In the GI News Kitchen

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Family Baking, Anneka Manning, author of Bake Eat Love. Learn to Bake in 3 Simple Steps and founder of Sydney’s BakeClub, shares her delicious ‘better-for-you’ recipes for snacks, desserts and treats the whole family will love. Through both her writing and cooking school, Anneka teaches home cooks to bake in practical and approachable yet inspiring ways that assure success in the kitchen.

 Anneka Manning

Carrot Cake.
This cake is one of those that naturally has an enticing balance of ingredients that complement each other. Loads of grated carrot (which is the secret to this cakes moist nature), cinnamon and nutmeg to lend a hint of spice and walnuts for crunch. Makes about 20 pieces. Prep:15 mins; Cook: 50-55 mins

Sunflower oil, to grease
300g (1 3/4 cups) plain wholemeal spelt flour (See Baker’s Tip)
2 tsp bicarbonate of soda
1 tsp baking powder
1 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon ground nutmeg
220g (1 cup) raw sugar
100g (3½oz) walnuts, toasted and coarsely chopped (see Baker’s Tips)
3 eggs, at room temperature
1 cup sunflower oil
500g (about 5 medium) carrots, peeled and coarsely grated
1 teaspoon icing sugar, to dust

 Carrot Cake

Preheat the oven to 180°C/350°F. Brush a square 20cm cake tin with oil to grease. Line the base with non-stick baking paper.
Sift the flour, bicarbonate of soda, baking powder, cinnamon and nutmeg into a large bowl. Add the raw sugar and walnuts and stir to combine.
Put the eggs and oil in a medium bowl and use a fork to whisk until well combined. Stir in the grated carrot. Add to the dry ingredients and use a large metal spoon or spatula to fold together until just combined. Spoon the mixture into the prepared cake pan and spoon the surface with the back of a spoon.
Bake in preheated oven for 50-55 minutes or until cooked when tested in the centre with a skewer.
Stand the cake in the tin for 5 minutes before turning onto a wire rack to cool completely. Sprinkle with the icing sugar and serve cut into slices. This cake will keep in an airtight container in a cool place (but not in the fridge) up to 4 days.

Per piece
1050 kJ/250 calories; 4 g protein; 16 g fat (includes 2 g saturated fat); 22 g available carbs; 3 g fibre

Baker’s Tips 

  • The wholemeal spelt flour can be replaced with 150g (1 cup) wholemeal plain flour and 120g (3/4 cup) plain flour. 
  • The walnuts can be replaced with pecans. 

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


Roasted summer grape tomatoes.
If vegetables were ever in a parade, tomatoes would be the marching band, color guard and the festival queen! This recipe elevates the humble grape tomato to its rightful position of peerless distinctive taste. Don’t be fooled by the simplicity of this recipe; the burst of flavor these tomatoes leave in your mouth is what sweet dreams are made of. I’ve divided the recipe into four generous 1-cup portions – anything less would be a tease. Serves 4.

8 cups grape tomatoes, washed
4 large fresh garlic cloves, sliced
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
2 tsp sea salt
1 tsp freshly ground black pepper
8 sprigs fresh rosemary

Roasted summer grape tomatoes.

Preheat the oven to 400°F (200°C).
Place the tomatoes and the garlic in a large baking pan in one layer). Drizzle the oil evenly over them and sprinkle the salt and pepper. Mix.
Roast for 20 minutes, stirring once. Add the rosemary, stir, and return to the oven for 10 minutes. Serve hot or at room temperature as a side dish or over pasta or fish or mixed in with eggs. Great on grainy toast.

Per serve 
220kJ/900 calories; 4g protein; 14g fat (includes 2g saturated fat); 19g available carbs; 4g fibre

Here’s how you can 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 including this Slow-cooked lamb shank and barley soup with gremolata reproduced with permission from Chrissy Freer’s new book, Supergrains (Murdoch Books)

Slow-cooked lamb shank and barley soup with gremolata.
Here at GI News we think this is the perfect hearty winter soup for a family meal with leftovers for lunch (how good is that?). To cut back the fat (I did when testing it this week), trim all the visible fat off the lamb shanks and pancetta. And as my butcher only ever has large lamb shanks, I just used two. It was plenty. I didn’t use any salt and pepper to season as it’s full of flavour with the gremolata (and the little red chilli I couldn’t resist chopping and adding). Serves 6.

2 tbs olive oil
4 small lamb shanks (or 2 larger ones), french trimmed
100g (3½oz) sliced pancetta, rind removed, diced
2 carrots, peeled and diced
2 celery stalks, trimmed and diced
1 large brown onion, finely chopped
2 garlic cloves, crushed
2 tsp finely chopped rosemary
4 cups chicken stock
400g (14oz) can chopped tomatoes
1/3 cup pearl barley, briefly rinsed
2 fresh bay leaves (or 1 dried)
¼ cup chopped flat-leaf parsley
2 tsp finely grated lemon zest
1 garlic clove, crushed

Slow-cooked lamb shank and barley soup with gremolata.

Heat half the oil in a stockpot or large saucepan over medium–high heat. Add lamb and cook, turning, for 4–5 minutes or until well browned. Transfer to a plate and carefully wipe the base of the pan.
Heat the remaining oil in the stockpot. Add the pancetta, carrots, celery and onion and cook, stirring, for 8 minutes or until soft.
Add the garlic and rosemary and cook for 1 minute more, then return the lamb to the stockpot. Add the stock, tomatoes, pearl barley and bay leaves to the stockpot. Cover and bring to the boil, then reduce heat to low and simmer, covered, for 2 hours or until the meat falls from the bone. Use tongs to transfer the lamb to a plate. Remove the meat from the bones and coarsely shred. Skim and discard any excess fat from the surface of the soup, then add the shredded meat and season to taste with sea salt and freshly ground black pepper if you wish.
To make the gremolata, combine all ingredients in a small bowl. Serve the soup sprinkled with gremolata.
Per serve 
1030 kJ/ 245 calories; 16 g protein; 14 g fat (includes 4 g saturated fat); 12 g available carbs; 4 g fibre