T Nation

La Cucina Anabolica Italiana

“The Anabolic, Italian Kitchen”

It’s all about iron… and lifting said iron… and sweat… and passion… and determination… and goals…

… and food cough, cough… I mean, nutrition.

Regardless of your goals-- “git hyooge” or “ript abzzz”, ya gotta eat, and ya gotta eat right.

I grew up in an Italian family that owned a small meat market and before that, we were farmers. We know food-- and we know how to grow it, raise it, and cook it.

Unfortunately, I know how to eat it. Too much of it.

So, when I decided to drop 70 pounds, I wanted to do it with food I loved.

I’m coming up on a milestone in my life, and with just a few more weeks left (and some good convos with T-Nation members), I decided to tighten up and do a strict Anabolic Diet. I’ve been eating low carb for awhile now to maintain the weight that I’ve lost, and frankly, I’m scared to death to put fat back on.

EDITED:[i] I want to qualify the above statement. When I say “… scared … to put fat back on” I mean to say become a fat ass. Since starting this thread, I’ve used eating like this (in greater quantity) to gain about 20-30# (read: a few inches on the arms) of quality weight back.

I did the AD for about 4 or so months in caloric excess to gain, then slowly added carbs back in paying attention to timing.

Point is, don’t be afraid of some fat if you’re packing on muscle. If you’re worried about your abs (and especially if you’re a natty), you’re limiting your own progress. Just ask the big guys on this site-- you know who they are.

These meals fall in line pretty well with the A-D, but don’t be afraid to eat carbs if you’re gaining size and strength. Later recipes will reflect this.[/i]

** END EDIT **

The Anabolic Diet can be fun, but it should not be bland.

Let’s face it even eggs, bacon, sausage, and steak gets old after awhile, so you have to spice it up a bit!

Life is too short for shitty tasting food and shitty beer. Since beer is out of the picture for many folks, that leaves shitty tasting food— And we’re going to FIGHT that RIGHT HERE!!

Yeah, yeah, most of the day will be tuna, eggs, kippers, chicken, but, man, when it’s time to eat, we’re going to EAT TASTY.

Because I’ve gotten so much out of T-Nation over the past couple years, I’m going to give something back-- some of my Anabolic Diet Recipes Italian Style (mostly).

I invite you all to post your Anabolic Diet recipes as well!

Remember: Quality ingredients make quality food.


Tonight: Grilled Pesto Salmon w/Kalamatas

Started w/1.5 pound fillet of Fresh Atlantic Salmon.

You’ll need Extra Virgin Olive Oil and Pesto. I usually make my own, but went for ease tonight. Funny, in Maine (not know n for cuisine), the Pesto is in the “Ethnic” section. In Jersey, we called it “food”.

I cut the fillet into thirds (not all the way through, yet). That way, each final fillet is about 8oz (you do the math).

Crush some fresh garlic cloves and stuff that puppy. Drizzle the Olive oil.

Oh, yeah, the grill should be firing away and the fillet on a piece of aluminum foil on the grill at this point.

Add another piece of foil on top and let it grill for a bit.

Then drizzle pesto on (I use about 1 TBL per fillet)-- you can adjust to calorie requirements or taste.

Let grill some more. Add Kalamatas. Actually, just about any Greek or Italian olive will do. Even (GASP!) the generic black olives you can buy in cans. Have never tried Spanish Olives (let me know how that tastes, 'kay?).

Oh, at this point, the neighbors are drooling…

Now for the cheese. (See the basil, that’s coming up…)

I want to be clear about this-- “Kraft Parmesan” is not something that enters my household.

Do yourself a favor. Seek out “Locatelli Pecorino Romano” cheese for your Italian dishes (Locatelli is the brand, if you can get it). Pecorino Romano is made from sheeps milk. You may never buy anything else.

(On a related note, you can buy the wedges and grate it yourself, or cube it and drink it with a red wine as a “pre-panty removing appetizer”.)

A few TBS will do-- again, depending on taste.

At this point, keep grilling to taste. The skin is probably blackening at this point and the outside has turned pale.

Some people like it right there, some people cook it very thoroughly. With all the natural fat, olive oil, and pesto oils simmering and mixing, it’s hard to dry out this meal.

Here are some grill shots:


More… (Sorry, can’t figure out how to upload the smells…)

Towards the very end, drop the FRESH basil on top.


She’s ready to come… off the grill!

The dish.

Incidentally, it was killin’ me to have to wait because I was taking all these pics!! My youngest daughter was lamenting "ARE YOU DONE YET?!!? :slight_smile:

(More food porn).

Last pic, forgot to mention that I just put the fillet on a huge (hyooooje!) Romaine leaf.

I eat the whole fish piece and when I’m done, I just fold up the left a chew it up. REMEMBER the Anabolic Diet fat is your friend…

I hope you enjoyed this little window into my first Italian grilling adventure of the season. It only gets better from here!!!


Looks amazing! …any tips on what to look for when buying fish? I usually stick to canned tuna for this reason alone.


I try to use the local fish markets. It’s easy here because the Maine coast is still full of working fishermen, so even inland, you can still get fresh fish off the boat.

In your grocery store, always ask them how old the fish is. Sometimes they ‘flash freeze’ it at sea, and that’s ok as long as they didn’t thaw it and leave it in the case for a week (but you’d smell that).

Pretty much, if it smells offensive, maybe pass on it. Fresh fish doesn’t smell really fishy (like, offensively fishy).

Alternatively, you can use frozen fillets. I think you can even get frozen salmon fillets at WalMart. I’ve had their frozen Tilapia, Cod, Haddock, and Barramundi and it’s not bad (although there just is no substitute for fresh meat/fish).

Your thread kicks ass.

I have never, and by never, I mean NEVER, read a recipe and wanted to make it. EVER.

Until now.

GREAT POST! I just uncovered my grill for the first time this year (it’s been covered in snow until 2 weeks ago) and I will be cooking that up this weekend.

WOW, just wow. that looks amazing!

Thanks!! Can you guess what’s for breakfast this morning? :slight_smile: