Roman Lunches

I’m reverting back to my European trip…

The end of our trip was Rome, which is one of my favorite cities!  The culture, history, food, and architecture is all amazing.  As I have shown through some of my other European posts, I tried to balance out some of my favorite European treats with healthy food, so I could still feel good and keep my energy up.  If I ate pasta & gelato for every meal, I would have loved the taste, but I probably would not have had the energy to do all that we did!

For our first lunch in Rome, we wound up at a touristy restaurant close to the Pantheon, not my ideal culinary experience, but hey we were hungry!  The menu included pizza, pasta & salad.  I was really in the mood for salad, so I chose one with tuna, corn & mozzarella.  I wanted another type of protein, but tuna was all they offered!

SaladThe salad was a great mix of dark greens (radicchio, arugula and mesclun), tomatoes, corn, fresh mozzarella and canned tuna.  Olive oil & vinegar came on the side, which I love since you can control how much goes on.  I ate it all minus some of the cheese (there was a lot!).  All in all, it was a light yet filling meal and made for a good meal to balance out some of my other more “indulgent” ones!

The next day, while meandering through some of the smaller streets of Rome, we found a bustling lunch spot that was actually set in a wine store!

LunchThe restaurant was filled with locals, I think we were the only Americans there!  It was a limited menu, but I was very excited when I saw farro salad on the menu!  I was excited for a dose of whole grains.  My husband and I each decided to get an “appetizer” and then split a main dish.  He got pasta, I got the farro, and then we split swordfish carpaccio.  It was the perfect meal, whole grains, vegetables and lean protein, and delicious to boot!

Here’s a picture of the farro salad, filled with olives, zucchini, peas, and tomatoes.


This was my half of the swordfish carpaccio, topped with arugula, tomatoes, olives, and a couple slices of potatoes all drizzled with lemon juice & olive oil.


I thoroughly enjoyed this lunch, which was full of heart-healthy nutrients!

Onto our 3rd day in Rome.  This lunch was not as healthy, but it was quite an experience for our taste buds!  When I was at NYU completing my master’s program I participated in a 3 week summer program in Tuscay studying the Mediterranean Diet – half the students were nutrition majors and the other half were food studies majors (they are in the same department at NYU).  The trip was incredible, but that’s a whole other story.  We spent a few days in Rome, and on our trip there we were taken to this pizza place that I had the fondest memories from!

I had saved the business card, so I had the address and when I asked the hotel where it was, they said it’s off your map!  Still determined to walk there (since I like to walk EVERYWHERE when traveling), we were quite exhausted & starving by the time we made it to Pizzarium.  I was pleased to see a long line of locals, which was always a good sign.  The woman behind the counter told us the Margherita pizza was in the oven, since we were starving we tried a few others first (we shared everything you see pictured).

PizzariumThis was just a take-out sort of place, with a counter that you can stand and eat on.Roman pizza is shaped in square, and a little thicker crust.   Not as thick as a New York scile of scicilian, but about halfway there.   You tell them how much you want, and the slice is cut for you and you pay by weight.  The one on the left was ricotta and eggplant, the one on the left was potato and cheese, talk about carb loading!  This just wetted our appetite, it was absolutely delicious but we wanted to try the basic Margherita pizza!

Margarita pizzaYUM!!  The slightly thick crust with fresh cheese and tons of basil – perfection.  I definitely ate more than I would normally eat, but hey I was on vacation!  I thoroughly enjoyed each bite, and we left lunch feeling quite satisfied 🙂  Then we were off to conquer the rest of the day and walk some more!

Nutrition Tidbit:

  • Farro is an ancient wheat grain very common in Italian cooking
  • Sometimes spelt and farro are used interchangeably, but they are not the same grain
  • 1/4 cup dry farro contains 160 calories, 3 grams fiber, and 7 grams protein!
  • Farro is rich magnesium and vitamins A, B, C and E


10 Responses

  1. I just started following your blog recently and just wanted to let you know I love your nutrition tidbits. They are always very helpful!!

  2. I”m so jealous! I spent in semester in France, but the we only made it slightly over the border into Italy– not far enough for that true Italy feel. I would’ve LOVED to have tried all the authentic food, it looks amazing!

  3. I’m so jealous of your travels and fun eats! Looks fabulous! 😀

  4. When in Rome, right? 🙂

    That farro salad looks fabulous!

  5. That sounds like so much fun! I’ve never been to Europe (but hopefully someday!).

  6. WOW these are some amazing looking lunches! Especially that salad with fresh moz! Very few things are better than fresh moz!

  7. Oh it sounds like such a wonderful trip! Those lunches are to die for!

  8. I’m drooling over that pizza! What a great trip 🙂

  9. I just love your attitude towards food! All those meals look delicious. I’m trying to think about what we ate when in Rome, and I don’t think there were too many salads on the menu… you are definitely changing the way I’m going to think about eating while on vacation next time! 😀

  10. Ooh, the farro salad looks and sounds amazing! Yum!

    🙂 Diana

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