Brassica veggies are consumed in enormous quantities around the world from salad plants such as rocket (arugula), mustard and cress; to Oriental leafy veg such as pak-choi, bok choy and choy sum and their European cousins – cabbage, kale, cauliflower, broccoli and kohlrabi. We opted for the flowery Brassicas this issue: cauliflower and broccoli.
Two low GI recipes that show how versatile this delicate veg is: Spiced Cauliflower and Lentil Soup and Crispy Cauliflower with Buckwheat and Pinenuts. Don’t be surprised if everyone lines up for seconds.
SPICED CAULIFLOWER AND LENTIL SOUP
It’s an easy recipe to ring the changes. Try using Moroccan spice powder and 1 tablespoon of harissa paste instead of the ground cumin and coriander. Or substitute diced orange-fleshed sweet potato or butternut pumpkin for the lentils with. Prep: 10 mins Cook: 40 mins Serves: 2
olive oil spray
pale part only, chopped
2 garlic cloves, chopped
1 long green chilli, seeded and chopped
2 tsp ground coriander
2 tsp ground cumin
¼ tsp ground turmeric
350g (12oz) cauliflower florets
½ cup green lentils, rinsed
1 tbsp reduced-fat coconut milk
1 tbsp toasted slivered almonds
1 small handful coriander (cilantro) leaves
Spray a large saucepan with olive oil and place over medium heat. Add the leek and cook, stirring, for 2 minutes or until softened. Add the garlic, chilli, ground coriander, cumin and turmeric, and stir for 1 minute or until aromatic. • Add the cauliflower florets, green lentils and 4 cups water. Cover the pan and cook for 30–35 minutes or until the cauliflower and lentils are tender. • Using a stick blender, blend the soup until smooth. • Ladle the soup into bowls and serve topped with the coconut milk, almonds, coriander leaves and freshly ground black pepper.
1295kJ/ 308 calories; 22g protein; 7g fat (includes 0.5g saturated fat; saturated : unsaturated fat ratio 0.08); 32g available carbs (includes 10g sugars and 22g starches); 16g fibre; 70mg sodium; 1350mg potassium; sodium : potassium ratio 0.05.
This recipe is from Reversing Diabetes (Murdoch Books), and is available from good bookshops and online.
CRISPY CAULIFLOWER WITH BUCKWHEAT AND PINENUTS
The earthy, nutty and slightly smoky flavour of buckwheat’s amazing tiny pyramid shapes, makes a robust addition to dishes. Prep: 10 mins • Cook: 30 mins • Serves: 6
1 medium cauliflower
2 tablespoons olive oil
sea salt flakes
¾ cup raw buckwheat groats, rinsed
⅔ cup medium pitted black olives,
2 tbsp salted capers, rinsed and drained
3 tbsp toasted pine nuts
2 tbsp currants
1 garlic clove, crushed
1 handful parsley, chopped
⅓ cup olive oil
2 tbsp lemon juice
sea salt flakes and freshly ground pepper
Preheat the oven to 190°C/375°F (fan 170°C/325°F). Line a baking tray with baking paper. • Rinse the cauliflower and cut through the thick core into quarters. Cut each quarter into thick slices and put into a bowl. If you prefer, cut them into large florets. Pour over the oil, sprinkle with a little salt and toss. Arrange the cauliflower on the tray and roast for 20–25 minutes, or until crispy and slightly charred. Set aside to cool. • While the cauliflower is roasting, bring a pot of water to the boil, tip in the buckwheat and simmer for 8–10 minutes, or until al dente. Drain, rinse and leave to cool to room temperature. • Whisk together the dressing ingredients, adding salt and pepper to taste, to make a chunky thick dressing. Watch the amount of salt you use, as both the capers and olives will provide a briny tang. • Put the cauliflower, buckwheat, olives, capers, pine nuts and currants in a bowl. Pour over the dressing and lightly tumble together. Serve at room temperature.
1505kJ/ 360 calories; 6g protein; 27g fat (includes 3.5g saturated fat; saturated : unsaturated fat ratio 0.15); 21g available carbs (includes 5.5g sugars and 15.5g starches); 5.5g fibre; 255mg sodium; 505mg potassium; sodium : potassium ratio 0.5.
This recipe is from The Good Carbs Cookbook (Murdoch Books), and is available from good bookshops and online.
STICKS, SEEDS, PODS and LEAVES
Kate Hemphill is a trained chef. She contributed the recipes to Ian Hemphill’s best-selling Spice and Herb Bible. You will find more of her recipes on the Herbies spices website. Or you can follow her on Instagram (@herbieskitchen). Kate uses Herbies spices and blends, but you can substitute with whatever you have in your pantry.
BARRAMUNDI AND BROCCOLI FISH CAKES
Served here with wilted spinach and lemon wedges. Choose a lower GI potato like Carisma if you can. Substitute the barramundi fillets for a firm white fish such as snapper, hake, ling, perch, cod, seabass or coral trout. Herbie’s Spices Fish Cake Spice Mix is a tangy combo – coriander, sumac fennel, mace, ginger, lemon myrtle, dill, parsley and Australian native pepperberry. Substitute with 1 tsp lemon zest and 1–2 tbsp of chopped fresh parsley. Prep time: 15 mins • Cook time: 45 mins • Serves: 4
3 barramundi fillets (approx 400g/14oz total)
2 cups milk
6 florets broccoli, cooked until tender and drained
2 potatoes (450g/1lb total)
1 tbsp butter
1 egg, beaten
1 tsp finely grated lemon zest
1 tbsp Herbies fish cake spice mix
¼ cup breadcrumbs, plus extra for coating
rice bran or vegetable oil, for cooking
Place fish fillets skin side up in a deep pan and cover with milk. Bring to a gentle boil over low-medium heat then turn off heat and allow fish to continue cooking for 10 minutes. • Peel and cut the potatoes into chunks and cook until tender. Mash with butter and season to taste. • Chop the cooked broccoli finely and stir into the mash along with the egg, lemon zest, spice mix and ¼ cup breadcrumbs. • Remove cooked fish from milk and discard skin. Flake the fish into the mash mixture, removing any bones. • Stir to combine well then shape into 12 medium fish cakes. Once shaped, toss in extra breadcrumbs. Fish cakes can be placed on a lined baking tray, covered and refrigerated for up to 24 hours before cooking. • To cook, heat oil in a large frying pan and cook fish cakes for 3–4 minutes per side, until golden then drain on kitchen paper towel before serving.
1990kJ/ 475 calories; 30g protein; 25g fat (includes 6g saturated fat; saturated : unsaturated fat ratio 0.32); 29g available carbs (includes 9g sugars and 20g starches); 4g fibre; 228mg sodium; 1302mg potassium; sodium : potassium ratio 0.18.