Healthy Italian Cuisine

fresh-oregano

Spring is here and summer is right around the corner.  I’m sure your calendar is getting jam packed with all kinds of events.  The kids will be out of school soon and some of us will be attending graduations, graduation parties, weddings and picnics. Surely the list could go on with all kinds of fun activities in the sun.

We love our families and tend to be much more than the meal planner, grocery shopper and cook in the house. Our schedule often includes being:

the Doctor
the Housemaid
the Accountant
the Taxi Cab Driver
the Listener
the Disciplinarian

When we take the time to think about all the little things and (big) things we try to balance on a daily basis, the list is huge. Growing up in an Italian family gave me a real appreciation for the Mediterranean flavor.  I’m hoping the following Italian menu will help take some of the stress out of your day; well actually there is no law that says you have to use the whole menu in one day. Maybe you can stretch it out over the week.  Enjoy!

Mock Italian Wedding Soup

Ingredients:

½ pound ground chicken or turkey
1 egg, lightly beaten
¼ cup dry seasoned bread crumbs
3 tablespoons grated Parmesan cheese
1 teaspoon dry basil
2 cloves fresh garlic, crushed
1 teaspoon onion powder
6 cups chicken broth
2 cups chopped escarole
1 cup uncooked whole grain Orzi pasta
½ cup finely chopped carrot

Directions:
In a medium bowl, combine meat, egg, bread crumbs, cheese, basil, garlic and onion powder; shape into small ¾ inch meatballs. In a large saucepan, heat broth to boil; stir in escarole, pasta, carrot and meatballs, Return to boil and reduce heat to medium.  Simmer for 15 minutes or until pasta is al dente. Stir frequently to prevent sticking.

Italian NY Strip Steak

Ingredients:
8 cloves garlic, crushed
2 tablespoons fresh oregano, chopped
2 tablespoons fresh basil, chopped
2 tablespoons fresh parsley, chopped
2 tablespoons fresh rosemary, chopped
2 tablespoons kosher salt
½ cup olive oil
3 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
2 teaspoons white pepper
4 (12 ounce) boneless NY beef strip steaks, cut 1inch thick

Directions:
Place all ingredients (minus steaks) in small bowl and stir until evenly blended, place half of the herb mixture in a small bowl and set aside. Spread the remaining half of herbs evenly over the steaks and marinate 1 hour or overnight.  Preheat an outdoor grill for medium-high heat, and lightly oil the grate.  Cook steaks on grill for 7 minutes, turn over and coat with reserved herb mixture. Cook 7 more minutes or until desired doneness.

Italian Grilled Asparagus

Ingredients:
1 pound fresh asparagus spears, trimmed
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 tablespoon granulated garlic
salt and pepper to taste
2 tablespoons olive oil

Directions:
On preheated grill (high heat) lightly coat asparagus with olive oil.  Season to taste with garlic, salt and pepper.  Grill for 2 to 3 minutes or until desired doneness.

Italian Baked Sweet Potatoes

Ingredients:
4 medium sweet potatoes, peeled and quartered
1/8 cup coconut oil
½ cup honey
1 tablespoon granulated garlic
1 tablespoon dried basil
salt and pepper to taste
¼ cup Asiago cheese, reserved

Directions:
Preheat oven to 350 degrees
Place sweet potatoes in a large bowl, add remaining ingredients(except cheese) and mix well.  Place mixed potatoes in 8×8 glass baking dish and cover with aluminum foil. Bake in preheated oven for 30 minutes,  remove foil, top with reserved cheese and bake for 10 more minutes or until cheese is melted and slightly brown.

Enjoy!

Be sure to leave a comment and let us know what your favorite Italian recipe is.