City Pulse

By Eudie Pak

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So you like to toast the good life with the red and white but still blue about stepping on the scale? Well, perusing through The Wine Lover’s Healthy Weight Loss Plan might shed some new light on how you can shed those pounds without fearing the grapes of wrath.

Coauthored by a cardiologist and an award-winning chef, this book offers another diet option for those constantly battling the bulge. This isn’t a count-your-calories page turner but instead, is an opportunity for you to ‘eat, drink, and be healthy.’

Research shows that drinking wine can not only reduce your chances of heart attacks, strokes, ulcers, and arthritis but can also make you lose the chub. So if you’re a believer of the good of what a bottle can do ya, a lover of Mediterranean flavors, and an empathizer of The Biggest Loser, then burn some calories and walk on over to your nearest bookstore to snag a copy of this weight loss plan.

Here’s a sneak peek at some of the recipes you’ll find in the book:

Marinated Mozzarella with Lemon and Capers

Recommended Wine:
Napa Valley Sauvignon Blanc 2004 Rudd Vineyards Oakville, California

Alternative:
Semillon Bordeaux blanc Cotes du Rhone blanc

12 ounces fresh mozzarella, sliced ¼-inch thick
½ cup extra virgin olive oil
2 cloves finely minced garlic
1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes
1 tablespoon minced fresh oregano
1 tablespoon finely minced lemon zest
½ teaspoon sea salt
½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
Juice of 1 lemon
3 tablespoons capers, drained and chopped
Fresh oregano stems as garnish

Place mozzarella slices on a medium platter.

Heat olive oil in small saucepan over medium heat. Add garlic and red pepper flakes and heat until garlic starts to sizzle. Remove from heat and stir in the oregano, lemon zest, salt and pepper. Let cool to room temperature. Stir in capers and lemon juice. Adjust seasonings.
Drizzle this mixture over cheese and marinate, refrigerated, for at least 1 hour.
To serve, top with fresh oregano stems as garnish.

Serves 6.

Greek Lamb Shanks with Orzo and Feta

Recommended Wine:
Ehlers Estate Cabernet Franc 2003
Ehlers Estate winery
St. Helena, California

Alternative:
Cabernet Franc Syrah

4 lamb shanks
2 sliced large onions
4 minced large cloves garlic
2 cups low-sodium chicken stock
1 cup dry white wine
1 tablespoon chopped fresh rosemary
1 tablespoon chopped fresh thyme
1 tablespoon chopped fresh oregano
1 cup orzo
1 cup crumbled feta cheese
2 tablespoons chopped parsley
Sea salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste

In a large Dutch oven, heat oil over medium-high heat. Sprinkling shanks with salt and pepper, brown on all sides. Remove to warm plate. Reduce heat to medium, add onions to pan and cook until soft, about 5 minutes. Stir in garlic, stock, wine, rosemary, thyme, and oregano. Put lamb back into pot and bring to boil, reduce heat, cover, and simmer for about 3 hours or until meat is very tender. Raise heat to medium; add orzo and cook, uncovered, for about 15 minutes or until orzo is cooked. Sprinkle with feta cheese and parsley to serve.

Serves 4.

Originally published March 2007
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