Tag Archives: low GI

Toulouse sausages with Puy lentils and exiled hens

Our hens are in exile; they have been forced from their homeland by an overabundance of horses. Four was fine, desirable even; it created a cosy ‘chicken sandwich’ environment. But the newly-arrived pony was the final straw – she’s a Quadruped Lout Too Far and a tiny bit scornful perhaps at the deference required to lay an egg.

So they’ve set up camp on the fourth-floor shelf of the workshop on some torn-up sheets. Not without much shrill, dyspeptic screeching, I might add. I feel a bit bad that all they found for their nest was old sheets and not pashminas, but such is the life of a hen. I only discovered their new hideout because, reaching for an old sheet to clean my saddle, I unwittingly scrambled an egg at my feet. I assume they think that the workshop is horseproof – I’m afraid they’re in for a surprise ­čśë

Puy Green Lentils (grown on the vocanic soil of the ‘Massif Central’) are prized above other lentils for their strong peppery flavor and firmness, even after cooking. High in fiber and protein, they also contain dietary fibre, folate, vitamin B1, and minerals. As if all that isn’t enough, they also have a very low GI (glycemic index).

Ingredients (serves four)

4 Toulouse sausages

1 tablespoon olive oil

1 small red onion, peeled and chopped

3 cloves of garlic, peeled and finely chopped

5 mushrooms, peeled and sliced

3 medium sized carrots, peeled and cut into 3cm pieces

1 tin (400g) of plum tomatoes

200g of Puy lentils

2 sprigs of rosemary

1 bay leaf

250ml chicken stock

seasoning to taste: sea salt, fresh black pepper, paprika

Preheat the oven to 150┬░C. If you have a griddle pan, griddle the sausages briefly. If not, searing them will do just as well. Gently fry the onions, garlic and mushrooms in olive oil to soften them. Add the griddled/seared sausage, the plum tomatoes and carrots and continue to heat. Add the lentils, chicken stock, herbs and seasoning and bring back to a gentle simmer. Cook in the oven for about 45 minutes, checking from time to time that there is enough liquid – the lentils absorb an enormous amount.

Three-bean vegetarian chilli for sensitive souls

Every year at about this time I become a born-again (and again, and again) vegetarian. My ideology coincides with the start of the French hunting season and usually lasts two or three weeks; Fickle is my middle name!

This vegetarian chilli is so good that it actually makes you wonder why you would ever bother putting meat in it at all. From a nutrional standpoint, it’s certainly not lacking. Beans in general are high in fiber, protein, antioxidants, vitamins and minerals. Black beans have plenty of folates, kidney beans are a rich source of manganese and vitamin K and white beans are full of┬ámolybdenum. Finally, beans are low on the glycaemic indew, which makes them both healthy and diet-friendly.

Ingredients (serves 6)

1 onion, chopped

3 cloves of garlic, crushed

1 red pepper, cut into strips

2 chilli peppers, cut into strips

1 large carrot, peeled and cut

1 courgette, sliced

5 mushrooms, peeled and sliced

3 tablespoons’ olive oil

110g dry black beans (you can also use pre-cooked but make sure to drain and rinse well)

110g dry white beans (you can also use pre-cooked but make sure to drain and rinse well)

110g dry kidney beans (you can also use pre-cooked but make sure to drain and rinse well)

1 tin of tomatoes (400g)

250ml vegetable stock

1 glass of red wine

2 bay leaves

Sea salt, pepper, paprika, chilli powder

Pre-soak and cook the beans if using the uncooked variety.

Brown the onions and garlic in a medium-size casserole until golden. Add the mushrooms, courgettes, carrots, red pepper and chilli pepper and continue to brown. After about five minutes, add the red wine and simmer gently for a couple of minutes. Then add the tomatoes, beans, stock and bay leaves. Bring back to a gentle simmer and add the seasoning. Stir well and cook in a medium oven (about 175┬░C) for an hour. You can cook for longer than an hour, but will probably need to add more fluid. Check from time to time anyway, as the beans soak up quite a lot and may need to be rehydrated. This is also good cooked in advance and reheated.

Delicious served with brown basmati rice and a crisp green salad.

Low-GI chocolate mousse with cocoa nibs

I needed a delicious dessert to make for a lunch party today and, as our kitchen has apparently recently been transformed from family kitchen to medium-scale fig jam processing plant (see previous post!), it had to be something quick and easy. My husband and I married for better or for worse, but absolutely NOT to be cooking in the kitchen at the same time.

This mousse is really divine. It’s rich but simple and not too sweet. The recipe is a slightly adapted (I’m incapable of leaving a recipe intact) Montignac recipe, so its GI rating is good (ie low!) because it contains absolutely no added sugar. The rum I used is very luxurious and deliciously fragrant but I’m sure any rum will do.

Dark chocolate is full of antioxidants. Cocoa is a good source of vitamins and minerals including magnesium, calcium, iron, sulphur and manganese. It also contains B vitamins. Cocoa nibs have all the same benefits as chocolate in a purer, more powerful form.

Ingredients (serves 4)

200g dark chocolate (minimum 70% cocoa)

4 eggs

1/2 glass of rum (5 cl)

2 tablespoons cocoa nibs

pinch of salt

Break the chocolate into pieces and melt in a casserole with the rum. Separate the eggs and beat the whites with a pinch of salt until stiff. Once the chocolate has melted, add the beaten egg yolks to the mixture and stir rapidly for about a minute. Stir in the cocoa nibs and then delicately add the mixture to the egg whites, stiring well to obtain a smooth, homogenous texture. Transfer into four ramekins or glasses. Chill for at least five hours before serving.


Vagrant rhubarb cake

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We have a garden full of nomadic rhubarb. Originally I had inadvertantly planted it over our sewage system, so my husband moved it and it randomly became the ‘pi├Ęce de resistance’ by the edge of the pool; I don’t know … Continue reading