Fun Fact: According to the Olive Oil Times (yes, that’s really a thing!), a diet rich in olive oil may actually be able to slow down the aging of the heart. It has the potential to reduce the risk of Alzheimer’s disease, and a recent study showed that a Mediterranean style diet rich in olive oil reduced the risk of type II diabetes by almost 50% (compared to a low fat diet).
Stocking An Italian Pantry: The Staples
With the addition of fresh ingredients like veggies and greens, meats and fish, lots of rustic, “peasant” dishes can be made using these pantry staples. For example: Pappardelle pasta and sliced grilled chicken with sundried tomatoes tossed with extra virgin olive oil, garlic and herbs; ceci beans and ditalini pasta simmered in chicken broth with escarole, garlic and grated parmesan cheese; chopped romaine lettuce, grilled shrimp, freshly toasted croutons, and shredded parmesan cheese tossed in a dressing made from olive oil, vinegar, garlic, anchovy paste and lemon juice.
Fun fact: With one serving clocking in at 12.5 grams of fiber and 14.5 grams of protein, Ceci beans are a proverbial superfood! They help to increase satiety, boost digestion, keep blood sugar levels stable and increase protection against disease.
Have you ever tried growing an herb garden of your own? Growing your own fresh herbs is cheap and easy and can be done indoors, any time of year. Grab a pot like this, and some herbs like this, and some potting soil like that, and you’ll be well on your way to yummy herbal goodness in no time!
Want to try your hand at drying herbs? If you’ve got fresh herbs, an oven, some twine or rubberbands, then baby, you’ve got dried herbs. Check out this video to learn more:
Fun Fact: Consuming garlic on a daily basis (no problem in this house) helps to lower cholesterol levels because of the antioxidant properties of allicin. It is also immensely beneficial to regulate blood pressure and blood sugar levels!
Now that you’ve stocked your Italian pantry, how about throwing together a simple and delicious recipe? Pair Garlic Shrimp and Sundried Tomatoes With Spaghetti with some crusty Italian bread and a nice Pinot Grigio, and let me know what time’s dinner.
Garlic Shrimp and Sundried Tomatoes With Spaghetti
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