29/03/2016 8:16 PM AEDT | Updated 15/07/2016 12:51 PM AEST

Dinner Recipes The Whole Family Will Love

Reversing Diabetes / Murdoch Books

Coming up with different meals for dinner each week can be difficult, especially when we come home from work feeling tired and not in the mood to scour the internet for 'tasty-dinners-that-are-easy-to-make-that-my-kids-will-eat-but-are-also-healthy'.

Enter these delicious recipes from the Reversing Diabetes cookbook by Dr Alan Barclay. These four meals are easy to make, full of flavour and are a hands-on affair -- meaning the kids (and the adults, let's face it) will love getting their hands involved at dinner time.

1. Spanish tortilla pies

"To save time, make these tortilla pies a day ahead. Take any leftover pies for lunch the next day with a mixed salad," Barclay said.

Serves six.

Preparation: 20 minutes

Cooking: 55 minutes


  • 1 large red capsicum, thickly sliced
  • 1 large lower-GI potato, such as Carisma, diced
  • 1 large red onion, cut into thin wedges
  • olive oil spray
  • 2 teaspoons smoked Spanish paprika
  • 6 x 30g low-sodium sorj rye wraps
  • 4 eggs, plus 2 egg whites
  • 125ml (½ cup) skim milk
  • 2 tablespoons parsley leaves, finely chopped
  • 250g mixed salad leaves
  • 2 teaspoons white balsamic vinegar


  1. Preheat the oven to 180°C (350°F). Line a baking tray with baking paper. Spread the capsicum, potato and onion over the tray, spray with olive oil and sprinkle with the paprika. Bake for 30 minutes or until the vegetables have softened.
  2. Using a 14cm round cutter, cut a circle from each wrap. Lightly spray one side of the circles with olive oil and gently press the oiled side into six 185ml (¾ cup) capacity muffin holes.
  3. Divide the roasted vegetables among the muffin holes. Whisk the eggs, egg whites and milk together in a small bowl. Pour over the vegetables, sprinkle with the parsley and bake for 25 minutes or until the pies are golden and set.
  4. Drizzle the salad leaves with the white balsamic vinegar and serve with the hot pies.

Notes: Gently heat the wraps in the microwave before cutting them into rounds -- this will make it easy to shape them into the muffin holes. Sprinkle each tortilla with a small quantity of Spanish manchego cheese before baking. Manchego is a sheep’s cheese with a delicate nutty flavour.

2. Zucchini and corn fritters with smoked salmon

"Buckwheat flour is a gluten-free flour and an excellent source of fibre and micronutrients. It has a nutty taste and originates from the same plant species as rhubarb," Barclay said.

Serves four (makes 12).

Preparation: 15 minutes

Cooking: 20 minutes


  • olive oil spray
  • 1 corn cob, kernels removed
  • 2 large (300 g) zucchinis, coarsely grated
  • 2 spring onions, thinly sliced
  • 35g (¼ cup) buckwheat flour
  • ½ teaspoon smoked paprika
  • 2 eggs, lightly whisked
  • 2 tablespoons dill sprigs, chopped, plus extra to serve
  • 250g extra light (1% fat) smooth ricotta cheese
  • 80g smoked salmon, roughly chopped
  • finely grated lemon zest, to serve


  1. Spray a large non-stick frying pan with olive oil and heat over medium-high heat. Cook the corn kernels, stirring, for 3-4 minutes or until softened. Transfer to a large bowl to cool.
  2. Add the zucchini, spring onions, buckwheat flour and paprika to the corn and stir until combined. Add the eggs and chopped dill, and mix until just combined. Season the batter with freshly ground black pepper.
  3. Spray the same frying pan with olive oil and heat over medium heat. Using a heaped tablespoon of the batter for each fritter, cook the fritters in several batches for two minutes on each side or until golden. Transfer to a wire rack to cool.
  4. To serve, top each fritter with a dollop of ricotta, some smoked salmon, extra dill, lemon zest and freshly ground black pepper.

Note: Make a double batch of the fritters and freeze half. For an alternative to smoked salmon, use shredded, skinless poached chicken and use a little mashed avocado instead of the ricotta.

3. Chipotle barbecued chicken with sweet potato wedges

"Chipotle chillies in adobo sauce are dried, smoked red jalapeños in a spicy tomato sauce. You can find these in tins in speciality grocery stores and delicatessens," Barclay said.

Serves six.

Preparation: 30 minutes, plus overnight marinating

Cooking: 55 minutes


  • 2 tablespoons chipotle chillies in adobo sauce
  • 2 ripe tomatoes, chopped
  • 1 red onion, roughly chopped
  • 60ml (¼ cup) apple cider vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons yellow box honey
  • 1 tablespoon smoked paprika
  • 2 teaspoons mustard powder
  • 1 handful coriander leaves, plus extra sprigs to serve
  • 1.3kg whole chicken
  • 500g orange sweet potato, cut into wedges
  • olive oil spray
  • 2 corn cobs, cut into thirds
  • 125g (½ cup) extra light sour cream
  • 300g mixed salad leaves
  • lime cheeks, to serve


  1. Using a stick blender or a small food processor, blend the chillies, tomatoes, onion, vinegar, honey, paprika, mustard and coriander leaves to form a thick paste.
  2. To butterfly the chicken, use poultry shears to cut down each side of the backbone. Discard the backbone, turn the chicken over and use the palm of your hand to press down on the breastbone to flatten the chicken. Put the chicken in a large glass dish. Rub half of the chilli mixture over the chicken. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate overnight. Spoon the remaining chilli mixture into a bowl, cover and refrigerate until required.
  3. Preheat a barbecue to low. Remove the chicken from the marinade and dilute the marinade with two tablespoons water. Cook the chicken, basting occasionally with the diluted marinade, for 25 minutes on each side or until golden and cooked through. Spray the sweet potato wedges with olive oil and add to the barbecue for the final 25 minutes of cooking, turning occasionally. Spray the corn cob pieces with olive oil and add to the barbecue for the final 10 minutes, turning frequently.
  4. Pour the reserved chilli mixture into a saucepan with 60ml (¼ cup) water. Cook over medium heat, stirring occasionally, for 3-4 minutes or until thickened. Spoon the sauce into a small bowl.
  5. Using a pair of poultry shears, cut the chicken into small portions. Arrange the chicken on a platter and scatter the coriander sprigs over the top. Serve with the sweet potato wedges, corn, sour cream, salad leaves, chilli sauce and lime cheeks.

4. Beef and bean nachos

"Thanks to the kidney beans, this dish is moderate in low-GI carbohydrate and very high in dietary fibre and potassium," Barclay said. "Make a double batch of the beef and bean mixture to freeze for another meal."

Serves four.

Preparation: 30 minutes

Cooking: 1 hour


  • 4 jalapeños, thinly sliced
  • 2 tablespoons malt vinegar
  • 4 x 26g low-sodium white corn tortillas
  • olive oil spray
  • 1 brown onion, finely chopped
  • 2 celery stalks, finely chopped
  • 1 green capsicum, finely chopped
  • 300g extra-lean minced (ground) beef
  • 1 tablespoon smoked paprika
  • 2 teaspoons ground cumin
  • 2 teaspoons dried oregano
  • 400g tinned diced tomatoes
  • 800g tinned no-added-salt kidney beans, rinsed and drained
  • 1 small avocado
  • 2 teaspoons lemon juice
  • 1 small handful coriander leaves, finely chopped, plus extra sprigs to serve


  1. Put the jalapeños in a small bowl with the vinegar and set aside to marinate.
  2. Preheat the oven to 180°C (350°F). Lightly spray both sides of the tortillas with olive oil. Cut each tortilla into 10 wedges and arrange on a large baking tray. Bake, turning once, for 10-12 minutes or until golden and crisp. Set aside until needed.
  3. While the tortilla crisps are cooking, spray a large saucepan with olive oil and place over medium heat. Add the onion and cook, stirring, for two minutes or until softened. Add the celery and capsicum, and stir for 6-7 minutes or until browned and softened. Add the beef and cook, stirring and breaking up any lumps, for five minutes or until browned.
  4. Stir in the paprika, cumin and oregano, and cook for two minutes or until fragrant. Stir in the tomatoes and 180 ml (¾ cup) water. Reduce the heat, cover and simmer for 25-30 minutes or until the sauce has thickened. Add the beans and cook for 10 minutes.
  5. Meanwhile, mash the avocado with a fork, then stir in the lemon juice and chopped coriander. Season with freshly ground black pepper.
  6. Spoon the beef and bean mixture into bowls and serve with the tortilla crisps, avocado, extra coriander and jalapeños.

Notes: Spice up the tortillas by sprinkling them with cayenne pepper before baking.

Recipes and images from Reversing Diabetes by Dr Alan Barclay (Murdoch Books) RRP $35. Available now in all good bookstores and online.