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


Spaghetti al gorgonzola. 
This quick and easy pasta dish made with these simple ingredients absolutely belies its special occasion taste. Try it tonight with a crispy garden salad. Makes four 1-cup servings. Enjoy.

For the sauce 
1/3 cup (80ml) evaporated skim milk (Italians use cream)
2 tbsp unsalted butter (Australian cooks use 1½ tbsp)
4–6oz (110–170 g) gorgonzola, crumbled
8oz (230 g) spaghetti

For the topping 
2 tbsp walnut pieces, toasted
2–4 tbsp fresh mint, finely chopped
grated parmigiano-reggiano cheese, optional

Spaghetti al gorgonzola

Bring sauce ingredients to room temperature.
Cook spaghetti according to package directions until al dente. Do not overcook.
Warm the milk over low-medium heat in a large non-stick sauté pan. Add the butter and when it is melted add the gorgonzola. Stir until creamy. Remove from heat and set aside.
Drain the pasta, add to the sauce. Mix well.
Sprinkle the walnuts and mint on top of the spaghetti. Serve immediately with grated cheese on the side.

Per serve 
1690 kJ/404 calories; 16g protein; 18g fat (includes 10g saturated fat); 47g available carbs; 2g fibre

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 packed with fresh produce including these delicious stuffed vegetables from the Low GI Vegetarian Cookbook (Hachette Australia)

Stuffed vegetables with barley, quinoa, pine nuts and pepitas.  
You could substitute the pearl barley and quinoa with cooked brown rice or couscous. Any variety of fresh herbs, vegetables and nuts/seeds can be added to the stuffing mix. Serves 4.

½ cup pearl barley
½ cup quinoa
3 cups water
2 medium eggplants (aubergine), halved lengthwise
1 tbsp olive oil 1 onion, finely chopped
1 stick celery, diced
2 garlic cloves, crushed
1 tsp dried oregano
1 zucchini (courgette), finely diced
2 red capsicums, halved, deseeded
6 large vine ripened tomatoes
2 tbsp pine nuts
2 tbsp pepitas
2 tbsp freshly chopped mint
1 tbsp freshly chopped parsley
sea salt and freshly ground black pepper

Stuffed vegetables with barley, quinoa, pine nuts and pepitas
Photo of vegetables stuffed with quinoa: Ian Hofstetter

Cook the pearl barley and quinoa in separate pans following packet instructions until tender. Drain well. Meanwhile …
Scoop out the flesh of the eggplants, leaving a 1cm (½in) shell. Sprinkle the shell with salt and turn upside down on kitchen paper to drain off the bitter juices. Dice the eggplant flesh.
Preheat oven to 180ºC (350ºF).
Deseed and dice 2 of the tomatoes. Cut of the tops of the remaining 4 tomatoes and scoop out their seeds, leaving a shell, set aside.
Heat the olive oil in a large frying pan over a medium–low heat. Add the onion and celery, cook stirring occasionally for 5 minutes or until soft. Add the garlic, oregano and zucchini, cook stirring for 1 minute more. Increase the heat to medium–high, add the diced eggplant and zucchini and cook stirring for 2–3 minutes or until light golden. Add the drained barley, quinoa, diced tomato, pepitas, pine nuts, mint and parsley and season.
Rinse the eggplant shells out and pat dry. Fill the eggplants, tomatoes and capsicums with the stuffing, place on a lightly oiled baking tray and roast for 30 minutes or until vegetables are soft and golden brown. Serve.

Per serve 
1538 kJ/368 calories; 12g protein; 19g fat (includes 2g saturated fat); 31g available carbs; 13g fibre

Jamie’s 15 Minute Meals.  
The cover describes the recipes in this book as ‘delicious,’ ‘nutritious’ and ‘super-fast’. And they are. We particularly like the fact that many are also low GI and that Jamie seems as keen on a can of legumes as we are! Check out for more information.

Lamb meatballs, chop salad and harissa yoghurt
‘This book is an expression of big, exciting flavours, fast, for busy people’ writes Jamie in his intro. This recipe is certainly all that. Recipe © Jamie Oliver 2012. Serves 4.

400g (14oz) lean lamb mince
1 heaped tsp garam masala
olive oil
1 pinch of saffron
½–1 fresh red chilli
2 spring onions
½ a bunch of fresh coriander (cilantro)
2 cloves of garlic
1 x 400g (14oz) tin of chickpeas
350g (12oz) passata

½ a cucumber
2 little gem lettuces
1 bunch of radishes
2 ripe tomatoes
1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
1 lemon

To serve
1 heaped tsp harissa
4 heaped tbsp fat-free natural yoghurt
8 small wholewheat tortillas
1 orange

Lamb meatballs, chop salad and harissa yoghurt
Photography © David Loftus, 2012

Ingredients out • Kettle boiled • Large frying pan, medium heat • Large lidded pan, medium-high heat

Mix the mince in a bowl with salt, pepper and the garam masala • Divide into 4, then roll each piece into 4 balls with wet hands, placing them in the frying pan as you roll them and adding 1 tablespoon of olive oil • Toss regularly until dark golden all over • Put the saffron into a cup, just cover with boiling water and leave to soak.
Finely slice the chilli, trimmed spring onions and coriander stalks (reserving the leaves), put them into the large pan with 1 tablespoon of olive oil, then squash in the unpeeled garlic through a garlic crusher • Fry for 40 seconds, then add the saffron and its soaking water, the drained chickpeas and the passata, cover and bring to the boil • In a small dish, swirl the harissa through the yoghurt.
Roughly chop and mix all the salad veg for the salad on a board • Add the extra virgin olive oil and lemon juice, then season to taste • Loosen the sauce with a splash of water if needed, then pour into the meatball pan and season to taste • Microwave (800W) the tortillas for 45 seconds • Serve it all with orange wedges and a scattering of coriander leaves.

Per serve 
1945 kJ/465 calories; 34g protein; 18g fat (includes 5g saturated fat); 36g available carbs; 12g fibre

Jamie’s 15 Minute Meals
Jamie’s 15 Minute Meals
is published by Michael Joseph, Penguin and is available in good bookshops and online.