The holidays are fast approaching and that means families getting together to enjoy big meals. That can also mean some rich meals and you can always get delicious Italian food in Red Bank at Mangia Brick Oven Pizza, but if you want to cook it yourself, it can be tough to keep the calorie count down.

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With the excess of heavy sauces and carbs that come with most Italian food, it can be hard to cook healthy. However, there are some simple ways to make your next family meal a healthier one.

Pasta Choice

There are over 100 different kinds of pasta out there and pretty much every one of them is delicious. But pasta selection matters beyond just the amount you put on your plate. Tube-shaped ones like rigatoni and penne actually soak up more sauce, which can lead to extra calories. Stick with thin spaghetti if you’re watching your figure.

Start From Scratch

When you cook it yourself, you know exactly what goes into it. If you make your own tomato, pesto, or Marsala sauce, you’ll know what goes into it. The same goes for meatballs, which can get unhealthy fast if you’re buying them from a store. You can even try ground turkey in place of ground beef when making your meatballs to reduce the amount of fat and calories!

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Olive Oil

There are a bunch of cooking oils out there, but our Red Bank Italian restaurant goes with olive oil on most of our food for a reason—it’s healthier and delicious. Spring for a quality olive oil and it will make a difference in the final product.

Salad Dressing

These can make a nice healthy salad unhealthy really quickly. Portion control is always important, but the best thing you can season your salad with is balsamic dressing because it’s low in calories and can be mixed with a small amount of olive oil to really make it taste great.

Contact Mangia Brick Oven Pizza today to get delicious Italian food. For more info, please call (732) 578-9000.