In my third pregnancy I developed gestational diabetes. My diagnosis came just prior to Easter, and I was crest-fallen that I would need to avoid Easter chocolates and the accompanying feasting. This, as well as having to learn all about the dos and don’ts of diabetes and overhauling my entire diet left me feeling depressed for a number of weeks. We were in the throws of renovating our house, and with 3 other children in my care I didn’t have time for this!
I learnt that the biggest perpetrators of blood sugar spikes weren’t actually ‘sugary’ foods like lollies and chocolates, but carbohydrate-rich foods like hot chips, pizza or burgers. While this meant I could indulge in some Easter chocolates, it also meant that take-away dinners or convenience meals would have to go. This was another frustrating point for me because I was already time-poor and now I needed to spend extra time preparing food, and could never have the night off and serve fish and chips for dinner instead.
However, after a couple of weeks of ‘torture’ I started feeling better than I had ever felt in my whole life. Despite the fact I was heavily pregnant, I felt energetic and had actually lost 11 pounds (5kgs). After losing this initial weight I didn’t gain any further weight for the remainder of my pregnancy. This left me feeling comparatively light and and grateful for my diet overhaul. Thankfully, I was declared free from diabetes after baby was born, but I have transferred many of the diabetes-diet practices to my regular eating habits.
This Chicken Divan recipe is perfect for my post-pregnancy eating plan. With equal portions of protein and vegetables, it is low in carbs and won’t leave you feeling heavy after eating. It’s not exactly low-fat, but if you are diabetic or want to minimise carbs like I do this Chicken Divan recipe is for you. Not only does it fit the low-carb bill, it is also delicious and was enjoyed by our whole family (tough critics!). I hope you enjoy it as much as we did. Bon appetit!
- 3½lb. (1.6kg chicken)
- 1½lb. (70g) fresh broccoli (or 2 10oz. (285g) packets quick-frozen broccoli)
- Boiling salted water
- 3 oz. (85g) butter
- ⅓ cup flour
- ½ cup cream
- 2 tablespoons dry sherry
- Salt, pepper
- 2 tablespoons grated parmesan cheese
- Extra parmesan cheese
- Steam chicken until tender, drain, reserve 2 cups of liquid. Remove bones from chicken, cut meat into serving-sized pieces, keep hot. Discard large part of stalks from fresh broccoli and most leaves. Put in boiling salted water, cook 15 minutes, drain and keep hot. (Or cook frozen broccoli according to directions on packet; drain.) Melt butter in pan, stir in flour, cook 1 minute. Remove from heat, bring to boil, stirring until sauce boils and thickens.
- Stir in whipped cream and sherry; season with salt and pepper. Arrange broccoli over base of ovenproof dish, pour half the sauce over. Arrange chicken pieces over sauce. Add parmesan cheese to remaining sauce, pour over chicken. Sprinkle with a little extra parmesan cheese. Place under broiler (griller) or in very hot oven until sauce bubbles and is lightly browned on top.