Italian cuisine has taken the United States by storm, thanks to its mouthwatering presentation and delectable flavor profiles as well as for the vibrant Italian immigrant community.
But it has also been abused with many restaurant chains using high-fat fillers, low-quality ingredients, and shortcuts in food preparation, which has resulted in an unsavory reputation for Italian cuisine particularly for fast-food joints.
Fortunately, Ask Italia has made it possible to enjoy the best in authentic Italian dishes and desserts for affordable prices as well as in a casual and cozy atmosphere. You will want, nonetheless, to choose healthier options like less fat, less sodium and sugar, and more fruits, vegetables, and herbs. Here are a few things that you should remember so that you can indulge in rustic Italian food without feeling too guilty about it.
Start with a Salad
If you are on a weight loss diet, your nutritionist will be happy to know that you started your Italian meal with a vegetable salad particularly one with low-fat dressing (e.g., olive oil). You will not only get your share of vitamins, minerals and fibre but you will feel fuller faster – and, thus, you will not indulge in the other dishes and desserts.
Fill Your Plate with More Vegetables
You have to carefully browse through the menu, perhaps ask the waiters, for dishes with vegetables as the main ingredients. You can choose, for example, lasagna with vegetables like thinly-sliced zucchinis and pasta with fresh tomatoes. Your best choices are roasted vegetables since these still have their crisp textures, juicy quality, and delicious tastes.
While Italians love their meats, you will also find plenty of dishes made from fresh seafood including fish, shrimps, and mussels, perhaps even grilled or sautéed octopus. Your palate will appreciate the layers of flavors that seafood usually have while your body will love the relatively lower fat content in comparison with meat especially pork and beef.
You may want to order seared tuna with roasted vegetables, seafood in wine broth, or grilled seafood with olives and capers.
Try Other Pasta Options
Why settle for white spaghetti when you have healthier options? You can ask your server about gluten-free or whole wheat alternatives since these provide just as much flavor as the usual pasta while also addressing dietary restrictions or preferences.
Since you may overindulge in many of Ask Italia’s dishes and desserts, you should consider splitting the meal with your date. You will not only enjoy the good conversation but you will also appreciate the good things that splitting a rich Italian meal can do for your overall health.