Italian Diabetes Cookbook by Amy Riolo

The 150 easy-to-make recipes are healthy and use fresh ingredients.


Italian cuisine, a favorite of the Safersteins, is made healthier in this new cookbook by Amy Riolo. The 150 easy to make recipes, which use fresh ingredients, include: Red Pepper, Yellow Tomato, and Artichoke Salad; Whole Wheat Fusilli with Pesto and Cherry Tomatoes; Roasted Chicken with Grapes and Chestnuts; Swordfish with Olives, Capers, Herbs, and Tomatoes and Espresso Panna Cotta.

And since wine is a must with Italian food, many of the book’s recipes contain wine pairings, as well as information on the history and cultural importance of each dish. Author Amy Riolo has a blog at

Here is a recipe to try:

From The Italian Diabetes Cookbook, p. 8.

The popular Italian poet Gabriele D’Annunzio once described the view of the sea from Reggio Calabria as “the most beautiful kilometer in Italy.” Known as the ancestral homeland to 20% of the Italian-American population, the southern Italian region was once home to powerful Greek and Byzantine colonies like the city of Crotone, where Pythagoras once formed a secret society of intellectuals. This recipe is popular in Calabria because it incorporates eggplant and ricotta—two widely celebrated ingredients—on their beloved country-style bread.

Serves: 4 | Serving Size: 1 slice bread, 2 tablespoons ricotta, and approximately 1/3 cup eggplant
Prep Time: 5 minutes | Cooking Time: 10 minutes

2 baby eggplants (1/2 pound total), ends trimmed and cut lengthwise into 4 x 1/4 slices
2 tablespoons good-quality extra virgin olive oil (preferably Calabrian), divided
1/8 teaspoon unrefined sea salt, divided
4 (1/2-inch) slices ciabatta or other light, crusty, country bread
1/2 cup ricotta cheese, divided
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/4 cup finely chopped fresh mint

1. Preheat broiler to high or grill to medium-high.
2. Lightly brush the eggplant slices with 1 tablespoon olive oil and set on a baking sheet. When the grill is ready, use tongs to place slices directly on the grill and cook each side until grill marks appear and slices are nicely browned, 3–4 minutes per side. Or, if broiling, place baking sheet directly under broiler, and broil each side until golden, 1–2 minutes per side.
3. Remove baking sheet from oven or, if grilling, use tongs to transfer eggplant back to the baking sheet, and sprinkle with about half the salt. When slices are cool enough to handle, cut into 1/4-inch cubes, place in a bowl, and set aside.
4. When ready to serve (do not prepare these ahead of time or the bread will get soggy), grill the bread slices on both sides until grill marks appear, or place under the broiler until golden brown. Slather each piece evenly with 2 table- spoons ricotta. Sprinkle with remaining salt and the pepper. Top with the chopped eggplant. Drizzle with remaining 1 tablespoon olive oil and garnish with mint. Serve immediately.

Italian Living Tradition
A great deal of Italy’s olive oil is produced in Calabria. There are three main varieties of Calabrian olive oil:

Alto Crotonese: Production of this type of oil can be traced to the Byzantine period, when Basilian monks settled in the region and improved olive cultivation. Made using at least 70% Carolea olives, this is a lighter Calabrian oil, suited for drizzling over fish or seasoning greens. 

Bruzio: The olives used to make this oil were introduced to the region by the ancient Greeks. Bruzio’s Protected Designation of Origin (Denominazione di origine protetta in Italian) is limited to the province of Cosenza. This oil has a light green color with hints of yellow.

Lamezia: Olive production in Lamezia is limited for quality, and the harvesting season is heavily regulated. Olive oil from Lamezia is made from at least 90% Carolea olives, and the acidity of the oil is restricted to 0.5%, giving it a smooth, full flavor.


Exchanges/Food Choices:
1/2 Starch
1 Vegetable
1/2 Medium-Fat Protein
1 Fat

Calories   150
Calories from Fat  90
Total Fat   10g
Saturated Fat   2.6g
Trans Fat   0g
Cholesterol   10mg
Sodium  170mg
Potassium   225mg
Total Carbohydrate  11g
Dietary Fiber   3g
Sugars   2g
Protein  5g
Phosphorus 85mg

©2016 by the American Diabetes Association, Inc.® To order this book, please call 1-800-232-6733 or order online at

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