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My Italian Kitchen: Home-Style Recipes Made Lighter & Healthier
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My Italian Kitchen: Home-Style Recipes Made Lighter & Healthier

by Janet Zappala
 

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Presenting a fantastic selection of authentic recipes, this cookbook captures the robust flavors of real Italian cooking. Inspired by the expertise of the author’s family, this compilation offers such favorites as Panzanella (Italian Bread Salad), Mama Mia Ziti, and Blue Crab Linguine in Marinara Sauce. Featuring traditional sweets such as Save-the-Day

Overview

Presenting a fantastic selection of authentic recipes, this cookbook captures the robust flavors of real Italian cooking. Inspired by the expertise of the author’s family, this compilation offers such favorites as Panzanella (Italian Bread Salad), Mama Mia Ziti, and Blue Crab Linguine in Marinara Sauce. Featuring traditional sweets such as Save-the-Day Sour-Cream Coffee Cake, Tiramisu, and Dad’s Favorite Pignoli Cookies, this tempting array of mouthwatering masterpieces also provides tips on how to make these classic dishes more healthful without sacrificing flavor.

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"Many know Janet Zappala from her years on local TV, but only her family and friends know about her passion for cooking."  —Philadelphia Daily News

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781938803345
Publisher:
Addicus Books
Publication date:
04/01/2010
Sold by:
Barnes & Noble
Format:
NOOK Book
Pages:
170
File size:
3 MB

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Read an Excerpt

My Italian Kitchen

Home-Style Recipes Made Lighter & Healthier


By Janet Zappala

Addicus Books, Inc.

Copyright © 2010 Janet Zappala
All rights reserved.
ISBN: 978-1-938803-34-5



CHAPTER 1

Soups and Starters


Butternut Squash and Potato Soup

French Onion Soup

Vegetarian Chili

Homemade Salsa with Oven Baked Tortilla Chips

Pesto Cheese Loaf

Warm Artichoke and Asiago Cheese Dip

Lightly Fried Zucchini Chips

Stuffed Mushrooms

Avocado Spread

Homemade Cheese Ball

Warm Spinach and Cheese Dip

Hummus


Butternut Squash and Potato Soup

This smooth yet hearty soup is easy to prepare, but it will make you look like a super chef to those lucky enough to have some ... and you thought you couldn't cook!


PREP TIME: 25 minutes

COOK TIME: 45 minutes

Serves 4


1 medium butternut squash
2 baking potatoes, peeled and cut in chunks
½ medium yellow onion, diced
2 medium carrots, peeled and diced
2 medium celery stalks, diced
2 cloves garlic, crushed
1 32-ounce container low-sodium vegetable broth
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon cracked black pepper
2 teaspoons extra-virgin olive oil


Cut off and discard the top and bottom of the squash. Peel the squash with a vegetable peeler. Cut lengthwise in half; scoop out and discard the seeds. Cut the squash into 1-inch pieces. Put the squash, potatoes, onion, carrots, celery, garlic, and broth into a large sauce pot over medium-high heat; bring to a boil (about 10 minutes). Reduce the heat to a simmer. Cook for about 35 minutes, gently stirring occasionally, until all the vegetables are tender. Using an immersion blender, blend vegetables until smooth; season the soup with salt and pepper. Ladle the soup into individual bowls, drizzle with olive oil (about ½ teaspoon each), and serve.


TIP:You'll find locally grown squash from late summer through early spring. When time is tight, try fresh-cut, ready-to-go butternut squash from your supermarket. Although a bit more expensive, it's already peeled and diced for you. Frozen butternut squash also works well.


NUTRITIONAL NOTE

Squash is touted as a superfood. Every half cup has 5 grams of fiber and payloads of vitamins A and C.


NUTRITION FACTS

(Per serving)

Calories: 185
Total Fat: 9 gms
Sodium: 211 mgs
Carbohydrates: 30 gms
Protein: 11 gms
Fiber: 7 gms


French Onion Soup

If you like onion soup, you'll love this recipe. It's lower in salt and fat than usual, but the classic taste of this favorite remains. If you have a hankering for the homemade version and you're into instant gratification, this one's for you.


PREP TIME: 15 minutes

COOK TIME: Approx. 40 minutes

Serves 4


¼ cup extra-virgin olive oil
ݠ cup natural buttery spread (such as Earth Balance or Smart Balance)
2 large yellow onions, sliced
1½ cups low-sodium chicken broth
1½ cups beef broth
3 cloves garlic, crushed
1 tablespoon low-sodium soy sauce
½ cup V8 juice
¼ cup port wine
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon black pepper
4 slices wholewheat baguette
4 slices reduced-fat Swiss cheese (such as Jarlsberg Lite)


Heat the olive oil and butter alternative in a large sauce pot over medium heat for 1 minute. Add the onions; stir to combine. Sauté 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add the chicken and beef broths, garlic, and soy sauce. Stir thoroughly Reduce the heat and simmer for 10 minutes.

Preheat the oven to 350°F. Increase the heat to medium, stir in the V8 juice, port wine, salt, and pepper. Bring to a boil. Reduce the heat and simmer for 20 minutes, stirring occasionally. While the soup is simmering, arrange the bread slices on a baking sheet; toast for 10 minutes. Remove the toast from the oven and turn the oven temperature to broil. Ladle soup into ovenproof bowls. Top each bowl with a slice of toast and a slice of cheese. Broil for 2 minutes or until the cheese melts. Serve immediately.


NUTRITIONAL NOTE

Yellow onions are high in vitamin C, low in saturated fat, and a good source of fiber.


NUTRITION FACTS

(Per serving)

Calories: 193
Total Fat: 7.5 gms
Sodium: 488 mgs
Carbohydrates: 18 gms
Protein: 19.2 gms
Fiber: 3.2 gms


Vegetarian Chili

I make this chili throughout the year and at least once a week in winter. It's a deliciously satisfying dish that will warm you up and provide you with a bowlful of vitamins.


PREP TIME: 15 minutes

COOK TIME: 40 minutes

Serves 4-5


2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 cup chopped carrots
1 cup chopped celery
1 cup diced yellow onion
3 cloves garlic, crushed
2 cups low-sodium vegetable broth
1 28-ounce can diced tomatoes, drained
1 8-ounce can tomato sauce
1 15-ounce can each, drained and rinsed well: pinto beans, red kidney beans, garbanzo beans (chickpeas)
1 teaspoon chili pepper or chili powder
1 tablespoon paprika
1 teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon black pepper


Heat the olive oil in a large sauce pot over medium heat for 1 minute. Add the carrots, celery, onion, and garlic. Sauté 8-9 minutes, stirring occasionally. Stir in the vegetable broth, tomatoes, tomato sauce, beans, and seasonings. Mix thoroughly. Cover; cook for 30 minutes over low-medium heat, stirring occasionally. Taste-test the chili while it's cooking, adjusting seasoning as desired. Serve immediately in warm bowls along with hot, whole-grain rolls.


NUTRITIONAL NOTE

This "vitamin" chili is brimming with fiber, vitamins A and C, and the antioxidant lycopene.


NUTRITION FACTS

(Per serving)

Calories: 312
Total Fat: 7.3 gms
Sodium: 370 mgs
Carbohydrates: 48.3 gms
Protein: 22 gms
Fiber: 7 gms


Homemade Salsa with OvenBaked Tortilla Chips

Countless companies make tortilla chips, but nothing beats the taste of these "homemade" crunchy morsels served with fresh salsa.


PREP TIME: 15 minutes

COOK TIME: 14 minutes

Serves 4


BAKED TORTILLA CHIPS

10-12 yellow corn tortillas
1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
¼ teaspoon salt


SALSA

3 ripe Roma tomatoes, chopped
½ cup chopped red onion
2 cloves whole garlic
½ jalapeno pepper, seeded
2 teaspoons chopped cilantro
1 tablespoon lime juice
1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
Salt to taste


FOR TORTILLA CHIPS: Preheat the oven to 350°F. Lightly brush the tops of the tortillas with olive oil. Cut them into strips lengthwise, then across, and place them in a single layer on 2 large baking sheets. Sprinkle the strips lightly with salt. Bake for 14 minutes.

FOR SALSA: Chop the tomatoes in a food processor for 5-10 seconds until they're sauce-like but with some texture. Transfer the tomatoes to a medium-size serving bowl. Chop the onion, garlic, pepper, and cilantro in a food processor for 5-10 seconds. Stir into the tomato mixture. In a separate small bowl, combine the lime juice, wine vinegar, olive oil, and salt; whisk thoroughly. Pour the lime juice mixture into the tomato mixture; stir until combined. Serve with the warm tortilla chips.


TIP:For the tortillas, try the non-GMO (non-genetically modified organisms). They're all-natural and taste the same as conventional corn tortillas.


NUTRITIONAL NOTE

No matter how we slice them, tomatoes are good for us. They're an excellent source of vitamin C and the antioxidant lycopene.


NUTRITION FACTS

(Per serving)

Calories: 241
Total Fat: 13 gms
Sodium: 20 mgs
Carbohydrates: 28 gms
Protein: 7 gms
Fiber: 2.5 gms


Pesto Cheese Loaf

This loaf makes a delicious treat anytime, but it's especially handy for entertaining. Don't be surprised if your guests beg you for the recipe as my family's friends did. 1 had to wrestle this one away from Mom, who, 1 believe, had to wrestle it away from her friend Jeri. Serve the loaf with your favorite whole-grain crackers.


PREP TIME: 30 minutes

Serves 8


5 ounces crumbled blue cheese, softened
2 8-ounce containers reduced-fat cream cheese, softened
1 cup raw spinach leaves, packed
¾ cup fresh parsley, packed
6-8 fresh basil leaves
1 small clove garlic
¼ cup extra-virgin olive oil
¼ cup pine nuts
1 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
¼-½ cup sun-dried tomatoes, finely chopped


TO MAKE CHEESE MIXTURE: In a medium-size bowl, stir together the blue cheese and cream cheese until very spreadable; set it aside.

TO MAKE PESTO: In a food processor, combine the spinach, parsley, basil, and garlic. Slowly add the olive oil and pine nuts. Pulse until the nuts are roughly chopped. Spoon the pesto mixture into a medium-size bowl. Add the Parmesan and stir until thoroughly combined.

TO ASSEMBLE LOAF: Spread 1/3 of the cheese mixture on the bottom of an 8½ x 4½-inch glass loaf pan. Follow with a layer of pesto, then a sprinkle of sun-dried tomatoes. Repeat, making 4 layers in all, ending with a thin layer of cheese mixture on top. Serve immediately, or chill and serve later.


NUTRITIONAL NOTE

Basil contains high amounts of vitamin K, essential for healthy blood and bones. It's also a good source of fiber, vitamin C, and potassium.


NUTRITION FACTS

(Per serving)

Calories: 250
Total Fat: 14 gms
Sodium: 430 mgs
Carbohydrates: 15 gms
Protein: 16 gms
Fiber: 4.2 gms


Warm Artichoke and Asiago Cheese Dip

I serve this when I want a really great-tasting dip that I can put together quickly. It's a guaranteed winner whenever family and friends visit.


PREP TIME: 8-10 minutes

COOK TIME: 30 minutes

Serves 4


1 9-ounce box frozen artichoke hearts, chopped into small pieces
¼ teaspoon black pepper
1 cup shaved Asiago cheese
½ cup grated Parmesan cheese
¼ cup light mayonnaise


Preheat the oven to 350°F. In a medium-size bowl, add the artichoke hearts, black pepper, and Asiago and Parmesan cheeses. Using your hands, toss lightly to combine. Add the mayonnaise; stir thoroughly Spoon the mixture into a 1½-quart casserole dish. Bake for 30 minutes or until the dip begins to bubble slightly. Serve warm with your favorite whole-grain crackers.


NUTRITIONAL NOTE

A member of the sunflower family, the artichoke is rich in minerals, including magnesium, potassium, iron, and calcium.


NUTRITION FACTS

(Per serving)

Calories: 130
Total Fat: 6.75 gms
Sodium: 177 mgs
Carbohydrates: 10 gms
Protein: 6 gms
Fiber: 3 gms


Lightly Fried Zucchini Chips

These chips flew off our plates when we were kids. Imagine that — vegetables flying off a child's plate! This is a guiltless pleasure that everyone can enjoy.


PREP TIME: 15 minutes

COOK TIME: 6 minutes per batch

Serves 4


2 medium zucchini with smooth, unblemished skins
1½ cups Italian-style bread crumbs
¼ cup grated Parmesan cheese
Salt and pepper to taste
3 eggs
3 teaspoons water
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, plus 2 tablespoons for sautéing each new batch
Locatelli cheese, small wedge for grating


Rinse zucchini under cold water; pat dry. Cut into -inch-thick slices. On a large plate, blend together the bread crumbs, Parmesan cheese, salt, and pepper. Whisk together the eggs and water in a medium-size bowl. Dredge the zucchini slices through the egg wash, then through the bread-crumb mixture. Place the prepared zucchini on a separate plate. Heat 2 tablespoons of olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat for 2 minutes. Add the zucchini and cook until golden brown, about 3 minutes on each side. Using a strainer, transfer the zucchini from the skillet to a plate lined with a paper towel to absorb excess oil. Sprinkle the chips with freshly grated Locatelli cheese. Serve immediately.


TIP:You can buy zucchini year-round, but it's at its peak in late spring. Since zucchini chips are best eaten hot, I usually serve them in batches. As soon as they come out of the skillet, I put them on a plate, sprinkle some grated cheese on top, serve, and start a new batch.


NUTRITIONAL NOTE

Zucchini is a good source of vitamin C and fiber.


NUTRITION FACTS

(Per serving)

Calories: 249
Total Fat: 11.6 gms
Sodium: 350 mgs
Carbohydrates: 20.8 gms
Protein: 12 gms
Fiber: 3 gms


Stuffed Mushrooms

This appetizer was a staple in our home every holiday. The fragrant aroma of the cooking mushrooms drew everyone to the kitchen to wait oh so patiently for this mouthwatering treat. Bet you can't eat just one!


PREP TIME: 20-25 minutes

COOK TIME: 20 minutes

Serves 4


1/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil, plus1 teaspoon to coat baking sheet, plus a little to drizzle on top
12 medium-size cremini or white button mushrooms with stems
2 cloves garlic, minced
3 teaspoons fresh parsley, finely chopped
½ cup Italian-style bread crumbs
½ cup grated Parmesan cheese, plus 1 tablespoon
Salt and pepper to taste


Preheat the oven to 350°F. Lightly coat a medium-size baking sheet with 1 teaspoon of olive oil; set it aside. Using a damp paper towel, gently clean the mushrooms. Carefully cut the stems from the caps; chop the stems finely. Arrange caps, stem side up, on a cutting board. In a medium-size bowl, add the chopped stems, garlic, and parsley; mix with your hands. Add the bread crumbs, ½ cup of Parmesan cheese, 1/3 cup of olive oil, salt, and pepper. Combine all ingredients thoroughly (the mixture should stick together). Spoon the stuffing generously into the mushroom caps. Sprinkle them lightly with the remaining tablespoon of Parmesan cheese. Place the stuffed mushrooms on the prepared baking sheet. Drizzle a little olive oil over each mushroom. Bake for 20 minutes or until heated through. Serve immediately.


TIP:A food processor makes this dish a snap to prep; or a good, sharp chef's knife will do.


NUTRITIONAL NOTE

Mushrooms contain potassium, selenium, magnesium, and fiber and have zero fat.


NUTRITION FACTS

(Per serving)

Calories: 160
Total Fat: 10.8 gms
Sodium: 142 mgs
Carbohydrates: 10 gms
Protein: 12 gms
Fiber: 5 gms


Avocado Spread

This is one of the easiest and most healthful spreads you can make. 1n a few minutes, you transform ripe avocados into a delicious spread that you can enjoy on everything from chips to tacos. My personal favorite is on wholewheat or egg 'n onion matzos (cracker-like flat bread), a great snack when you're in the mood for something light and nutritious.


PREP TIME: 5 minutes

Serves 4

2 large, ripe avocados
1 teaspoon garlic powder
½ teaspoon black pepper
1 teaspoon extra-virgin olive oil
½ teaspoon fresh lemon juice
Salt to taste


Rinse the avocados and cut them in half. Remove the pit from each. Scoop the avocado pulp onto a plate and mash it with a fork. Place the avocado in a medium-size bowl; add the garlic powder, black pepper, olive oil, and lemon juice. Mix thoroughly until smooth. Add salt to taste. Serve immediately.


TIP:To remove the pit: Place the avocado on a cutting board. Using a large, sharp knife (keep your hands out of the way), strike the pit with the blade, twist, and lift. The pit should come right out.


NUTRITIONAL NOTE

Avocados contain healthful monounsaturated fats, the "good" fats that can help reduce "bad" cholesterol. They're also high in vitamin E. The lemon juice is a good source of vitamin C.


NUTRITION FACTS

(Per serving)

Calories: 50
Total Fat: 4.5 gms
Sodium: 144 mgs
Carbohydrates: 3 gms
Protein: 1 gm
Fiber: 3 gms


(Continues...)

Excerpted from My Italian Kitchen by Janet Zappala. Copyright © 2010 Janet Zappala. Excerpted by permission of Addicus Books, Inc..
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.

Meet the Author

Janet Zappala is a certified nutritional consultant, an award-winning television news journalist, and the former host of the consumer health program, All About You. She is the recipient of several Emmy awards and nominations. She lives in Wayne, Pennsylvania.

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