Sunday, November 04, 2012

Alice Reads: Skinny Italian by Teresa Giudice

SKINNY ITALIAN (ISBN: 9781401310356) by Teresa Giudice from the Real Housewife of New Jersey is officially the FIRST cookbook I read, and one that I read from cover to cover. It is fun, it is highly readable and the author made Italian cooking sound sensual, pleasurable, and yes, I'm converted. This book is a good start to my adventure with cooking spaghetti and beyond.

The author explains how Italian food is yummy and rich with goodies minus all the bad things that pile up the kilos on you. She clears up the misconception that pasta is fattening (the way the Italians do it differ from the Americans) and if you're a new-to-cooking kitchen virgin like me, you'll appreciate the guide to different types of pasta (spaghetti, tagliatelle, farfalle, etc.), herbs, making your own sauces, and even some nice details about olive oil. Always use extra virgin olive oil!

Another thing I like about the book is the personal photographs shared by the author. She has a beautiful family. You will see her four beautiful daughters and she even named her sauces after them. Her husband Joe also shares his thoughts and tips in a section called "Juicy Bits from Joe" in every chapter. It seems like a fine family collaboration to me.

I've executed some of the recipes such as the "Sexy Italian Salad Dressing" (using balsamic vinegar, olive oil, parmesan cheese or freshly grounded black pepper), chicken with Italian herbs, and a simple spaghetti. I couldn't find the Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese but that's maybe because I'm looking at the wrong places. I need to explore more malls. I also learned the right step-by-step way of preparing my spaghetti.

The Italians have a beautiful philosophy about life and food, and they live their lives enjoying, well, life. Here's something that I'd like to quote from the book:

Count Blessings, Not Calories
Just like I've never seen a runner or a woman in labor with a smile on their face, I've never met a happy dieter. When you deprive yourself of wonderful food, you're miserable, and the misery hormones slow down your metabolism so you don't lose weight, and then you're twice as miserable.

We've looked at some of the reasons Italians live longer, healthier lives because of fresh, healthy food they eat, and how they eat it, and because celebrating is part of our culture.

No one can control what family they've dropped into, what size body they're genetically gifted with, or what fortunes or misfortunes might come their way. But if we took as much time counting our blessings as we do counting calories, we'd all be a lot healthier. Maybe that's a good idea: every time you are tempted to look at nutritional facts of a food, remind yourself the ounces of blessings and grams of happiness you've had, do have, will have, and deserve to have.

So go ahead, EAT, ENJOY, LIVE LA BELLA VITA (the beautiful life), and LOOK GREAT too!