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italian food



Naan Crust Pizza with Homemade Cabernet Basil Pizza Sauce

naan crust pizza cabernet basil sauce

There isn’t anything I don’t like about pizza. I like wood fire, NY style, grease bomb, and everything in between. You can hold the green bell peppers and onions, but otherwise I’ve never found a slice of pizza I didn’t like.

In the past year though, my favorite pizza is the one that I make. I’ve worked my homemade sauce to be just right, found a crust that is pretty perfect, and realized I don’t need a stitch of meat. Rather than give up pizza because it’s so unhealthy, I found a way to enjoy it on occasion because it’s not that bad for me.

naan-pizza-ingredients

I start with a whole grain naan, an Indian bread that is usually sold near your grocer’s bakery. The Stonefire brand is excellent (I find this at Kroger), and SuperTarget’s house brand is great, too. They usually come two to a pack and I try to keep at least one in the freezer at all times. You never know when it’s going to be the perfect night for pizza!
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A Fork in the Road: European Eating Beyond the Mediterranean Diet

Americans love fad diets. There is a long history of attaching ourselves to the next fad, dating back to the Vinegar diet in 1820. (No wonder I am constantly being asked to find a quick fix to the growing obesity epidemic in our country.) However, this is not the case in Europe where food culture and traditions hold fast against the deep pockets of the weight loss industry. Europeans have an innate sense to diet sensibly without falling victim to the 40 billion dollar weight loss industry that we Americans buy into year after year.

Eiffel tower food

Luckily, the tide may be turning in the U.S. The Federal Trade Commission recently announced an initiative against deceptive claims made by marketers of fad weight loss products. From food additives to dietary supplements, the government is making a move to intervene and crack down on deceptive and misleading propaganda.


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Thanksgivukkah Means Latkes for Everyone! Celebrate with Elana from a Meal and a Spiel

Meet someone who not only seems to speak my language about life in general, but speaks my food language fluently. Elana Horwich does her thing with food and words over at MealAndASpiel.com, which serves as a web presence for this worldly chef’s fun-having cooking school. Rustic Italian techniques, prioritized flavor, and a loveable sass… see, Elana is like my culinary kindred spirit.

She kind of summed up the enthusiasm around this rare two holidays in one so well that we wanted her to tell you for herself. So enjoy Elana’s Thanksgivukkah message, which is as much a lesson in embracing our diverse, multi-cultured landscape as it is a free invitation to gobble down on her Thanksgivukkah Latkes with Butternut Chutney.

Why did you start your food blog?

Before I am a cook, I am a teacher. It is intrinsic to who I am. Since I truly believe that cooking with love adds genuine goodness to the human condition and since I can personally only teach so many people at a time in a cooking class, I started my food blog to share my passion and knowledge with those I will never have an opportunity to meet. It is my gift to the world.

How would you describe your approach to eating/health?

My definition of good food is that it should make you roll around on the floor shouting “MAMMMMMMAAAAA!!!!” While you are there rolling around on the floor your belly shouldn’t hurt and it should be easy to stand up afterwards. That about sums it up.
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Caprese Grilled Cheese is a Healthy Twist on an Italian Classic

The first time I ever tried a caprese salad was when I was visiting my much-more-sophisticated-than-I older cousin Billy Jo. She and her husband own an exquisite home in Houston and my sister and I were down for a visit nearly a decade ago now.

Before dinner one night, Billy pullled out the ingredients for a caprese salad – fresh mozzarella, gorgeous roma tomatoes, huge stems of basil, and a little balsamic vinegar.

Caprese grilled cheese sandwich 2

Never having seen such an adventurous flavor combination before, I watched closely as she meticulously layered the cheese with the tomato, and then the basil, over and over again until the plate resembled the Italian flag. A drizzle of balsamic vinegar finished it off before we all claimed our portion. Admittedly, my then 16-year-old self didn’t appreciate the robust, fresh flavors. But now, it’s one of my absolute favorite Italian bites. This “grilled cheese” sandwich is an homage to that salad with a bit more heartiness and the ease of portability.
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A Turkey Meatball Sub is a Healthier Alternative to the Classic

Win a $5 Jennie-O Coupon when you share this recipe on Facebook and/or Twitter by Friday, March 29! Four winners will be selected.

We all know when going through a sub sandwich line that the meatball isn’t typically the healthiest choice, but why does it have to taste so good? The perfectly cooked meatballs simmering in hearty marinara sauce, nestled into a fluffy bun and topped with melty mozzarella cheese – what more could you ask for? How about a version that doesn’t leave you regretting your lunch pick for hours?

This sub sandwich may appear a little complex but it’s so, so simple. Thanks to Jennie-O’s lean ground turkey and Italian turkey sausage, there’s lots of flavor and protein without much fat. Our favorite marinara sauce amps up the flavor and sends the savory factor over the top. Then, we nestled ours into a whole wheat bun and topped it with two slices of low-fat mozzarella and a bit of grated Parmesan cheese. Serve it alongside salad and you’ll be satisfied the healthy way ’til dinner.
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