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Food & Recipes

How Valerie Bertinelli Makes Her Italian Wedding Soup Deliciously Low-Carb

This savory recipe got Martha Stewart's seal of approval.


Valerie Bertinelli might be famous for her roles on sitcoms like the original One Day at a Time or Hot In Cleveland, but she also loves to share her talents in the kitchen with us. Most recently, she’s been dishing out tips for making deliciously healthy meals.

Like a lot of people at the start of a new year, Bertinelli is focusing on eating lighter and achieving her weight loss goals. Sure, she can be seen holding up a pile of pasta on the cover of her cookbook, Valerie’s Home Cooking: More than 100 Delicious Recipes to Share with Friends and Family ($17.97, Amazon), but lately she’s embracing a more low-carb lifestyle. 

With that in mind, Bertinelli revealed how she tweaks some of her favorite recipes to nix carbohydrates altogether while visiting TODAY. For example, traditional Italian wedding soup usually involves small pasta like orzo and breadcrumbs for the meatballs. 

Bertinelli skips them both entirely. She also opts for turkey rather than beef to make her meatballs leaner, plus plenty of Parmesan cheese, onion, garlic, parsley, and an egg to keep everything bound together. The absence of pasta is hardly noticeable thanks to “really pump[ing] up some veggies.” Chopped onion, carrot, and celery make the chicken broth feel more filling without packing on carbs. She finishes it off by tossing in some leafy greens because, “It’s not wedding soup without escarole.” 

The nutrient-rich recipe was tasty enough to impress none other than Martha Stewart, who also happened to be in the studio during Bertinelli’s visit. You can’t get a much better seal of approval than that!

On top of avoiding carbs, the actress also relies on things like Swerve Sweetener ($7.68, Amazon), a natural sugar substitute she uses in a cheesecake recipe, to help satisfy her sweet tooth without going overboard.

Bertinelli also opened up about the inspiration behind her weight loss goals and how she previously used food as an emotional crutch. “With the loss of my parents and dealing with other trials life throws our way, I’ve used food as a way not to feel the sadness or the stress,” she wrote. “But by eating something away, all it does is make me feel worse about myself. One of my personal mottos is ‘choose happy.’ But sometimes that choice is really challenging.” The actress is now on a mission to turn things around and “to know what true joy inside and out feels like.”

We can all relate to letting our weight or health slip when times get tough — which is why Bertinelli is sharing her tips and tricks, and asking fans to share theirs with her through TODAY show’s social media.

Thank goodness there are so many yummy dishes that can help us all get back on track. Click here to check out more of our favorite low-carb recipes!

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