1 November 2007

Low GI Recipes of the Month

Our chef Kate Hemphill develops deliciously simple recipes for GI News that showcase seasonal ingredients and make it easy for you to cook healthy, low GI meals and snacks. For more of Kate’s fabulous fare, check out: www.lovetocook.co.uk. For now, prepare and share good food with family and friends.

Kate Hemphill

Tuna, Bean, Olive & Fennel Salad
This is a lovely, nutritious meal, ideal for lunch or a light dinner – it’s even easy to pack in a container and carry to work. You can make the tuna ‘mash’ and serve as a dip, or just spread on toast. If you want to use fresh tuna, just sear it in olive oil, and continue with the recipe. The fats are mostly good fats, but if you want to cut back, halve the amount of oil you use in cooking the tuna and in the salad.

Serves 2


110 g (4 oz) can good quality canned tuna in oil (Ortiz or Sirena)
1 x 400 g (14 oz) can butter beans, drained
1 lemon, juiced (to make 3 tablespoons juice)
1/4 teaspoon smoked paprika
toasted sourdough bread, to serve

1 medium bulb fennel, shaved
1/4 butter or round lettuce, leaves torn
handful flat leaf parsley, roughly chopped
10 kalamata olives, pitted and halved
1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil

  • Put the tuna and oil from the can in a frying pan with half of the butter beans. Add 2 tablespoons lemon juice and the smoked paprika and heat gently, while mashing with a fork to bring together. Add salt and pepper to taste if you wish.
  • In a bowl, mix the remaining butter beans with the fennel, lettuce, parsley and olives and toss with 1 tablespoon of lemon juice and 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil. Place the salad on plates, then spoon the warm tuna ‘mash’ on top, and serve with a slice of sourdough (to mop up the wonderful juices).
Nutritional analysis per serving without sourdough bread
1426 kJ/340 calories; 17 g protein; 23 g fat (includes 3 g saturated fat); 11 g carbohydrate; 8 g fibre

Vanilla Prunes
These are a great accompaniment to the muesli recipe below. I always have a container of them in the fridge and every time I use a vanilla bean in any other recipes I add the pod to the container for extra flavour.

Makes 12 serves

500 g (1 lb 2 oz) prunes
300 ml (1¼ cups) water
1 tablespoon orange or lemon juice
1½ teaspoons pure vanilla extract
1 vanilla bean
  • Place the prunes, water, juice and extract in a saucepan and scrape the seeds from the vanilla bean into the pan and add the pod too. Simmer on low heat for 20 minutes, or until the prunes are very soft and most of the water has evaporated and you are left with a lovely syrup. When cool, transfer to an airtight container and keep in the fridge.
Nutritional analysis per serving
209 kJ/50 calories; less than 1 g protein; less than 1 g fat; 10 g carbohydrate; 2 g fibre

Macadamia Muesli
I keep seeing all these lovely, exotic mueslis in the shops and they cost a small fortune. It is so easy to make your own muesli, with all the bits and pieces you like. I don't add dried fruit to mine as I eat the muesli with fruit anyway. I also drizzle honey over it, so I don't like the muesli made too sweet. Play around with the recipe to suit your own taste and your family’s (yes, even the kids will eat this) and if you want to make less, just make half the quantity. If you are adding dried fruit, do so after you toast the muesli.
A serving is 1/3 cup (about 35 g)


1 kg (2 lb 4 oz) thick milled organic rolled oats
100 g (3½ oz) macadamia nuts, chopped
100 g (3½ oz) sunflower seeds
100 g (3½ oz) pumpkin seeds
50 g (1¾ oz) linseeds (flaxseeds)
  • Preheat oven to 170ºC (325ºF). Mix all the dry ingredients and spread on baking trays (you might need 2 or 3) so that the muesli is no more than 1 inch thick.
  • Bake muesli, stirring every 10 minutes. The nuts have a high oil content so you have to watch they don't burn. After 30 minutes, when there is light colour on the muesli, turn the oven off and leave the trays in there overnight, or until cool. Transfer to an airtight container. Serve with yoghurt, honey if desired and fruit.
Nutritional analysis per serving (35 g or 1/3 cup)
650 kJ/155 calories; 4.5 g protein; 7 g fat (includes 1 g saturated fat); 17 g carbohydrate; 2.5 g fibre