People with diabetes can enjoy the same healthy meals as the whole family.  Read our healthy cooking fact sheet for ideas on how to make small changes to your favourite recipes.
Some great ways to make recipes healthier are to:
  • add extra fibre
  • add extra fruit & vegetables
  • reduce the amount of sugar, salt, or saturated fat

Our recipe of the month is recommended by our dietitians using Diabetes Australia’s own recipe guidelines.

Diabetes Victoria members have access to a large range of recipes and meal plans that meet our nutrition guidelines. Find out more about membership.

Spiced beef with onions and yellow split peas

Split peas have long been a soup stalwart, but here they play the contemplative companion to the lively flavour combinations in this meat dish, a shadow of a fragrant light curry. Do use allspice (not mixed spice or a blend of ‘all spices’), which takes its name from its aroma – a combination of spices, especially cinnamon, cloves, ginger and nutmeg. In much of the world, allspice is called pimento.

PREPARATION TIME: 25 minutes | COOKING TIME: 2 hours | SERVES: 6


  • ¼ cup (60 ml) olive oil
  • ¼ cup (60 ml)) tomato paste (concentrated purée)
  • 2 large onions, chopped
  • 1 teaspoon ground turmeric
  • 1 kg beef chuck, cut into 3 cm cubes
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon ground allspice (optional)
  • sea salt flakes and freshly ground pepper
  • 2 × 400 g tins crushed tomatoes
  • 4 cups (1 litre) water
  • 1 cup (185 g) dried yellow split peas, rinsed and drained
  • ¼ cup (60 ml) lemon juice
  • 2 radishes, very thinly sliced
  • 1 handful mint leaves


  • In a small pan, heat 1 tablespoon of the oil over medium heat, add the tomato paste and cook, stirring, for 2–3 minutes just until the tomato paste turns slightly darker. Remove from the heat and set aside.
  • In a large sturdy pot, heat the remaining oil over medium heat. Add the onions and cook for about 8 minutes or until the onions are golden. Add the turmeric, stir well, then toss in the meat and brown all over. Add the cinnamon, allspice (if using), and salt and pepper to taste. Tip in the tomatoes and water, cover and simmer gently for 1¼ hours.
  • Stir in the split peas and simmer, covered, stirring occasionally, for about 30 minutes, or until the meat is tender and the peas cooked. Stir in the lemon juice and serve garnished with sliced radishes and mint leaves, or very young mint sprigs if you grow your own.

Tip Choose an inexpensive cut of beef that suits slow cooking. Chuck, from the neck and shoulder, has a great full flavour and a fantastic gelatinous texture. Other good cuts to use are blade, round or boneless shin.

Nutrition information
Serves: 6

Per serve
Energy    1895kJ
Protein     48g
Total fat    16g
Saturated fat   3.5g
Total carbohydrate  24.5g
Fibre  8g
Sodium    300mg

'Images and recipes from Good Carbs Cookbook by Dr Alan Barclay, Philippa Sandall and Kate McGhie (Murdoch Books, RRP $39.99) Photography by Alan Benson.