1 January 2009

Low GI Recipes of the Month

Veronica Cuskelly is our guest chef this month and shares one of the recipes from her new book Heart Food. Enjoy this as a light meal or serve it up with fish fillets or chargrilled or barbecued prawn (shrimp) skewers and rocket and tomato salad for a more substantial meal.

Lemon spaghetti with walnuts

This dish would also be delicious made with hazelnuts and hazelnut oil.
Makes 4 serves (Each serving contains 1 serve of vegetables)


160 g /5½ oz wholemeal spaghetti
1 bunch (160 g/5½ oz) asparagus, sliced
1 cup frozen peas
3 teaspoons walnut oil
1–2 tablespoons lemon juice
1 clove garlic, crushed
1 tablespoon chopped dill
½ cup (60 g/2¼ oz) walnut pieces, toasted
1 medium red chilli, sliced thinly

  • Cook the spaghetti according to the directions on the packet, without adding salt or oil. Drain and set aside.
  • Meanwhile, place the bottom ends of the asparagus in a saucepan, cover with water and bring to the boil over a medium heat. Add the asparagus tips and cook, uncovered, until almost tender, about 2–3 minutes. Watch the time as the thickness of asparagus spears varies. Add the peas and cook until they are bright green and cooked – just a few minutes.
  • To make the dressing, whisk the oil, lemon juice and garlic in a small bowl.
  • Drain the asparagus and peas, return to the saucepan with the spaghetti and add the dressing and dill. Mix together well and serve sprinkled with the walnuts and chilli.
Per serve
Energy: 1225 kJ/ 293 cals; Protein 10 g; Fat 15 g (includes 1 g saturated fat); Carbs 29 g; Fibre 8 g

Low GI fare from Johanna’s kitchen: In GI News American dietitian, Johanna Burani shares her recipes photographed by husband Sergio.

Johanna Burani

Little cabbage ‘suitcases’ (Valigini)
‘Valigini’ means ‘little suitcases’ in Italian. That’s what my mother-in-law called this recipe because of the way the cabbage leaves enclose the meat filling. You may be surprised to find ground nutmeg mixed in with chopped meat but wait until you taste this combination – you’ll love it! In northern Italy, nutmeg partners well with a variety of ingredients. Instead of steamed cabbage leaves, try putting this mixture into the cavity of steamed zucchini, sliced lengthwise with pulp removed.
Makes 12, serves 6 (2 valigini per person)


12 savoy cabbage leaves (carefully removed from base of cabbage)
1 lb (450 g) 90% lean chopped meat
7 large sprigs parsley, leaves only
1 large celery stalk, thinly sliced
1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
1 clove garlic, minced
½ teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon pepper
1/8 teaspoon nutmeg
½ cup plain bread crumbs
½ cup grated parmigiano reggiano cheese
  • Wash and steam the cabbage leaves for 2–3 minutes or until they appear wilted. Set aside.
  • Place the chopped meat in the bowl of a food processor and pulse for 15 seconds (25 pulses). Add the parsley and celery and process for another 15 seconds.
  • In a large, heavy skillet heat the oil and garlic, add the meat mixture (press with fork to break up mixture into very small crumbled pieces) and sauté for 5 minutes on medium-high heat taking care it doesn’t burn. Add in the spices and mix well.
  • Return the meat mixture to a clean food processor bowl. Whiz for 1 minute adding the breadcrumbs and grated cheese through the food tube as it is processing.
  • Line up the cooked cabbage leaves on the counter, place a rounded tablespoon of the meat mixture (about 1¼ oz/35 g) on the lower half of each leaf and gently roll up, taking care to close in sides as you roll. Secure with a toothpick.
  • Add ½–1 cup homemade tomato sauce to a large Dutch oven or sturdy casserole and heat gently. Arrange the pieces to cover the bottom. Cover and simmer for 15 minutes, turning each piece over after 7–8 minutes. Serve hot.
Per serve (2 pieces)
Energy: 1268 kJ/ 302 cals; Protein 25 g; Fat 17 g (includes 6 g saturated fat and 67 mg cholesterol); Carbs 12 g; Fibre 3 g

Visit Johanna’s website: www.eatgoodcarbs.com.