything with the dill. Enjoy with a fork and knife.

Easy tip: Let the Neufchâtel stand at room temperature for 15 minutes before recipe prep. It’ll be easier to stir together with the yogurt.

What is Neufchâtel?

It’s basically reduced-fat cream cheese, kind of like the 2 percent version of whole milk. You can use American-style Neufchâtel just like regular cream cheese. You’ll save calories and saturated fat! Here’s the gist: 1 ounce (that’s 2 tablespoons) of Neufchâtel provides 70 calories and 4 grams of saturated fat; regular cream cheese provides 110 calories and 6 grams of saturated fat.

Nutrition information:

Choices/exchanges: 1 starch, 1 nonstarchy vegetable, 1 lean protein, 1 1/2 fat

Per serving: Calories 210; Calories from fat 80; Total fat 9 g; Saturated fat 4.2 g; Trans-fat 0 g; Cholesterol 30 mg; Sodium 470 mg; Potassium 340 mg; Total carbohydrate 19 g; Dietary fiber 2 g; Sugars 5 g; Added sugars 0 g; Protein 13 g; Phosphorus 180 mg

Flourless Peanut Butter Cookies

serves: 12 • serving size: 1 cookie • prep time: 12 minutes • cooking time: 15 minutes


  • 1/2 cup granulated coconut sugar
  • 1/3 cup creamy, natural, unsweetened peanut butter
  • 2 tablespoons ground flaxseeds1 large egg
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
  • 1/8 teaspoon flaked or coarse sea salt

Kitchen tools:

  • Large baking sheet
  • Unbleached parchment paper
  • Large mixing bowl
  • Dry measuring cups
  • Measuring spoons
  • Electric mixer
  • Cooling rack


Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line a baking sheet with unbleached parchment paper.

In a large mixing bowl, blend together the coconut sugar, peanut butter, flaxseeds, egg and vanilla using an electric mixer on medium speed until creamy.

Drop the cookie batter by the measuring tablespoon onto the baking sheet.

Bake until firm, about 15 minutes. Immediately sprinkle with the sea salt. Cool the cookies completely in the pan on a cooling rack and serve.

Nutrition information:

Choices/exchanges: 1/2 carbohydrate, 1 fat

Per serving: Calories 80; Calories from fat 40; Total fat 4.5 g; Saturated fat 0.7 g; Trans-fat 0 g; Cholesterol 15 mg; Sodium 30 mg; Potassium 125 mg; Total carbohydrate 8 g; Dietary fiber 1 g; Sugars 6 g; Added sugars 6 g; Protein 3 g; Phosphorus 40 mg

About The Author

Jackie Newgent, RDN, CDN, is a New York City-based classically-trained chef, registered dietitian nutritionist, award-winning cookbook author, recipe developer and media personality. She’s the author of several cookbooks, including her newest book, “The Clean & Simple Diabetes Cookbook” (American Diabetes Association, 2020). She’s a healthy cooking instructor at the Institute of Culinary Education, a food writer and a former national spokesperson for the Academy of Nutrition & Dietetics. Newgent has made guest appearances on dozens of television news shows. The American Diabetes Association funds research to prevent, cure, and manage diabetes; delivers services to hundreds of communities; provides objective and credible information; and gives voice to those denied their rights because of diabetes. For information, visit