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. For more information, check out Johanna's website. The photographs are by Sergio Burani. His food, travel and wine photography website is


Broccoli rabe tricolore
‘Tricolore’ is how the Italians refer to their national flag. It has three colors: green white and red. And those are the colors you will see looking at you from this dish. Broccoli rabe is more popular in the US than it is in northern Italy so when I find it and make it for my friends in Friuli, they devour it! And don’t be fooled: the simplicity of this recipe belies its full-bodied taste. To clean broccoli rabe, cut away about 2cm (1in) from the bottom of the stems and remove any discolored leaves Makes 4 servings.

1 bunch broccoli rabe, cleaned
4–5 sun-dried tomatoes, cut in thin strips
¼ tsp salt
1½ tbsp good quality olive oil
30g/1oz ricotta salata, shredded

Broccoli rabe tricolore

Place the broccoli rabe in a large sauté pan, add 1 cup water, cover and let simmer for approximately 8 minutes, or until stems are tender. Drain off all the water.
Add the tomatoes, salt and oil. Mix well in the pan. Transfer to serving dish. Top with prepared cheese. May be served warm or at room temperature.

Per serve
Energy: 530kJ/112cals; Protein 6g; Fat 7g (includes 1g saturated fat and 4mg cholesterol); Available carbohydrate 7g; Fibre 4g

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 this Money Saving Meals dessert. For more recipes check out the Money Saving Meal website.

Vanilla pannacotta with strawberry salsa
If you have a sweet tooth, you’ll enjoy the light and healthy sweet endings Foodwatch’s Catherine Saxelby and Woman’s Day Food Director Jennene Plummer have created in their Zest cookbook. Jennene says: ‘If you don’t use gelatine very often in your cooking, remember to let it cool to the same temperature as the yoghurt mix. This minimises the risk of lumps forming and ensures you achieve that desirable creamy smoothness.’ Serves 6

2 x 200g (7oz) tubs no-fat vanilla yoghurt
2 tbsp honey (or to taste)
½ teaspoon vanilla paste or pure vanilla extract
3 tsp gelatine
1/4 cup (60ml) just boiled water

Strawberry salsa
250g/9oz (1 punnet) strawberries, hulled and chopped
1 tbsp icing sugar
1 tbsp Grand Marnier or orange juice

Vanilla pannacotta with strawberry salsa

Chill six 80ml (1/3 cup) moulds. Combine the yoghurt, honey and vanilla in a large mixing bowl. Dissolve the gelatine by whisking vigorously in hot water in a small jug. Allow to cool slightly.
Beat a little of the yoghurt mixture into the gelatine to equalise the temperature, then whisk this back into the yoghurt mixture until well combined. Pour into the prepared moulds and chill until almost set. Cover with plastic wrap and chill overnight.
Combine the strawberries, icing sugar and Grand Marnier (or orange juice) in a mixing bowl and toss together gently to make the salsa. Cover and chill until required.
Unmould the pannacottas by carefully running a blunt knife around the rim of each mould and then dipping them into hot water for a few seconds. Invert onto serving plates and shake firmly. Carefully lift away the moulds. Serve the pannacottas with a spoonful of strawberry salsa.

Per serve
Energy: 435kJ/104cals; Protein 6g; Negligible fat; Available carbohydrate 17g; Fibre 1g

Zest is available from Catherine’s website, Foodwatch.