Eating Italian doesn't have to mean giving up on your diet goals. Actually, traditional Italian food has all of the benefits of the Mediterranean Diet because that's exactly what it is! Here are 14 of our favorite healthy Italian recipes by our Italian recipe developer, Giorgia Fontana.
Soufico is arguably the best-known dish on Ikaria, the one recipe that almost everyone on the island cites as being completely unique to the place. And yet, its origins are unclear. It belongs to the general category of Mediterranean dishes, from ratatouille to caponata, where the roster of summer vegetables-eggplants, zucchini, peppers, and tomatoes - works so harmoniously together in one pot.
Fat is one of the most misunderstood components of a healthy diet. The belief that fat is fattening and increases our risk of heart disease has long been ingrained. It makes sense doesn’t it? Something that fills us up and makes food taste better must have its consequences. Well, I’m here to tell you that it’s possible to eat a high fat diet, lose weight and protect against heart disease at the same time. In fact, some of the healthiest people in the world eat high fat diets.
Fattoush is the kind of salad people throughout Lebanon typically make every other day. Like many other Lebanese recipes, it includes leftover pita scraps, fried or toasted, that serve as croutons. Pita bread has been a staple of Lebanese cuisine since the 16th century!
I'll be honest, even with my love of everything Mediterranean, I don't cook fish all that often. Generally, I am more likely to get fish when I eat out than when I am at home. I do love making fish stew though. I had some amazing fish stews while sitting at small tavernas overlooking the Mediterranean Sea in Crete and I enjoy the simplicity of a few vegetables, fresh herbs or spices, fish and a good broth. Plus there was the added benefit of watching the fishermen come in with their catch in the morning and eating it later in the day.
This recipe for Chicken Skillet with Mushrooms and Slivered Parmesan is delicious and versatile. Whether you’re looking for a quick recipe for lunch or something to take center stage on the dinner table, the combination of flavors in this dish are tried and true. The chicken breast comes out juicy after being cooked in white wine and extra virgin olive oil, which are two staples of the Mediterranean Diet.
I grew up in a small village in Crete where I learned to prepare the many traditional dishes that I still love cooking today. Some dishes are saved for special occasions like this recipe for baked halibut with lemon and rosemary. In the Greek Orthodox tradition, a feast is held on August 6th in honor of the transformation of Christ on Mount Tabor. On this day, I remember going to the small church near my parent’s house and eating fish after the service.
This earthy, velvety and super flavorful pumpkin and mushroom soup not only is filling and delicious, but it’s also extremely easy to make. If you travel around Tuscany or Umbria during the colder months, and you base yourself in a traditional farmhouse or Agriturismo, this is definitely a dish you could easily find on the dinner menu.
Nothing feels more authentically Mediterranean then sitting in a restaurant overlooking the Mediterranean Sea while enjoying a fish stew from fish that was caught that morning right next to the restaurant. The warm stew is often served with wine, salad and other vegetables cooked in extra virgin olive oil. Moroccan Fish Stew with Fresh Herbs is traditionally made in a Moroccan tagine, but we have adapted it so you can make it with any soup pot or Dutch oven.
Beef stew (spezzatino) is one of the most traditional dishes in Italy where it’s eaten throughout the country, from the mountains in the north to the islands in the south. However, in northern Italy most people eat it along with polenta while in the southern regions it’s usually served with just a few thick slices of crusty bread. This dish is so common that there are endless variations and basically every family has its own recipe.