1 April 2008

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.

Miso, Shitake and Soy Bean Soup
When you really want something nutritious and comforting, try this soup. It’s gluten-free too! Fresh soy beans are now readily available shelled and frozen in some larger supermarkets and in Asian produce stores. You may know them as edamame in Japanese restaurants.

Serves 4

2 tbsp brown rice miso
6 cups (1½ litres) water
handful dried shitake mushrooms
200 g (7 oz) frozen shelled soy beans (edamame)
50 g (1¾ oz) buckwheat soba noodles
1 tsp freshly grated ginger
2 spring onions, finely sliced
red pickled ginger to serve (optional)

  • Dissolve the miso paste in water and bring to the boil. Add the soy beans, mushrooms, noodles and ginger and simmer for 10 minutes, or until beans and noodles are cooked.
  • Serve in soup bowls topped with spring onions and pickled ginger (if using).
Per serve
570 kJ/ 136 calories; 9 g protein; 3.8 g fat (includes 0.5 g saturated fat); 18 g carbohydrate; 3.8 g fibre

Brown Rice Salad with Beetroot Relish
By combining the brown rice with barley, you reduce the overall GI of this lovely, crunchy, nutritious salad. Use a low (or lower) GI brown rice such as Uncle Ben’s Ready Whole Grain Brown Rice (GI 48) or Doongara brown rice (GI 66). The beetroot relish also works well with grilled meats and burgers and will last for five days, covered, in the fridge. You can add any other vegetables you like to the salad to make it a veritable Mediterranean medley.
Serves 4–6

100 g (3½ oz) brown rice
100 g (3½ oz) pearl barley
1 red + 1 yellow pepper, cut into 2–3cm (1 inch) squares
2 tbsp toasted pine nuts
handful of flat leaf parsley, roughly chopped
200 g (7 oz) baby spinach, rinsed
extra virgin olive oil (about a teaspoon)

2 large beetroot, roasted and peeled (or pre-cooked in natural juices and drained)
1 tbsp capers, rinsed and drained
handful of flat leaf parsley, roughly chopped
1 tbsp balsamic vinegar
2 tbsp olive oil
  • Cook the brown rice and pearl barley in two separate large saucepans of boiling water until tender. Drain and return to the rice pan with all other salad ingredients. Stir well and add a little extra virgin olive oil. Even if you are serving the salad cold, this step will soften the vegetables with the heat in the rice pan. Season with plenty of cracked black pepper.
  • While the rice and barley are cooking, blitz all relish ingredients together, leaving a little texture.
  • Serve rice salad warm or room temperature with a spoonful of beetroot relish on top.
Per serve (based on 6 serves)
980 kJ/233 calories; 5 g protein; 11 g fat (includes 1.3 g saturated fat); 26 g carbohydrate; 4.5 g fibre


Anonymous said...

I have always understood that the valuable enzymes in miso are destroyed by boiling, which is why the advice is to add miso at the end of cooking. You need to slacken the requisite amount of paste with a little of the cooking liquid and add to the pan.

GI Group said...

We'll run this by Kate and post an answer as soon as possible.

GI Group said...

Cooking miso: We haven't been able to track down any scientific studies re this, but certainly a number of Asian cooks do as you suggest. That is bring the water or dashi to the boil then mix some of the miso with the bean paste in a small bowl and stir it back into the soup at the end of cooking time. Thanks for taking the time to send us your suggestion.

GI Group said...

Our chef, Kate Hemphill, has been doing some extra research on this for us and here's what she says:

'A lot of people agree not to boil miso, however in the case of unpasteurized miso, it should be boiled to kill any harmful bacteria (which could also kill the 'good' enzymes). Boiling however, will not affect the flavour of the dish.

The bottom line: For maximum health benefits, add pasteurized miso towards the end of cooking.'

KatyT said...

I too have always believed that boiling miso destroyed valuable properties. In their seminal, "Book of Miso", William Shurtleff & Akiko Aoyagi suggest the traditional Japanese method of adding miso last. Remove the soup from heat, allow to cool slightly and dissolve miso into hot soup by pushing through a miso strainer with a wooden stick. You can buy miso strainer/stirrer sets at Asian stores. A stainless steel tea strainer and the end of a wooden spoon, works just as well.

katmi623 said...

Hi,I'm Japanese Dietitian. What I believe Japanese generally do is to add miso paste at last. You turn off the heat, then add it. I don't know whether enzymes are killed by boiling, but flavour of soybeans maybe gone if added with heat.
I suppose many people don't use wooden strainer, or put it in a small bowl first to dissorve miso paste either. You can dissolve it into a large serving spoon put in a pan.
Since it's better not to reheat after miso added, you do this just before serving.

GI Group said...

Thanks everyone for your comments on miso and cooking. We'll do a follow up feature later in the year.

Anonymous said...

Adding Miso at the end of the cooking process does in fact help retain its healthy properties. One BIG reason why Miso is recommended to be added at the end of the cooking process is because of its "digestive ability" by which I mean, it will start to break down the food aka sitting too long and the ingredients in the dish get "mushy"...
Monica ~ Huntsville, AL