We simply love Italian food, and we could think of no better way to share our love of Italy and of Italian cuisine than to pull it together in a monthly special called The DIY Ristorante. We’ll share some of our favorite recipes, including homemade pasta, classic sauces –Red, White and Green, like the Italian flag –pizza, flat-breads and even Italian bread.
There have been a number of studies linking a Mediterranean-style diet with better cardiovascular health – and the really good news is that it not only sounds more appealing than a “low-fat diet,” it’s been proven to be the healthier option. It has also been linked to lower risk of type-2 diabetes, certain types of lung disease, metabolic syndrome and even memory loss. The biggest difference between the 2 diets is that the Mediterranean diet includes healthy fats, like olive oil and omega-3 fatty acids, which are found in fish, like salmon, that help us to absorb more nutrients from the foods that we eat. They also help to raise our HDL, AKA “good cholesterol” to help protect our arteries from the effects of the “bad cholesterol.”
Italian cuisine – the real stuff, not the Americanized version that many of us grew up with – IS the Mediterranean diet, and it’s great stuff! One of the reasons that the Mediterranean diet is so successful for so many people is that it’s delicious and satisfying. They are much less likely to cheat, and find themselves better able to resist the temptations of sweets and snacks and processed foods.
It’s actually rather difficult to find a really good, authentic Italian restaurant – unless, of course, you’re in Italy. When you find one, cherish it, support it with your patronage and spread the word so that others will frequent it as well. Far too often, you’ll find Americanized versions of the dishes we love, made with much less authentic (and therefore less healthy) ingredients in ginormous American-sized portions. This is NOT the sort of thing you’ll find in a Ristorante en Italia!
The real benefit of having your own little DIY Ristorante – as with the DIY Bistro – is making healthy, restaurant-quality food in your own home while watching your budget and your waistline. The Caprese Salad recipe that we’ve shared today, for instance, is authentic and delicious, yet easy to prepare. The ingredients are readily available in most grocery stores and don’t cost a great deal.
In between our monthly DIY Ristorante posts we’ll be posting additional Italian recipes, which you can find on our Recipes and How-To’s Page as well as on our new DIY Ristorante Page. In the meantime, enjoy the Caprese Salad. Buon Appetito!