Here we are in the days between Christmas and the New Year. Most of us probably allowed ourselves a few extra "dietary indiscretions" during the holidays. As we move into the New Year, many of us turn our attention to getting back on track and getting our eating habits back under control. However we still have the New Year to celebrate and the foods that seem to go with that holiday are more of the snack and appetizer variety. Meals laden with gravy and butter can put on some extra padding, but appetizers and snacks can as well.
Last week we sampled an interesting "snack" food in the cafeteria as part of our Employee Wellness efforts. It was an appetizer called Bruschetta. Bruschetta originates from Italy and is a grilled bread that has been rubbed with garlic and extra virgin olive oil. It can be served with a variety of toppings, but the most popular one uses fresh tomatoes, onions, garlic, basil and is topped with mozzarella cheese.
If you're looking for a new appetizer for your New Year's Eve party and want to start out on a healthy note, maybe you would like to try this recipe as well. It is easy to make, the grilled bread has a wonderful aroma and it tastes great! Following is the recipe:
Whole wheat baguettes, cut 1/2" thick
1/4 cup light extra virgin olive oil for brushing
2-3 garlic cloves
8 Roma tomatoes, seeded and diced
2-3 strips of roasted red peppers, diced
3 long green onions, finely chopped
10 basil leaves, chopped
3 Tbsp. balsamic vinegar
2 Tbsp. light extra virgin olive oil
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. fresh ground black pepper
1- 8 oz. package of low fat mozzarella cheese, shredded
Brush bread slices with the olive oil and rub the garlic cloves all over the bread. Place the bread on a cookie sheet and bake for 5 minutes on each side until the bread becomes slightly browned. In a medium bowl mix together the tomatoes, red peppers, onions, basil, vinegar and oil. Season with salt and pepper. Spoon about 2 Tbsp of the tomato mixture on the garlic bread. Top with mozzarella cheese.
Makes about 14 pieces
1 serving - about 150 calories
Note: Cut back on the olive oil to reduce calories even further.
May you all have a safe and happy New Year!
Cheryl Rude is a registered dietitian at Avera Marshall Regional Medical Center. In addition to her column, you can also find nutrition tips and ideas on the blog that she writes at www.averastorycenter.org.