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


Fresh nectarines with port wine drizzle
Late summer fruit and wine is a culinary marriage made, if not in heaven, certainly in most Italian kitchens. This recipe uses a dessert port wine but other good fruity red wine choices might be Merlot, Valpolicella or Zinfandel. Sometimes when friends stop over for a late afternoon visit to our Friuli home, I’ll prepare the fruit I have on hand in this way and serve it with nut-based biscotti. This is a light, healthful, summery treat that will not interfere with the evening meal. Serves 4 (2 halves each)

4 medium nectarines, halved and pitted
4 teaspoons port wine
1 teaspoon vanilla
8 almonds, dry roasted, chopped

Fresh nectarines with port wine drizzle

Drop the nectarine halves in boiling water and leave for 2 minutes. Remove the fruit with a slotted spoon and cool under running water. Gently peel back the skin with a knife. Place 2 nectarine halves each on 4 individual dessert plates. Set aside.
In an espresso cup mix the wine and vanilla. Drizzle evenly over the nectarines. Sprinkle with the almonds. Chill slightly before serving.

Per serve
Energy: 690kJ/90cals; Protein 2g; Fat 2g (includes 0g saturated fat); Available carbohydrate 16g; Fibre 3g

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 this Money Saving Meals recipe from Nicole Senior and Veronica Cuskelly’s Belly Busting for Blokes. For more recipes check out the Money Saving Meals website.

Spicy beef and bean chilli
You can serve this one-pot classic a number of ways. If you like to start from scratch (and save a few cents), soak dried kidney beans overnight and cook in lots of boiling water (don’t add any salt)—they’ll take about an hour. If you make extra, you can freeze them too. White corn tortillas have a low GI (53) Makes 2 hearty serves, but we found it easily stretches to 3 serves accompanied by a big garden salad.

400g (14oz) can kidney beans, rinsed and drained
1 tbsp oil
1 large red onion, finely chopped
1 large red capsicum, finely chopped
2 tsp Mexican chilli powder
1 tsp sweet paprika
300g (10½oz) lean beef mince
400g (14oz) can diced tomatoes
¼ cup chopped flat-leaf parsley
2 white corn tortillas (soft)

Spicy Beef and bean chilli


Heat the oil in a non-stick medium-sized saucepan over a low-to-medium heat. Add onion, capsicum, chilli powder and paprika and cook, stirring, until the vegetables are soft. Don’t rush it – this may take about 10 minutes and will really develop the flavours. Add the mince and cook, stirring, for 5 minutes to break up the mince. Stir in the beans and tomatoes and when hot reduce the heat to low, cover and cook for 15 minutes. Remove from the heat and mix in the parsley.

Spoon the chilli into 2 warmed bowls (or a large bowl for scooping and sharing) and serve in a soft corn tortilla wrap with salad.

Per serve (based on 2 hearty ‘bloke’ serves)
Energy: 2635 kJ/ 630 cals; Protein 49 g; Fat 22 g (includes 6 g saturated fat); Available carbohydrate 50 g; Fibre 17 g

Per serve (based on 3 serves)
Energy: 1756 kJ/ 420 cals; Protein 32 g; Fat 14 g (includes 4 g saturated fat); Available carbohydrate 33 g; Fibre 11 g

Belly Busting for Bloke

Baked salmon with mixed bean salsa
This low GI meal from The Low GI Diet Cookbook (available from bookshops and Amazon) provides a deliciously tasty source of vitamin D (and omega-3, too). Keep it light and easy and serve it with a leafy mixed salad or with cooked green vegetables such as broccoli, asparagus or spinach. Serves 4

4 salmon fillets (about 150g/5oz each)
1 lemon, squeezed
Bunch coriander, leaves picked
Freshly ground black pepper

Mixed bean salsa
440g/15oz can four-bean mix, rinsed and drained
1 tbsp chopped black olives
6 sun-dried tomatoes, chopped
1 red chilli, deseeded and chopped
1 small red onion, finely chopped
1 tbsp olive oil
2 tsp balsamic vinegar

Baked salmon with mixed bean salsa

Picture: Ian Hofstetter.

Preheat the oven to 180C/350F. Put the salmon fillets in an ovenproof dish, squeeze over the lemon juice, sprinkle over half the coriander leaves and season with freshly ground black pepper. Cover with foil and bake until done to your liking (about 15 minutes for rare to 30 minutes for well done).
Make the mixed bean salsa by combining all the ingredients in a bowl. Add the remaining coriander leaves and mix well.
Place a salmon fillet on each plate and top with a generous spoonful of bean salsa and serve with plenty of green vegies.

Per serve (
fish and salsa)
Energy: 1950kJ/ 460 cals; Protein 45g; Fat 24g (includes 5g saturated fat); Available carbohydrate 26g; Fibre 6g