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Diet changes; A healthy cheat meal; How to make bruschetta.

Sunday, August 2, 2009 by  
Filed under Daily Blog

August
2
2009

I’ve been doing a lot of thinking about the terrible cravings I was experiencing over the course of my last cutting phase, and I came the the conclusion that the main reason for those cravings is because I’m sick to death of eating the same meals over and over. Yesterday Lisa went grocery shopping, but before she did I put some thought into ways I could jazz up our healthy dietary staples without significantly changing the macronutrient profiles of the meals. Over the next few weeks I’ll be talking about some of the new dishes.

Last night I decided to have a “cheat” meal, but instead of the crap I normally eat when I choose to indulge (pizza, pork barbecue, French fries, General Tso’s Chicken, etc.), I decided to create a somewhat healthy “cheat” meal: whole grain pasta, homemade tomato sauce with fresh garlic and basil and bruschetta.

Bruschetta is absolutely delicious and is very easy to make. It makes a perfect appetizer before any Italian meal. Bruschetta can be made in many different ways, but here’s how I make it:

Ingredients: 1 loaf of freshly baked French bread; extra virgin olive oil; 1-2 whole garlic cloves, fresh basil, 3 or 4 tomatoes (I like Roma), good Parmesan cheese, salt and fresh ground pepper. Notice that everything is fresh; nothing should come from a jar or can. It makes all the difference.

Preparation: Dice the tomatoes; peel the garlic cloves and then cut each clove in half (just 1 cut); cut the stems from the basil and coarsely chop (you can leave them whole if you prefer). Next, cut the French bread at an angle into slices about 3/4 of an inch to 1 inch thick. Place the French bread slices on a baking sheet and brush lightly with olive oil. Place the French bread slices under the broiler until golden brown (this will only take a minute or two, so monitor closely!) Remove toasted bread from oven and then immediately scrape the garlic over the entire surface of each piece of bread. Place the diced tomatoes and basil on top of each slice of bread; add salt, fresh ground pepper and a little fresh grated Parmesan cheese. Optional: some people like to drizzle a little balsamic vinegar on there, too. Finally, put the bruschetta back into the oven (I lower the heat to 350 degrees F for this phase) and give it another minute or so to warm the topping. That’s it!

I meant to take a picture of the bruschetta last night, but I was so transfixed by the incredible aroma that I dug right in and completely forgot. It’s too bad, because it’s an absolutely beautiful dish. I guess I’ll have to have it again next weekend so I can grab a photo. 🙂

Have a fantastic Sunday!

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