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Low Carb, Italian Style: Give Gut-Bomb Recipes The Boot

If you're looking for some Italiano but don't need the carbs or calories, try these cibo salutare recipes. They're healthy, low carb, and perfect for a fit diet!

I was raised in an Italian family. I grew up eating homemade pasta, pizza and rich desserts. Upon entering the fitness world, I soon realized that some of the ingredients in Italian dishes -- like cheese and pasta -- are responsible for ricotta and muffin tops. So, I started avoiding those yummy Italian dishes. Arrivederci, lasagna and manicotti!

Skipping out on Italian meals did not make me a happy camper. I continued to drool over Giada De Laurentiis's Everyday Italian: my preferred food porn.

Fortunately, I've learned that leading a successful fitness life doesn't mean you have to exclude your favorite foods. But you need to learn how to be creative with them! After some fun and tasty experimentation, I've even been able to reincorporate some of my favorite childhood meals back into my diet.

Buon Appetito!

1/
Mini Italian
Frittatas

This savory breakfast was inspired by Giada de Laurentiis. It is a quick and delicious start to the day!

Ingredients

Directions

  1. In a sauce pan, sauté asparagus and turkey bacon.
  2. Stir together with egg beaters and parsley.
  3. Pour mixture into a mini muffin pan and bake at 375 for 8-10 minutes.
Nutrition Facts
Calories 196
Total Fat2g
Total Carb6g
Protein36g

2/
Antipasto Salad
And Stuffed Mushrooms

In Italian, antipasto literally means "before the meal." This recipe, served with a side of tasty stuffed mushrooms, is hearty enough to replace the meal!

Antipasto Salad Ingredients

Directions

  1. Mix all the ingredients for the antipasto salad in a large bowl.

Stuffed Mushrooms Ingredients

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 350.
  2. Remove the stems from the Cremini mushrooms and fill each mushroom with approximately 1/2 tablespoon of yogurt.
  3. Wrap each mushroom with a half slice of turkey bacon and secure with a toothpick.
  4. Top each mushroom with a dash of Italian seasoning and garlic salt, bake for 10-12 minutes.
  5. Serve immediately with antipasto salad.
Nutrition Facts
Antipasto Salad
Serving Size (1 salad)
Amount per serving
Calories 320
Total Fat10g
Total Carb31g
Protein32g
Nutrition Facts
Stuffed Mushrooms
Serving Size (4 mushrooms)
Amount per serving
Calories 95
Total Fat1g
Total Carb6g
Protein11g

3/
Post-Workout
Italian Iced Drink

Italians do not mess around when it comes to their coffee. It is a staple drink at almost every meal, and often serves as a meal. Try this iced coffee after your next workout, and you too will realize the power of the Italian side!

Ingredients

Directions

  1. Blend all ingredients together and garnish whipped cream and cinnamon.
Nutrition Facts
(without whipped cream)
Calories 237
Total Fat4g
Total Carb25g
Protein26g

4/
Pizza
Rustica

I am very excited to share this recipe because it is not only diet-friendly, but it tastes great! I worked very hard to find the perfect crust -- delizioso!

Crust Ingredients

Directions For The Crust

  1. Preheat oven to 400.
  2. Bring 1 cup water to boil. Add the grounded steel cut oats and sugar substitute.
  3. Reduce heat and cook for 10 minutes, or until the mixture thickens.
  4. Remove from heat and allow to cool for 5 minutes.
  5. Stir in the baking soda and egg white and flatten onto pre-sprayed pizza pan.
  6. Bake for 10-12 minutes or until the crust is lightly browned.

Directions For The Pizza

  1. Brown the ground beef/turkey in a pan over medium-high heat and set aside.
  2. Mix the ricotta and marinara in a small bowl.
  3. Top pizza crust with sauce and ricotta mixture, ground meat, arugula, prosciutto, mozzarella and bell peppers.
  4. Return to oven for 10 minutes, or until cheese is melted.
Nutrition Facts
Serving Size (1/2 pizza)
Amount per serving
Calories 372
Total Fat9g
Total Carb45g
Protein30g
Pizza Rustica PDF (68.2 KB)

5/
Chocolate
Hazelnut Gelato

This recipe is amazing because it converts cottage cheese into a sinfully delightful Italian treat!

Ingredients

Directions

  1. Blend ingredients together until smooth (at least 2-3 minutes)
  2. Pour into mini muffin pans.
  3. Freeze for one hour.
Nutrition Facts
(without chocolate covered almonds)
Amount per serving
Calories 200
Total Fat1g
Total Carb21g
Protein27g

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About The Author

Jessica Brantley is a former competitive triathlete and Bodybuilding.com Female Transformation of the Week! Learn more about her right here.

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