Choosing Better Restaurants

Healthy Italian Dinner Choices

If you love to eat out at Italian restaurants, then you probably understand that many Italian entrees are made with cheese or meat. These are not the best choices for someone who is worried about their heart health. However, what you might not know is that Italian cuisine is also full of heart healthy entrees that are satisfying and filling. Below is a list of some of the amazing Italian meals that are perfect for someone on a heart-healthy diet.

Spaghetti Arrabbiata

This is a classic recipe that is prepared all over Italy. It is an incredibly simply recipe. There are only a few ingredients: pepperoncini, olive oil, garlic and a bit of Parmigiana-Reggiano cheese. This classic sauce is normally used on spaghetti, but it can also be used on penna pasta. It is healthy because it is full of garlic, olive oil, and the lycopene from the tomato sauce. There is only a tiny bit of cheese in this sauce.

Fried Eggplant Without Cheese

Most people associate eggplant with eggplant parmigiana, but that's only one recipe. Eggplant is a very versatile vegetable. It can be used to make any number of dishes, including moussaka. A very popular method of cooking eggplant its to coat it in breadcrumbs, fry it, and serve it with a subtle tomato sauce and mozzarella cheese. If the restaurant you are dining at is serving eggplant, then ask them to bake it without adding mozzarella cheese. This way you can have the baked eggplant with tomato sauce without worrying about the extra cheese. The flavors will still be rich, due to the basil, garlic, and tomato. In lieu of mozzarella, ask for a bit of grated Parmesan cheese. This will add umami, and make the meal seem complete.

Pumpkin Ravioli

This is a fantastic dish for the fall. The pumpkins are in harvest, and they work exquisitely with a simple herb sauce. This is the perfect recipe to wow your guest with. You can make it ahead of time and then prepare it right before dinner. The main challenge is to get the pumpkin and roast it. The best type of pumpkin to get it one that is small, the size of a cantaloupe. You are going to need butter, flour, eggs, sage, nutmeg, and bread crumbs. This type of recipe is prefect for a Thanksgiving weekend.

Steamed Italian Brussels Sprouts

This dish is for everyone who proclaims that they hate Brussels sprouts. First, take the Brussels sprouts and steam them in a large pot. While they are steaming, mix the juice of 1 lemon, 1 tablespoon of olive oil, 1 tablespoon of Dijon mustard, and 2 tablespoon of balsamic vinegar. Let the mixture marinate. When the Brussels sprouts are done cooking, place them into the lemon-oil mixture. Place them in a cool place immediately.

For more heart-healthy dishes, talk to professional restaurants like Buffalo Phil's Pizza & Grille and see what other options they have.