Archive for ‘Snacks’

June 1, 2011

Bruschetta… or not!

So, what is Bruschetta, anyway?

I always thought that bruschetta was some sort of a tomato salsa that is usually served on a piece of toasted bread, NOT the other way around. Well, much to my surprise, while searching the Net for some inspiration to make my own bruschetta, I learned that bruschetta would in fact be the piece of toast on which the tomato salsa is served…

According to Wikipedia:

Bruschetta is an appetizer from central Italy whose origin dates to at least the 15th century. It consists of roasted bread rubbed with garlic and topped with extra-virgin olive oil, salt and pepper. Variations may include toppings of spicy red pepper, tomato, vegetables, beans, cured meat, and/or cheese; the most popular recipe outside of Italy involves basil, fresh tomato, garlic and onion or mozzarella.

Yet, another article says:

True Bruschetta is simple enough for even the kitchen impaired cook to master. It is traditionally a toasted bread rubbed with garlic and then topped with Extra Virgin Olive Oil drizzled over the top. The final step is to add salt and pepper to taste making this a simple yet satisfying dish for everyone.

I am shocked!
This is just like learning that this song you knew and loved basically your entire life and were absolutely certain was by the Red Hot Chili Peppers was, in fact, by Faith No More (yeah, true story… that happened to me… Now, don’t laugh!!!)
So bruschetta would be the toast, not the salsa? I thought for sure that the 2 went hand in hand, and it turns out that the toast alone can, and SHOULD still be called bruschetta!?

I’m not liking this. Seriously! What is this new develry? 😉

So, then I guess what I am presenting you with today is NOT bruschetta, it’s in fact tomato salsa served on toasts. For it to qualify as bruschetta, I would’ve had to add olive oil, salt and pepper to my toasts. Oh well, it was very good nonetheless and just what I had in mind.

I was in the mood for something light and refreshing, and, to be honest, I had a surplus of tomatoes that needed to be used quickly. This fit the bill just right, bruschetta or no bruschetta!

INGREDIENTS

Toasts

  • 1 whole wheat baguette
  • 1 or 2 garlic cloves

Tomato Salsa

  • 3 tomatoes, seeded and finely diced
  • 10 kalamata olives, finely chopped
  • 3 tbsp red onions, finely chopped
  • 2 tbsp fresh basil, finely chopped
  • 2 tpsp fresh parsley, finely chopped
  • 1 tsp white wine vinegar
  • 1 tsp lemon juice
  • ¼ tsp salt
  • 1/8 tsp black pepper
  • Goat cheese crumbles, to garnish

INSTRUCTIONS

  1. Mix all ingredients for the tomato salsa in a small bowl (except cheese) and set aside to macerate.
  2. While that is happening, slice your baguette on the diagonal and toast the bread, either in your toaster or in the oven under the broiler. You want your toasts to be really nice and crispy.
  3. As soon as the toasts come out, rub them delicately with a garlic clove and top with the tomato salsa.
  4. Sprinkle with goat cheese crumbles and serve immediately

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May 30, 2011

More Power Walnut, Carob and Banana Bread

I love banana bread! Not only does it taste amazingly good, but it’s also a very efficient way to use up those super ripe bananas that you inevitably end up with week after week. Well, if you’re like me, that is, and buy bananas every week but only eat them when they are a beautiful bright yellow and then completely lose interest in them as soon as they start to develop the tiniest of brown spots… although I have gotten much better and now eat my bananas a lot riper than I used to, because I know they are in fact better for me when they are good and ripe. But still, I must end up throwing at least one, if not two per week in the freezer to use in smoothies or banana bread, mini loaves or muffins.

Up until now, I’ve always used the same recipe, but this week, I decided to play with the Pumpkin, Rasberry and Buckwheat Loaves recipe and to turn it into a More Power Walnut, Carob and Banana Bread.

Basically all I did is replace the pumpkin puree with banana puree. It took 3 bananas to make the required cup and a half.

Of course, I left the cinnamon, ginger and all spice out of the equation. Oh, and I added 100g of carob chips, which ended up being an enormous waste of time, since they all sunk right to the bottom, and I think they also decided to gang up and have a little party right in the middle of the loaf!

I mean, look how sad! All you can see in the picture is a mere dark spot, a lonely chip that got lost or something… I guess when I get more towards the other end of the bread, I will get a mega dose of crazy happy carob chips all bunched up together!

They’re probably having a good laugh right now at this great prank that they pulled on me.

Maybe next time I will use a little bit less milk to make the batter a tad on the firmer side, that way, the carob chips won’t get to sink that much. Still, the loaf has a very good texture as it is, so you can feel free to go ahead and use that exact recipe.

If you are the kind of person who loves their toasts in the morning, this makes for an absolutely gorgeous breakfast. Just cut a couple of slices and pop them in the toaster, then spread some good all natural peanut or almond butter on them.

Of course, this would also make an excellent afternoon snack!

INGREDIENTS
(for one large banana bread)

WET

  • ¾ cup buttermilk
  • ¾ cup soy milk
  • 3 eggs
  • ½ cup egg whites
  • 1½ cup banana puree
  • 1 tbsp pure vanilla extract

DRY

  • 120g vanilla flavored whey protein powder
  • 1½ cup buckwheat flour
  • 1/3 cup black chia seeds
  • 2 tsp baking powder

ADD-INS

  • 100g carob chips (entirely NOT necessary!)
  • 75g walnuts, chopped

INSTRUCTIONS

  1. Preheat oven to 425F and line loaf pan with parchment paper
  2. In a large mixing bowl, mix wet ingredients together and whisk until well combined.
  3. In a separate bowl, mix dry ingredients and whisk until well combined. Add wet ingredients and stir until well incorporated. Fold in carob chips and nuts. Mix to combine, no more.
  4. Pour batter into loaf pan. Put them in the oven and immediately turn the heat down to 375.
  5. Cook for 40-45min until a toothpick inserted comes out clean.
  6. Allow to cool for 5 minutes before removing from the pan then cool completely on a cooling rack.
  7. Store in the refrigerator in an air tight container for up to a week

May 24, 2011

Pumpkin Raspberry Buckwheat Loaves

This continues my series of posts on healthy breakfasts over at In The Know Mom

I don’t know about you but I am an incorrigible muffin junkie. I LOOOOOVE muffins. Absolutely A-D-O-R-E them. I have no self-control whatsoever when in the presence of warm, fresh out of the oven muffins.

Now I’m not talking about wanna be muffins that are nothing more than cupcakes in disguise… You know which ones I am talking about: those light, airy, delicate cupcakey “muffins” with flavours such as butterscotch pecan, strawberry cheesecake, white chocolate cranberry, double dark chocolate chips, blueberry streusel, or raspberry crunch… nah… those aren’t muffins.

I am talking real muffins, made with oats or bran, the ones that are real dense and heavy and satisfying. The ones that want to lure you into believing that they are actually good for you but are in fact way too high in fat and sugar to be called healthy.

Well, if you’re like me, then you will be thankful for this next recipe! I had been looking for something like this for a long time, so when I saw Leanne’s post for a Raspberry Pumpkin Buckwheat Bake, I knew I had to try it!

I adapted the recipe somewhat and made them into mini loaves instead of cakes. All I can say is WOW! These mini loaves really deliver! Not only do they taste super good, they are in fact extremely healthy. They contain a good amount of protein, thanks to the addition of whey protein powder, and are relatively low in fat and sugar.

They are the perfect on the go breakfast and would also make an excellent afternoon snack. I know I will be playing with this one A LOT and create all sorts of different flavours.

I am officially in love!

INGREDIENTS
(for 6 mini-breads)

WET

  • ¾ cup buttermilk
  • ¾ cup soy milk
  • 3 eggs
  • ½ cup egg whites
  • 1½ cup pumpkin puree
  • 1 tbsp pure vanilla extract

DRY

  • 120g vanilla flavored whey protein powder
  • 1½ cup buckwheat flour
  • 1/3 cup black chia seeds
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 3 tbsp cinnamon
  • 25g candied ginger (or 1½ tsp dried ginger)
  • ¾ tsp allspice

ADD-INS

  • 1½ cup frozen raspberries
  • 75g walnuts, chopped

INSTRUCTIONS

  1. Preheat oven to 425F and line mini loaf pans with parchment paper (or coat with cooking spray)
  2. In a large mixing bowl, mix wet ingredients together and whisk until well combined.
  3. In a separate bowl, mix dry ingredients and whisk until well combined. Add wet ingredients and stir until well incorporated. Fold in raspberries and nuts. Mix to combine, no more.
  4. Pour batter into loaf pans. Put them in the oven and immediately turn the heat down to 375.
  5. Cook for 35min-40min until a toothpick inserted comes out clean.
  6. Allow to cool for 5 minutes before removing from the pans then cool completely on a cooling rack.
  7. Store in the refrigerator in an air tight container for up to a week