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 photosbysergio.com.

[JOHANNA]

Strawberry yoghurt dessert. 
Here is a simple, healthful dessert with an Italian twist. Serves 4.

15 fresh, washed, hulled strawberries
1 tbsp sugar
2 tbsp Grand Marnier liqueur
2 cups fat-free plain yoghurt
¼ cup mascarpone
1 tsp vanilla

Strawberry yoghurt dessert

Cut strawberries horizontally into 4 slices. Place in a small mixing bowl. Set aside.
Combine the sugar and Grand Marnier in a small cup. Pour over the strawberries. Allow to macerate at least 30 minutes. In the meantime …
Mix the yoghurt, mascarpone and vanilla in a medium-sized mixing bowl. Pour into 4 dessert dishes. When ready, pour the strawberry mixture equally over the 4 yogurt servings. Serve cold.

Per serve 
649kJ/155 calories; 6g protein; 6g fat (includes 4g saturated fat); 15g available carbs; less than 1g fibre

Here's how you can 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 our Money Saving Meals including BakeClub Anneka Manning's Tomato and red lentil soup with toast fingers. Yum.

Tomato and red lentil soup with toast fingers.  
Anneka Manning’s simple and tasty soup from The Low GI Family Cookbook (Hachette Australia) is a great way to get in an extra serve or two of vegetables along with a scoop of nutritional power pack lentils. Dress it up with a dollop of plain yoghurt and a sprinkling of chopped parsley. Serves 4

1 brown onion, chopped
1 medium carrot, peeled, chopped
1 celery stick, chopped
2 garlic cloves, crushed
¼ cup water
2 tsp ground cumin
½ tsp paprika (optional)
400g (14oz) can no-added-salt diced tomatoes
1 tbsp no-added-salt tomato paste
½ cup split red lentils
3 cups salt-reduced vegetable stock
2 tsp sugar, or to taste freshly ground black pepper, to taste

Toast fingers
4 slices multigrain low GI bread
2 tsp olive or canola oil margarine

Tomato and red lentil soup with toast fingers

Combine the onion, carrot, celery, garlic and water in a large saucepan. Cover and cook over medium heat, stirring occasionally, for 8–10 minutes or until the onion is soft. Stir in the cumin and paprika (if using) and cook, uncovered, for 1–2 minutes or until the water has evaporated.
Add the canned tomatoes, tomato paste, lentils and stock and bring to a simmer. Reduce heat to low, cover partially, and simmer gently, stirring occasionally, for 20 minutes or until the lentils are tender. Meanwhile, to make the toast fingers ...
Preheat oven to 200ºC (400ºF) and line an oven tray with non-stick baking paper. Spread both sides of the bread slices with the margarine and cut each into 3 fingers. Place the bread on the lined oven tray. Just as the lentils are becoming tender, bake the bread for 10 minutes or until lightly golden and crisp. Turn off oven and leave it there to keep warm.
Transfer half the soup mixture to a blender or food processor and blend until smooth. Repeat with the remaining mixture. Return the soup to the pan and simmer gently until heated through or reduced to desired consistency. Taste before seasoning with a little sugar and pepper if you wish. Serve with the warm toast fingers for dipping. Yum.

Per serve 
440kJ/105calories; 5g protein; 2.5g fat (includes 0.4g saturated fat); 14g available carbs; 4g fibre

Anneka’s tips • If you make the soup a day or two ahead, keep in an airtight container in the refrigerator. Reheat in a saucepan over medium heat, stirring frequently, until simmering and heated through. • Freeze leftovers in serving portions in airtight containers for up to 2 months. Thaw in the refrigerator before reheating.