Low GI Recipes of the Month

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

Johanna Burani

Cream of carrot and celery soup
This simple, earthy soup tastes like it came right out of Mother Nature’s very own soup kettle! It’s wholesome, smooth and absolutely delicious. Make a double batch and freeze some. It will taste just as good the second time – if not even better.
Serves 4 (approx. 1½ cup each)


4 carrots (approx. 230 g/8 oz)
1 small head celery (approx. 700 g/1½ lb)
2 scant teaspoons caraway seeds
4 slices hearty rye bread
4 teaspoons extra virgin olive oil
4 teaspoons grated parmigiano reggiano

  • Wash the vegetables with a vegetable brush. Cut off the ends and cut in half horizontally. Place vegetables in a large pot with 5 cups of lightly salted water. Cover and cook over moderate heat for 30 minutes or until vegetables are tender.
  • Remove a quarter of the vegetables at a time and place in a blender. Process on high for a smooth puree, adding some of the cooking liquid if needed. Pour the puree into a medium sized pot. Continue processing all the vegetables until they are all pureed and in the pot. Add the remaining broth and keep warm on a low heat. Stir in the caraway seeds and mix well.
  • Place a slice of bread on the bottom of each soup bowl. Ladle equal amounts of the hot soup into each bowl, over the bread. Drizzle a teaspoon of oil on each bowl of soup, sprinkle with the grated cheese and serve hot.

Per serve
Energy: 777 kJ/ 185 cals; Protein 5 g; Fat 7 g (includes 1 g saturated fat and 1 mg cholesterol); Carbs 28 g; Fibre 7 g

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Melt-in-the-mouth beef goulash
The big cost savings (it worked out at AUD $2.25 a serve or $2.10 without the pasta) came with using more vegetables and less meat than many standard goulash recipes, and making the stock with a stock powder (I like Vegeta for its flavour). This recipe uses the Australian 20 mL tablespoon, so US and UK readers will need to add an extra teaspoon of paprika and vinegar). About 20 mins to prepare and 1 hour 50 mins to cook.
Makes 8 serves


1 tablespoon olive oil
900 g (2 lbs) chuck steak, visible fat trimmed and chopped into large chunks
3 onions, peeled, halved and sliced
1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
2 teaspoons brown sugar
1 red capsicum, seeded and diced
1 green capsicum, seeded and diced
1 tablespoon paprika
¼ cup tomato paste
3 cups beef or chicken stock
250 g (9 oz) flat mushrooms, wiped and sliced
2 tablespoons chopped parsley

  • Heat the oil in a large saucepan and brown the meat on all sides in 2–3 batches for 2–3 minutes for each batch over medium heat. Don’t overcrowd the pan or you’ll end up stewing the meat not browning it. Lift the meat out and set aside.
  • Sauté the onion for 10 minutes over low heat until it is very soft and starting to caramelise, adding a little stock if it sticks to the pan. Add the red wine vinegar and sugar and stir for 1 minute to deglaze the pan (dislodging any delicious bits stuck on the bottom).
  • Return the meat to the pan with the red and green capsicum, paprika, tomato paste and stock. Stir well to combine, bring to the boil, then reduce the heat, cover, and simmer on a low heat for 1 hour. Stir in the mushrooms and continue simmering for 30 minutes, until the meat is almost falling-apart tender.
  • Scatter over the parsley and serve with rice (a low GI one of course), or with pasta, mashed sweet potato, or sourdough or a grainy bread to mop up the juices.

Per serve (with pasta)
Energy: 1410 kJ/ 336 cals; Protein 29 g; Fat 9 g (includes 3 g saturated fat and 67 mg cholesterol); Carbs 34 g; Fibre 3 g