By Debbie Koenig
Whenever Weight Watchers adjusts the program, we Members adjust our approach to eating—and cooking. Even a tweak like WW Freestyle™ (which changes the program, but not the larger SmartPoints® system), means that a lot of our food routines need to shift. Lucky for us, Weight Watchers has just published a drop-dead gorgeous cookbook based on WW Freestyle, Yes, Italian!
That’s right. It’s 150 recipes for my favorite thing to eat, Italian food. Theresa DiMasi, Weight Watchers’ editor in chief and VP of content, grew up visiting her parents’ hometown in Italy. In her introduction to the cookbook, she talks about how her immigrant parents maintained the Italian way of eating here in the United States: tons of vegetables, legumes, seafood, chicken, a little meat, and fruit for dessert. In other words, a way of eating that’s ideal for WW Freestyle. DiMasi writes, “The message is simple: Enjoy your life. Live as simply as possible. And eat great food.” Can’t argue with that.
Beyond the stunning photographs of Italian scenery, people, and food (seriously, it’s a vacation you can hold in your lap), the book offers information about the Italian pantry and cooking techniques, a quick rundown of how WW Freestyle works, and even an incredibly useful index of recipes organized by SmartPoints value. This book provides nearly 50 new recipes with 2 SmartPoints value or less! Chapters on zuppe (soups), insalate (salads), pollame (poultry), pesce e frutti di mare (seafood), and verdure e contorni (vegetables and side dishes) naturally take full advantage of their low-SmartPoints value foundations, but you’ll also find a chapter full of pizzas, strombolis, and calzones, and another with pasta and other grains. Oh, and many of the recipes include suggested wine pairings focused on Italian varieties. Again, can’t argue with that.
My must-try recipes include Wild Mushrooms on Baked Polenta (3 SmartPoints value), Pasta, Bean, and Sausage Soup (4 SmartPoints value), Four Seasons Pizza (6 SmartPoints value), the super-easy Gnocchi with Chickpeas (6 SmartPoints value, and ready in 20 minutes!), Roast Chicken and Fennel (2 SmartPoints value), and Sea Bass with Artichoke Sauté (1 SmartPoints value—ONE!). I don’t even eat seafood, but I challenge you to look at the glorious photograph on page 52, of Lemony Orzo and Seafood Salad (2 SmartPoints value), and not want to try it.
Something tells me Yes, Italian! is going to be one of my most-used cookbooks of 2018.
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