American dietitian and author of Good Carbs, Bad Carbs, Johanna Burani, shares favourite recipes with a low or moderate GI from her Italian kitchen. For more information, check out Johanna's website. The photographs are by Sergio Burani. His food, travel and wine photography website is photosbysergio.com.
Zucchine carbonara-lite spaghetti
The traditional carbonara recipe contains a whole raw egg and bacon, among other scrumptious ingredients. This is my vegetarian version that also eliminates even a minimal fear of salmonella by using a pasteurized egg white product instead of a raw egg. My dinner guests, even those seated around my table in Friuli, don’t seem to mind at all. As with all of my recipes, you’re your own additions and subtractions as desired. In fact, I was thinking about trying this recipe next time with a chopped toasted pinoli topping. Serves 4 (about 2 cups each)
6 long, thin zucchine (about 1¼lb/500g)
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
sea salt & freshly ground pepper, to taste
2 heaping tablespoons flat-leaf parsley, finely chopped (about 10 sprigs)
¼ cup egg substitute or 1 egg
3 heaping tablespoons grated cheese (pecorino or parmigiano)
1 tablespoon fat free milk
220g/8oz spaghetti, uncooked
Wash the zucchine, trim ends, and dice.
Cover the bottom of a large non-stick frying pan with vegetable spray. Heat the pan and then add the zucchine and garlic. Drizzle the olive oil over the mixture and stir through. Add salt and pepper to taste. Cover the pan and cook over medium-high heat for 12 minutes, or until the zucchine are tender and golden. Stir frequently to allow for even cooking. Remove pan from heat and stir in the parsley. Set aside.
Combine the egg or egg substitute, cheese, milk and some pepper in a small mixing bowl. Mix well with a fork and set aside.
Cook the spaghetti according to package directions, making sure the pasta is al dente and not overcooked. Drain the pasta and return it to the pot. Quickly stir in the cheese mixture and then the zucchine. Serve immediately with grated cheese on the side.
Energy: 1201kJ/ 286 cals; Protein 13g; Fat 8g (includes 1g saturated fat and less than 1mg cholesterol); Available carbs 43g; Fibre 4g
In his new book, Salades, chef Damien Pignolet opens our minds to the vast possibilities within the genre. So give your taste buds a treat. Delectable chapters cover composed, classic, main course, warm and winter salads, salads on the side, salads for special occasions and sweet salads like ‘Papaya, blood orange and strawberry’ to finish a meal. The entrée salad we have chosen could precede any simple main course or make a deliciously simple meal on its own when you just want something light. Serves 4–6
Rustic salad of chick peas, prosciutto & preserved artichoke with garlic and anchovy vinaigrette
450g (1lb) cooked dried or tinned chick peas
200g (7oz) baby spinach washed and spin dried
2 handfuls finely shredded radicchio
12 grilled preserved artichokes, drained and quartered
1 head fennel, top and bottom trimmed, finely shaved
4 thin slices prosciutto each cut into 3
½ clove garlic, any green shoot removed, finely chopped
3 anchovy fillets, drained and cut into small pieces
100ml (3 ½ fl oz) extra virgin olive oil’
20ml aged red wine vinegar
Freshly ground black pepper
A pinch salt (optional)
2–3 tbsp shredded flat-leaf parsley
Place the chickpeas, spinach, radicchio, artichokes, fennel and prosciutto in a suitably sized bowl.
Lightly mix the garlic, anchovy, olive oil, vinegar and pepper in a small bowl and taste for saltiness adjusting as required (bearing in mind the saltiness of the anchovy and prosciutto). Add the parsley and pour over the salad, then toss and serve.
Cheese please Roberta Muir has just written a cheese compendium 500 Cheeses (Quintet Publishing 2010). The fact that there can even be a book called 500 Cheeses is testament to the incredible diversity of these beloved fermented milk products, produced virtually worldwide from the milk of almost every domesticated herbivore, including horses, camels, and reindeer. From simple cottage cheeses once produced in every home, through artisanal cheeses, to some of the world’s most loved mass-produced products, Roberta has it covered. A trained cheese judge and manager of the Sydney Seafood School, Roberta will be sharing some of her favourite cheese recipes with GI News readers over the coming months.
‘A simple way of preserving milk is to curdle it with lemon juice, vinegar or soured milk, and then to drain away the resulting curds,’ writes Roberta. ‘In cottages all over Europe, a cow was traditionally kept to provide milk and butter for the family; thus simple ‘cottage’ cheese made from excess milk was among the earliest cheeses. Traditionally made from skimmed milk, the cream having been used for butter, it became a healthy, high protein, low calorie food.’
As for toppings, Roberta recommends piling cottage cheese on toast, crackers, flatbread, lavosh or oatcakes with salad, seafood, chicken or meat as a quick, high-protein, low-calorie snack. Pictured here is cottage cheese piled on oatcakes and topped with slivers of cold-smoked salmon and garnished with a good grind of black pepper. This makes a lovely light meal, too.
Connage Crowdie cottage cheese was voted Best Cheese in Scotland at the 2008 British Cheese Awards.
500 Cheeses is available from good bookshops and online from Amazon (UK and USA) or from New Holland in Australia.