In the GI News Kitchen

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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 HERE.

Frittata with herbs

Frittata with fresh herbs
A frittata is an open-faced omelet. Italian cooks usually welcome in springtime with a recipe like this one because the herbs in their gardens are lush enough to start snipping at their sprigs and leaves. When I’m not in my Italian home, I’m a city girl, with nothing more than a few potted herbs and tomato plants on my deck. In early fall, before the cold sets in, I start cooking with whatever herbs I still have growing. The beauty of this recipe is that you can choose whatever herbs you may have at arm’s length and your frittata will be as sumptuous as this one. I try to include at least three different herbs. When I make this, we have our ‘primo piatto’ first, which is pasta so I just serve it with a hearty salad. If you are making a meal of the frittata, serve it with some low GI bread too if you wish.

Frittata with herbs

Serves 2

3 eggs
½ cup egg substitute or 2 extra egg whites
2 tablespoons thinly sliced fresh chives
2 heaping tablespoons fresh thyme leaves, stems removed
2 heaping tablespoons minced fresh, flat leaf parsley, minced
¼ cup fresh basil leaves, ripped into tiny pieces
Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
vegetable oil spray
1 teaspoon extra virgin olive oil

  • Place the eggs, egg substitute or extra egg white, the herbs and the salt and pepper in a medium sized bowl. Whisk until all the ingredients are blended.
  • Cover the bottom of a 10-inch (25 cm) frying pan with vegetable spray. Heat over a medium flame. Add the olive oil and, when it is warmed, add the egg-herb mixture.
  • Cook the frittata for 5–6 minutes, using a spatula to lift the edges away from the pan. When the bottom looks cooked, use the spatula or a flat cover or plate to flip it over to the other side and continue cooking for another 2 minutes. Serve immediately or at room temperature with a salad.
  • The combined flavors of the herbs are even more pronounced the following day if you have leftovers.

Per serving (without bread or salad)
Energy: 370 kJ/ 201 cals; Protein 16 g; Fat 10 g (includes 3 g saturated fat and 320 mg cholesterol); Carbs 3 g; Fibre 1 g. Because the carbohydrate content is minimal, this frittata will have little impact on your blood glucose levels.

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, visit Diane’s website.

Creamy bean soup with sage & parmesan
Pulses or legumes are an important part of a low GI diet which is why it’s a good idea to try and include them in your meals at least twice a week – more often if you are vegetarian or vegan. One serve is equivalent to ½ cup cooked beans, lentils or chickpeas. This is an easy recipe for a quick smart meal on the run as it only takes about 10 minutes to whip up and the leftovers can be reheated for lunch or popped into the freezer. Makes 4 serves @ $1.10 per serving
1 tablespoon olive oil
2 onions, peeled and chopped
3 cloves garlic, peeled and chopped
½–1 teaspoon dried sage (or thyme)
2 × 400 g cans cannellini or butter beans, drained and rinsed
3 cups water or vegetable stock
1/3 cup grated Parmesan cheese

  • Heat the olive oil in a large saucepan over medium heat and sauté the onion and garlic for about 5 minutes or until the onions are soft, stirring occasionally so they don’t burn. Stir in the sage.
  • Tip the beans into the saucepan and pour over 3 cups of water. Cover and bring to the boil then reduce the heat to low and simmer for 10 minutes. Scoop out 1 cup of the liquid and set it aside.
  • Whiz the soup to a creamy puree, adding the reserved liquid for a thinner soup if you prefer. Stir in the cheese and season with freshly ground black pepper. Reheat, ladle into bowls and serve topped with a few twists of freshly ground black pepper.

Per serving
Energy: 1040 kJ/ 248 cals; Protein 15 g; Fat 8 g (includes 2 g saturated fat and 7 mg cholesterol); Carbs 27 g; Fibre 8 g