1 August 2009

In the GI News Kitchen

American dietitian and author of Good Carbs, Bad Carbs, Johanna Burani, shares favourite recipes with a low or moderate GI from her Italian kitchen (photographed by Sergio Burani). For more information, check out Johanna's website.


Apricot-apple granola with pignoli nuts
In the northeastern corner of Italy, where I have my home, the continental breakfast has been pushed aside for heartier, more substantial morning sustenance. For a long time, many people in this region have been eating muesli, a mixture of either raw or toasted cereals, nuts and dried fruits. This version is refreshing yet hearty and quite “northern-tasting.” You could try adding some ground cardamom (maybe a ½ teaspoon) to bring out the flavour of the apricots. You might also substitute agave nectar for the honey (just about 1/3 cup should suffice). A ½-cup portion should be plenty for most people. Servings: 18 – ½ cup serves

Vegetable spray
6 cups old fashioned oats
1 tablespoon ground cinnamon
1 cup pine nuts (pignoli)
¼ cup ground flaxseed
1/3 cup canola oil
½ cup honey
½ cup diced dried apple rings (approx. 4)
½ cup diced dried apricots (approx. 7)


  • Preheat the oven to 190°C (375ºF). Spray a large baking pan with cooking spray. Set aside.
  • Combine the next six ingredients (oats through honey) in a large bowl. Mix thoroughly to coat with the oil and honey. Pour the oat mixture into the baking pan, and spread to distribute evenly.
  • Bake for 25–30 minutes or until the oats are well toasted, turning the mixture every 5–6 minutes. Remove from oven. Cool thoroughly. Add the dried fruit. Store in airtight container. Can be combined with either milk or yoghurt.
Per 1/2 cup serve (without milk or yoghurt)
Energy: 949 kJ/ 185 cals; Protein 6 g; Fat 10 g (includes 1 g saturated fat); Carbs 29 g; Fibre 4 g

Cut back on the food bills and enjoy fresh-tasting, easily prepared, seasonal, satisfying and delicious low or moderate GI meals that don’t compromise on quality and flavour one little bit with Money Saving Meals author Diane Temple. For more recipes, visit Diane’s website.

One-pot Chinese chicken
This is an easy chicken casserole for a cold evening, but it is light enough to enjoy on warmer days, too. If other Asian vegetables or green beans are cheaper at your greengrocer, use them instead of the snow peas (mangetout). If the chicken thigh fillets are large, cut them into three pieces for even cooking. Serve with noodles or a low GI rice. Cost per serving (with noodles): AUD$2.85, and even less if chicken thighs are on special. Serves 4

650 g (about 1 1/2 lb) chicken thigh fillets, trimmed of excess fat, cut in half
2 tablespoons soy sauce
1 teaspoon Chinese 5 spice powder
4 dried shiitake mushrooms
½ teaspoon chicken stock powder
1 tablespoon peanut or canola oil
1 onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, crushed
1 tablespoon finely grated ginger
1 carrot, cut into thin strips (like matchsticks)
1 teaspoon cornflour
3 baby bok choy, sliced, keep stems and leaves separate
120 g (4 oz) snow peas, trimmed, sliced into 3
1 teaspoon sesame oil
Mung bean noodles, to serve

  • Marinate the chicken in 1 tablespoon of the soy sauce and the five spice powder for as much time as you have. Place the mushrooms in a small heatproof bowl and pour over ¾ cup (180 ml) boiling water. Leave for 10 minutes, until softened. Drain, keeping both the mushrooms and the soaking liquid. Pour the liquid into a measuring cup, add the stock powder and enough water to make 1 cup (250 ml) of liquid. Chop up the mushrooms.
  • Heat the peanut oil in a large saucepan and brown the chicken for about 1 minute on each side. Remove the chicken from the pan. Add the onion and cook for 4–5 minutes until the onions are soft. Stir in the garlic, ginger carrots and mushrooms. Return the chicken to the pan, pour in the liquid, then bring to the boil, lower the heat, cover, and simmer for 15 minutes or until the chicken is nearly done.
  • Mix the cornflour with 1 tablespoon of cold water and pour into the pot. Bring to the boil, stirring, then, then reduce the heat and simmer for 1 minute. Add the bok choy stems, snow peas and remaining soy sauce, cook a further minute, covered. Add the bok choy leaves and the sesame oil and stir until leaves have just wilted. Serve pretty much immediately with the prepared noodles otherwise the greens will lose their lovely brightness.
Per serve (without noodles)
Energy: 1230 kJ/ 294 cals; Protein 33 g; Fat 14 g (includes 3.5 g saturated fat and 130 mg cholesterol); Carbs 8 g; Fibre 3 g


We have 6 copies of Money Saving Meals to give away
If you love Diane's recipes, here's your chance to try more of them. Hachette Australia has donated six copies of Money Saving Meals to give away to residents of Australia only. The first six people to email will receive a free copy. Write your name and postal address in the email subject line to be in the draw and whiz your email to: littlebrown@hachette.com.au

The competition is now closed and we have six lucky winners:
Mary, 'K' , Elizabeth, Janet, Edwina and Irene.
Hachette Australia will send you each a copy of Money Saving Meals. Thank you everyone for entering.