1 May 2009

Low GI Recipes of the Month

American dietitian, Johanna Burani invites GI News readers to try recipes from her Italian kitchen (photographed by Sergio Burani).

Johanna Burani

Herbed fettuccine nests
Here is a terrific tasting pasta dish that is easy to make and just as easy to digest. The ingredients are few and unassuming, yet with careful attention given to their quality and freshness, this humble dish is fit for a king. Buon appetito! Serves 4

230 g (8 oz) 100% semolina fettuccine (or pappardelle) nests (8 nests)
4 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 heaping tablespoon minced fresh sage
1½ teaspoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
Salt and pepper to taste


  • Slowly melt the butter in a small saucepan. Shake or stir the pan to allow the butter to melt evenly. A foam will form and when the butter starts turning brown (approximately 3½ minutes), remove it from the heat. Add in the lemon juice, sage, and salt and pepper to taste. Keep warm
  • In the meantime, cook the pasta according to the packet directions until al dente. Cooking time should between 6–8 minutes. Drain the pasta, return to the pot, pour over the sauce and mix thoroughly. Serve with grated Parmesan cheese.
Per serving (1 cup)
Energy: 1310 kJ/ 312 cals; Protein 7 g; Fat 12 g (includes 7 g saturated fat and 30 mg cholesterol); Carbs 22 g; Fibre 2 g

UK dietitian Azmina Govindji shares recipes from her new book (with chef Sanjeev Kapoor) Healthy Indian Cooking for Diabetes photographed by Yuki Sugiura. It’s available from bookshops in the UK, from Amazon and in ANZ online from www.greatideas.net.au.

Azmina Govindji

Bengali mixed vegetables (Chorchori)
The story goes that in many Bengali households, shopping for fresh vegetables was the duty of the man of the house; and this was done once a week on his day off from work. By the end of the week, the lady of the house was left with bits of all sorts of vegetables – hence this nutritious medley. Eat it with a small amount of rice, dal and natural low fat yoghurt.

1 tablespoon mustard oil
1½ teaspoons panch phoron (Bengali five-spice)
½ teaspoon red chilli powder
125 g (4 oz) cauliflower, broken into florets
2 medium potatoes (200 g/7 oz), diced
Piece orange-fleshed sweet potato (100 g/3½ oz), diced
100 g (3½ oz) peeled pumpkin, diced
1 medium size long brinjal, diced
6–8 French beans cut into 1 cm/½ in pieces
6–8 spinach leaves, shredded
¼ teaspoon turmeric
2 green chillies, slit
½ teaspoon sugar
1 teaspoon salt

  • Heat the oil in a non stick pan until it reaches smoking point. Remove from the heat, cool and heat the oil again on a medium heat. Add the panch phoron and, when it begins to crackle, add the chilli powder, stirring briefly.
  • Stir in the prepared vegetables, followed by the turmeric, chillies, sugar and salt. Reduce the heat, cover, and cook for 8–10 minutes, stirring occasionally or until the potatoes are cooked. Uncover and stir fry for 1 minute or until the chorchori is dry.
Per serve (without accompaniments)
Energy: 532 kJ/ 126 cals; Protein 4 g; Fat 4 g (includes 0.5 g saturated fat); Carbs 19 g; Fibre 4 g; 538 mg sodium


Anonymous said...

I don't think it is my machine but there were no pictures! The recipes sound great but a picture is "worth a thousand words"!

Unknown said...

How can any meal that contains 30mg of cholesterol and 7g of saturated fat be considered healthy?

It may be GI friendly, but what good is that if I die of from blocked arteries or stroke. How about using one of the heart healthy spreads?

Please, consider the health of the whole body in your recipe choices.

Thank you for an overall excellent
Web Site
Santa Ana Ca

Gina said...

Hi, I can;t really understand how that pasta dish can be low GI. Shouldn't you aime at eating at least 2-3 different types of salad vegies at each meal and butter is an ok choice but not really the best choice at times. I guess using wholemeal pasta could be a ok choice?

GI Group said...

Pictures: Sorry about the lack of a picture when you were reading GI News, the server was playing up apparently. If you look now, the images should be there. We totally agree, a picture is worth a thousand words.

Sat fat: Certainly use one of the heart healthy spreads or even olive oil instead of butter. But butter is what they use in northern Italy for this. Glad you like the website overall.

How can that pasta dish be low GI? Easily. Pasta made from durum wheat has a low GI. Just check a copy of The Shopper's Guide to GI Values by Prof Jennie Brand-Miller or the database at www.glycemicindex.com. Have wholemeal pasta if you prefer. Just keep the serve size moderate as Johanna has in this recipe. And enjoy a crispy salad with lots of vegies with this -- you are right, we all need to eat lots more vegies.