January 27, 2005
Eating Out Series: Italian
How much pasta can we fit on one plate? I think Italian restaurants are having a competition. Pasta’s cheap…so why not load up the plate, right? Patrons will think it’s a great deal and they’re taught to eat and eat and eat until the plate is clean. Not to mention the basket(s) of bread before the entrée is served. Here are some tips on how to persevere the endless pasta predicament.
Ask your server for a dish of olive oil and balsamic vinegar. Dip your bread into this tasty mixture instead of using the spreads that are high in saturated or trans fat. Olive oil is one of the best oils because it’s high in monounsaturated fats. Enjoy one slice of bread. You have plenty of carbs coming with dinner.
Ask for salad dressing to be served on the side. Dip your fork into the dressing and then pierce the vegetables one at a time.
Broth based soups like minestrone adds another serving of veggies to your day.
Stick with pasta with red sauce instead of white sauce. Tomato sauces are low in fat and calories.
Fettuccini Alfredo is also known as “heart attack on a plate". The average plate contains 100 grams of fat!
Other high fat menu items are the cheesy ones: stuffed shells, cheese ravioli, manicotti, lasagna and cannelloni. Tortellini has the least amount of cheese of the bunch, so if you’re feeling like something cheesy – go for the tortellini…with red sauce.
Chicken dishes like piccatta, marsala or cacciatore, are usually good choices. Sometimes they’re cooked in butter, so ask your server before ordering. Sometimes they take special requests.
Try different kinds of ravioli: chicken, seafood, portabella mushroom or artichoke are some popular fillings. Of course, cover it with red sauce.
Ask for ½ portions or lunch sized portions. It’s the same food, just less of it. Research shows that people eat more when given a larger portion.
Place half of your meal in the take home container at the beginning of the meal. Less temptation to eat more.
Posted by Lisa at January 27, 2005 2:17 PM
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