Thursday, June 21, 2012

Fresh Friday: Bruschetta

I am starting a new series today called Fresh Fridays. Every Friday for a while I will be bringing you fresh and healthy meals and snacks that you can have as an easy alternative for those unhealthy things we all have in our lives (you know what they are for you... I sure know what they are for me).

I have recently been on a meat-free eating spree (thank you, thank you, I know I'm good at rhyming!). I never thought that I would be able to function without meat. Honestly! I thought that I was addicted to meat! Quite literally. So when I decided to make the change (I don't want to tell you why I started this... not for the feint of heart), everyone - particularly my sweet husband - thought it wouldn't last one meal, let alone the three weeks that it has lasted already! Now I do have to disclose that I am not going vegetarian. I could NOT survive without fish in my life. I am definitely addicted to sushi, and my life just wouldn't be complete without seafood of some sort. I have also made the decision that if the situation comes up that there is meat around and nothing else, I won't not eat. And besides, I will NOT be able to turn down a pepperoni pizza when we get back to the states! It is already calling out my name. I just want to be a slight bit healthier, and this is the way that it is working for me.

One thing that has stood out to me since my meat-free adventure started, is how little vegetables and fruit I was eating before. Lunch and dinner usually consisted of some sort of sandwich, pasta or other dishes that really didn't have much, if any veggies inside it, but plenty of meat and carbs. I didn't like that, and since I have started this new eating plan, I have been eating mostly veggies, fruit for breakfast (and snacking on tiny apples throughout the day), and all-in-all, just feeling better about the way I am eating. It is also making me more adventurous in the kitchen, which is where the bruschetta comes in.

I had a craving for bruschetta the other day, so I thought about it, realized I had the ingredients on hand, and just went for it! This recipe is so easy! It doesn't even require that many ingredients either. Lets have a go at it.

Here's the ingredients you need (not pictured is the bread). Easy enough right? You can most certainly use fresh basil too, I just didn't have it on hand, and my craving wouldn't let me wait another 30 minutes to go to the store to get some :)

Slice the strawberry or cherry tomatoes in half, or quarters, depending on the size you want, and dice up the yellow bell pepper, and add it to the bowl with the tomatoes.

Cube some mozzarella cheese and add to the same bowl.

 Add your olive oil to the bowl (pretend you see me pouring it in).

Finish it off with the basil and some freshly ground sea salt and pepper.

Now for the bread portion. Take a baguette, or I used a sourdough grain loaf, and slice it into the desired size you want.

Pour about four tablespoons olive oil in a skillet, and let heat up over medium-high heat. Once the pan feels warm when you place your hand close to the pan (PLEASE DON'T TOUCH THE PAN), place the sliced bread carefully in the skillet. Fry on each side just about a minute (possibly less!) until golden brown. Keep your eye on it, and take them off when you feel its ready. Set aside to cool slightly. You need to keep adding oil to the pan for the remaining pieces of bread.

Once all of the bread is fried up and cooled down, take a whole garlic clove, cut in half, and rub it over the pieces of bread, using the amount desired. Don't overdo it. It will be strong.

Then you are ready for assembly! Pretty easy huh!?

Well here is number one of my new Fresh Friday series! I hope you have enjoyed it and make sure you return each Friday (not sure how long Ill keep this up) to find out a new fresh ingredient meal. Join me on my healthy adventure and share with me how you are doing, recipes I should try or feature here. I am always up for trying new things. I also want to make sure I am getting my protein even though I am meatless, so please feel free to share recipes with me. And I will share my fresh recipes with you!

Bruschetta Printable Recipe
serves 2

ingredients:
  • 1/2 package of cherry or strawberry tomatoes, sliced to desired size
  • 1/2 yellow bell pepper, diced
  • 1/2 cup cubed mozzarella cheese
  • 1-2 tsp dried basil (or handful or fresh basil, chopped)
  • 2 Tbsp olive oil, plus a lot extra for frying the bread
  • salt and pepper, freshly ground, to taste
  • 1/2 loaf crusty bread or baguette (desired amount of bread), sliced on the diagonal
  • 1 large clove garlic, cut in half
directions:
  1.  Add the diced tomatoes, bell pepper and mozzarella cheese to a bowl and combine.
  2. Add the oil, basil, salt and pepper to the fresh mixture and stir to combine. Set aside.
  3. Heat about 4 Tbsp oil in a skillet over medium heat, and carefully add some slices of bread to fry. Fry on each side until golden brown, a minute or less. Set aside to cool. Add more olive oil each time you add bread to skillet.
  4. Once the bread is cooled enough to touch, take the cut garlic and rub desired amount on one or both sides of the browned bread.
  5. Assemble and enjoy.
Source: Carla's Confections original, although I am sure there are similar recipes out there.

Also make sure to check out my Pioneer Woman Cookbook giveaway! You have until Sunday to enter :)



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6 comments :

  1. HI!! IS ALWAYS A PLEASURE FOR ME TO READ YOUR BLOG, I DIDN´T LEAVE YOU MUCH COMMENTS, BUT I HAVE READ MOST OF YOUR POSTS. I HAVE TO SAY THAT I LOVE YOUR WAY TO EXPRESS YOUR IDEAS AND EXPERIENCES, AND I LIKE SO MUCH THE RECIPES THAT YOU SHARE. YOUR STORIES ARE A REALLY GOOD ENTERTAINMENT FOR MY, I AM LEARNING SO MANY ENGLISH WORDS THANKS TO YOU, SO, YOU ARE TEACHING ME MORE THAN WAYS TO COOK. I THINK THAT IS A BIG THING TO INSPIRE PEOPLE, AND YOU ARE DOING IT. THANKS SO MUCH AND PLEASE GO ON WITH THIS TERRIFIC ACTIVITY. BIG ARGENTINIAN KISS FOR YOU!!

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  2. I love this new series! it's always great to eat fresh..it makes you feel better and for some reason, LIGHTER too! i love bruschetta, it's one of my go to appetizers when i have parties or get togethers..it's just so fresh and easy and everyone loves it! you can't go wrong! this looks amazing, Carla :)

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  3. I have only had bruschetta once at a restaurant and honestly, did not like it at all. But yours sounds really delicious and fresh. Since came to Thailand we have also started eating so much more fresh fruit and vegetables. They are just so easily available and really ripe and yummy. In this warm climate fresh food just sits much better, it is filling but doesnt give a heavy feeling. And we find we have much more energy. Looking forward to hearing more of your journey and recipes :)

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    Replies
    1. Oh bummer you didnt like the one you had. Well hopefully this one is better for you if you decide to make it :) And thank you for your sweet words!!!

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  4. I've been eating a lot more vegetarian meals lately too, and I love this bruschetta! It'd make a perfect, simple just-got-home-from-work snack :)

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    Replies
    1. It really would make a perfect snack for that! I hope you do make it! It is fantastic!

      Delete

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