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


Strawberries amandine.  
Slice and chop, and this dessert is ready for your table! As with all fruit, serve these strawberries only in the peak of their growing season. Dark chocolate truffles, vanilla bean ice cream, mascarpone or zabaglione (or other custards) go well with this. Note this recipe uses a 15ml tablespoon.) Servings: 4 (1 cup each)

450g/1lb medium-sized fresh strawberries (about 24)
2 tbsp (30ml) Amaretto di Saronno liqueur
30g/1oz almonds, toasted and coarsely chopped (about 24)

Strawberries amandine

Place the whole strawberries in a bowl with cold water and swish them around to remove surface dirt. Drain, run under faucet water, drain again and pat dry with paper towels.
Remove stems and leaves and create a small wedge at the top of each strawberry using a knife or small melon baller. (I use a demitasse spoon.) Quarter the strawberries horizontally and place them in a mixing bowl. Add the amaretto, mix well.
Spoon an equal amount of the strawberries into 4 individual dessert cups, top with the toasted almonds and serve immediately.

Per serving
Energy: 403kJ/96cals; Protein 2g; Fat 4g (includes 0g saturated fat and 0mg cholesterol); Available carbohydrate 12g; 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 our Money Saving Meals mushroom recipe from The Low GI Guide to Gluten-free Cooking by Dr Kate Marsh and colleagues (Hachette Australia and Da Capo US). And the Prawn laksa from Catheine Saxelby’s and Jennene Plummer’s Zest (Hardie Grant). The books are available from bookshops and online; eBook editions available from Amazon and iTunes etc.

Portobello pizzas with parmesan crumb.  
It’s mushroom foraging time in Australia! Of course, most of us buy our mushrooms in the produce market – but if you think a trip to the countryside for a bit of foraging sounds fun, join up with a group (with an expert leader!), grab your basket and head out into the fresh air. Makes 6

2–3 tablespoons olive oil
6 portobello (or field) mushrooms, wiped, stems removed and chopped
1 onion, finely chopped
3 cloves garlic, finely chopped
1 small red capsicum, finely chopped
400g/14oz can diced tomatoes
400g/14oz can lentils, drained
small bunch basil leaves, washed and torn
freshly ground black pepper
1 cup finely grated Parmesan cheese
1 cup grainy or wholemeal) breadcrumbs (GF)

Portobello pizzas with parmesan crumb

Preheat the oven to 180ºC/350ºF. Grease an oven tray with a little of the olive oil. Brush some olive oil over the base of the mushrooms and place them on the tray.
Heat the remaining oil in a non-stick frying pan over medium heat. Add the chopped mushroom stems, onion, garlic and capsicum. Reduce the heat and cook, stirring occasionally, for 10 minutes or until the onions are soft and golden. Stir in the diced tomatoes, then add the lentils and basil and stir gently until the mixture is well combined and heated through. Season with pepper and set aside.
Combine the Parmesan and breadcrumbs. Spoon the lentil and tomato mixture into the mushroom ‘cups’ and top each with about 1/3 cup of the breadcrumb mixture.
Bake in the oven for 15 minutes or until the topping is crisp and golden and the mushrooms are cooked through.

Per serve
1171kJ/278cals; 14g fat (includes 4g saturated fat); 6g fibre; 13g protein; 23g carbohydrate

Prawn laksa.  
Prawns are cooked when they are opaque and orangy pink. Allow 2–3 minutes for small prawns and about 5 for larger ones. Make sure the curry paste you use is gluten free and has no added wheat starch. We used light coconut milk, but you can substitute with coconut flavoured light evaporated milk if you wish. Serves 6

¼ cup Thai red curry paste, or to taste! (GF)
2 x 375ml cans light coconut milk
2 cups water
1 cup low-salt chicken stock (GF)
500g (1lb 2oz) green prawns, peeled, deveined, tails intact
250g (8oz) rice stick noodles
1 cup bean sprouts
2 green onions (shallots), sliced
sliced chilli, coriander leaves and lime wedges to serve

Prawn laksa

Heat a large saucepan on high. Cook the curry paste, stirring, for 1 minute until fragrant. Stir in the coconut milk, water and stock. Bring to the boil, then lower the heat and simmer for 2 minutes.
Add the prawns and simmer gently for 2–3 minutes, stirring occasionally until cooked.
Divide the noodles, sprouts and prawns between 4 bowls. Pour on the soup.
Serve topped with the green onion, sliced chilli and coriander leaves and a lime wedge on the side.

Per serve

1840kJ/440cals; 14g fat (includes 6g saturated fat); 6g fibre; 33g protein; 40g carbohydrate