The GI Diet Guide
 

 
   
 

Gi High-energy cookbook by Rachael Anne Hill

How often do you want to stick to your low GI goals but just feel you don't have the time to produce that wholesome meal you should be eating? Isn't it so much easier to stick a pre-packaged pizza in the oven? Instead, grab Rachael Anne Hill's book and you can turn to almost any page to find a mouth-watering meal which really can be produced in almost the time of that pizza (don't forget the time needed to pre-heat the oven!) And the big difference: an hour later you won't be raiding the kitchen to find a little extra something as the meal you have cooked will keep you satisfied and energised for the whole evening.

This cookbook is a godsend for your week-night supper. Give it a permanent position on your kitchen counter for this alone. Nearly all the recipes have pictures to go alongside, which are bright, clear and appealing. It also boosts your breakfast options, but the book also has its limitations...

Entertaining

This would not be the recipe book to turn to for a dinner party. There is a section labelled entertaining and although there are some lovely starters, all the main-course recipes don't look suitable for a mid-week supper for friends (with the exception of stilton steaks). This book is not about inspirational entertaining. Chilli scallops with spaghetti is a good example: a great, last-minute meal to russell-up if friends come over at the last minute, but as planned entertaining, it looks insipid and uninspired. Even the stilton steaks, as aforementioned, are not appropriate for a dinner party where there are more than 3 or 4 people present as they have to be cooked at the last minute.

Snacks and quick meals

This Gi-high-energy cookbook could be re-named the Gi-high-speed cookbook as Hill has achieved an all-too-often illusive cookbook that produces week-night meals. There are some open-sandwich ideas but this book's forte is the quick meal, rather than the lunch-time snack. All the recipes are marked with an approximate preparation time which are generally unrealistic, as in all cookery books, but still give us an idea of how much time the recipe will take. The salads are inventive, such as Tuscan salad and chicken, apple and peanut salad.

Science bit

As is so often the case, the introduction to the GI high-energy cookbook, starts with all the depressing facts about how we are all so fat and unhealthy. Would we be reading this book if we were not already only too aware of these unpalatable statistics? Anyway, it does go on to bring us a simple and effective explanation of the low GI diet. This is not the book for understanding the full, nutritional scientific basis of the glycemic index. Hill excels in the arena of realism; for example she suggests we all have at least two low GI meals per day, rather than telling us never to eat another slice of white bread as long as we live. There is a quite a useful list of the GI index of some common brands of cereal and other foods but the list is not extensive. A separate list of low, medium and high GI foods would be more useful whereas in this book, they are all mixed together as the list is by category of food; both are needed I think.

Breakfasts

An extremely important meal for the low GI dieter. The extra oaty porridge and all-in-one oats are lovely recipes which take a little extra time or thinking ahead but really not much. The effort is worth it every time and Hill also provides practical variations which are needed at breakfast when one can become so bored of having the same thing day after day. The scrambled egg with smoked salmon is a time-effective warm breakfast alternative, although it hardly needs a recipe as it is just scrambled egg with smoked salmon resting on the top (and I think few of us would be snipping chives or parsley at 7am; but I may be wrong). The other recipes, though relatively simple, would be ones for the weekends. Though the morning muffins look lovely and supposedly take 12 minutes to prepare, that does not include 20 minutes to bake and another 10 to cool down.

Puddings

A little predictable and not an extensive selection, nevertheless they all look attractive options. The section starts with Summer pudding which suggests that frozen berries can be used but then only explains how to make it with fresh berries. It also gives the option of using arrowroot in the sauce but does not tell us that arrowroot is a thickening agent. The last recipe of orange and mango ‘ice cream' looks healthy yet appealing but one gets the impression that an ice-cream maker would be useful here.

Conclusion

This book is extremely useful for weekday suppers and it would have been better marketed with that as its specific expertise.

 
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