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Recipes with Whole Wheat Pasta

The 7 Health Benefits of Not Eating Meat and 6 Plant-Based Proteins to Try Instead

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Are humans meant to eat meat? It’s a long-standing debate. And the benefits of not eating meat continue to make the case for a plant-forward diet.

Adding credibility to the argument that humans are not meant to consume animals are the voices of physicians such as cardiologist William C. Roberts, who writes, “Although most of us conduct our lives as omnivores, in that we eat flesh as well as vegetables and fruits, human beings have characteristics of herbivores, not carnivores.” On the other hand, you’ll also find plenty of studies, like this one in Nature, suggesting that eating animals not only came naturally to our ancient ancestors but it’s what eventually made us human by contributing to the evolution of our brains and speech capabilities . No matter which side of the debate you fall on, however, not eating meat today provides plenty of benefits.

And consumers are taking notice. From menus to markets, vegan food has been at the center of a gastronomic revolution. Plant-based substitutes for meat, eggs, and dairy are nudging animal-based foods off grocery store shelves to satisfy consumer demand. “The plant-based category is the fastest growing segment in our entire store,” Kyle Hetman, category manager for Encino, CA-based retailer Gelson’s, told Supermarket Perimeter. “And I don’t see that changing in the coming years, as growth will continue to outpace most other categories.” Meanwhile, the days of meager plant-based offerings at restaurants—even the large fast-food chains—seem to be vanishing in our collective rearview mirror as delicious and innovative vegan options have gone from rare to everywhere.

Beyond Meat

The popularity of foods that are better for you, the animals, and the planet is predicted to propel the market for plant-based alternatives by more than 400 percent to sales of $162 billion by 2030. Much of the recent growth of plant-forward eating is linked to the COVID-19 pandemic—people stuck at home had found it just a little too tempting to nosh on snacks and sought ways to eat healthier. “According to our research, about three in 10 shoppers report increased consumption of plant-based proteins as a result of COVID, and 89 percent say those increases will be permanent,” reported Supermarket Perimeter.

Coincidentally, a study published in the journal BMJ Nutrition Prevention & Health in 2021 found that a plant-based diet may lower the severity of COVID-19 infection by 73 percent. That’s great news, of course, but eating less meat has plenty of other benefits.

How much protein do you need to eat every day?

Protein is essential to support health and wellness, and the amount of protein you require depends on a variety of factors, including your age, activity level, and muscle mass.

In general, the recommended dietary allowance for protein is 0.8 grams per kilogram (2.2 pounds) of body weight. You can calculate your protein requirement by dividing your weight in pounds by 20 and then multiplying that number by seven. Thus, someone weighing 150 pounds would need 52 grams of protein each day.

According to the Harvard Medical School, however, most adults get too much protein, consuming about 16 percent of their daily calories, though a relatively active adult needs only 10 percent.

Excellent plant-based sources of protein include whole grains, beans and other legumes, nuts, and vegetables. Studies continue to show that plant protein is far healthier than animal protein, with the latter being associated with lower mortality.

Meat-free and low-meat diets

The medical community continues to recommend reducing or eliminating meat consumption to lower the risk of such health issues as cancer, with red meats (flesh from mammals) and processed meats regarded as the unhealthiest.

The types of meat-free and low-meat diets include:

Lacto vegetarian diets, which exclude meat from all animals, eggs, and foods that contain them. Dairy products, such as milk, cheese, yogurt, and butter, are included.

Ovo vegetarian dietswhich exclude meat from all animals and dairy products but include eggs.

Lacto-ovo vegetarian dietswhich exclude meat from all animals but allow dairy products and eggs.

Pescatarian diets, which exclude meat from all animals except fishes; Dairy and eggs are allowed.

Vegan dietswhich exclude meat from all animals, eggs, dairy products, and honey.

Health benefits of not eating meat

The word on consuming animal products is not encouraging for meat-eaters. Not only are red and processed meats considered to be the unhealthiest, but they can lead to premature death. Moreover, a recent study at Oxford University found that consumption of red meat, processed meat, and chickens and turkeys was linked to a greater risk of nine different non-cancerous illnesses, including heart disease, diabetes, and pneumonia.

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While recommendations to eat less meat are often prompted by animal agriculture’s role in climate change, it is clearly also in your body’s best interest to embrace plant-based eating. As T. Colin Campbell, PhD, points out, eliminating all meat, eggs, and dairy actually treats or reverses disease. “Heart disease begins to clear up in a week or two,” he says. “Diabetes as well. It is a remarkable effect when you get rid of all animal products. No animal food. The diet should be whole plant-based foods, being careful not to add in oil or sugar. If you give a group of people this food for 10 or 15 days, almost every single person sees a benefit.”

Health benefits of a plant-based diet

Studies continue to show that removing meat from your diet is not only better for the animals and the planet but for your health. Making the switch from consuming meat to a mostly or completely plant-based diet can help your body in numerous ways.

1 It’s heart health

According to the Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine, a plant-based diet is good for your heart. Vegetarian diets, which exclude meat, and vegan diets, which exclude all animal products, have been linked to a reduced risk of heart disease.

2 Reduces your risk of stroke

Eating higher amounts of healthy plant-based foods—such as leafy greens, whole grains, and beans—and lower amounts of foods like refined grains, potatoes, and added sugars may lower your overall stroke risk by up to 10 percent, according to Harvard Health .

3 Improves blood sugar control and insulin response

Research suggests that cutting out meat and adopting a healthy plant-based diet is better than medication for the prevention and management of type 2 diabetes, the most common form of the disease.

4 May help protect against certain cancers

Consuming meat and dairy foods has been linked to an increased risk in developing cancer. Plants, on the other hand, produce many phytochemicals (plant chemicals) that seem to protect cells from damage. As a result, eating a plant-based diet may offer significant protection from cancer. Another recent study by researchers at Oxford University found that vegetarians have a 14-percent lower chance of developing cancer than those who eat meat and that pescatarians had a 10-percent reduced risk. And if you’re thinking that vegans have the lowest rates of cancer of any diet, you’re right!

5 Lowers your blood pressure

A recent review of studies on the link between diet and hypertension found that compared to people who eat meat, a vegetarian diet lowered the systolic blood pressure by an average of 2.66 mmHg and diastolic blood pressure by 1.69 mmHg. Those eating a vegan diet showed an even greater reduction of 3.12 mmHg systolic and 1.92 mmHg diastolic blood pressure. (Interestingly subjects eating a lacto-ovo-vegetarian diet, which allows dairy products and eggs, showed no changes in diastolic blood pressure reduction.)

6Improves good health

Microorganisms in your gastrointestinal tract play a vital role in your overall health. The high fiber content found in a diet based mostly on whole foods feeds our gut bacteria (and remember, animal products contain zero fiber), which increase the growth of beneficial bacteria that reduce inflammation and the risk of cardiovascular disease, according to recent data. Fiber also increases short-chain fatty acids linked to improved immunity and better intestinal function. All of which suggest that what you eat contributes to healthy microbiome diversity more than any other factor, giving a plant-based diet a definite advantage in ensuring optimal good health.

7 May help protect against dementia

A growing body of evidence shows that some antioxidants in plants can effectively scavenge free radicals, protect cells, delay aging, and prevent diseases related to aging—including dementia. In particular, Alzheimer’s disease, the most common form of dementia, is closely related to the pathological changes of nerve cells that develop and persist as we age. Antioxidants, which are mostly found in plant foods, can protect various components of the nervous system and can have a positive impact on interventions to prevent and alleviate Alzheimer’s disease.

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Meat-free protein sources

Despite the popular myth that plant-based protein is difficult to find, there are in fact many excellent vegan sources. Here are just a handful of foods that contain high amounts of protein per serving.

1 seitan

Made from wheat gluten, seitan is a blank slate, ready to soak up any flavors, which is one reason it’s used as a mock meat. A 3-ounce serving usually contains 15-21 grams of protein.

2 tofu

Tofu is enormously versatile, used in everything from stir-fry to smoothies. A half cup of raw, firm tofu contains about 10 grams of protein.

3 lenses

Lentils are among the world’s oldest health foods. Adding a half cup of cooked lentils to soups, curries, tacos, or salads adds about 12 grams of protein to your meal.

4 beans

Just a half cup of any bean variety provides 6 to 9 grams of protein, plus 6 to 8 grams of fiber to keep you full.

5 Chickpeas

Chickpeas are another versatile food (aquafaba, anyone?) that is high in protein, containing around 7.5 grams per half cup.

6 quinoa

One cup of this ancient grain contains around 8 grams of protein and all the essential amino acids, classifying it as a complete protein.

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Tips for eating less meat

Eating meat is a habit and like any habit, it can take a little time to change it. Here are a few tips to make it easier to reduce your meat intake.

1Start with a cookbook

Find vegan cookbooks with recipes that appeal to you, then gradually replace the meat dishes you enjoy with plant-based foods.

2Mind your breakfast

Breakfast is an easy meal to make meatless, so enjoy a bowl of home-cooked oatmeal topped with fruit and nuts and non-dairy milk, scrambled tofu with spinach, or a veggie breakfast burrito.

3Eat your fruits and veggies

Eat more fruits and veggies at each meal. These are not only healthy, but they’ll satisfy your hunger and make you feel fuller.

4Don’t forget about salads

Big salads—filled with a variety of fresh greens, nuts, and beans and topped with a vinaigrette—are surprisingly delicious and make a perfect meal.

5Moderation is key

Use vegan meats sparingly. They are highly processed and generally loaded with sodium, but they can satisfy the occasional meat craving.

6 Talk to your doctor

Keep in mind that changes to your diet can make you fall short on some vitamins, such as B12 and D, so as you eliminate animal products, ask your doctor about which supplements you might need to take.

7Feel better, every day

Going meatless isn’t just for Mondays, and as you continue cutting down on your meat consumption each day of the week, you’ll likely find yourself feeling better about your health, the animals, and the planet.

For more about the health benefits of not eating meat, read:
Eating One Hot Dog Shortens Healthy Life by 36 Minutes
Plant-Based Diet Slows Rate of Cognitive Decline
5 Heart Health Tips from Plant-Based Medical Pros

Mark Hawthorne’s latest book is The Way of the Rabbit.

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Recipes with Whole Wheat Pasta

Guiding the way to thrive

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Jan Juc naturopath Rebecca Winkler has always found joy in the practice of cooking nourishing meals for others.

That pastime spilled over into developing recipes and it was during lockdown that her culinary passion led her to become a qualified plant-based chef and a raw dessert chef.

Now the mum-of-two has expertly thrown all of her skills into the mix to achieve a long-held goal of producing a book.

Released as an eBook, with a print version to hopefully follow, 14 Day Whole Food Feast is a comprehensive two-week meal plan designed to nourish the body and delight the tastebuds.

Within its pages are recipes for whole food snacks, lunch and dinner meals, lunchbox ideas, and time-saving tips.

14 Day Whole Food Feast by Rebecca Winkler is available now as an eBook.

“My motivation was both personal and professional,” Rebecca says.

“On a professional note, I found so many patients were having difficulty finding family-friendly, whole food recipes to help them navigate various dietary needs.

“The recipes are easy to follow, a shopping list is provided and time frames are taken into account so slower cooked meals or more time-consuming recipes are saved for weekends.”

Rebecca says the eBook can function purely as a recipe resource or be followed meticulously for a 14-day reset.

“Food prep guidance is given at the start of each week in order to get ahead and be organized as possible.

The eBook includes lunch, dinner and snack ideas, as well as shopping lists and naturopathic advice.

“Dinners are often incorporated into leftovers for lunch the next day and naturopathic guidance is provided around ways to maximize your time by incorporating regular exercise and practicing self-care.”

The idea for the book began to brew in 2019 during a solo trip Rebecca took with colleagues which gave her the space to establish a clear vision for the content she wanted to share.

“I began developing and refining recipe, enlisting a beautiful photographer and graphics team to allow my dream to be realised.

“The long-term plan is to release a number of other eBooks and, eventually, print a hard copy, real-life book to be loved and to splash your chocolate and bolognaise sauce on. The kind of recipe book that you find yourself grabbing time and time again.”

The eBook is filled with nutritious recipes and much more.

So, what are some of Rebecca’s personal favorites featured in her carefully curated eBook?

“Ooh, that’s like trying to choose a favorite child,” she laughs.

“I know it might seem boring, but the slow-cooked bolognaise with hand-made gluten-free fettucine is an absolute favourite.
“We make it weekly in my house and every time my kids exclaim ‘this is the best bolognaise ever’.”

The slow cooked beef pie, kafir lime chicken balls and whole food cranberry bliss balls are also hard to pass up, she says.

Rebecca avoids listing ideal ingredients for people to incorporate into their diet, instead saying the most beneficial ingredients are those that make you feel at your best.

“Not everyone tolerates grains, some don’t tolerate fruit, others have difficulty digesting meat and protein.

“My advice is to listen and take note of how your body feels when you eat.

“Are you bloated, do you have pain in your gut, loose stools, headaches or fatigue?

Rebecca is a qualified naturopath, as well as being a plant-based chef and raw dessert chef.

“I am more inclined to advise people to source good quality ingredients, grow what they can, and cook from scratch as much as time and money allows.

“Eat three meals a day and snack only if you are hungry, growing, pregnant or exercising.

“Try to consume 30-35ml of water per kg of body weight. Add plenty of vegetables, fresh herbs, variety and colour.

“Our gut flora thrives on variety, so mix up your veggies, fruits, grain, legumes and proteins. Eat the rainbow.”

To get the most out of the eBook, the author suggests reading it from cover-to-cover and choosing a 14-day period where you are at home and have minimal social engagements.

Rebecca is passionate about naturopathy which she describes as a holistic, comprehensive view of the body in its entirety and “a wonderful adjunct to Western Medicine for patients as it ensures medical due diligence is exercised, adequate diagnostic testing where appropriate and an individualized approach to restoring health”.

Rebecca’s advice is to “eat the rainbow” when it comes to healthy food choices.

She says many of her clients are seeking ways to regain optimal health following extended periods of lockdown during the pandemic.

“There is no doubt that most of us found ourselves allowing more in alcohol and comfort foods over lockdown, which is nothing to feel ashamed about.

“In such a difficult, confining and overwhelming time, we sought comfort where ever it may lie for us.

“This is not a failure, it was merely a way for so many to cope. I never judge anyone’s choices, I merely try to support, understand and listen.

“Often we already know what we need to do to rebuild or move forward, simply sharing and being heard without shame or judgment is therapeutic.

“I cannot describe to you the genuine joy that seeing people thrive provides.”

14 Day Whole Food Feast retails for $19.95 and on the Rebecca Winkler website. Discover more and contact Rebecca via her Facebook page, Instagram @rebeccawinklernaturopath or email [email protected]

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Get to know farro and other superfood whole grains

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By Casey Barber, CNN

Quinoa has reached a level of superfood status not seen since the great kale takeover of the aughts. Equally embraced and mocked in pop culture, it’s become the symbol of the grain bowl generation. It’s not the only whole grain that’s worth bringing to the table, however.

The world of whole grains is wide, and if quinoa and brown rice have been the only grains on your plate, it’s time to expand your palate. Here’s an introduction to whole grains, along with tips for cooking and enjoying them.

What’s a whole grain?

The term “whole grains” encompasses all grains and seeds that are, well, whole. They retain all their edible parts: the fiber-rich outer bran layer; the carbohydrate-rich endosperm center, which makes up the bulk of the grain itself; and the inner core, or germ, which is packed with vitamins, protein and healthy fats.

On the other hand, refined grains such as white rice and all-purpose flour have been milled to remove the bran and germ, stripping away much of the fiber, protein and vitamins, and leaving only the starchy endosperm.

“A lot of people don’t realize that whole grains contain several grams of protein in addition to vitamins and antioxidants,” said Nikita Kapur, a registered dietitian nutritionist in New York City. With every serving of whole grains, “you get a ton of minerals, B vitamins and fiber, which is especially important for good health.”

So-called “ancient grains” fall under the umbrella of whole grains, though the phrase is more of a marketing term than a marker of a more nutritious option. Ancient grains refer to whole grains like millet, amaranth, kamut and, yes, quinoa that have been the staple foods of cultures for several hundred years. They are not hybridized or selectively bred varieties of grains, like most modern wheat, rice and corn.

And though quinoa has gotten all the press as a whole grain superfood, there’s good reason to try others. Trying a variety of whole grains isn’t just a way to mix up your same-old side dish routine. It’s also a chance to get a wider portfolio of minerals and more into your diet.

“Suffice to say, we need to have a more diverse plant-based diet” to get the full complement of recommended nutrients in our meals, Kapur said, “and we can’t get it from the same 10 or 20 foods.

“One grain might have more manganese, another more zinc or magnesium, and another more protein,” she added. “Try one as a pasta, one as a porridge — you do you, as long as there’s a variety.”

Familiar foods like oats, corn, brown and other colors of rice, as well as wild rice (which is an aquatic grass), are all considered whole grains, but there are many others you’ll want to add to your regular repertoire.

Some whole grains to get to know

amaranth is a tiny gluten-free grain that can be simmered until soft for a creamy polenta-like dish, but it also makes a deliciously crunchy addition to homemade energy bars or yogurt bowls when it’s been toasted. To toast amaranth seeds, cook over medium heat in a dry pan, shaking frequently until they begin to pop like minuscule popcorn kernels.

Buckwheat is gluten-free and botanically related to rhubarb, but these polygonal seeds (also called groats) don’t taste anything like fruit. You might already be familiar with buckwheat flour, used in pancakes and soba noodles, or Eastern European kasha, which is simply toasted buckwheat.

Faro is the overarching Italian name for three forms of ancient wheat: farro piccolo, or einkorn; farro medio, or emmer; and farro grande, or spelled. The farro you typically find at the store is the emmer variety, and it’s a rustic, pumped-up wheat berry that’s ideal as a grain bowl base. Or make an Italian-inspired creamy Parmesan farro risotto.

Freekeh is a wheat variety that’s harvested when unripe, then roasted for a surprisingly smoky, nutty flavor and chewy texture. Freekeh’s taste is distinctive enough that it steals the spotlight in your meals, so use it in ways that highlight its flavor. It’s fantastic in a vegetarian burrito bowl paired with spicy salsa, or in a warming chicken stew.

kamut is actually the trademarked brand name for an ancient type of wheat called Khorasan, which features large grains, a mild taste and tender texture. It’s a good, neutral substitute for brown rice in a pilaf or as a side dish. Or try this high-protein grain in a salad with bold flavors like arugula, blood orange and walnut.

millet is a gluten-free seed with a cooked texture similar to couscous. Teff is a small variety of millet that’s most frequently used as the flour base for Ethiopian injera flatbread. Try raw millet mixed into batters and doughs for a bit of crunch, like in this millet skillet cornbread recipe, or use either teff or millet cooked in a breakfast porridge.

How to cook any whole grain

While cooking times vary for each grain, there’s one way to cook any whole grain, whether it’s a tiny seed or a large, chewy kernel: Boil the grains like pasta.

Bring a large pot of water to a boil and add a handful of kosher salt. Add the grains and cook, tasting as you go, until tender. Small grains like amaranth and quinoa can cook fully in five to 15 minutes, while larger grains like farro and wild rice can take anywhere from 30 minutes to one hour — so keep an eye on your pot and check it frequently.

Drain well in a mesh strainer (to catch all those small grains) and either use immediately or allow to cool slightly, then refrigerate for later meals. Cooked whole grains can also be portioned, frozen and stored in airtight bags for up to six months.

If you want to cook your whole grains in an Instant Pot or other multicooker, this chart offers grain-to-water ratios for many of the grains mentioned here.

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Casey Barber is a food writer, illustrator and photographer; the author of “Pierogi Love: New Takes on an Old-World Comfort Food” and “Classic Snacks Made from Scratch: 70 Homemade Versions of Your Favorite Brand-Name Treats”; and editor of the website Good. foods Stories.

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Travel: A quaint county seat with Mayberry charm | Lifestyles – Travel

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I finally ventured out for my first road trip of 2022 earlier this month. It’s been way too long since I took a little trip and it was long overdue. My last little getaway was in Chicago the week of Christmas. The day I returned I wasn’t feeling very well and an at-home test confirmed that I had COVID — again.

The first time was in November 2020 and it was a severe case that landed me in the hospital with pneumonia and difficulty breathing and then many months of recovery. Luckily this time around it just lasted a couple of weeks. At the same time I was pushing through COVID we were in the process of moving. And my Dad, who had tested positive for COVID not long before me, passed away. So, it’s been a heck of a start to 2022. A getaway was much needed.

It was a brief 24 hours in the Indianapolis area, but as always I packed a bit in and had a lot of good food. On our way down we stopped off in Rensselaer for lunch at Fenwick Farms Brewing Co. and took a little walk to check out the murals that are part of the Ren Art Walk. That evening I attended a media opening of the newly reopened Dinosphere exhibit at the Children’s Museum of Indianapolis.

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It’s a place I adore and still enjoy visiting even though my kids are teenagers and young adults now. I love being greeted by the huge Bumblebee character on the way in from what is probably my favorite action move, “The Transformers.” The largest children’s museum in the world has so much to see and I’ve loved having the chance to explore it both with and without my kids.

After the event it was a quick overnight at Staybridge Suites in Plainfield, and in the morning we headed to Danville. Danville is the county seat of Hendricks County. I adore county seats with downtown squares and this is one of my favorites. On an earlier visit there we were in town for the Mayberry in the Midwest festival, which had lots of activities related to the classic TV show “The Andy Griffith Show” that was set in the fictional town of Mayberry.

Danville definitely has that charming, inviting, friendly small town vibe that feels like it could be a sitcom setting. We ate at the Mayberry Cafe where old episodes play on television screens and the menu is full of down-home, made-with-love comfort foods, with a specialty being “Aunt Bee’s Famous Fried Chicken.” I tried it and it was very tasty. The whole place made me smile like Opie after a fishing outing with his dad.

This time our dining destination was The Bread Basket. I had tried their desserts at a few events, but it was my first time dining in. It’s located in a house that was built for the president of Central Normal College in 1914 and is cute and cozy. It’s a breakfast and lunch spot, so plan to go early and be prepared for a wait during peak times (but it’s well worth it).

My Dilly Turkey Sandwich on fresh wheat nut bread with an Orchard Salad was delicious. I loved that they had a combo option where you could pick a half sandwich and half salad or cup of soup. But the desserts are the real star here. I stared at that dessert case for several minutes — and I wasn’t the only one.

I was seated next to it, and watched intently each time they removed a pie or cake from the case to cut a slice. I tried the Hummingbird Cake, which was a perfect treat without being too rich, and then noticed another that was so unique I had to get a slice to take home — the Blackberry Wine Chocolate Cake. If you go there and are overwhelmed with choices, go with this. You won’t regret it.

After lunch, we made our way over to the Hendricks County Historical Museum & Old County Jail, which is just off the square. For someone like me who loves history, this was a wonderful stop to incorporate into our day. It was built in 1866 and used as a jail all the way up until 1974. You can go into the old jail cells (two on the female side and four on the male side) and tour the sheriff’s home.

An exhibit has information and artifacts from when Central Normal College existed (later Canterbury College). There’s also a temporary chronological exhibit about music and musicians, featuring many Hoosier hitmakers.

After the visit, I took a breezy little walk around the square, where I was reminded that there is a nostalgic old movie theater. The historic Danville Royal Theater dates back to the early 1900s and shows current movies for just $5 a ticket.

It was then getting close to dinner time, so we decided to eat before we headed back home. A place in the nearby town of North Salem had been recommend to me and I am so glad we took time to visit. I chatted for a few minutes with Damiano Perillo, owner of Perillo’s Pizzeria. He’s a native of Palermo, the capital of Sicily. The food is authentic and almost all of it is made fresh daily, including their garlic rolls, marinara and alfredo sauces. The New York-style pizzas are perfection.

They even have a nearby garden where they grow many of the fresh vegetables and herbs used in their dishes. They have gluten free pastas, too, and the lady at the next table had some and was raving about it. We also tried the homemade Sicilian cannoli and the limoncello flute, and trust me when I say to definitely not skip dessert.

There was one last food stop. Although we had just eaten, I realized we’d be driving right by Rusted Silo Southern BBQ & Brewhouse in Lizton and just couldn’t pass it up. I made my husband pull in and pick up some food to go. We got the brisket and their house made pimento cheese, chorizo ​​and kielbasa and took it home. I was introduced to it last fall and there is a reason they have been voted Best BBQ in the Indy area four years in a row. I loved hearing about how this eatery located next to a railroad literally stops trains in their tracks to get food from this award-winning BBQ joint.

All three of these places — The Bread Basket, Perillo’s Pizzeria and Rusted Silo are ones that you should absolutely include in your itinerary if you happen to be in the Indianapolis area.

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