Hats Off to Rocco!


Original Image by Sheri Wetherell via Flickr
Original Image by Sheri Wetherell via Flickr

By: Nikki Nies

A lot of chefs produce cookbooks with the intention to provide quality food. Paula Deen has gotten a bad wrap for making dishes that are high in fat and calories. A lot of chefs don’t want to deviate from their usual recipes, even if it might not be the best ingredients for one’s health. However, while leafing through my books, I came across a great book of recipes that takes into consideration nutritional content and provides healthy alternatives to some classic American dishes as well as puts a healthier spin on some dishes may try to stay away from.

So what cookbook am I raving about? Rocco DiSpirito’s of course. Haven’t heard of him? He’s not as mainstream of a chef as Wolfgang Puck, Bobby Flay or Emeril Lagase, but Mr. DiSpirito still deserves a day in a spotlight. I’ve tried some out some of his recipes and their not too shabby.

Mr. DiSpirito definitely takes into consideration flavor, texture and the quality of the food. As you might’ve guessed by his name, he’s Italian and his ethnic background has influenced a lot of his recipes and flavors used. He’s got a whole line cookbooks that are sure to offer something for everyone!

Traditional Recipe Rocco’s Revised Recipe
Turkey Bolognese with Noodles 13 g of fat; 980 kcal 3.7 g of fat; 339 kcal; 3 g of protein; 45 g of carbohydrates; 432 sodium; 5 g of fiber
Chicken Alfredo 75 g of fat; 1220 kcal 5.5 g of fat; 320 kcal; 33 g of protein; 35 g of carbohydrates; 577 g of sodium; 61 mg of cholesterol
Chicken and dumplings 49.3 g of fat; 845 kcal 6 g of fat; 269 kcal; 28 g of protein; 1 g of fiber; 738 g of sodium; 66 mg of cholesterol
Deep Dish Pizza 42 g of fat; 610 kcal 5 g of fat; 218 kcal; 13 g of protein; 31 g of carbohydrates; 23 g of cholesterol; 6 g of fiber; 542 mg of sodium
Philly Cheesesteak 50 g of fat; 902 kcal 7.6 g of fat; 344 kcal; 27 g of protein; 44 g of carbohydrates; 40 mg of cholesterol; 7 g of fiber; 1487 g of sodium
Chinese Chicken Salad 26.1 g of fat; 801 kcal 5.5 g of fat; 221 kcal; 25 g of protein; 19 g of carbohydrates; 44 mg of cholesterol; 5 g of fiber; 1424 mg of sodium
Chicken and Red Pepper Quesadillas 76 g of fat; 1260 kcal 9.7 g of fat; 299 kcal; 43 g of protein; 25 g of carbohdyrates; 15 g of fiber; 63 mg of cholesterol; 1403 mg of sodium

Still not convinced? Well, I must admit the sodium content in some of these dishes may be high for one meal, but if you’re really craving a quesadilla, with cheese, you can substitute low sodium cheese and still enjoy the meal. If you don’t want to skimp on the cheese, if you know you’re going to be eating a quesadilla for dinner and you want to stay within the recommended 2400 mg of sodium daily intake, you can map out the rest of your days meals to make sure you’re eating low sodium meals and snacks throughout the rest of the day so you don’t go over the recommended sodium intake.

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