Great Subs @ SUBMARINA - Hemet
by Robert Livesay

People use many excuses as to why they are not eating healthy foods. One of the most common excuses is they have no time to worry about choosing the best foods and cooking them for themselves and their families.

These people usually grab fast food or take-out instead of healthier foods, and these quick dinner fixes are full of bad fats and cholesterol, sugar, and empty calories. However, no matter how little time you have to spend in the kitchen and at the supermarket, there are ways in which you can eat in a healthy way.

Learning how to eat healthily quickly can make all the difference in maintaining your diet. Eating healthy foods begins with healthy ingredients, but if you are short on time, you may find that spending time in the grocery store does not fit into your schedule.

To maximize your time, plan ahead for two weeks at a time. Instead of having to go to the store every time you need an ingredient, make a list and keep your refrigerator, freezer, and pantry stocked with good, healthy ingredients.

You can make your shopping list during a meeting, while eating lunch, or while you are on the phone. A list will also help you cut back on compulsory buying, which is when we purchase a lot of the foods that are bad for us.

Along with planning your shopping list, plan your meals as well. If you find little time to cook during the week, you can try making a few healthy meals in advance on the weekend and than putting them in your freezer.

Before you go to work in the morning, simply stick the frozen dinner in the refrigerator to thaw and then pop into the oven to cook when you get home from work. This will help you avoid having to pick up fast food.

When you do find yourself in the need of a quick meal and want to order out, look for healthy options. Instead of choosing a burger and fries, for example, look at the chicken breast options.
Some fast food restaurants also have salads and fruit, but beware of dressings, which can have tons of fat and empty calories. Keep healthy drinks on hand at home instead of purchasing a soda as well.

Better yet, bypass the burger, pizza, and Mexican joints altogether and opt for a sandwich or sub shop instead, where you can choose a wheat bread and ask them to hold the mayonnaise.
Healthy eating on the run will never be easy. However, putting a tad bit more time into it is worth that extra effort, because you'll be living a healthier life in the end.

Using these tips will help you to quickly eat as healthily as possible. For more informative articles on this subject please visit here:
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By Ruth Graham

When you are thinking of keeping party expenses down, a little shopping research is a good way to start.

For your carbohydrate you can buy potatoes, rice, sandwich bread/wraps, pasta. Make a list and write down the different kinds you find in your local supermarket. In my area , for potatoes, I would find russets, Yukon golds, Reds. Under rice, I can find arborio which is used to make risotto, jasmine, brown, white, wild. For sandwiches, aside from ordinary sliced bread, there is French or Italian bread, mini baguettes, tortillas, tacos and so on.

After you rate the carbohydrate per portion, the least expensive on the bottom, the most expensive on top, do the same with protein.

You have poultry, beef, pork, lamb, fish which are sold as fresh, prepackaged, deli counter, or chilled. For fish, there is fresh, canned, frozen, or chilled.

Now, we want to base our menus on the least expensive. In New England, where I live, I would find the least expensive to be ordinary sliced bread or a variety of potato, with home prepared chicken, or ground beef, or pork. Obviously, it all changes from week to week as supermarkets and grocery stores have sales.

One important point is to be careful about the spices you choose. Some are very expensive. They will be rarely used in your kitchen and will eventually be thrown out, having cost you $50.00 or more per pound. Some spices are more than $100.00 per pound.

For sandwiches, sliced bread with home prepared protein fillings would be the choice. But let's start with the filled potato. It's very simple and takes about an hour to prepare.

You can only ruin it if you don't pay attention and you burn the ingredients in the saucepan, so no talking on your cell phone or practicing your reggae.

If you cook the onion/meat mixture in the morning, you can cover and refrigerate. Then you can bake the potatoes and fill them with reheated meat mixture. The best way to reheat is to bring 1/4 cup broth, chicken or vegetable to a boil. Turn the heat down and add the meat, stirring. Do not boil. Stir until heated through. Add the potato and mix lightly. Fill the shells as directed below.

For eight people:
  • Eight medium sized baking potatoes
  • Two chicken breasts, cut into bite sized pieces
  • Two hot dogs, sliced thinly
  • one pound of ground beef
  • one red pepper, 1/2 of it diced, the other 1/2 cut into eight equal strips and then halved, cut on the diagonal
  • Three onions, diced
  • 1 teaspoon of soy sauce
  • 1 teaspoon of garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon ground oregano
  • 1/2 cup of red wine, or broth, vegetable or chicken
  • 1/2 cup olive oil or canola oil
  • 4 ounces of frozen peas, defrosted
  • 2 sticks of butter, each cut into 8 pieces for a total of 16 pieces
  • Salt and pepper

Saute the onion in the oil. Remove. Add the ground beef and cook until it loses its color. Remove and set aside. Cook the chicken quickly until the pieces are medium firm to the touch. Remove and set aside. Add the remaining ingredients and cook for 15 minutes. Add salt and pepper to taste. Add the onion, the peas, and the meats. Toss lightly and keep warm, covered tightly, adding broth if the mixture starts to dry out.

When the potatoes are done, about one hour, allow to cool so you can handle them. Cut each one in half carefully so as not to damage the shell. You now have 16 halves. Cut the potato in small chunks and mix lightly with the meat mixture. Spoon the mixture back into the potato shells and then arrange the potato halves on two large platters. Covered lightly with aluminum foil and keep warm in the oven for up to 15 minutes or they will dry out. When ready to serve, put a piece of butter on each filled potato and add a strip of red pepper. Optional: a blue cheese sauce you make yourself with to ounces of blue cheese crumbled into a cup of mayonnaise.

Pass a plate with sliced cucumbers, pickles, olives. Then all you need is something to drink.

Another idea for your Teen Party Menu Challenge is to have a Cafe party where the cooking is done as everyone watches. You have all the ingredients prepared ahead and then just put the sandwiches together. Maybe you can find a chef's hat for the cook. Have a buffet table or a counter set with glasses, soft drinks and juice so they can help themselves.

Hot sandwiches:
  • Grilled ham and cheese sandwich
  • Toasted turkey club sandwich
  • Tuna melt

Or Cold sandwiches:
  • On Fire Egg
  • Salt Mountain Cheese
  • Tennessee Smokies

Find recipes for the sandwiches on the Recipe page below.

More "Must Have" recipes for the sandwiches plus starters, entrees, cakes, and entertaining tips on These are carefully chosen, tested and affordable. Photographs and presentation ideas are included, and our famous "Depression Sandwich" is there as well.

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By Laura Cockerell

If you have to pack a lunch every day you know how tedious and boring it can get and at times you may just run out of ideas. Here are some quick lunchbox meal ideas to use throughout the year for both children and adults.

Using healthy ingredients and simple preparation, you will be able to make quick lunches any day of the week and because of the variety of choices you will always be able to make something new and different.


Here is a simple approach for creating sandwiches in a hurry. Just pick from each category and you've got a sandwich made in no time.


Choose your favorite variety or take a look at the suggestions below.

- whole wheat bread

- pita pocket

- dark rye bread

- sourdough bread

- bagels (plain or flavored)

- hamburger buns

- soft rolls (choose your favorite)

- soft shell tortilla (whole wheat or flavored)


- non-fat mayonnaise

- non-fat sour cream

- non-fat plain yogurt (Greek style is thicker and creamier and makes a nice spread)

- mustard (spicy, honey, Dijon, horseradish, etc)

- creamy low-fat all-natural bottled dressings

- avocado (a ripe avocado can be mashed and used as a delicious spread)

- pesto (a little basil or roasted red pepper pesto)


- tuna (canned, packed in water and drained)

- thin slices of smoked salmon

- thin slices of low-sodium, minimally processed deli meat

- chicken (baked, broiled or grilled and thinly sliced)

- hummus (regular or flavored variety)

- nut butter (peanut, soy, sunflower, cashew or almond)

- vegetarian burger or patty (cooked as directed on package)

- baked tofu (choose your favorite flavor and slice thin or thick)

- cheese slices (low-fat varieties or vegetarian cheese slices)

Flavorful Additions:

Add a variety of vegetables or fruit to your sandwich for great flavor and nutrition.


- sliced tomatoes

- sliced cucumbers

- pickle relish or sliced pickles

- lettuce (soft varieties are great like Bibb lettuce or the green or red leaf varieties)

- sweet bell pepper strips (plain or roasted)

- pitted and chopped black or green olives

- thin slices of peeled jicama

- thin slices of chayote squash

- sprouts


(fruit works especially well on nut butter sandwiches)

- thinly sliced apples

- raisins

- chopped dried cherry pieces or any dried fruit variety

- sliced bananas



Soups are a great lunch idea. Keeping soup warm until lunchtime can be a challenge but if you warm up the thermos first, with some very warm water from the tap for a few minutes, then pour it out and add the hot soup, it will usually stay fairly warm until you are ready to eat.

Choose your favorite soup either homemade or store-bought. When buying store-bought varieties look for all-natural ingredients and low-sodium content. Add some simple sides along with a thermos of warm soup and you've got a quick and easy lunch. Some suggestions for side dishes to go along with hot soup are listed below.

Side Dishes:

- small side salad: lettuce, tomato and cucumber with Italian dressing

- veggies and dip: carrot and celery sticks with all-natural Ranch style dressing or hummus for dipping

- fruit and yogurt: apple slices with low-fat vanilla flavored yogurt for dipping

- potatoes: cubes of cooked potatoes dressed with a little non-fat sour cream and chives

- cheese and crackers: low-fat cheese cubes and whole grain crackers

- chips and salsa: baked pita chips with salsa for dipping

- breadsticks and fruit: flavored breadsticks and a small container of applesauce

- cheese and fruit: low-fat string cheese and a small box of raisins

- chips and fruit: small bag of baked chips with a piece of fruit


Pasta and Noodles:

Warm or cold, cooked pasta or noodles are a simple lunch idea that can be made quickly and easily. These can be made ahead of time and either served cold or warmed up before placing in an insulated container. Just choose something from each category, combine together and create a pasta meal in minutes.

Pasta or Noodles:

Cook according to package directions, drain and place in a bowl.

- small pasta shapes: elbow macaroni, farfalle, penne or rotini (or your favorite)

- long noodle varieties: thin spaghetti, fettucini, rice noodles or udon noodles


Depending on what you choose, warm the quantity of sauce you are using in a saucepan or simply add your choice of sauce to the warm, cooked pasta.

- marinara

- pasta sauce with vegetables

- Italian dressing

- peanut sauce

- non-fat sour cream (alone or mixed with dried herbs of choice)

- mustard and non-fat sour cream or mayonnaise combination

- salsa (your favorite variety)

- basil or roasted red pepper pesto mixed with non-fat sour cream or non-fat Greek yogurt


Here is a suggested list of vegetables that you can use in any combination. Use any of these or your favorite combinations. If using frozen vegetables, cook according to package directions and if using fresh, use raw or lightly cooked until tender, whichever you prefer.

- artichoke hearts (frozen or marinated in jars (drain before using))

- asparagus spears (frozen or fresh) - cut into one-inch pieces

- broccoli (frozen or fresh) - cut into bite-sized pieces

- carrots - sliced or diced

- celery - sliced or diced

- mushrooms - sliced

- sweet bell peppers - chopped

- roasted sweet red peppers (jarred - drain before using) - cut into bite-sized pieces

- tomatoes - diced

- sweet onions - chopped

- peas (frozen or fresh)

- corn kernels (frozen or fresh)

- baby spinach leaves (fresh works best and the heat from the warm pasta will soften the leaves perfectly)


These are just some simple flavor boosters that add a little something extra to pasta or noodle dishes. Use these ingredients alone or in any combination you prefer.

- pitted and chopped green or black olives

- chopped nuts

- grated or cubed low-fat cheese

- any canned beans (rinsed and drained before using) such as black, cannellini, garbanzo or kidney

- chopped sun-dried tomatoes


Quick and Easy Salad Meals:

Simply choose something from each category and you can create a salad meal in minutes. The wide variety of combinations you can create will always give you something new at lunchtime.


Choose the greens for your salad. There are a variety of pre-packaged salad greens in the grocery stores these days from spring mixes, romaine, arugula, baby spinach and more. You can choose these products and even make combinations of them for an interesting salad base.

You can also simply buy the fresh variety in heads by themselves and make your own combinations. This route is cheaper than the packaged variety but if time is short you can't beat the pre-packaged greens.

Vegetables and Fruit:

Choose a variety of vegetables and/or fruit to put in the salad with a rainbow of colors for the most nutrition. Some flavorful combinations are:

- cherry tomatoes, cucumbers, celery or

- red bell peppers, artichoke hearts, scallions or

- grape tomatoes, avocado, hearts of palm or

- shredded carrots, shredded cabbage, mandarin oranges or

- diced apples, blueberries, strawberries


Here are some suggestions for fillings that will make a salad a meal.

- cooked chicken (cubed) - either grilled, baked, or broiled or

- cooked seafood (cut into bite-sized pieces) - tuna, salmon, shrimp, crab, or lobster or

- cooked grains - brown rice, basmati rice, quinoa, buckwheat, or wild rice or

- cooked beans - black beans, garbanzo beans, butter beans, lima beans, kidney beans, azuki beans, cannellini beans, or edamame or

- cooked meat (cut into bite-sized pieces) - steak, ham, pork chops, or roast beef or

- eggs - chopped hard-boiled eggs, cooked omelet cut into pieces, or cooked scrambled eggs or

- cooked pasta - (the smaller varieties work best like rotini, elbow macaroni, couscous or farfalle)


Choose an all natural, organic and low-fat variety. Making your own dressing is always an option and you can control all the ingredients that way but if time is too short, there are so many varieties available today that you will always be able to find something delicious.


These simple topping accents will add an extra layer of flavor to salad meals. Use as many or as few as you like.

- croutons: plain or flavored varieties

- crumbled cooked bacon: use turkey bacon to cut down on fat or try the vegetarian variety

- nuts: use a sprinkling of chopped nuts like walnuts, pecans, almonds or pine nuts

- shelled seeds are also a good addition like: pumpkin seeds, sunflower kernels or sesame seeds

- baked tortilla chips: crumble them up and sprinkle over your salad

- shredded cheese: use a low-fat variety and sprinkle over the salad

Try these easy lunchbox meals whenever you need them. They are quick and simple to put together and will give you a variety of ideas so lunches will never be boring.

Visit for these easy lunchbox meals and a large selection of free recipes that are streamlined for speed, flexibility and ease of preparation along with menu planners that provide a wide variety of ideas for simple, flavorful and quick meals for every day of the week throughout the year.

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By Evan L. Mestman

There isn’t a school day that goes by that I worry about my son’s lunch. Of course, I ask myself the usual questions: Is he eating what he has in the bag? Will he trade his apple for a cookie? Will the school lunch he’s ordering once a week be nutritious? He’s a kid! He’s not a fussy eater, but there are plenty of days that he has come home with a bag full of food. I’ll ask him “what did you eat for lunch?” He always says, “nothing.” What’s a parent to do?

Plenty of Mom’s worry about what to feed their kids for lunch. They always ask me which foods are the best to pack. I believe there’s no such thing as a good or bad food. Remember, the food police aren’t arresting anyone at Ben and Jerry’s. Some foods are much more nutritious than others. The key to feeding your child well is to offer variety and make sure to include fruits and vegetables. Unfortunately, 90% of Americans don’t eat the recommended five or more servings of antioxidant-rich and nutritious fruits and vegetables daily. Kids eat even less. While supplementation may guarantee you get enough Vitamin C and Beta Carotene, it‘s not a substitution for all the thousands of healthful nutrients found in fruits and vegetables that you can’t get in a pill. You want your kids to grow up healthy and strong. Here are some winners that will compliment any school lunch and help make your fruit and vegetable choices count.

Broccoli: Here’s an all American winner, as if you didn’t already know! Broccoli is chock full of vitamins, fiber, and minerals. It taste great, too. Broccoli is high is Vitamin C and carotenoids. These are antioxidants that help boost our immunity and protect our body from environmental insults like cigarette smoke and pollution. The two types of fiber in broccoli , soluble and insoluble, help lower cholesterol, fight cancer, and keep our digestive systems in tip-top shape. Broccoli also contains indoles and isothiocyantes that help decrease estrogen’s effectiveness and protects our cell’s DNA (the building blocks of genetics and reproduction). It’s also an excellent source of folic acid-a B vitamin that seem to be critical for cardiovascular health. Not bad for being green!

Kids either love it or hate it. Here are some ideas to help you kids eat more of the green stuff. Broccoli tastes best if it’s blanched first, cooked in boiling water or steamed for 3 to 4 minutes. Stop the cooking with an ice bath if you want to eat it cold. Marinate it in your favorite light Italian dressing and place it in a zip lock bag for lots of flavor. Substitute broccoli for half the cabbage in your favorite coleslaw recipe and add to a sandwich instead of lettuce and tomato. Don’t throw away the stalks.

Carrots: If this vegetable was marketed for its benefits, I bet it would sell for $20 per pound! Carrots have over 200 carotenoids, one of which is beta carotene. Scientists aren’t sure which caroteniod is responsible for protecting us from cancer. Since beta carotene provided such disappointing results in recent research, I’ll keep eating carrots and skip the beta carotene. Carrots also contain phenolic acid, a phytochemical that may reduce the risk of cancer.

A great way to get your kids to start eating carrots is top his/her favorite sandwiches with shredded carrots along with lettuce and tomato. Kids will enjoy a bag of baby carrots (they are large carrots cut into small bite-sized pieces) with some low fat dressing on the side for dipping. Even try it shredded on a peanut butter and jelly sandwich if your kids won’t eat their vegetables.

Beans: Most kids won’t eat beans, “I don’t like them.” “They taste yucky.” My son loves black beans, soybeans and chickpeas. There are so many different types of beans all with a different texture and flavor. Don’t give up on your first try. Beans are a great way to add a powerful nutritious punch to any meal. A large portion of the world population depends on beans to provide them with nutrition. People of the orient uses soybeans, Americans use peas, Mediterranean and Middle Eastern countries depend on chickpeas and lentils, Africans uses a combination of beans. Beans have the highest source of fiber for a whole food. They also are loaded with cancer-fighting phytochemicals like genistein and flavones. Soybeans have the most impressive list of plant chemicals to help fight, cancer, and high blood pressure, and menopausal symptoms. Add to its long list of benefits its ability to lower blood cholesterol and you have a winner. Use canned beans if you’re in a rush. Open a can of chickpeas, chop up an onion and some red pepper (if your child doesn’t like them, you can always substitute another bean and vegetable until they are happy), toss in your favorite salad dressing and let it marinate overnight. Let your child spread black beans or prepared humus (a chickpea spread) on a flour tortilla. When at home, add cheese and chopped onion and cilantro, heat it in the toaster oven or microwave and have a side of salsa with carrot sticks for a delicious and well rounded lunch.

Apricots, Melon, and Papaya: All these fruits are loaded with nutrients. They’re high in Vitamin C and mixed carotenoids, potasium and have lots of fiber. Papaya has enzymes that help digestion and break down protein. Some of these enzymes have anti-inflammatory qualities. All of these fruits are great as snack foods in a lunch bag. Whether dried or fresh, these fruits taste great solo or with other foods. Combine dried apricots and toasted almonds for a tasty snack.

Spinach: Here’s another vegetable with abundant amounts of beta carotene and potassium. Most kids say they don’t like spinach probably because it’s cooked incorrectly. Spinach tastes best if cooked when young and tender. Older spinach tends to be woody and tough. Don’t use aluminum cookware. The spinach will pick up an acidic taste and lose its beautiful green color. Don’t overcook spinach. It gets waterlogged easily and is probably the reason why many don’t like it. Use it on sandwiches with lettuce and tomato.

Herbs and Spices and Tea: Don’t to forget to spice up your kid’s life with garlic, turmeric, ginger, rosemary and green and black tea. Many parents think kids don’t like spices. It’s true their taste buds are more sensitive to hot and spicy foods. But, if you don’t introduce these flavors at an early age, your children won’t learn to like them. These additions to your children’s diet will provide antioxidants such as curcumin, lycopene, allicin, and flavonoids. They taste great and may be the hidden ingredients that provide protection from cancer, heart disease, and high blood pressure. Use lightly sweetened green tea mixed with juice for a great tasting thirst-quencher.

Next time you question whether your children’s lunch is packing enough nutrition, try these easy ways to add more fruits and vegetables. You’d be surprised how easy it is to fee your children power foods for a powerful body!

About The Author

Evan L. Mestman is the owner of, the home of the Pleasure Principle Weight Loss Plan. Lose Weight, With Pleasure!

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By Renee Pottle

Rising food prices have sent many of us back to the kitchen to save money. And while there are many benefits of a home cooked meal, preparing dinner from scratch still takes valuable time from our busy schedules. But it can be easy to prepare simple entrees at home, saving you both time and money. So move beyond burgers and fries and fix one of these dishes tonight! All are easy to prepare and ready in about 30 minutes.

Soups: Soup is one of the easiest, most wholesome, well-received family meals. Unfortunately though, most canned soup offerings are high in salt and chemical preservatives and lack any distinguishable flavor. You can do better. Start with either low sodium broth or a combination of water and tomato juice. Don't worry about exact measurements - you can always add more water later if necessary. To the soup pot add; chopped or instant minced onion, cut up cooked meat or drained, canned beans, your favorite frozen vegetables, a handful of rice, barley or pasta, and dried herbs like basil, thyme, rosemary, bay and/or marjoram for flavor. Simmer until heated through and the rice or pasta is cooked, 20-30 minutes. Just before serving add a splash of balsamic or red wine vinegar and season with freshly ground black pepper. To make a soup extra special, top with dumplings, serve over a slice of toasted French bread or serve in a purchased bread bowl. Cost: Deli soup $2.59, Homemade $1 per serving.

Stir Fries: Stir-fries are a great way to use up odds and ends of leftovers. Heat olive or peanut oil in a skillet. Quickly cook small pieces of chicken, beef or shrimp and add cut up vegetables like carrots, zucchini, broccoli, bell pepper and green beans. Make a simple but flavorful sauce by mixing together broth or water and orange or pineapple juice. Add a dash of cayenne pepper, your favorite herbs and a little cornstarch. Stir the mixture until the sauce thickens, adding more water if necessary. Serve over rice or noodles. Cost: Lunch counter rice bowl: $5.49, Homemade $2.50.

Casseroles: Mom was right. Casseroles are easy to prepare and money saving too! Start with cooked rice, pasta or millet. Use brown rice instead of white rice or pasta shells or ziti in place of spaghetti noodles for variety. Stir in cooked, chopped meat and your favorite vegetables. Peas, carrots and corn are especially good choices in casseroles as they maintain their flavor even when baked at high temperatures. Mix everything together with a thickened broth or a can of low-fat, low-sodium cream of celery soup. Add herbs for flavor. Top the casserole with dried bread or cracker crumbs and grated cheese and bake until hot and bubbly. Serve with a tart relish, chutney or dill pickles on the side for a complete meal. Cost: Food court baked ziti $3.49, Homemade $1.

Sandwiches: Traditionally considered lunch food, sandwiches are now a dinnertime favorite too. Keep whole-wheat sandwich rolls or pita bread in the cupboard to make your own Hoagies, Grinders or Italian sandwiches. Start with a flavorful mustard (Walla Walla Sweet Onion by AJ's Edible Arts and Seadog Beer Mustard by Raye's Mustards are good choices) and stuff with deli meat and cheese, prepared hummus, chicken, tuna or egg salad. Add slices of bell pepper, tomato, spinach, avocado, olives and pickles and top with a splash of olive oil and red wine vinegar. For an even heartier sandwich, add marinated artichoke hearts, pineapple chunks or grilled eggplant slices. Cost: Sandwich shop grinder $6. Homemade: $2.

Stick with simple meals and dinner will be ready in no time. Better yet, you'll save money and have a healthier family too!

Renee Pottle is a Home Economist and the author of I Want My Dinner Now! - Simple Meals for Busy Cooks and The Happy Lunchbox - 4 Weeks of Recipes and Menus. She can be reached thorough her web site:

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By Anna Fiori

If you are an Italian and you plan on hosting a great get together, you obviously already know what you must not leave out in regards to serving the guests and that is the fine Italian cheeses. This is something that basically goes hand in hand with socializing, and without cheese on the table you can bet there will be some confused and upset guests. Cheese is a very popular item when it comes to not only nibbling, but with larger scale meals as well. Whether it is pre-sliced, or it was left as a whole and you break it off yourself cheese is a big-ticket item that few partygoers forget.

No Cheese Equals No Lasagna

If you are going to make a great Italian dish such as lasagna and you forgot the cheese, then you can basically wipe that dish right off the menu for the night. The fact is that you cannot make this recipe without cheese, and this defiantly broadens the actual importance of the cheese as a whole. There are hundreds of various Italian cheeses that you can choose from when it comes to picking something out for a recipe like this, finding the right cheese however, is key and will be noticed by the diner that tries the lasagna. Lasagna is not the only great Italian dish that defiantly needs a form of cheese to complete it; in fact there are several dishes that depend on the use of cheese to make them a success.

The Cheese Is Everywhere

The great thing about Italian cheese is that it is virtually everywhere. You will not have a difficult time finding a cheese that you can use for a recipe or for a cheese and cracker plate for snacks. Cheese is something that the Italians have been making for thousands of years, and they have actually become authorities on what a wonderful cheese is meant to taste like. Italian cheese is appreciated from the standard snack tray, all the way up to some of the most delicate Italian recipes that are considered world class. Some of these fine recipes are only found in the most prestigious of restaurants today, and the chef will grade the quality of the cheese long before it reaches the recipe. Many of the fine cheeses that are used for the great recipes, are actually made in house at the restaurant for the specific use by the chef for the recipe.

A Simple Choice

Along with fine Italian recipes that use great cheese, you will also find those occasions where someone would just prefer to use a great Italian cheese on a great sandwich. The cheese in combination with some divine Italian lunch meat of fantastic hard crust bread, will definitely tickle your taste buds. You will fine many cheeses that will actually bring the most out a strong Italian lunch meat, and actually change the taste of it. This is what is so wonderful about the cheeses of this delightful tiny country of Italy.

Anna Fiori writes food related articles for the Italian Traditional Food website at

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By Ana Maria Da Costa

Italian salami is not often named as a typical Italian product, even if it is really present in Italians daily diet.

This simple cold cut is commonly used in Italy in an antipasto or, more commonly, inside a sandwich that a young Italian student eat at school pause.

Generally salami is made with 1/3 beef, 1/3 pork and 1/3 fat. This proportion varies depending on the kind of salami. For example, the felino one is usually made with precious meat and less fat, being considered a gourmet one.

Outside Italy, cold cuts are not always fresh and often are considered as something conserved, not appropriate for a daily diet.

This false impression is due to the fact that often these cold cuts are not consumed often in these countries, associated with fat and conserved food.

They are indeed conserved, and one should not base the own diet on cold cuts. But it is not a drastic choice, as they have high nutritional values.

Italian salami has a protein percentage range that goes from 24 to 30%, and contains potassium, calcium, magnesium, phosphorus and B1, B2 and PP vitamins.

Besides salami, there are a wide variety of Italian cold cuts that can be easily found in any Italian market, for daily use. The cold cuts counter has always a queue of people buying salami, prosciutto, mortadella, between other varieties.

Many times the word-of-mouth fails. The famous Italian raw prosciutto
Between the Italian raw hams, one of the most famous one is called Prosciutto di Parma. This product has the European Quality Brand PDO (Protected Designation of Origin), so as 7 other Italian raw hams. But often people just say "Parma" thinking they are saying "Italian raw ham".

Prosciutto di Parma is a wonderful product, so is the Tuscan one, but they are different. The Parma one is sweeter, and the Tuscan one is salted (it is salted because originally used by the shepherd s with the Tuscan bread, that has quite no salt).

Italian raw ham is a gourmet product and is used in all diets, including the children ones, as it is a healthy choice, being rich in proteins an easy to digest.

The "poorest" cold cut is mortadella. It is considered poor because who could not afford buying raw ham, bought mortadella. But it is not poor in taste, rather it pleases all. A fresh and crispy piece of bread with a tiny slices of mortadella is one of the taste major delights.

Mortadella is made only of pork. During the '600 a cardinal settled a prohibition of including beef into the mortadella recipe, prohibiting also the production of this specialty outside the city of Bologna, as it was difficult to control these productions. These rules have changed, as it is produced in many other cities now, but a good mortadella must always contain only pork.

In an average Italian family, cold cuts are used for children sandwiches at school - it is surely a better choice comparing to extra sweet snacks, as antipasto and as an alternative dinner.

Specially when one is hungry, the vision of a table set with cold cuts as Italian salami, prosciutto and mortadella together with a couple of baskets containing fresh bread, some good Italian cheeses and a bottle of Italian red wine is surely an excellent choice.

Ana Maria da Costa. Economist, living in Italy since 1983 and proceeding the studies in Food and Wine culture. The website gives useful information about Italian food

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By Harwood E Woodpecker

Italian sausage and salami is amazing. Every bite of fresh Italian salami is a flavour sensation, it takes a cheese sandwich to a new dimension; if made with Italian cheese it really blows the roof off!

Added to a tomato sauce and left to cook for a couple of hours either Italian salami or Italian sausage can add a real twist to a meal and transform a tomato sauce into something much more varied and deep.

Italy is famous for its varieties of sausages and salamis many of which are famously produced in the Lombardy region of Italy.

Around Pavia, south of the River Po, are a number of villages where sausages are still smoked in the traditional way.This is the area where salame di Varzi is made. Only the finest pork is used to make this Italian sausage, and only wine, pepper, salt, and saltpeter are added. The sausage is matured for three to four months. This comparatively long maturation brings out the flavour. A whole salame di Varzi as sold is a medium sized, coarse-grained sausage weighing about 2 pounds (1 kilogram).

Salame di Milano is a very fine textured Italian salami made from pork, pork fat, beef, and spices is matured for about 3 months and weighs up to about 3 pounds (1.5 kilograms). It has an essential place in any antipasto misto starter of mixed Italian sausage, and is popular well beyond its place of origin. It is probably one of Italy's best-known food products along with Parma ham. The imitations available elsewhere do not necessarily do justice to the original. Salame di Milano is a king of Italian sausage.

Sausages called salsiccia luganega are usually of fresh meat, and cooked or heated in water before serving. The meat is a finely ground mixture of fat and lean pork, flavoured with pepper and spices. Luganega is an example of this type. The meat is filled into long casings, divided into sections and sold by length rather than weight. Luganega is often served with polenta in northern Italy. It can be fried, broiled or braised as well as boiled. A delicious Italian sausage to cut up into bite size pieces to make meat balls and added to a basic tomato sauce.

Cacciatorino is a small well hung variety of Italian salami consisting of two thirds lean pork, tender veal, and various types of fat. It was originally devised as a convenient type of Italian sausage for those working out in the forests to take with them as supplies. That may be the source of the name, cacciatorino which translates as small hunter.

Salametto is a small, well-hung sausage, similar to cacciatorino. It is ideal as a lunch time Italian salami or to be taken on picnics as it is easily carried. This is a beautifully delicate Italian sausage which is perfect to be eaten on its own.

Italian sausage and salami do taste that much different to those of other countries and do lend themselves to being added to Italian meals, such as pizzas and pastas. If cooking an Italian meal and trying to make it as authentic as possible be sure to add Italian salami or Italian sausage.

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Italian Salami

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By Anna Fiori

There are several different foods from the Italian culture that are worth noting, but it is the Italian sausage that seems to come to mind so many times. This meat is absolutely delightful, and it is a meat that has a place in many great dishes not only back in the mother land but in North America too. This meat is available just about anywhere today, and there are various forms of the sausage that you can purchase in most grocery stores let alone the butcher shops. Finding the type of sausage that pleases you is really not difficult, you are just going to have to try as many as you can.

Excellent For Sauces

When it comes to Italian pasta sauce, you are obviously going to find some meat that will be added. One such meat that graces a wonderful sauce is the Italian sausage. This meat can be spicy and it is very easy to cut, making it a great meat to work with and an excellent choice. With mild, medium, and hot on the menu you are not going to struggle to find a decent meat for your sauce. These sausages can be cut into small disks or even chunks that are great to stew within a pasta or tomato sauce for hours at a time. Usually the meat is not cooked prior, as it is going to stew for a great number of hours within the broth. This will not only instill the sauce within the meat, it will bring out the great flavors of the meat into the sauce.

Finding The Right Sausage

It is not difficult today to find good Italian sausage, and depending on how much you are looking for and what variety you should have no troubles at all locating it. Most grocery and specialty stores carry this sausage today, and if you are fortunate enough to have an Italian butcher shop near your home you can find it there. This is not to say that you cannot find it elsewhere, it is simply to imply that there are great chances of finding this sausage at the fore mentioned locations first. Most deli's whether they are Italian or not, will usually carry this sausage as it very popular. Many sub shops and sandwich shops will carry it now as well, as they usually have a hot Italian sub on the menu.

Other Uses

Italian sausage is not solely reserved for Italian food today, as you will find many restaurants and sandwich shops all having this meat on their roster of fine foods. The sausage is relatively cheap, and you can bet that there are more than a few people that eat in these locations that consider it a favorite. This meat is easy to prepare, and you have almost endless options when it comes to its uses. Soups and stews are always popular with this meat in them, as too are great casseroles and bakes foods.

Anna Fiori writes food related articles for the Italian Traditional Food website at

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