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Benvenuti al Tutti!

Welcome to Luigi's Tastes of Italy

This blog is my small dedication to Italian cooking, and is abolutely 100% free of pretentiousness, complicated ingredients, or any effort to present Italian cuisine as anything other than it really is, very simple.

Hope you enjoy reading my posts and maybe trying out some of the recipes.

Monday, 3 January 2011

Happy New Year and a rant on Health!

Only a few months, but it seems like an eternity since I last updated the blog, for one reason or another I just haven't had the time, but I can restart my blogging today by having a rant, but by first saying; Happy New Year!!

Early january is my favourite time of the year, a time for looking forward to the future and all the promise it may hold. For many other folks that I know it is also that "time of the year", that they give some consideration to thinking about healthy eating, and/or weight loss.

Personally I find this quite annoying, as the same way that romance should not be limited to a single day in February ( the14th), heathly eating should not be confined to two weeks in January to satisfy some shortlived resolution.

I enjoy eating healthy food, it shouldn't be a big deal. I would say that I eat very healthily. Admittedly, I make no effort because in my opinion regular everyday Italian food, is essentially healthy anyway.

I mean, Italian cuisine has to be one of the healthiest in the world.

I realize you might be thinking that is a silly thing to say, but it isn't. The problem arises, because it is not perceived so, and there is a misunderstanding over what Italian food actually is. This is probably because of the abundance of ready made "Italian" convenience meals, and bottled artifical sauces, and frozen pieces of cardboard masquerading as "pizza" that can be found in our supermarkets.

Sadly, all of these convenient purchases, are often jam packed full of calories, and are commonly can be laden to the brim with salt, and/or other unpleasantries.  You really don't have to believe me, just flip them over and read the labels.

Another misconception and urban myth is based around the pasta iteslf.  And that is, that supposedly eating pasta, WILL make you fat.  No, actually, it won't. 

A typical normal 'Italian' serving of pasta, with a home made tomato sauce, or lets not play around, even a rich cream sauce for that matter; And a sprinkle of regular parmesan cheese, even if eaten three times a day, will NOT make you fat.

A bore?,
maybe constipated?
Well possibly!,

an honorary Italian?, definitely!!!!,
but certainly not fat. Fact!

On the other hand though. If you were to eat a huge quantity of pasta, and you were to pour upon it a high calorie, salt laden, readymade tomato sauce. And upon that you were to dump a snowfall of ready grated artificial parmesan, or copious amounts of grated full fat cheddar cheese.
It probably, neigh definitely WILL make you fat. Fact!

The latter however, is definitely not, how an Italian would eat it. 

The excessive sugars, excess salts, and all the artificial ingredients used in convenience foods, are our real enemies. Not the percieved waist bulking harm thought to come from carbohydrates. 

These kinds of life choices between actually cooking, or being lazy and opening the readymade convenient alternatives, are the real choices which affect our health, and our waistlines. Which is why I am always so vocal about speaking against ready made convenience food, and such an advocate of home cooking. 

It is a fact that it is ultimately both cheaper, and healthier to make you're own meals. Period. I can't see much of a valid, logical argument against it.

Convenience of time, I hear some people scream.  Well there is no such thing as I don't have the time. The day still consits of 24hrs, and always has. If our grandparents and parents, had time to cook. So do we!

This fact was demonstrated the other evening when I had to work late, it didn't matter that it was 10.30pm, when I got home. I was going to eat. Ok so I wasn't going to make a lasagna, nor did I fancy a heavy pasta dish at that time of night.  However I did want something healthy.

So I opted for our good friend the Salmon Steak, griddled straight from the freezer, these are affordable, and relatively nutritious to eat. In addition I had a few 'baked' potato chunks, and one of my favourite salads consisting of watercress, baby spinach, and wild rocket. For the dressing, well the best dressing for this sort of strong flavoured salad, is no more complicated than lemon juice and extra virgin olive oil, salt and pepper.  This took no longer than 15 minutes to prepare, which is in anyones book, no great shakes.

I could quite easily have made simple spaghetti, with fresh tomatoes, and a few black olives, 

or I could have made a simple bruschetta,

None of which im sure would be considered unhealthy, all within that same fifteen minutes of time.

I suppose the real point is, wether it was Italian or not, the fact is, that I did have time, even though home late, and there isn't an excuse to just opt for a ready meal, which in my opinion should be avoided, and consigned to history as an early 21st century culinary folly. Rant over!


Jennifurla said...

I look forward to learning more about italian food now, I had the bad notions about it you listed here. happy New year.

Charlene said...

Mediterranean diets in general are quite healthy, although having too much of anything can be unhealthy! My philosophy is everything in moderation...

When I visited the town of Malcesine in Italy last year, I attributed, at least partly, the leanness of the locals to the fact that there were loads of steep hills to climb everywhere!

Joanne said...

Love this post! So many people stay away from carbs when they're dieting and personally, I know for me this just leads to ridiculous cravings! Everything in moderation.

Dom at Belleau Kitchen said...

I feel like i've been shouted at!... you so have a point, however, I would like to add that intend to spend most of 2011 with a glass of champagne in my hand and some kind of food in my belly! HNY xxx

Kim said...

I agree with you 100%! I'll never understand the folks who say that they have no time to cook. There's always time for a healthy and delicious meal.

Mari said...

Happy New Year my favorite Italian Brother!!!!!

I have to agree with your rant!

Ann Minard said...

Amen brother!!!!! Just look at the life long slim and sexy Sophia Loren who said, "I owe all this to spaghetti."
And it's not just all the walking, as some claim, it's the attitude of,

"I deserve to eat good food, be healthy, and look great, after all I'm an Italian!"

that most Italians have, we want it all!!!!!

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