Persian food – a delicious and balanced cuisine
Two concepts that illustrate the balance and wisdom found in Persian cooking are “everything in moderation” and choosing a variety of food. There is even a system of hot and cold foods in Persian cuisine. which are suggested to be eaten in balanced amounts for the best overall health.
There are a couple of ingredients that you will probably not be able to find at an ordinary grocery store. If you have a good Middle Eastern or Asian grocery store in your community, you may be able to find them there. If not, I have listed links below to an online source.
It is definitely okay to substitute common ingredients. For the limou-omani, you can substitute three tablespoons of lemon juice, added at the end of cooking. For the fenugreek, you can add one-half cup of frozen chopped spinach to the fresh herb mixture. Even among Persian cooks, there is a little variety in the way each cook prepares this dish. So, no worries if you are not able to use the specific ingredients.
Links to online sources
Here are links to online sources for specific Middle Eastern ingredients. They would cost less if you could locate them at a local Middle Eastern grocery store. But that isn’t always possible. These packages last me about a year; I am able to buy them locally at a wonderful Persian grocery store/restaurant called Travel By Taste. I love to wander around the store and explore all the exotic ingredients and aromas.
Persian food for Type 2 diabetes
Persian food, the food of Iran and the ancient culture of Persia, is surprisingly good for Type 2 diabetics. The Persian approach to food is similar to the Mediterranean diet. Plenty of fresh vegetables and fruits as they come into season, moderate amounts of fat and protein, and natural snacks like nuts and seeds.
Even breakfast is healthy, with the typical morning meal consisting of toasted thin flatbread with feta cheese and fresh herbs such as tarragon and mint. Desserts are usually fresh fruit, except for very special occasions that call for cake.
Many years ago, when I first began to meet my husband’s Persia family, I had no idea that this beautiful and different cuisine would become an important part of my arsenal of recipes used to meet the challenge of Type 2 diabetes. Persian food, like many other international cuisines, meets our needs for diabetic cooking. It is low-carb, when you control the amount of rice you put on your plate. And with the emphasis on vegetables and fruits, we find that we really don’t have room on our plates for a lot of empty carbs.