3 February 2010

Join Our Cooking Light Virtual Supper Club Cooking Italian - Mangia...Mangia....

 
Italian Stuffed Summer Vegetables

We are so glad that you have decided to join us once again for our Cooking Light Virtual Supper Club. This is a monthly event where 5 ladies in two countries get together to create a delicious meal with a theme in mind. We all share a love for Cooking Light magazine which has an emphasis on healthy eating and living. Each issue covers light cuisine and includes more than 70 delicious and flavourful recipes. It also explores food and nutrition news as well as fitness, health and beauty. This is this months write-up at their blog Test Kitchen Secrets.

For the month of February we enjoyed each others company virtually and continued with our healthy themes and cooked up some HEALTHY ITALIAN!!! Mama mia!!!!!  For this months virtual supper we shared a few bottles of Italian wine (perhaps a Brunello Montalcino or a Borolo) virtually as well as created a delicious menu from the pages of Cooking Light. We love to share these ideas with you each month by putting together a delicious meal for each other through our Virtual Supper Club. The idea is simple because we all share a common interest in cooking and all things "foodie". This is a team effort where we get together virtually once a month and combine what Cooking Light readers like best...good food with great company!!!

Authentic Italian dishes are very often based on just a few, humble ingredients. What makes them so tasty and delicious is that, over the centuries, Italians have discovered exactly how to achieve the perfect mix of flavours.  With our Italian menu we hoped to do just that and created a balanced and healthy meal. Helene of La Cuisine d'Helene started us off with a delectable and traditional Italian Tomato, Fresh Mozzarella and Basil Salad. Look at that buffalo mozzarella!!!! I brought along some Italian Stuffed Summer Vegetables to round out the meal following the rhythm of the seasons. This time of the year peppers of all colours, shapes and sizes are available and abundant from local greenhouses. I chose red and green sweet peppers to match the colours of the Italian flag. Jamie of Mom's Cooking Club offers us a comforting and classic pasta secondo with Spaghettini with Oil and Garlic. And as our main dish Aggie of Aggie's Kitchen brought a colourful and delicious dish of Shrimp Arrabbiata for us to savour. Sadly Shelby of The Life and Loves of Grumpy's Honeybunch was unable to join us this month. Check out everyone's links for photos and write-ups. Italian food is a celebration. A celebration of life, family and friends and a blessing which should be shared and enjoyed by all. Salute a cent’anno (health for a hundred years) !!!

The Silver Spoon cookbook says, "Eating is a serious matter in Italy. Cooking and food are among the finest expressions of Italian culture, vividly portraying the country’s history and traditions. Like all other arts, cooking is based on measures and proportions,on the balance and fusion of different elements. It blends ancient traditions with contemporary innovation and evolves constantly, even in the twenty- first century, as a result of its position at the center of Italian family life. At home with family or friends, for a special occasion, in a fancy restaurant or in a humble trattoria, or even when preparing a simple everyday meal, for Italians, cooking is synonymous with good food, good wine and good company."

Whether rustic or sophisticated, Italian cooking is traditionally based on excellent, fresh, seasonal ingredients. This is one of the main reasons why Italian food varies so much from region to region and even from village to village. Italy is made up of 20 different regions, each with its own culinary traditions. And though the country is relatively small, the difference in the food from one region to the next is extraordinary. Italian cooking is based on Italy’s rural traditions and depends very much on the vast variety of the country’s agricultural produce. Yet even if nowadays you can find almost any kind of food at any time of the year, Italians still follow the rhythm of the seasons and will wait until spring to enjoy asparagus, or the summer for a fresh Insalata caprese. It is easy to eat healthily in Italy.

In Italian families, special occasions are still celebrated at home with a five-course meal (antipasto,first course, main course with vegetables, cheese and dessert). But, when eating everyday, a one-meal dish such as lasagne, pizza or ribollita will satisfy even the most demanding of appetites.The country’s infinite variety of dishes allows Italians to create an excellent and healthy meal.

 
 Although distance prevents us from gathering as a group in each others homes we have enjoyed sharing a well balanced meal through our Virtual Supper Club this month and have developed a Healthy Italian menu from Cooking Light magazine that is sure to bring smiles to the table. What would you bring to the table? Link to the Cooking Light blog Test Kitchen Secrets or to one of our blogs here and make something delicious from the pages of the magazine to add to our HEALTHY ITALIAN menu...the more the merrier!!!! 

I brought back the taste of summer and sun-drenched Italian hillsides and wineries with these Italian Stuffed Summer Vegetables from the pages of Cooking Light. As the recipe calls for you can use a variety of vegetables which makes for a pretty presentation, but this can be made with all bell peppers as I did here. If you use only bell peppers as I have, which have no interior flesh, add equal amounts of additional breadcrumbs and tomatoes until you get enough filling. Using soft breadcrumbs adds to the melt-in-your-mouth texture of the tender vegetables. Because they are covered while baking, the vegetables keep moisture in, resulting in tender and delicate flesh.








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18 comments:

  1. Val,
    Those stuffed peppers look amazing. What a wonderful way to eat your veggies too. Thanks for sharing. It's another great month with the Virtual Supper Club.

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  2. WOW. that is making me hungry Val!! Looks delicious! And I agree...Italian is great for the exact reason that it's made from simple and humble ingredients. That is how I grew up...my parents and grandparents were born in Sicily and have fed me very well! :)

    Great choice for our theme!

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  3. Yummy - I love stuffed peppers and yours are so gloriously colourful and inviting.

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  4. Vall really love stuffed veggies, really I love veggies and these stuffed peppers look amazing as well, huggs gloria

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  5. I just popped over from Helene's to see what you have for the Italian feast. Your stuffed peppers are gorgeous. I ate a lot of stuffed peppers as a child, but my mother never made them as gorgeous as yours.
    Sam

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  6. What a lovely idea - and great food! Thank you for stopping by - and I'm so glad I found your wonderful blog. Happy third anniversary! I'll be following.
    Susan

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  7. Stuffed veggies are delicious, especially bell peppers!

    Cheers,

    Rosa

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  8. Delicious and healty - what more could you want!

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  9. I am always up for stuffed peppers!

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  10. I love stuffed veggies and I love the idea that someone else planned my meals even more. Bravisimo ladies!!!

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  11. i never really considered using peppers as a way to eat italian-type flavors, but they'd be perfect! your filling looks terrific--nicely done, val.

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  12. What a terrific round up of tasty Italian recipes! I don't usually go for stuffed peppers but your recipe looks excellent. I love the ingredients in this! ;)

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  13. The red color has me ready for summer.

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  14. This was such a great theme this month. I enjoyed all of the Italian dishes. This pepper is looking so good.

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  15. Val the peppers look great! I believe I could make a meal of just this!

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  16. Oh, Val, you have no idea how much I love stuffed peppers. Nobody made them as good as my Italian grandmother who passed away last summer. Of course, that doesn't stop me from trying! Yours looks perfect! Thanks for igniting a trip down memory lane for me.

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  17. The next time I stuffed bell peppers, I'm going to try halving them as you've done here.

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  18. Those stuffed peppers are quite the beauties! What a wonderful meal you all concoted from Cooking Light. Several new things to try now ...

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Welcome to my home. Thank you so much for choosing to stay a while and for sharing our lives through food. I appreciate all your comments, suggestions, daily encouragement and support.

Val

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