About Rita Barbieri

Member since 9/25/2013
Occupation: Dietitian
City: Toronto

Hi, I have been practising dietetics for over 20 years. I have worked as a hospital dietitian, an out-patient dietitian, taught a life-style modification course in the community, have been faculty at a local community college, have extensive experience with Public Health working in many different community settings cooking and teaching. My current position keeps me challenged with my finger on the pulse of nutrition news. When I am not working at nutrition and health, I am living it. You can find me tending to my vegetable garden, canning and preserving food, baking breads and hosting dinner parties. I love to keep active, cycling to work everyday and running marathons and other ridiculous things!

Favourite food: Pizza
Favourite piece of kitchen equipment: my hands!
Favourite cooking shortcut: Crustless Quiche
Favourite meal(s) to prepare: Christmas Eve fish fest
Recipe that you have always wanted to make but have yet to attempt: Baked Alaska

Comments by Rita Barbieri:

  • Catelli Gluten Free Pasta
    I really enjoyed this product. To better appreciate the taste and texture I chose to use a very simple and light tomato, olive oil and garlic sauce (I would describe it almost like a rinse). I found the texture to be somewhat mealy as in a corn meal bread would be. The taste was quite unique and very different from just a plain rice noodle. I preferred this taste to a plain rice or soba noodle. When cooking it seemed like the pasta broke apart easily. I also found the cooking time to be inaccurate. It does take longer than the suggested 9 minutes, it may have been closer to 13-15 minutes. It is really important to use a large pot and a large water to pasta ratio. It seemed to me that the pasta allowed for quite a bit of foaming when boiling. I would definitely use this product more often. To test its texture and taste again I plan on using it to make a cold pasta salad primavera...can't wait!
  • Chia seeds
    Thank you for this arena to share my experience with the chia seeds. I must say I was pleasantly surprised at their nutritional value! I tried them straight out of the bag and was not so impressed as I found them to be quite benign. I decided to blacken them to see if that made a difference. I used a small cast iron fry pan to blacken them dry without oil over high heat. Since the seeds were black to begin with I had to rely on the scent and cracking sound they made to tell me they were "done". I added these blackened seeds to a cold beet salad. The salad consisted of cold beets sliced into slivers, white vinegar, oil oil, mixed baby greens, blackened chia seeds, purple onion and feta cheese. The crunch was a nice addition to this salad and the taste was very subtle. I also experimented with 2 banana loaves; one with plain seeds the other with blackened seeds. This did not make a huge difference in taste but I did notice a small difference in the texture of the banana bread. The blacked seeds kept there size and crunchy texture, while the plain seeds tended to add a bit of "moisture" for lack of a better term to the banana bread. My thoughts, it is an easy way to add nutrition, namely protein and fibre to a recipe. I plan on adding them to a muffin recipe and replacing poppy seeds with chia...lemon chia muffins...here we come! Other thoughts...adding them to a tofu salad and adding them to my flour and bread crumb coating for fish! Thanks!