1 October 2007

Low GI Recipes of the Month

Our chef Kate Hemphill develops delicious recipes for GI News that showcase seasonal ingredients and make it easy for you to prepare healthy low GI meals and snacks. For more of Kate’s seasonal fare, check out: www.lovetocook.co.uk

Kate Hemphill

Simple Summer Spaghetti
As the seasons change and some of our readers are heading into spring, and others into Fall, everyone can enjoy the taste of summer with this fresh, simple and delicious recipe. The garlic and parsley should be very fresh and the pasta al dente. Chilli flakes are the ‘not too heavy not too light’ part of the chilli story – they soften quickly and add flashes of brightness. Researchers from the University of Tasmania found that eating a meal containing chopped chilli reduced the amount of insulin required to bring down postmeal blood glucose levels.
Enough for 4 for a light meal or accompaniment

photo: Kate Hemphill

200 g good quality dried spaghetti
1 large clove garlic, crushed
6 heaped tablespoons very finely chopped parsley
1/2 teaspoon chilli flakes (optional)
2 tablespoons finely grated parmesan
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
freshly ground black pepper
salt (optional)

  • Cook the spaghetti in a large saucepan of boiling water until al dente, following packet instructions and testing 1–2 minutes before the end of cooking time. Drain in a colander but do not rinse. Return the spaghetti to the hot saucepan over a low heat, add all other ingredients and stir well for 2 minutes.
  • Season to taste and serve immediately with a big green salad tossed in a vinaigrette dressing.
Per serve (4 portions)
kJ/Cal 1127/269; Protein 7 g; Fat 11 g (includes saturated 2 g) Carbohydrate 34 g; Fibre 2.5 g

Lavender and honey frozen yoghurt
I love ice cream, but there's quite a bit of guilt associated with eating it! I also love yoghurt and honey, so this manages to be a lot healthier than ice cream and also really tasty and you don't need an ice cream machine to blend it. Don't worry if you can't find lavender flowers, it's just as nice without (well, almost). I use 0% fat Greek yoghurt that's just as thick as normal. You can use low fat yoghurt, as long as it's still a thick Greek yoghurt, not one of those runny ones. Use pure floral honey if you can.
Serves 6–8 (just a scoop)


3 eggs, separated
250 g plain low-fat Greek yoghurt
50 g runny honey
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon crushed dried lavender flowers
  • Mix the yoghurt with the honey, cinnamon and lavender in a bowl. Add the egg yolks and stir to combine.
  • In a separate clean bowl, whisk egg whites until a stiff peak forms. Fold the egg whites into the yoghurt mixture and mix gently, yet thoroughly. Pour into one large, or several small prepared moulds. Freeze until set (at least 4 hours).
  • Remove from freezer to fridge 20 minutes before serving to soften slightly.
Per serve (8 portions)
kJ/Cal 284/68; Protein 5 g; Fat 2 g (includes saturated 0.7 g) Carbohydrate 7 g

This next recipe for when those big flat field mushrooms are in season is from a new book on spices and herbs.

Roasted mushrooms with ajowan
Choose mushrooms that are about the same size so you can fit 8 on a baking tray. To prepare the mushrooms, just wipe them with a damp cloth and save the stems to use in stuffings, soups or stock. If you want to reduce the fat, replace the chilli oil dressing for the rocket with a low fat vinaigrette and a dash of chilli oil.
Serves 4 (allowing 2 mushrooms each)


½–1 teaspoon chilli powder, depending how hot you like it
3 tablespoons olive oil
8 large field mushrooms, stems removed
2 cloves garlic, crushed
2 teaspoons poly or monounsaturated margarine, cut into 8 squares
1 teaspoon ajowan seeds
sea salt (optional)
4 handfuls wild rocket
cracked pepper to taste
  • Preheat the oven to 150°C (325°F) and lightly oil a baking tray or shallow ovenproof dish large enough to hold 8 mushrooms. Mix chilli with the olive oil and set aside to allow the flavour to develop while you prepare the mushrooms.
  • Place a little crushed garlic and a tiny piece of margarine in the centre of each mushroom, then sprinkle each with just a pinch of ajowan and a little salt if using.
  • Arrange the mushrooms face up on the baking tray and bake for 15 minutes or until heated through.
  • Rinse the rocket well under running water; drain, gently pat dry and toss in the chilli oil. Place a mound of rocket on each plate, and serve with two mushrooms and cracked pepper.
Per serve (4 portions)
kJ/Cal 708/169; Protein 3 g; Fat 16 g (includes saturated 2 g) Carbohydrate 2 g; Fibre 2 g


– From Sticks, Seeds, Pods and Leaves: A cook’s guide to culinary spices and herbs by Ian and Liz Hemphill.