Monday, October 13, 2008

Foodbuzz Launch!

Foodbuzz is well on it's way to becoming the #1 Food and Drink site on the net, with all the features today's 'foodies' are looking for, in one convenient, user-friendly, and customizable place!

I have been a member of the Foodbuzz Publisher Community for several months, and the innovative features here have really impressed me. (impressing my cynical butt is not an easy task, lol)

Check it out - if you have even the smallest interest in food, in any aspect, you won't be disappointed!


Contact: Allison Costello

Doug Collister


San Francisco – October 13, 2008: Foodbuzz, Inc., officially inaugurates its food blogger community with more than 1,000 blog partners, a global food blogging event and an online platform that captures the real-people, real-time power of food publishing in every corner of the world. At launch, the Foodbuzz community ranks as one of the top-10 Internet destinations for food and dining (Quantcast), with bloggers based in 45 countries and 863 cities serving up daily food content.
“Food bloggers are at the forefront of reality publishing and the dramatic growth of new media has redefined how food enthusiasts access tasty content,” said Doug Collister, Executive Vice President of Foodbuzz, Inc. “Food bloggers are the new breed of local food experts and at any minute of the day, Foodbuzz is there to help capture the immediacy of their hands-on experiences, be it a memorable restaurant meal, a trip to the farmers market, or a special home-cooked meal.”
Foodbuzz is the only online community with content created exclusively by food bloggers and rated by foodies. The site offers more than 20,000 pieces of new food and dining content weekly, including recipes, photos, blog posts, videos and restaurant reviews. Members decide the “tastiness” of each piece of content by voting and “buzz” the most popular posts to the top of the daily menu of submissions. Foodbuzz currently logs over 13 million monthly page views and over three million monthly unique visitors.
“Our goal is to be the number-one online source of quality food and dining content by promoting the talent, enthusiasm and knowledge of food bloggers around the globe,” said Ben Dehan, founder and CEO of Foodbuzz, Inc.
The Foodbuzz blogger community is growing at a rate of 40 percent per month driven by strong growth in existing partner blogs and the addition of over 100 new blogs per month. “The Web site is like the stock of a great soup. The Web site provides the base or backbone for bloggers to interact as a community, contribute content, and have that content buzzed by their peers,” said Mr. Dehan.
Global Blogging Event
Demonstrating the talent and scope of the Foodbuzz community, 24 Meals, 24 Hours, 24 Blogs offered online food enthusiasts an international, virtual street festival of food and diversity. The new feature showcased blog posts from 24 Foodbuzz partner bloggers chronicling events occurring around the globe during a 24 hour period and included:
Mid-Autumn Festival Banquest (New York, NY)
The "Found on Foodbuzz" 24-Item Tasting Menu (San Francisco, CA)
Aussie BBQ Bonanza – Celebrating Diversity (Sydney, Australia)
The Four Corners of Carolina BBQ Road Trip (Charleston, SC)
Criminal Tastes – An Illegal Supper (Crested Butte, CO)
From Matambre to Empanadas: An Argentine Dinner (Buenos Aires, Argentina)
A Sweet Trompe l’oeil (Seattle, WA)

“24 Meals, 24 Hours, 24 Blogs” captures the quality and unique local perspective of our food bloggers and shared it with the world,” said Ryan Stern, Director of the Foodbuzz Publisher Community. “It illustrates exactly what the future of food publishing is all about – real food, experienced by real people, shared real-time.”
About Foodbuzz, Inc.
Based in San Francisco, Foodbuzz, Inc., launched its beta Web site,, in 2007. In less than a year, and its community of over 1,000 exclusive partner food blogs have grown into an extended online property that reaches more than three million users.

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Sunday, September 28, 2008

Slow Cooker Honey-Dijon Pork Tenderloin

Today, I made the best, most tender, flavorful, and moist Pork Tenderloin that I've ever tasted, if I do say so myself! ;-)

I had a lovely-looking 2 lb pork tenderloin, (see pic) and wanted to try something different - I searched online, saw an interesting recipe on, Southern Cooking, and adapted it to fit my own taste.

Slow Cooker Honey-Dijon Pork Tenderloin

* 2 lb pork tenderloin, or 2 1 lb pork tenderloins
* salt and pepper, to taste
* 1 medium garlic clove, minced
* 5 tablespoons high quality honey-dijon mustard
* 1 tablespoon brown sugar
* 1 tablespoon cider vinegar or balsamic vinegar
* 1/2 teaspoon dried leaf thyme, crumbled
* 1 tablespoon cornstarch
* 1 tablespoon cold water

Wash and trim the pork and pat dry; sprinkle lightly with salt and pepper. Place pork in the slow cooker. Combine garlic, mustard, brown sugar, vinegar, and thyme; pour over the pork. Turn pork to coat thoroughly. Cover and cook on LOW for 7 to 9 hours, or on HIGH for 3 1/2 to 4 1/2 hours. Test for doneness with meat thermometer, center of tenderloin should be at least 160F, for safe eating.

Remove pork to a plate, cover with foil, and keep warm. Pour the juices into a saucepan and bring to a boil over medium heat. Simmer for 8 to 10 minutes, or until reduced by about one-third. I left the 'chunky bits' in my sauce for extra flavor, but you can easily strain the juices, for a smoother sauce. Combine the cornstarch and cold water; whisk into the reduced juices and cook for 1 minute longer. Serve pork sliced with the thickened juices.

I added some fresh Italian style green beans, and a simple salad, and had a meal fit for royalty!

Serves 6.

Monday, September 22, 2008

Thank You, Foodbuzz!

After a hard work day today, I arrived home to find a package from my friends at Foodbuzz, the Internet's most awesome foodie community.

I excitedly opened my package, to find that these wonderful folks had sent me yet more gifts to show their appreciation for my role as one of their Featured Publishers!

This time, I received a high-quality chef's apron, and a snazzy green spatula, both emblazoned with the Foodbuzz logo. You can see both in the picture above.

I'm especially impressed with the chef's apron - not only does it have an adjustable neck, (important to someone like me, who is 'vertically challenged', lol) but it also has 3 deep waist pockets, something that is only found in the best quality aprons.

I'm looking forward to using my new gifts at my public catering events, where I know the Foodbuzz logo will start a real 'buzz'! I intend to let any who ask know what a great community Foodbuzz is!

Be sure to check out the Foodbuzz site - you'll be glad you did!

Thanks again, Foodbuzz - you rock!

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Blue Cheese Cream Toasts with Walnuts

Calabres Con Nuezes

Another tasty, yet super quick and easy, Tapas recipes!

Yield: 10-12 toasts


French baguette, cut in half inch slices
2 Tbl Extra Virgin Olive Oil
8 oz Cabrales, or other bleu cheese (Cabrales really is the best!)
2 Tbl sour cream
Fresh ground black pepper, to taste
1/2 cup English walnut halves, shelled


Preheat oven to 375F. Brush each slice of baguette with olive oil, and place on baking sheet. Bake for about 5 minutes, until golden brown.

In medium bowl, crumble Cabrales, add sour cream, and mix lightly with a fork. Do not overmix - mixture should not be smooth. Season with pepper to taste. Spread a tsp of cheese mixture on each slice of baguette, top with a walnut half.

That's all there is to it! Serve with cocktails, sparkling white wine, or as a finger food with other appetizers.

Tuesday, September 9, 2008


Lately, I've been having a great time discovering and creating 'Tapas', the wonderful snacks that magically appear beside your chosen drink at Spanish bars. Tapas are usually very simple, small morsels of food, often unique to local regions of Spain. Tapas are only one of the ways that the local gathering spots use to make everyone feel like 'family'.

Here is just one of the numerous Tapas you may find.
Try serving these at your next cocktail party, or game day - your guest will love them!

I will be posting more Tapa recipes soon!

Croquetas de Huevos (Egg Fritters)

Makes 36 fritters


1/4 stick butter
1 cup all-purpose flour
1 cup of milk (very cold)
2 hard-boiled eggs, chopped fine
Salt and fresh ground pepper to taste
1 tsp grated nutmeg
6 TBL bread crumbs, finely ground
2 large eggs, beaten
Oil (preferably EVOO) for frying

Melt butter in medium saucepan, and add flour, stirring constantly. Continiue stirring constantly, about 2 minutes. Add milk slowly, still stirring constantly, until it forms a thick sauce. Fold in hard boiled eggs, season to taste, and add nutmeg. Continue to cook 4-5 minutes, resulting in a thick sauce.
Let cool completely - this is very important! Cooling overnight is best.
Form a scan TBL of the mixture into a fritter, (1.5 to 2 inch cylinder). Roll fritter in bread crumbs, coat in beaten egg, and roll in bread crumbs again.
Heat oil in large, heavy-bottomed skillet until temp reaches 350F. Fry in batches (no more than 3-4 per batch) for about 5 minutes, until golden brown.
Remove with slotted spoon, drain on paper towels, and serve immediately.

Saturday, June 14, 2008

"Safe" Tomatoes

Will it be a tomato-less summer for some people?

I highly doubt that the current Salmonella scare will last all summer, although the FDA seems to be having an especially hard time locating the source of the contaminated tomatoes, compared with other recent outbreaks.

On a positive note, the FDA is clearing more states' growers every day, so if you can (reliably) find out the source of the tomatoes you wish to purchase, you can check to see if that state is on the "safe" list.

The most comprehensive information I've found for all aspects of this Salmonella outbreak, including a daily updating of states where the tomatoes have been deemed safe, is Salmonellosis Outbreak in Certain Types of Tomatoes

As for ourselves, we are blessed that this year's crop of container tomatoes is an abundant one, as evidenced by the pictures. With a little work to keep the squirrels at bay, we've been enjoying these homegrown delights every day!

I hope my readers are as lucky!

Sunday, May 11, 2008

Easy Broccoli Salad

This sweet but tangy broccoli salad isn't just good for you, it's super easy to prepare as a light lunch, or cool side dish for your next cookout!


3/4 cup mayonnaise
2 Tbl sugar
2 Tbl vinegar
6 cups fresh broccoli florets
6 slices crisply cooked bacon, crumbled
1 small red onion, chopped


Mix mayonnaise, sugar and vinegar in large bowl. Add remaining ingredients and mix lightly. Cover and refrigerate at least one hour before serving.

Serves 10-12.

Saturday, May 10, 2008

Sausage-Stuffed Squash

Hearty enough for a main course, this is one of our favorite recipes for squash.


2 medium acorn squash, about 1 and 1/2 lbs (I occasionally substitute butternut squash)
2 Italian sausage links, casing removed
1 medium onion (or more to taste), chopped
2/3 cup chopped green pepper
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 medium tomatoes, chopped
1 and 1/2 tsp Italian seasoning
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp pepper
1/2 cup shredded Parmesan or cheddar cheese (your choice)

Cut each squash in half lengthwise, scoop out and discard seeds, forming a 'cup' in each of the four halves. Place squash cut side down, in a microwave-safe baking dish. Cover and microwave on high for 10-12 minutes or until tender.
While squash is cooking, crumble sausage into a large skillet and add the onion, green peppers, and garlic. Cook over medium heat until the meat is no longer pink - drain. Stir in tomato, Italian seasoning, salt and pepper.
Turn squash over, cut side up. Stuff with sausage mixture and sprinkle with Parmesan or cheddar. Cover and microwave on high for 2-3 minutes or untill heated through.

Serves 4

Monday, May 5, 2008

Great Giveaways, and a Great Blog, too!

Lori over at My Wooden Spoon has just started a 3 month weekly giveaway contest with some FANTASTIC prizes! I mean really, who wouldn't love a free Cuisinart Food Prep, or a Kitchenaid Stand Mixer??
As an added bonus, Lori's got an awesome food blog - I've spent 'way more time than I should exploring it.
Head on over to My Wooden Spoon and see what I mean! While you're there, check out her 'Buttery Shrimp Scampi with Linguine' recipe, complete with step by step directions, and wonderful photos.

Sunday, May 4, 2008

Herbed Olive Oil

Some of you know that my love of gardening follows very closely behind my passion for food. As I was transplanting my little herb seedlings to their strawberry pot today, I was already making plans for the sprigs of fresh new growth they'll soon be producing. Most herbs benefit greatly by regular trimming, this provides us with a constant supply of fresh herbs over the summer.

This morning's transplanting inspired me to share one of my favorite herb recipes with you...

Herbed Olive Oil

Makes 3/4 cup

3 Tbl fresh parsley, chopped
1 Tbl fresh rosemary, chopped, or one small sprig
1 and 1/2 Tbl fresh oregano, chopped
1 garlic clove, crushed through a press
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp fresh ground peppercorns
1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil


In a food processor or blender, combine parsley, rosemary, oregano, garlic, salt and pepper. Process until herbs are finely minced. Add olive oil and blend well. Let stand at least 10 minutes before serving or transfer to a covered jar and store in refrigerator for up to one week.

**Please do not increase this recipe unless you plan to share with others. Due to the lack of preservatives in this oil, dangerous bacterial growth is possible if stored for over a week, even in the refrigerator.

Thursday, April 17, 2008

Mexican chorizo Pizzas

These little pizzas make a great easy meal, or terrific appetizers!
This recipe serves 3 as a meal (everyone gets their own pizza), or 6 as an appetizer.

Red and Green Salsa (recipe below)
8 oz Chorizo sausage
1 cup (4 oz) shredded Cheddar cheese
1 cup (4 oz) shredded Monterey Jack cheese (you may alternatively use 8 oz of 'mexican blend', which is a combination of Cheddar and Monterey Jack)
3 (10 inch) flour tortillas

Prepare Red and Green Salsa.

Remove and discard casing from chorizo. Heat a medium skillet over high heat until hot. Reduce heat to medium, and crumble chorizo into skillet. Brown 6 - 8 minutes, stirring to separate. Remove with slotted spoon, and drain on paper towels.

Preheat oven to 450F. Mix cheese in bowl.

Place tortillas on baking sheet (use more than one if necessary). Divide chorizo evenly between tortillas, leaving 1/2 inch from edge of tortilla uncovered. Sprinkle cheeses over top.

Bake 8 to 10 minutes until edges are crisp and golden brown, and cheese is melted.

Transfer to serving plates, and cut each tortilla into 6 wedges. Sprinkle with Red and Green Salsa.

Red and Green Salsa

1 small red bell pepper
1/4 cup coarsely chopped cilantro
3 green onions, sliced thin
2 fresh jalapeno peppers, seeded and minced
2 Tbl fresh lime juice
1 clove garlic, minced
1/4 tsp salt

Cut bell pepper lengthwise in half, remove seeds and veins. Cut halves lengthwise into thin strips, cut strips in half. Mix all ingredients in bowl. Let stand, covered, at room temperature for 1-2 hours before serving, to blend flavors.

Sunday, April 13, 2008

It's A Wrap!

With the onset of warmer weather, I'm all about 'lighter' meals, especially one I can munch on while doing almost any other task, be it reading, writing, driving,(oops, not so safe, say the 'driving police', lol) or taking a walk.
Wraps are my new favorite, and I'm finding some delicious recipes!
For those who may not know, 'wraps' are almost any combination of ingredients, hot or cold, conveniently wrapped in a (flavored or plain) flour tortilla.
Below, I'd like to share one of the tastiest wraps I've made to date:

Shrimp Caesar Salad Wrap
(makes 2 wraps)

1 Tbl plus 2 tsp Dijon mustard
1 Tbl lime juice
1 Tbl lemon juice
1 Tbl concentrated orange juice
1 tsp Worcestershire sauce
1/2 tsp minced garlic
Kosher salt
3 Tbl olive oil, plus 1 tsp for brushing shrimp
1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese (I prefer Parmigiano-Reggiano)
1/2 lb large shrimp, peeled and deveined
Fresh ground black pepper
2 and 1/2 cups chopped Romaine lettuce, firmly packed
1/4 cup croutons
Two 10 or 11 inch flour tortillas (plain, whole wheat, or sun-dried tomato are good choices)

Preheat broiler.
Combine mustard, citrus juices, Worcestershire, garlic, and 1/2 tsp kosher salt in a medium bowl. Gradually whisk in 3 Tbl olive oil. Stir in cheese, set aside.
Brush shrimp with remaining olive oil, and season with 1/4 tsp kosher salt and 1/4 tsp pepper. Place under broiler, and cook until firm and orange colored, about 2 minutes, turning once. Remove from heat and cut into quarters.
Toss together the shrimp, romaine lettuce, and croutons in large bowl. Add the mustard mixture and toss to coat evenly. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Divide mixture evenly between the 2 tortillas and wrap.

To wrap:
Place filling vertically along center of tortilla, to within 1 inch of bottom edge of tortilla. Fold bottom upwards to beginning on filling line, then roll tortilla from the sides, working from left to right. Leave top open, to showcase filling.

Substitutions: You may substitute chopped grilled chicken for the shrimp in this recipe.

Sunday, March 23, 2008

All those Easter Eggs - Now What?

I hope everyone enjoyed the Easter holiday. Now, it's time to find interesting ways to use all those lovely hard boiled eggs that you had such a great time decorating with the wee ones. Here are two easy and delicious ways to get the family to eat them up!

Quick and Easy Deviled Eggs

6 peeled hard boiled eggs
1/4 cup bottled Thousand Island Dressing
sliced black olives
julienned pimento strips

Cut each egg in half vertically, and remove yolk, using a teaspoon. Place yolks in medium bowl and mash, arrange whites on platter. Add Thousand Island Dressing to yolks, and mix well. Spoon egg yolk mixture into center of whites, mounding well. Place one pimento strip and one sliced olive on top. Makes 12.
**You may increase or decrease the amount of Thousand Island dressing, for a drier, or moister filling.

Egg and Olive Salad

6 peeled hard boiled eggs, coarsely chopped
1 cup pitted Kalamata olives, coarsely chopped
1/4 cup roasted red peepers (drain all juices if using canned or bottled peppers)
1 tsp sea salt
1/2 tsp coasely ground fresh black pepper
1 cup mayonnaise
1/2 tsp celery seed

Combine all ingredients in bowl, and refrigerate for at least one hour to allow flavors to meld. Spread on bread of your choice as a sandwich, or serve with herbed crackers.

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Cooking By The Seat Of My Pants

As many of you already know, there are many great recipe blogs on the web. Unfortunately, it can be very time consuming to find 'the best of the best'. Let me help you out - check out Jerry's blog,Cooking By The Seat Of My Pants. There's always something interesting there!

Sunday, March 9, 2008

Green Olive Cheese Bites

I've doing a lot of work with appetizers lately, and I'd like to share some of our most popular ones with you.

Green Olive Cheese Bites

2 cups sharp, or extra sharp Cheddar cheese
4 Tbl butter, softened
1 cup flour
1 tsp paprika
dash of cayenne pepper (optional, but really adds to the flavor!)
1 (8.5 oz) jar of pimento-stuffed green olives
1 egg
1 Tbl cream
1/4 cup sesame seeds

Preheat oven to 350F. Combine cheese and butter in food processor, blend well. Add flour, paprika, and cayenne, and process until smooth.
Drain olives well. Wrap about 1 tsp of the dough around each olive, pinching edges to seal. Form into balls, and place on foil lined baking sheet.
In a small bowl, beat egg and cream well, and brush over the top of the bites. Sprinkle with sesame seeds.
**If you'd like to make these appetizers ahead of time, cover the baking sheet with plastic wrap, place in freezer until bites are frozen, then place them in a freezer bag in freezer for up to several hours. Thaw in refrigerator before baking.
To bake and serve immediately, place baking sheet in prepared oven, and bake for about 15 minutues, to until just golden brown. May be served hot, warm, or at room temp.
Makes about 48 bites

I'll be posting more appetizer recipes soon!

Wednesday, March 5, 2008

Buffalo Chicken Sandwiches

As promised, changes are coming to the blog!

Although Italian cuisine will always be my passion, we do frequently enjoy other (non-Italian) foods! (I can hear gasps of disbelief, lol)

I've decided to begin including 'other' recipes here at Flavors Of Italy, to prove that I actually have quite broad foodie tastes, and to share more of the recipes we love with my readers.

Last weekend, the weather here in Memphis resembled late spring much more than late winter, with highs of nearly 80F on Saturday and Sunday. (of course, we had snow flurries on Monday, and are now back to the 60s today.) Such is the constant weather roller coaster we learn to live with here. But, I digress...

With the lovely weather, I refused to spend Saturday in the kitchen, so we had a quick and easy, but very tasty dinner of Buffalo Chicken Sandwiches.
Allow me to share the recipe with you-

Buffalo Chicken Sandwiches

1/4 to 1/3 cup of hot pepper sauce (use your favorite 'red' pepper sauce, and adjust the amount to your liking!)

6 TBL butter

1 envelope of dry Italian dressing mix

4 Kaiser or other good bakery buns

4 Romaine lettuce leaves

4 skinless, boneless, chicken breast halves

all-purpose flour, for dusting

2 TBL olive oil

Bleu cheese dressing, for topping

Stir hot sauce, butter, and dressing mix into a heavy saucepan, and place over low heat, stirring constantly until well blended.

Slice rolls crosswise, and spread 2 TBL sauce on bottom of each roll.

Season breasts with salt and pepper if desired, and dust lightly with flour. coat chicken thoroughly with remaining sauce, and dust lightly with flour again.

Heat olive oil over medium heat in large skillet. Add chicken, and saute until lightly browned and cooked through, about 5 minutes on each side.

Place on breast half on each prepared bun bottom, top with 1 romaine lettuce leaf, and a nice dollop of Bleu cheese dressing, replace bun top.

Serve with crispy fresh veggies (we like carrot and celery sticks), and plenty of napkins!! ;-)

Sunday, February 24, 2008

A new twist on Pesto!

Recently, while visiting one of my most favorite blogs, Kopiaste, I saw that Ivy had posted a very creative Pesto recipe. We love pesto, and I make it on a regular basis, but I really don't care for pine nuts (a staple of most pesto recipes) at all.
Not only does Ivy use fresh Spinach (!!) in her pesto, she substitutes walnuts for those pesky pine nuts. :-)
We tested her recipe this weekend, and all I can say is 'Pure Culinary Delight!' The spinach gave us a wonderful fresh change from our usual basil, and the walnuts added a fantastic, 'creamy' finish, which, in our opinion, complemented the entire taste experience much better than pine nuts.
I have now decided that all my pesto recipes will be adjusted, using walnuts!

With Ivy's permission, I am reposting her recipe here, followed by my suggestion of using basil, in place of the spinach, just for a change of taste.
This recipe has already taken its place beside my basil pesto, as one of our favorites!

Spinach Pesto
2 cups rough chopped fresh baby leaf spinach
3 spoonfuls of fresh parsley
1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1/2 cup walnuts
1 tablespoon minced garlic
1 teaspoon coarse salt
1/2 cup olive oil
1/5 cup of wine vinegar

Put parsley, parmesan, walnuts, garlic, salt to food vinegar. Mix until smooth. Add olive oil, and half spinach to mixture. Blend until smooth. Add remaining half of spinach and blend until smooth.

This recipe makes 2 cups of pesto. Refrigerate remaining pesto in a glass jar. Pour a thin layer of olive oil over the top. Pesto will keep in the refrigerator for up to four weeks. Additionally, you can freeze pesto in small freezer bags by filling 3/4 full, laying flat, squeezing out the air and sealing. Thaw in the refrigerator overnight, not in the microwave.

Variation: 1 cup (or more to taste) of coarsely chopped fresh basil, substituted for the spinach.

For more wonderful recipes, and great everyday stories from the heart of Greece, please visit Ivy's blog, Kopiaste to Greek Hospitality


Wednesday, February 13, 2008


As my wonderful friend Ivy pointed out, some of you may be wondering where I've disappeared to! Unfortunately, I've had some (very irritating) login issues with my blog, which have kept me from posting. Hopefully, the problem is taken care of now. Also, with Valentine's Day upon us, I've been very busy preparing those 'intimate dinners for two' for my clients. It seems many people will be spending the evening at home this year, which is great for me, but very hard work! ;-)

I've also been preparing some pretty big changes for this blog, so keep checking back- with any luck, they'll begin appearing the next few days!


Sunday, January 6, 2008

Healthier Than You Thought...

I ran across a very interesting article at Webmd, and thought I would share it here. These days, almost everyone is interested in healthier eating - this article is reassuring in that we may already be eating healthier than we thought!

From Webmd
Cooking Veggies May Not Cut Nutrients
Study: Some Cooking Methods Maintain or Boost Certain Nutrients in Vegetables
By Miranda Hitti
WebMD Medical News
Reviewed by Louise Chang, MD

Dec. 21, 2007 -- Cooking vegetables may not reduce all of the nutrients in those veggies, according to a new Italian study.

The University of Parma's Nicoletta Pellegrini, PhD, and colleagues bought freshly harvested carrots, zucchini, and broccoli at a local market.

In their lab, the scientists measured levels of various antioxidants in the raw vegetables. Then they boiled, steamed, or fried the vegetables. Lastly, they measured antioxidant levels in the cooked vegetables.

Raw vegetables were loaded with antioxidants. After cooking, their antioxidant levels were a mixed bag.

In some cases, the veggies lost antioxidants to cooking. But not all antioxidants decreased when cooked -- and in some cases, certain antioxidant levels rose when cooked.

For instance, steamed broccoli contained higher levels than raw broccoli of glucosinolate compounds, which may reduce cancer risk. And boiled carrots contained higher levels than raw carrots of carotenoids, which give carrots their bright orange color.

No single method of cooking stood out as being best for all antioxidants.

"Our results suggest that for each vegetable a preferential cooking method could be selected to preserve or improve its nutritional qualities," write the researchers.

Their findings appear in the Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry.