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


Italian almond crunch
In the post-war years in Italy, it was hard to come by sweets and treats. Yet, children are always children and, even back then, there were sweet cravings. My husband remembers this recipe that his mother prepared all too infrequently! Makes 64 pieces (or 32 servings @ 2 pieces each)

1½ cups blanched and peeled almonds, coarsely chopped
½ cup honey
¾ cup plain flour
2 egg whites or 1/3 cup liquid egg whites

Italian almond crunch

  • Preheat oven to a 250. Cover a jellyroll pan (11’” x 16”) with parchment paper.
  • Pour the honey into a medium-sized, microwave-safe mixing bowl and microwave on high for 30 seconds to warm.
  • Mix the flour into the warmed honey. When the mixture is smooth, add in the almonds and continue mixing. Set aside.
  • In a small mixing bowl, beat the egg whites on high speed for 4 minutes or until stiff, dry peaks form. Add to the nut mixture and mix until the egg whites are absorbed into the mixture.
  • Spread mixture thinly on the prepared pan. Bake for 1 hour or until golden colour appears. Let cool thoroughly in the pan before cutting into 64 small pieces.

Per serving (2 small pieces)
Energy: 281kJ/67cals; Protein 2g; Fat 4g (includes less than 1g saturated fat); Carbs 8g; Fibre 1g

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.

Rosemary beef and vegetable pot pies

These pies are a virtually a meal in a pot. When Diane started making them, hubby Ben was so excited. But he got really worried when he heard it was GI News editor Philippa’s suggestion and asked questions like: ‘You will use pastry won’t you and not sweet potato and butter bean mash,’ and ‘I suppose she’ll want you to add lots of vegetables too’ … The answer to both is yes, of course. And of course you can cut back on the saturated fat and top the pies with sweet potato or pumpkin mash. Makes 8 serves

2 tbsp oil
800g (1¾lb) lean gravy beef, cut into 2cm (1in) chunks
2 large onions, chopped
1 tbsp fresh chopped rosemary
2 large carrots, peeled, quartered lengthwise, sliced thickly
4 large cloves garlic, crushed
2 tsp dried oregano
1 tsp sweet paprika
1/3 cup tomato paste
1½ cups chicken stock
200g (7oz) large mushrooms, halved, then sliced thickly
4 small zucchinis (courgettes), quartered lengthwise, sliced thickly
400g (14oz) can 4-bean mix, rinsed and drained
¼ cup chopped parsley
2 sheets reduced fat puff pastry, each cut into 4 squares

Rosemary beef and vegetable pot pies

  • Heat 1 tablespoon of the oil in a large saucepan and brown beef in 2 batches over medium heat (about 3 minutes a batch). Remove and place in heatproof bowl. Add the remaining oil, reduce the heat and cook the onion and rosemary for 5 minutes until the onion is soft. Stir in the carrots, garlic, oregano, paprika and tomato paste. Return the beef to the pan and mix well to combine. Pour in the stock, bring to the boil, cover and simmer for 1 hour. Add the mushrooms and zucchini to the stew, stir, and simmer for 20 minutes, covered. Stir in the 4 bean mix and continue to cook for 10 minutes, uncovered. Stir in parsley, season to taste and set aside to cool a little. Meanwhile …
  • Preheat the oven to 200ºC (400ºF). Place eight 1-cup ramekins on a baking tray. Brush rims with water.
  • Spoon a generous 3/4 cup of stew into each ramekin making sure everyone gets a fair share of beefy chunks and veggies. Top pots with pastry squares pressing gently onto ramekin rim. Brush pastry with a little milk and make 2 slashes to let steam out.
  • Bake for 20–25 minutes or until pastry is golden. Stand for a few minutes before serving as the filling is very hot.

Per serving
Energy: 1622kJ/ 388cals; Protein 30g; Fat 16g (includes 6g saturated fat and 57mg cholesterol); Carbs 26g; Fibre 6g

Sue’s unbelievably creamy tofu ‘sour cream’
Dietitian Sue Radd runs culinary medicine cookshops in Sydney and on 20 July the program is ‘Simple Meal Ideas to Make Low GI Eating Delicious’. For GI News, Sue whipped up a super-quick, dairy-free ‘sour cream’ made from a medium-soft tofu. Use it exactly the same way you would sour cream – topping a baked potato or baked sweet potato wedges, making mash or dips, spreading on toast or mixing into vegetable soups. Makes 2¼ cups

Sue Radd

300 g medium-soft tofu
pinch salt
¼ clove garlic, finely crushed
2 tbsp lemon juice
1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
½ tsp dry mustard

Pat the tofu dry with absorbent kitchen paper. Place it in a blender with the other ingredients and process until smooth. Transfer to a glass jar and refrigerate for 2 hours before serving. Store up to 2 days, giving it a good stir before using.

Per serving (1 tablespoon)Energy: 100kJ/ 24cals; Protein 0g; Fat 2g (includes less than 1g saturated fat); Carbs 0g; Fibre 0g

Book here for Sue’s Cookshop classes.