1 December 2007

Low GI Recipes of the Month

Our chef Kate Hemphill develops deliciously simple recipes for GI News that showcase seasonal ingredients and make it easy for you to cook healthy, low GI meals and snacks. For more of Kate’s fabulous fare, check out: www.lovetocook.co.uk. For now, prepare and share good food with family and friends – we have chosen recipes that will serve six this month with the holiday season fast approaching.

Kate Hemphill

Pomegranate and parsnip chicken tagine
I find it hard to go past a lamb shank tagine, however that requires much longer cooking time. This one can be assembled, cooked and on the table within an hour of getting home. It also keeps well, and the leftovers are delicious next day. The sweet parsnips and tart pomegranate seeds complement the dish wonderfully. To remove pomegranate seeds, cut in half then pry seeds out in a bowl of water, then drain. This will stop the juice from flying everywhere! I use Herbies tagine blend. You can buy it online at www.herbies.com.au. When pomegranates are out of season, use 1 tablespoon pomegranate molasses for a similar flavour.

Serves 6


2 tablespoons tagine spice blend
6 skinless chicken thighs
2 tablespoons olive oil
4 small-medium parsnips peeled and diced (2.5 cm/1 inch)
1 long red chilli, sliced
1 large red onion (cut into 8 wedges)
1 clove garlic, crushed
1 pomegranate, seeds removed and set aside
400 g (14 oz) can chopped tomatoes
1 tablespoon tomato paste

To serve
Handful coriander leaves
Cous cous (made with 1½ cups/150 g instant cous cous)
Green salad tossed with vinaigrette dressing

  • Pre-heat the oven to 180ºC (350ºF). Sprinkle 1 tablespoon of the tagine spice blend over the chicken pieces to coat and press into the flesh.
  • Heat 1 tablespoon of the olive oil in a flameproof casserole dish on top of the stove and sauté the parsnips, chilli, onion and garlic (about 5 minutes). Add the remaining tablespoon of the tagine spice blend, three-quarters of the pomegranate seeds, the tinned tomatoes and the tomato paste – bring to the boil then reduce the heat and simmer gently for a further 5 minutes.
  • Meanwhile, heat the remaining oil in a non-stick frying pan and gently brown the chicken pieces on all sides (about 10 minutes).
  • Add the chicken pieces (but not the fat left in the pan) to the tagine plus a little water if necessary to make sure the chicken is mostly covered. Cover with a tight lid and cook in the oven for 30–40 minutes, or until the chicken pieces are cooked through. Just before the end of cooking time, prepare the cous cous following the packet instructions.
  • Serve the tagine topped with the remaining pomegranate seeds and coriander leaves with cous cous and a crispy green salad.
Nutritional analysis per serving without accompaniments
1464 kJ/348 calories; 27 g protein; 19 g fat (includes 4.5 g saturated fat); 16 g carbohydrate; 4 g fibre

Lebanese Lamb Skewers

This marinade caramelises really nicely on the grill. You could also use the marinade on duck, or any cut of lamb. If you use wooden skewers, soak them in cold water for 2–3 hours to prevent them from burning when cooking under the grill or on the barbecue. You can buy baharat which is a Lebanese spice blend from Middle Eastern stores or online from www.herbies.com.au
Makes 12 skewers


1 kg (2.2 lb) lean lamb leg meat, cut into large cubes (you need 36 pieces of meat 2.5 cm/1 inch)

3 tablespoons red wine
1 tablespoon pomegranate molasses
1 teaspoon baharat
  • Combine the diced lamb with the marinade ingredients in a bowl and mix thoroughly. Cover and leave to marinate for at least 2 hours in the fridge.
  • Heat a grill, barbecue or griddle pan to medium-high. Thread 3 pieces of lamb on each skewer and cook for 2 minutes on each of the 4 sides, then rest for 5 minutes before serving. The lamb should be pink and tender, but you can adjust cooking time for personal preference.
Serve with baba ganoush, tabouli and fennel seed flatbread. There are recipes for these on www.lovetocook.co.uk if you don't have your own.

Nutritional analysis per kebab (without accompaniments)
937 kJ/223 calories; 28 g protein; 11 g fat (includes 5.8 g saturated fat); 1.6 g carbohydrate


Anonymous said...

As a type 2 diabetic and a vegetarian as well it is difficult to find many recipes that cater for my specific needs. For example, the two recipes posted this month and both meat based ... how about a segment for the vegetarians as I know I'm not the only one out there?

GI Group said...

If you check out previous issues of GI News, you'll find plenty of recipes suitable for people with diabetes who are vegetarian. We normally do try to have something for everyone ... but this month opted for a winter warmer and something for summer barbecues. We'll make sure there's a delicious vegetarian option in January for you.

You may like to check out a copy of Jennie Brand-Miller's Low GI Vegetarian Cookbook. It's available in the UK, US/Canada and ANZ as far as we know. It was written with dietitians Kate Marsh and Kaye Foster-Powell who both work with people with diabetes and know what they need for a balanced meal. It's beautifully photographed, too.