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.
Crumbed cod with vinaigrette topping
My grandfather owned a fish store and so fish was often on the menu when we ate at Grandma’s. If she was cooking just for us kids she wouldn’t fuss too much, but who knew? We all loved this recipe and always cleaned our plates! Grandma served this with veggies like steamed cauliflower florets or sautéed zucchini as we had already had pasta in some form beforehand. If you don’t have pasta first, I suggest serving it with veggies or a salad and perhaps baked orange-fleshed sweet potato wedges. If cod is not available, use another firm, white-fleshed fish such as scrod or halibut. Ask your fishmonger for suggestions. Serves 2
2 x 150g (5oz) fresh cod fillets, rinsed and patted dry
2 tbsp egg substitute (or 1 small egg, whisked)
¼ cup seasoned breadcrumbs (made from a low GI bread of course)
1 tbsp sherry vinegar
1 tsp olive oil
1 clove garlic, finely minced
freshly ground sea salt to taste
freshly ground black pepper to taste
4 large sprigs flat parsley, finely chopped
Preheat the broiler/grill. Coat the bottom of a shallow baking dish with vegetable oil spray.
Place the egg substitute and the breadcrumbs in separate bowls. Dip the fish into the egg first and then the breadcrumbs, coating both sides well. Lay the fillets flat in the baking dish, bottom side up and cook about 15cm (6in) from the heat for 2½–3 minutes. Turn and cook a further 2½ minutes or until flesh flakes and they are done.
Meanwhile, prepare the vinaigrette by whisking together the vinegar, olive oil, garlic, salt and pepper.
Sprinkle the parsley over the fish, drizzle with vinaigrette and serve immediately with vegetables or salad.
Per serving (fish and vinaigrette only)
Energy: 600kJ/143 cals; Protein 20g; Fat 4g (includes less than 1g saturated fat and 40mg cholesterol); Available carbs 8g; Fibre 1g
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 check out the Money Saving Meals website.
Asian fish & cucumber salad
This Vietnamese-style salad from our book, Money Saving Meals, is made with basa fillets – a freshwater Vietnamese catfish with a mild flesh (and not too many bones) that remains moist during cooking. It was also very cheap. If you want to use a local fish, tell the fishmonger what you are making and ask for some economical suggestions. Serves 4.
½ teaspoon turmeric
1 tablespoon fish sauce
1½ tablespoons peanut oil
400g (14oz) fish fillets (such as basa), cut into chunks
125g (4oz) vermicelli noodles
3 cups shredded iceberg lettuce or 100 g mixed lettuce leaves
2 Lebanese cucumbers, halved lengthwise, sliced thinly
1 carrot, coarsely grated
2 tablespoons chopped dill
4 green onions, sliced
1/3 cup roasted peanuts, chopped
1 tablespoon fish sauce
1 clove garlic, peeled and crushed
1 tablespoon caster sugar
1/3 cup lemon juice
2 tablespoons peanut oil
Whisk the turmeric, fish sauce and 2 teaspoons of the oil together in a medium-sized bowl. Add the fish and set aside to marinate for 15 minutes.
Prepare the vermicelli noodles. Pop them into a heatproof bowl, cover with boiling water and leave them to soften. Drain, run them under cold water, drain again, then snip in half (or small pieces) with kitchen scissors.
Make the dressing by whisking all the ingredients together in a small bowl until the sugar has dissolved. Put the lettuce, cucumber slices and carrot into a large serving bowl with the noodles and drizzle over the dressing.
Heat the oil in a large frying pan over medium–high heat and stir-fry the fish for about 3–4 minutes, stirring often, until just cooked. Add the dill and green onion, stir to combine. Fold the fish mixture gently through the salad so that the fish is coated with the dressing and top with the roasted peanuts for added crunch.
Energy:2000kJ/340 cals; Protein 29g; Fat 25g (includes 4g saturated fat and 59mg cholesterol); Available carbs 32g; Fibre 5g
This month’s Diabetic Living magazine (for ANZ) comes with a free booklet (Your Low GI Healthy Eating Guide) stuck to the cover that was generous sponsored by Abbott Diabetes Care. As we were putting together this issue of GI News, we spoke to Diabetic Living editor Erica Goatly about the booklet: ‘We’re already getting very positive reader feedback about how it is motivating them to get their eating back on track and it has only been on the newsstands a few days,’ she said. The following low GI recipe is reproduced with permission from January/February Diabetic Living magazine (photography by Louise Lister). If you haven’t used puy or French-style lentils before, you can buy them in supermarkets, health shops and delis. McKenzies brand French-style lentils are widely available in supermarkets in Australia and not pricy at all (your GI News editor buys them in her local IGA at Bondi Beach.)
Ocean trout with lentils
1 tsp olive oil
1 red onion cut into thin slivers
1 garlic clove, crushed
½ cup (100g) Puy or French-style lentils, rinsed and drained
¾ cup water (180ml)
½ cup (125ml) salt reduced chicken stock
Freshly ground black pepper
200g (7oz) skinless, boneless ocean trout fillet cut into 2 portions
1 bunch asparagus, woody ends trimmed
Olive oil cooking spray
2 tsp freshly squeezed lemon juice
½ tsp grated lemon zest
Flat leaf parsley leaves, to serve
160g sugar snap peas or mangetout, steamed, to serve
Heat oil in a medium saucepan on medium. Add garlic and onion. Cook, stirring occasionally, for 6–7 minutes until onion softens slightly. Add lentils, water and stock. Cover and bring to a simmer. Reduce heat to medium-low. Cook, covered, for 20–25 minutes or until lentils are just tender. Remove pan from heat. Set aside, covered, for 5 minutes. Season with pepper.
Meanwhile, preheat the barbecue grill or chargrill pan to medium-high. Spray each side of the fillets and asparagus with cooking spray. Add asparagus to barbecue grill or chargrill pan. Cook, turning occasionally, for 3–4 minutes or until just tender. Transfer to a plate. Add trout to barbecue grill or chargrill pan. Cook on each side for 2½ minutes for medium, or until cooked to your liking.
Divide lentil mixture between plates. Top with trout. Sprinkle the lemon juice, lemon zest and parsley over. Accompany with asparagus and sugar snap peas.
Energy: 1513kJ/360 cals; Protein 38g; Fat 9g (includes 1.6g saturated fat and 55mg cholesterol); Available carbs 28g; Fibre 11g