1 February 2011

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.


My traditional winter minestrone
Fresh homemade vegetable soup shows up on Italian kitchen tables all year long. Whatever fresh vegetables are already in the fridge, or growing in the vegetable garden or are the seasonal choices at the greengrocer’s is what constitutes that day’s ‘minestrone’ or large pot of soup. These days we can easily find zucchini in the winter and broccoli in the summer, but I stick pretty much to the traditional winter/spring/summer/fall vegetables. Here’s how I make my minestrone during the winter months. Choose a lower GI potato if you can. Serves: 8 (1½ cups each)

1 large leek, white part only, thinly sliced
1 large potato (240g/8oz), peeled and diced
2 celery stalks, sliced
3 medium carrots, sliced
wedge (180g/6oz) butternut pumpkin (squash), peeled and diced
180g/6oz cauliflower or broccoli, broken into small florets
120g/4oz fresh spinach, coarsely chopped
4 large peeled canned tomatoes, seeds removed, chopped
4 sprigs flat leaf parsley
30g/1oz parmigiano cheese rind, scrubbed and cut into small pieces (optional)

Traditional winter minestrone

Prepare the vegetables, parsley and cheese and add them and all at once to a large soup pot with a little salt to taste. Pour in 10 cups cold water, cover and bring to a boil on high, then reduce the heat to low and simmer for approximately 1 hour.
Allow the soup to cool down a bit to prevent splattering. Using a handheld immersion mixer or a food blender, pulse the vegetables in batches to attain a chunky, semi-pureed texture. Heat before serving. (If preferred, the cooked vegetables can be left intact and served directly from the pot.)

Per serving
Energy: 365kJ/ 87cals; Protein 4g; Fat 1g (includes less than 1g saturated fat and 2mg cholesterol); Available carbs 16g; 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 Money Saving Meals author Diane Temple. For more recipes check out the Money Saving Meals website.

Tuna and chickpea salad from the low GI emergency pantry
Use a flavoured tuna (like chilli) if you want more zing. To give it some crunch, serve with grainy crackers such as Ryvita crispbreads or make wraps with white corn tortillas. Ship chives or spring (green) onions over the top for a little extra colour and flavour if you have some in the fridge or garden. Serves 4

280g jar char-grilled vegetable antipasto
185g can tuna, drained
400g can chickpeas, drained and rinsed
125g can corn, drained and rinsed
2 tablespoons oil from antipasto jar
1 tablespoon red wine vinegar

Tuna and chickpea salad

Roughly chop the antipasto vegetables and set aside the oil from the jar to make the dressing.
Flake the tuna in a large bowl using a fork. Add the chickpeas, vegetables and corn and stir to combine.
Whisk together the oil and vinegar to make a dressing, pour over salad and stir lightly to combine.

Per serve
Energy: 1230kJ/ 294 cals; Protein 20g; 16Fat g (includes 1g saturated fat and 25mg cholesterol); Available 26carbs g; Fibre 6g

Feedback: We would love to hear what you have stocked in your emergency pantry and what you whip up to feed the family in times of crisis when, for whatever reason, you don't have water or power.


Unknown said...

We are lucky enough to live in rural Nova Scotia and have a wood stove for heat, propane kitchen range, a small freezer, a proper root cellar and a natural spring. In summer there is an herb & greens garden plus many wild foods and a fruit orchard.
We store a large variety of dry beans, lentils, rice, and pastas as well as plenty of canned beans, tomatoes, soups & condiments, crunchy peanut butter, dried fruit (we dry our own), salt & vinegar, and our own wine.
Tip: during emergencies when power is off, take some food from freezer & put in cooler to help keep perishables longer, then cook the frozen food once it thaws.
Tip: storing food for emergencies is good for the pocketbook too since you will tend to buy in bulk and at times when items are on sale or plentiful!

Unknown said...

Mashed canned chickpeas make a great replacement for ground beef in most recipes. My favourite is chili. Just drain and rinse the chickpeas (to remove some of the salt), mash them coarsely with a potato masher or a large solid spoon,and add to sauteed onions, chopped green pepper, tomatoes, celery, cumin and chili pepper - or whatever you have in your pantry. Simmer for about an hour to blend the flavours. The funny is that most people will swear there's ground beef in there!

Anonymous said...

I got addicted to chickpeas and use them in many different ways, so I always have lots of dried chickpeas around. I also make up my own version of "Super Granola", and will often make 4 or 5 gallons at a time. I use a low glycemic sweetner such as agave or brown rice syrup in it. I live in an agricultural area so I often buy vegetables & fruits directly from the farmer and can them. Much better quality and cheaper! I am very resourceful at finding "freebies", such as wild blackberries, walnuts, and other fruit trees that are free for the picking. Sometimes I will spot a tree in someone's yard and they often let me have what I want. After the main harvesting, many orchardists will let me pick what's left on the trees. If I hit it just right, I can pick up apples off the ground that the workers drop. They can't be marketed but are prefectly edible. I do a lot of canning as preferred to freezing. No electricity needed! Drying is also a wonderful way to store foods. If you have a gas oven you can dry your foods just with the pilot light! I fill a gallon jar with dried tomatoes, garlic pwdr., fennel, and other spices, then add a vegetable oil/olive oil combination to get the most delicious dried tomatoes ever. Price these things in a store! I get citric acid to prevent any botulism. I buy that at the Health Food Market in my area. This market also sells the granola ingredients and other things in bulk, along with regular grocery items, health foods, and herbs/vitamins. I live in the "city" (small town) so I pay a water bill and have realized it's no longer cost effective to grow certain crops that require a lot of water (even though I use water-saving techniques such as mulching). So now I am concentrating on different crops. Why pay for all that water to grow tomatoes when I can buy a 40lb box for $8? Beans is high on the garden list, though I won't get rid of my strawberry patch! I also just started a patch of "Sunchokes"-another "superfood" that not very many people know about. After researching the value of Sunchokes AKA Jerusalem Artichokes, I was amazed at what I found out. This root vegetable is cultivated like a potato yet looks like a sunflower! ...and is VERY hardy. Along with super amazing nutrition it also contains inulin, which helps maintain blood sugar.
This forgotten vegetable needs to be remembered. No one seems to know about it but those that do consider it a "weed". I am trying to get my market to stock it. Raw, it tastes like a water chestnut--but with more flavor. Cooked it tastes like artichokes, thus the name "Jerusalem Artichoke". Google this and see for yourself. The Native Americans used to dry the roots to make a flour. They keep extremely well. You can even leave them in the ground to harvest as needed. If you try to grow it just give it plenty of room. They will take over, thus why some consider it a weed. A pretty wall of sunflowers makes a nice living privacy fence in my book, and I can't wait till they take off along the edge of my property.

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