1 June 2008

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 her website: www.lovetocook.co.uk. For now, prepare and share good food with family and friends.

Kate Hemphill

Lemon and kaffir lime prawn pilaf
This is a lovely and easy dish to make. It can easily be doubled if serving a large group, or halved for dinner for two. The number of prawns can be adjusted according to their size or you can add any other shellfish you like. Kaffir lime is normally associated with Thai food and has a distinct fresh flavour. If buying a bunch, fresh kaffir lime leaves can be frozen until ready to use. If you can’t get fresh, dried leaves can also be used in this recipe. It's a real one-pot wonder, but you need to use a cooktop to oven to table pan. And for a complete meal all you need to add is a big crispy green garden salad tossed in a vinaigrette dressing. It makes generous serves for four people or a lighter meal for six.
Serves 4–6


1 brown onion, finely chopped
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 cloves garlic, crushed
4 fresh kaffir lime leaves, spine removed and very finely chopped
1 lemon, juiced and rind finely grated
1½ cups (300 g) basmati rice
2½ cups (625 ml) salt reduced vegetable stock or water
16 green King prawns (shrimps), whole

To serve
2 tablespoons fresh coriander, chopped

  • Pre-heat the oven to 180ºC (350ºF). In a large casserole dish, sauté the onions in 2 tablespoons of olive oil until beginning to go tender. Add the garlic and continue to cook, stirring, for 1 minute. Add the kaffir lime leaves, lemon juice and rind. Tip the rice into the pan and keep stirring until all the grains are lightly toasted and covered in onion and spices.
  • Pour in the stock and bring to the boil, stirring occasionally. When boiling, turn off the heat and arrange the whole prawns on top of the rice. Cover with the lid on and place in the oven for 20 minutes. The rice and prawns should be cooked through. To serve, stir through chopped fresh coriander.
Per serving (based on 6 serves)
1243 kJ/ 295 calories; 15 g protein; 7 g fat (includes 1 g saturated fat); 42 g carbohydrate; 1 g fibre

Cajun stuffed peppers
This makes a hearty dinner allowing two peppers (capsicums) per person, or you can serve the peppers on a platter as part of a buffet. Wrap any leftover filling in a tortilla, or eat it as a ‘bean’ salad on its own. Cajun seasoning is a flavoursome blend of paprika, pepper, dried herbs and aromatics. It’s available in supermarkets.
Serves 4 for a main meal or 8 as part of a buffet


8 small red peppers (capsicums)
4 rashers lean smoked bacon or ham, cut into 1 cm (1/2 inch) pieces
1 small clove garlic, crushed
2 teaspoons Cajun seasoning
1 x 400 g (14 oz) can cannellini beans, rinsed and drained
1 x 400 g (14 oz) can kidney beans, rinsed and drained
1 cob corn, kernels removed
1 1/2 tablespoons finely grated parmesan
1–2 tablespoons olive oil for drizzling
  • Pre-heat the oven to 170ºC. Cut the top off the peppers at the top (to make a lid) and scoop out the membrane and seeds. Set aside on baking tray and keep the lids.
  • Sauté the bacon in a non stick pan until it starts to brown, then add garlic and Cajun seasoning. Stir until fragrant then add the beans, corn and parmesan and stir to combine well.
  • Stuff the peppers with the bean mixture and top with the ‘lids’. Drizzle a little olive oil over and bake for 45 minutes, or until capsicum flesh is tender.
Per pepper (capsicum)
884 kJ/ 210 calories; 14 g protein; 7 g fat (includes 1.5 g saturated fat); 20 g carbohydrate; 8 g fibre


Elizabeth said...

I have a cholesterl count problem as well as a desire for low GI food. Would you include cholesterol as part of your nutritional information on your wonderful recipes. Thank you.


hermin said...

hi Elizabeth, that sounds good. but i think the biggest source of cholesterol is from saturated fat.
palm oil, even if it doesn't contain cholesterol in itself, can raise blood cholesterol. (note: only animal foods contain cholesterol)

as long as your everyday eating is not high in fat, i don't think the "dietary cholesterol" (i.e. food cholesterol) really affects blood cholesterol.

for example, shrimp does have a bit of cholesterol in it, but if you don't deep-fry it, i don't think it has lots of fat. in contrast, shrimp has some omega-3 in it (which helps lower cholesterol and lower the risk of heart disease)

GI Group said...

Hi Elizabeth, we have asked the dietitians to add cholesterol to the analysis. But Hermin's on the right track. Saturated fat is the problem. Why not check out a copy of Nicole Senior's excellent Eat to Beat Cholesterol - Nicole writes our Myths column each month. It's a really practical guide packed with some delicious recipes and meal ideas. Your library may have a copy. Or you can order it online from www.greatideas.net.au (they are a specialist nutrition book service and post overseas).