New book incorporates food plans for the year


Rick Gallop, whose groundbreaking weight-loss program — known as the G.I. Diet — is practised in 22 countries in 17 languages, still believes there is a massive rethink needed to fight obesity in Canada.


"People in their cars who suddenly have a hunger attack immediately head to a fast-food restaurant for a high-fat snack. We seem to take one step forward and one back and I really do despair,’’ Gallop said in a recent interview. "The dangers of fast-food consumption has not percolated down. Look at the stats. We are still putting on weight.’’


However, the 68-year-old isn’t about to give up fighting the obesity crisis. His third book, The G.I. Diet Cookbook (Random House), has been released in time for people to consult as part of their New Year’s resolutions and, he hopes, incorporate into their food plan throughout the year.


"G.I." stands for glycemic index. It was developed by Dr. David Jenkins, a professor of nutritional sciences at the University of Toronto, when he was researching the impact of different carbohydrates on the blood sugar or glucose level of diabetics.

He found that certain carbs broke down quickly and flooded the bloodstream with sugar, but others broke down more slowly, only marginally increasing blood sugar levels.

The faster a food breaks down, the higher the rating on the glycemic index, which sets sugar at 100 and scores all other foods against that number. For example, corn flakes are high on the glycemic index with a score of 84, while All-Bran is low at 43.

Gallop used these findings to develop a program for weight loss while reducing the risk of cardiovascular disease, diabetes, high blood pressure, colon cancer, stroke and obesity. For more information, visit www.

•The G.I. Diet Cookbook contains 200 new recipes developed by restaurant chef Laura Buckley of Toronto. For a recipe for basque chicken, which is a stew containing rich flavours reminiscent of Spanish regional cooking, visit www. It’s a good dish for entertaining and can be made up a day ahead and reheated.

Basque Chicken

Serves 6-8


  • 15 ml plus 10 ml (1 tbsp plus 2 tsp) olive oil

  • 1 kg (2 lb) skinless chicken breasts and thighs

  • 1 ml ( 1/8 tsp) each salt and freshly ground pepper

  • 165 g (6 oz) Italian-style chicken or turkey sausage, cut into 1-cm (1/2-inch) slices

  • 3 cloves garlic, sliced

  • 2 onions, roughly chopped

  • 2 peppers (any colour), cut into 2.5-cm (1-inch) pieces

  • 175 ml ( 3/4 cup) brown basmati rice

  • 1 can (796 ml/28 oz) tomatoes, drained and quartered

  • 1 can (540 ml/19 oz) cannellini (white kidney) beans, drained and rinsed

  • 250 ml (1 cup) chicken stock

  • 125 ml ( 1/2 cup) dry white wine

  • 30 ml (2 tbsp) tomato paste

  • 15 ml (1 tbsp) chopped mixed fresh herbs (choose from rosemary, oregano, thyme and marjoram)

  • 5 ml (1 tsp) paprika, preferably smoked

  • 125 ml ( 1/2 cup) olives

  • 1/8 large orange, unpeeled, cut into 4 pieces


  1. Preheat oven to 180 C (350 F).

  2. In a large, deep, ovenproof frying pan, heat 15 ml (1 tbsp) of the oil over high heat. Sprinkle chicken with salt and pepper. Brown on all sides. Remove to a plate.

  3. Add remaining 10 ml (2 tsp) oil, sausage, garlic, onions and peppers. Cook for 5 minutes or until onion is golden brown.

  4. Stir in rice, tossing to coat. Stir in tomatoes, beans, stock, wine, tomato paste, herbs and paprika. Place chicken on top of mixture. Scatter olives and orange over top.

  5. Cover and bring to a simmer on top of stove. Place in oven and bake for 1 hour or until chicken and rice are cooked.