By Denise Swogetinsky

Special to The Messenger

Controlling your diet so you can keep a good sugar level is hard when you are cooking for a family.

You have to think about taste, looks, and is this something your children will eat it. You also have to fit cooking into a busy family schedule.

Here are some meals that will take around 30 minutes to prepare and will please your family's taste buds. You just have to plan and use moderation to cook healthy.


Sweet and Sour Chicken with 

2 tablespoons canola oil

 1 1/2 pound boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cut into thin strips

 1  can pineapple chunks in syrup (light or no sugar), drained and liquid reserved

 1 can sliced water chestnuts, drained

 1 cup fresh broccoli florets

 1 medium-sized red bell pepper, cut into 3/4-inch chunks

 2 tablespoons low-sodium soy sauce

 1 tablespoon white vinegar

 1 tablespoon ketchup

 2 tablespoons cornstarch

 1 tablespoon sweetener

 1 cup fresh snow peas, trimmed


In a large skillet or wok, heat oil over high heat. Add chicken and stir-fry for 4 to 5 minutes, or until no pink remains. Add pineapple chunks, water chestnuts, broccoli, and red pepper. Stir-fry for 3 to 4 minutes, or until the vegetables are crisp-tender. In a small bowl, combine the reserved pineapple liquid, the soy sauce, vinegar, ketchup, cornstarch, and sugar; mix well. Stir into skillet or wok and cook 3 minutes. Add snow peas and cook 1 minute, or until sauce has thickened. Serve immediately over cauliflower rice.


Easy Enchilada Casserole

1 pound extra lean ground beef

 1/2 cup chopped onion

 3/4 cup chopped green bell pepper

 1  can pinto beans, rinsed and drained

 1 cup frozen corn, thawed

 1 teaspoon chili powder

 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin

 1  tomato sauce

 8 (6-inch) Mission Low carb wraps

 1 cup shredded cheddar cheese


Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Coat an 8-inch square baking dish with cooking spray. In a large skillet over medium-high heat, saute beef, onion, and bell pepper 5 to 7 minutes, or until beef is no longer pink, stirring occasionally. Stir in beans, corn, chili powder, and cumin. Spread half of tomato sauce on bottom of baking dish. Top with half the tortilla wedges, half the beef mixture, and half the cheese. Repeat layers with remaining sauce, tortilla wedges, and beef mixture. Cover with foil and bake 25 minutes, or until heated through. Uncover and sprinkle with remaining cheese. Bake 5 to 10 more minutes, or until cheese is melted.



 Salisbury Steak

1 pound extra-lean ground beef

 1/4 cup chopped onion

 2 teaspoons chopped fresh parsley

 1 teaspoon garlic powder

 1/4 teaspoon black pepper

 1 tablespoon margarine

 8 ounces mushrooms, sliced

 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme

 1 (12-ounce) jar fat-free beef gravy


In a large bowl, combine beef, onion, parsley, garlic powder, and black pepper; mix well. Shape into 4 equal oval patties. Coat a large skillet with cooking spray over medium-heat. Add patties and cook 4 minutes per side, or until no longer pink inside. Remove from skillet to a plate.In the same skillet, melt margarine and saute mushrooms and thyme for 4 minutes. Add gravy and return patties to skillet. Cook for 5 minutes, or until heated through. Serve with mashed cauliflower and string beans.


Quick-as-a-Wink Pesto Chicken

4 (4-ounce) boneless, skinless chicken breast cutlets

 4 tablespoons prepared pesto sauce

 4 slices mozzarella cheese


Coat a large skillet with cooking spray*, and heat over medium-high heat. Cook the chicken for 3 to 4 minutes per side, or until browned. Top each chicken breast with 1 tablespoon pesto sauce and 1 slice of mozzarella cheese. Cover, and cook for 2 to 3 minutes, or until no pink remains in the chicken. Serve immediately. Serve with your favorite fresh vegetables, a salad and some Carb-Quik biscuits.