Easy Homemade Bruschetta

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I don’t know anyone who doesn’t love Bruschetta, its the perfect fresh appetizer. My girlfriends from New York were visiting me last week  and we had an urgent craving for some… but I was kind of embarrassed that I didn’t know how make it, it seems so easy! (But it also seems that people screw it up easily too!) Ever since I had Bruschetta in Italy, nothing seems to compare… but this recipe definitely hit the spot! So for those of you who love Bruschetta but don’t really know how to make it either, here’s a classic and simple recipe that my parents serve at their restaurant.

Ingredients:

  • 10 cherry tomatoes (organic is best)
  • 1 long Italian baguette
  • 3 garlic cloves , minced
  • 2 garlic cloves, whole
  • 5 Kalamata olives
  • 3 tbsp olive oil (+ some to drizzle on bread)
  • 3 tbsp balsamic vinegar
  • 2 tbsp basil, chopped
  • Sea salt & cracked pepper
  • Parmesan cheese

In a bowl, whisk together balsamic vinegar, minced garlic, basil, salt & pepper and olive oil. Slice olives and tomatoes * in fourths and soak them in the mixture while you slice the baguette** into 1 inch pieces. Drizzle olive oil on bread and arrange on tray, broil until crispy about 5 minutes. Rub the 2 garlic cloves on the bread, sprinkle Parmesan and broil for another minute. Remove and top with tomato mixture and enjoy!

*Tip:  putting the tomatoes in the freezer for a little makes slicing so much easier

**Tip: Flipping over the baguette face down to slice makes its 100x easier and doesn’t “smush” the bread

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T O M A T O E S

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Did you know that tomatoes contain almost as much Vitamin C as an orange? But unlike oranges, they contain lycopene (one of the most powerful antioxidants) which helps eye health, prostate health and can even protect skin from UV rays this summer! Tomatoes even help reduce risks of cancers, especially gastric, ovarian, pancreatic and prostate cancer. I know many people who don’t like tomatoes, usually its because people are buying conventional tomatoes with GMOs, which reduce its flavor significantly and make it mushy and runny. Try eating tomatoes from the farmers market that are organic and seasonally picked, they are so much sweeter and delicious-er than store bought.

If you do like tomatoes, you would love my Avocado Kale Tomato Sandwich and my Tomato Basil Bowl 

Mini Cauliflower Pizzas

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Made these Mini Cauliflower Pizza Crusts the other night after seeing them all over Pinterest, such a great low carb meal and Soo filling I can’t wait to make them again! They might not taste just like pizza, but they definitely don’t taste like cauliflower! Dig in :)

Ingredients:

  • 1 cauliflower head
  • 2 handfuls shredded mozzarella cheese
  • Italian seasoning
  • 2 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 egg white
  • 1 cup pizza sauce
  • Basil leaves
  • 1 tomato, thinly sliced
  • 1/4 cup finely shredded parmesan cheese

Blend cauliflower in food processor or grate in a cheese grater, then microwave for 7 minutes. Let cool for about 10ish minutes then add mozzarella, seasonings, garlic powder, chopped basil and egg white. Roll into little balls and line on baking sheet, flattening them into small pancakes. Bake at 450 for 15 or more minutes. Broil for 5 minutes, remove. Then rub with pizza sauce, add Parmesan and/or mozzarella and top with thin tomato slice.

(*Tip* – freezing tomato for a little makes it so much easier to slice!)

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Recipe adapted from girlversusdough

Tomato Basil Bowl

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Ingredients

  • 1 cup organic Basmati brown rice
  • 2 teaspoons sea salt, divided
  • 1/4 cup rice wine vinegar
  • 2 teaspoons stevia
  • 1 tablespoon Coconut Oil
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 pound ripe tomatoes, large-diced
  • 1 cup packed basil leaves (1 large bunch), chopped (I like more!)

Directions

Bring 2 1/4 cups water to a boil and add the rice and 1 teaspoon of the salt. Return to a boil, cover, and simmer for 30 to 40 minutes, until the rice is tender and all the water is absorbed. Transfer the rice to a bowl.

Whisk together the vinegar, sugar, oil, remaining teaspoon of salt, and a pinch of pepper. Pour over the rice. Add the tomatoes and basil. Mix well and check the seasonings. Serve at room temperature.

Makes 6 Servings: 45 minutes

Recipe from Barefoot Contessa