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Even My Pets A Porker

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Research since the early 1980's has taught us that different carbohydrate foods have dramatically different effects on our blood sugar levels. Carbohydrates in our diet come mainly from plants, such as grains or cereals, fruits, vegetables and peas and beans or legumes. Milk products also contain carbohydrate in the form of milk sugar or lactose.

The glycaemic index (G. I.) was developed to rank foods based on their immediate effect on our blood sugar levels. Carbohydrate foods that break down quickly during digestion have the highest G. I. values because the blood sugar response is fast and high. Conversely, carbohydrates that break down gradually into the blood stream, have low G. I. values.

The benefits of eating low G. I. foods if you're diabetic or trying to lose weight include:

  •  Lower insulin levels, which makes fat easier to burn and less likely to be stored,
  •  Lower blood fats (cholesterol),
  •  Are more satisfying and reduce appetite,
  •  Reduce the risk of developing heart disease and diabetes.

Find out more about low GI foods on the web or by reading The Low GI Diet: the New Glucose Revolution by Prof. Jenny Brand Miller & Kaye Foster-Powell

Skipping breakfast is NOT option and must be eaten within 2 hours waking up.
½ cup Natural Muesli or 1 cup Cereal: Mix ½ cup of Special K and All Bran or 1 cup calcium enriched milk + 2 tsp Milo (which is the same as 1 x Up n Go) and 2 slices of Vogel's or Burgen bread spread with about 1 teaspoon of peanut butter per slice and no margarine or butter.

Morning Tea
2 pieces of fruit. Choose fruit that is in season. It will be cheaper and fresher. Or 1 x Multigrain muesli bar with less than 200kcal

3 x slices of wholegrain bread, either Vogel's or Bugen made into a club sandwich with approximately 60g of turkey or low fat cheese (edam is a good option) and salad including cucumber, grated carrot, beetroot and tomato or 6 to 8 pieces of sushi.

With a piece of fruit and a 150ml of diet yoghurt

Afternoon Tea
30g raw unsalted nuts - try either almonds or Brazil nut and a piece of fruit or
2 or 3 marsh mellows, with 2 ginger nut biscuits and a piece of fruit

It is important to vary your proteins, try mixing things up by having chicken 2 nights a week, red meat 2 nights per week, fish once or twice and at least one evening meal that is meat free.

As a general rule, meat servings should weight between 120g to140g raw weight. If the serve is larger and thicker than the palm of your hand it is probably too big.

Serve with a low GI carbohydrate such as basmati rice or kumara, and plenty of vegetables or salad.

Recipe Ideas

Chicken and Noodle Salad
Serves 6

900g hokkien noodles
500g barbecued chicken, skin removed
1 small cos lettuce, leaves torn
1 punnet cherry tomatoes, quartered
4 spring onions, sliced, diagonally
1 Lebanese cucumber, halved lengthways and sliced
1 fresh mangoes, sliced and cut into 5mm thick strips (optional)
2 tablespoons lime or lemon juice
2 tablespoons fish sauce
1 tablespoon salt reduced soy sauce
2 tablespoon chilli sauce
1/3 cup coriander leaves
2 tablespoons crushed dry roasted peanuts (optional)

Place noodles in a large heatproof bowl and cover with boiling water. Stand for 2 minutes, stirring gently with a wooden spoon to separate strands. Drain well and set aside. Cut the chicken into strips. Place chicken, noodles, lettuce, tomato, spring onion, cucumber and mango in a bowl and combine well using either your hands or large serving spoons. For the dressing combine the lime juice and sauces in a small jar, secure with a lid and shake well to combine. Pour over the noodle salad and toss to combine. Serve sprinkled with coriander leaves and peanuts.

Tip: Mix this salad up by changing the cos lettuce for a mixture of salad leaves, baby spinach or rocket.

Tip: If fresh mango is not available use a small tin of mango slices in juice or substitute thin strips of carrot (cut them with a vegetable peeler). Paw paw or straws of apple could also be used.

Tip: The Maggi range of sauces are full of flavour and have reduced salt and no MSG.

Terriaki Chicken Sushi

1 chicken breast fillet, skin removed
1 orange
1 tablespoon teriyaki sauce
Slice the chicken breast in half, and then into long thin strips. In a bowl combine teriyaki sauce, orange zest and juice of the orange. Add chicken strips and toss well to coat with marinade. Mix well and cover with plastic wrap. Allow meat to marinate in the refrigerator for at least an hour and no longer than 24 hours.
To cook the chicken, heat a non-stick pan to a moderate heat, drain the chicken and reserve the marinade. Cook the chicken in batches until all the meat is cooked through. Reduce the heat to low, and return all the meat to the pan with the remaining marinade. Toss well to coat with marinade and cook gently for a few minutes until marinade reduces and coats chicken. Remove from the pan and allow to cool if making sushi, or serve warm with steamed or stir fry vegetables and Basmati rice.

Sushi Rolls

1 cup short grain rice or basmati rice
2 cups water
30ml rice wine vinegar
30g sugar

Rinse the rice 2 or 3 times in cold water and drain well. Cover with 2 cups of water and cook using the absorption method. See back of pack for details. When rice is cooked, place sugar and rice wine vinegar in a small saucepan and stir over low heat until sugar dissolves. While still warm stir into the cooked rice.

Line a baking tray with plastic wrap and spread rice over tray and allow rice to cool.

To Roll Sushi:

bamboo mat
plastic wrap
3-4 sheets nori
Lemon Juice
Peel and slice the avocado and squeeze lemon over the slice to prevent them browning.

Cut cucumber lengthways in halves and remove seeds (remove skin if preferred) and cut into 5-7mm square strips. Peel and grate the carrot. Working so that the sushi roll will roll away from you, cover your bamboo mat with plastic wrap and then place a sheet of nori down. (The plastic wrap will help keep the mat clean. Bamboo mats often warp when drying after being immersed in water.)

Wet your hands and spread rice over the nori sheet so that it is loosely packed and approximately 10-13mm (half inch) thick, leaving a strip about 20mm clear of rice on the edge facing away from you. You should be able to see the nori through the rice. The biggest mistake when making sushi is using too much rice and packing it down too firmly. The pressure applied when rolling will press everything together.

Along the edge closest to you, place a line of avocado, cucumber, a thin layer of carrot and pieces of chicken. Slowly fold the mat over, tucking the end of the nori to start the roll. Lift the mat and plastic wrap as you go. Continue rolling until you reach the end of the nori. Brush the edge of the nori with a little rice wine vinegar or water and seal edge.

Transfer to a new sheet of plastic wrap and refrigerate until you are ready to serve. Repeat with remaining ingredients.

To slice your sushi rolls, run your knife under cold water, a moist knife will prevent it sticking. Re-moisten the knife before you make each cut. First cut the roll in half, then cut each half into either thirds or quarters. Turn the pieces on end and arrange on a platter to serve.

Serve with light soy, pickled ginger and wasabi.

Rolling sushi takes a bit of practice, like learning to ride a bike. Remember to not over fill the roll with either rice or fillings.

Alternative fillings are smoked or raw salmon.

Note: Sushi is traditionally made with a short grained rice. You can however make sushi successfully at home with basmati or long grain rice, which has a lower GI value. For the best results ensure that your rice is not too moist.

Vegetable Frittata
Serves 4-6

250g spaghetti
150g kumara, cut into small cubes
olive or canola spray oil
1 onion, chopped
1-2 slices of low fat ham
1 red or green capsicum
100g button mushrooms
1.5 cups of corn kernels or frozen mixed vegetables
half cup fresh flat-leaf parsley, finely chopped
3 eggs
5 egg whites
salt and pepper

Cook the pasta according to packet instructions. Steam or microwave the kumara until tender. Heat a non-stick pan and spray with a little spray oil, sauté the onion, ham and capsicum over medium heat for 4-5 minutes or until soft. Add the mushrooms and cook for a further minute or 2 until mushrooms have softened. Transfer vegetables to a large bowl and combine with the kumara, corn or mixed vegetables, parsley and well drained spaghetti.

Whip the eggs and egg yolks until well combined. Spray a non-stick pan with a little oil and arrange the spaghetti and vegetable mix in the pan. Pour egg mix evenly over the spaghetti mix and cook over a medium heat for about 8 minutes. Move the pan contents around gently if necessary to cook the frittata evenly. Preheat the grill to medium and place the frying pan under the grill being careful not to burn plastic or wooden handles, for 6-7 minutes or until the frittata has set.

Run a spatula round the edge of the pan, place a large plate on the top of the pan and carefully invert the pan to turn the frittata out. Cut into pieces and serve with a salad.

Tip: The frittata can also be cooked in a non stick cake tin. Preheat the oven to 150 degrees. Line the base of a non-stick 25-30 cm cake tin with baking paper and spray the sides of the tin with a little oil. Arrange the spaghetti mix evenly in the tin and poor over the egg mix. Bake for approximately 20-30 minutes or until set.

Tip: For a quick meal on the go make individual frittata using a muffin tray. Spray with a little oil and line with a slice of whole grain sandwich bread. Place an equal quantity of mix in each well and back in a moderate oven.

Tip: This is a good recipe for using up left over pasta or vegetables. The pasta can also be replace by adding more kumara and vegetables.