foccaccia bread recipe

The crisp, gelid winter months extort many of us into the comfort of our heated blankets, fireplaces, and, if you’re anything like me, refrigerators. For those of us who seek refuge in the solace of salty, gluttonous recipes, here are some simple and healthy recipes for one. Each offers its own medley of flavor and wellness factor.

Toasted Bruschetta

bruschetta

Toasted bruschetta

What you’ll need:

1 large roma or beef tomato

1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil

1 teaspoon sea salt

1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

4 fresh basil leaves, sliced or chopped

2 slices of Italian or French bread

How it’s done:

  1. Thinly slice tomato into 4 parts; discard both ends.
  2. Gently toast two slices of your choice of bread 1 minute in conventional toaster, or 2-3 in toaster oven.
  3. Thinly chop fresh basil until it can be shredded on top of tomatoes.
  4. Place tomato slices atop bread.
  5. Top with basil, salt, pepper and olive oil for taste.

Optional: Place entire dish in toaster oven for 30 seconds for warmth; top with parmesan cheese.

 

Eggplant Rosemary Focaccia

foccaccia bread recipe

Eggplant rosemary foccaccia bread

What you’ll need:

7 cups unbleached all-purpose flour

1 package dry yeast

1/4 cup plus 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

5 thin eggplant slices

1 tablespoon chopped fresh rosemary

1 teaspoon sea salt

Equipment: electric mixer with paddle attachment, dough hook

How it’s done:

  1. Stir 1 2/3 cups water and yeast in bowl of mixer and let stand about 5 minutes. Add 5 cups flour, 1/4 cup olive oil, and 2 1/2 teaspoons salt and beat with paddle attachment at medium speed until a dough forms.
  2. Replace paddle with dough hook and knead dough 3 to 4 minutes.
  3. Place dough on a lightly floured surface and knead 1 to 2 tablespoons flour in. Knead dough 1 minute, place in a lightly oiled bowl and turn dough to coat with oil.
  4. Let rise, covered with plastic wrap, at warm room temperature 1 to 1 1/2 hours.
  5. Preheat oven to 425°F and stir together rosemary and remaining 3 tablespoons oil. Sprinkle sea salt evenly over focaccia. Top with thinly sliced eggplant and bake until golden for 20 to 25 minutes.

 

Homemade Vegetable Soup

vegetables for soup recipe

Chopped fresh vegetables for soup

What you’ll need:

12 oz low sodium vegetable broth

2 cups chopped large or baby carrots

2 cups chopped broccoli

4 cups sliced white or portabella mushrooms

3 cups diced green beans

1 diced tomato

1 teaspoon lemon juice

4 fresh basil leaves

1/8 teaspoon sea salt

1/8 teaspoon black pepper

Optional: 3 cups diced chicken

How it’s done:

  1. Combine carrots, broccoli, mushrooms, green beans, tomato, chopped basil, and lemon juice in a large pot with vegetable broth. Optional: Add chicken, or other lean proteins.
  2. Bring to a boil for and continue for 3-5 minutes, then let simmer for up to 45 minutes, or until vegetables are tender.
  3. Let cool for 15 minutes; serve with sea salt and black pepper.

 

Baked Lemon Zest Tilapia

baked tilapia recipe

Baked lemon zest tilapia

What you’ll need:

1 filet fresh tilapia

2 tablespoons melted butter

2 tablespoons lemon juice

1 lemon slice

1/8 teaspoon sea salt

1/8 teaspoon paprika

1/8 teaspoon crushed red pepper

1/8 teaspoon chili pepper

3 crushed fresh basil leaves

How it’s done:

  1. Place tilapia in a lightly greased baking dish to prevent sticking.
  2. In a medium bowl, combine butter, lemon juice and sea salt, and pour over fillet.
  3. Top uncooked fillet with lemon slice for flavor.
  4. Bake uncovered at 425 degrees for 20 minutes or until fillet flakes easily.
  5. Top with paprika, chili powder, red pepper and basil.

 

 

Quinoa Fruit Salad

quinoa with berries and fruit

Quinoa with berries and fruit

What you’ll need:

2 cups cooked quinoa

1 mango, peeled and diced

1 cup strawberries, quartered

1/2 cup blueberries, raspberries or blackberries

1/4 cup apple cider vinegar

1/4 cup olive oil

1 lemon

1 tablespoon sugar or sweetener

3 tablespoons lemon juice

How it’s done:

  1. Whisk together olive oil, apple cider vinegar, lemon zest/juice and sugar in a small bowl; set aside.
  2. Combine quinoa, mango and berries of your choice.  Stir in lemon vinaigrette. Serve. Simple!