With all of the pasta dinners enjoyed on the Jersey Shore, the cast's mantra might as well be GTLC (gym, tan, laundry, carbs).
Since those mounds of fettucini and spaghetti can pack on the pounds, several of the roommates like Vinny Guadagnino and Nicole "Snooki" Polizzi have vowed to slim-down for the new year.
"With my family it's hard! Last night there was a pot of tortellini alfredo on the stove, and I was starving at midnight," Guadagnino told UsMagazine.com. Despite the temptation, he showed restraint. "I didn't eat it."
To satisfy carb cravings and stay healthy, consider the Carb Lovers Diet by Ellen Kunes and Frances Largeman-Roth. The eating plan helps pasta-loving guidos and non-guidos alike slim down without cutting out their favorite foods.
Get started with these two recipes from the bestselling book.
Bacon, Pear and Gorgonzola Pizza
8 ounces store-bought pizza dough
1/3 cup part-skim ricotta cheese
1 tablespoon honey
1/2 cup shredded part-skim mozzarella cheese, divided
1 pear, halved, cored, and thinly sliced
2 ounces Canadian bacon, finely chopped
1/4 cup chopped walnuts
2 tablespoons crumbled Gorgonzola or other blue cheese
6 cups mixed greens, divided
2 cups broccoli florets, divided
6 tablespoons low-fat balsamic vinaigrette, divided
Preheat oven to 400-degrees.
With a floured rolling pin, roll dough into a 12-inch circle; transfer to a 12-inch pizza stone or round baking pan. Bake for 5 to 7 minutes or until crust begins to puff.
While crust bakes, stir together ricotta cheese and honey. Remove crust from oven, and flip so bottom is now on top. Spread ricotta mixture evenly over crust. Top with 1/4 cup mozzarella, pear, Canadian bacon, and walnuts. Top with remaining 1/4 cup mozzarella and Gorgonzola.
Return pizza to oven; bake an additional 15 minutes until cheese is melted and bubbly. Allow pizza to set before slicing into 8 pieces.
While pizza bakes, assemble side salads, using 1 1/2 cups greens, 1/2 cup broccoli, and 1 1/2 tablespoons dressing per serving.
Roasted Vegetables & Italian Sausage with Polenta
4 cups water
1 cup polenta
1 small fennel bulb, stem and fronds removed, sliced thin
1 yellow or orange bell pepper, sliced
1/2 red onion, sliced
2 cups grape tomatoes, halved
4 garlic cloves, crushed
1 tablespoon olive oil
1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
4 (4-ounce) lean Italian turkey sausage links
1 cup water
2 tablespoons fresh chopped parsley (optional)
Preheat oven to 425-degrees.
Coat a 3-quart baking dish with cooking spray. Combine 4 cups water and polenta, and pour into prepared baking dish. Set aside.
Place fennel in a 9- by 13-inch baking dish. Add bell pepper, red onion, tomatoes and garlic. Drizzle with olive oil, and sprinkle with oregano. Toss to coat. Arrange turkey sausage on top, and add 1 cup water.
Bake sausage and vegetables, uncovered, for 20 minutes. Remove from oven; turn sausages, and toss vegetables. Place half of vegetable mixture on top of sausages before returning baking dish to oven.
Reduce temperature to 350-degrees. Stir polenta mixture lightly, and place baking dish in oven. Bake for 45 minutes. Remove polenta from oven; stir gently with a fork, and return to oven. Bake both dishes an additional 10 minutes or until vegetables are completely soft and a thermometer inserted into the thickest part of a sausage registers 170-degrees. Remove from oven.
Stir polenta with a fork; polenta will continue to thicken as it stands. Serve polenta and sausage topped with vegetables and pan sauce. Sprinkle with parsley, if desired.