My good friend, Charlie, gifted me and the wine guy with an incredible loaf of freshly baked sourdough bread and a batch of fresh dough for pizza.
It didn’t take long for us to use the dough, or for the wine guy to devour the baked pizza. This is what was left of the pizza once the man sunk his teeth into it. I got one corner piece. The dough was hand spread onto a cookie sheet and brush with basil olive oil. Finely chopped garlic and sliced tomatoes were the only toppings.
It’s amazing how awesome a pizza can taste without cheese. Certainly the olive oil makes up the difference in cheese calories, but a light brushing of olive oil isn’t going to do much damage in the way of calories.
I opened the freezer and spotted a package of baquette slices ready to strut their stuff. They were like a wardrobe piece in your closet that cries out, “Use me, use me, dress me up.” And, so I did. I tend to seek out the failing fruit, veggies and pantry items when making a dish. With my busy life, I unintentionally ignore food items until they are near death.
As usual, I was in starvation mode and wanted something quick & easy to keep my growling hunger under wraps and prevent me from launching into hunger attack mode.
- French baguette, sliced into serving sizes
- Olive oil
- 1/2 Yellow or red bell pepper, diced
- 1/2 cup diced onion
- 1 clove garlic, finely diced
- 1 1/2 cup fresh spinach leaves, roughly chop 1 cup and reserve the remaining leaves
- Balsamic vinegar
- Parmesan Reggiano or crumbled feta cheese
- 3/4 cup diced tomato
Place all the chopped/diced ingredients into a oven dish sprayed with non-stick cooking spray. Drizzle with 1 tablespoon olive oil. Bake at 350 degrees until ingredients are cooked through (about 8-10 minutes). Remove from oven and set aside.
Brush baguette slices with olive oil and place on a cookie sheet sprayed with non-stick cooking spray. Evenly distribute the veggie mixture onto the top of each bread slice. Sprinkle bread slices with your choice of cheese.
Bake in oven for 10 minutes at 350 degree F. While this bakes, arrange reserved spinach leaves on a serving platter and drizzle with balsamic vinegar.
Arrange the baguette slices on top of the spinach leaves. Ten servings.
One serving is in the neighborhood of 150 calories. I could make a meal with two baguette slices and the bed of spinach/balsamic leaves.
Looking for a fun breakfast item to serve to the kids on Halloween morning? The boys at my Halloween camp out loved these mummy sausages. I used low-fat turkey sausage to reduce calories and fat grams. Each little mummy with the dough wrapping is in the neighborhood of 77 calories. Look for reduced fat crescent rolls in the can. I purchased the Pillsbury brand. Serve with scramble egg beaters (40 calories).
The How To
Wrap 16 turkey link sausages in strips of crescent roll dough. I only used 7 of the eight crescent rolls. Purchase 18 turkey links if you want to use up all the dough.
Start at one end of the link and wrap the strips like a candy cane stripe. Then wrap another strip in the opposite direction. Place the mummy links on a cookie sheet sprayed with non-stick cooking oil.
Bake in 400 degree oven for 15-20 minutes, or until the crescent strips have nicely browned. Remove and serve. Plan on two sausages per person. With egg beaters, you have yourself a breakfast under 200 calories. And, a yummy one at that!
NOTE: You can always dribble the sausages with ketchup once they have baked. Kids like the blood effect (go figure).
This is a must try finger food. Pair it with a side dish of pasta or serve as appetizers. It’s super easy to make and takes about 12 minutes to bake in the oven.
- Can of Pillsbury crescent rolls (reduced-fat, if possible)
- Fresh basil leaves of generous size (about 12)
- 3-4 ounce beef tenderloin (you can substitute beef with chicken). I personally like the beef flavor. Cut the meat into strips. Cook on stove top with garlic and onion until medium rare. Leave in pan until ready to use. The meat will continue to cook when the croissant is baked in the oven.
- 2 tablespoons basil flavored olive oil
- 4 tablespoons grated or shaved Parmesan cheese
- 5 tablespoons marinara sauce
- 1 zucchini (I added the leftover zucchini to a pasta sauce)
- Garlic clove diced
- 1/2 cup chopped onion
Separate the crescent rolls and flattened slightly with palm of hand. Brush lightly with basil olive oil. Position basil leave and slices of zucchini onto the crescent dough (about a third of the way down from the longest point).
Place a strip of cooked tenderloin on the zucchini strips. Coat croissant with marinara sauce, chopped basil and a portion of the onion/garlic mixture used when cooking the meat.
Sprinkle with a layer of Parmesan cheese. Roll croissant dough into a crescent shape.
Repeat this process for all eight rolls.
Spray a cookie sheet with non-stick oil and bake the croissants for 12 minutes at 375 degrees.
Remove from oven and serve while warm. You get the best flavors if served warm. However, you can cook ahead and place in the fridge. Allow croissants to come to room temperature and serve. Quite honestly, these are good both hot and cold.
So what’s the caloric damage for one of these delicious, can’t eat just one, sandwich? Not as bad as you might think. One serving is 150 calories. You can eliminate 15 calories by using non-stick basil flavored cooking spray. Lightly coat the croissant dough with basil spray before adding the stuffing ingredients.
For my Vegan friends, here are a few ideas. Substitute the meat with blanched green beans, snap peas, fresh spinach leaves or Boca Italian meatless sausage links.
It was a typical Monday. The day was a whirlwind filled with every Murphy’s Law scenario imaginable. By 5 PM, I was panting for nourishment. Waiting more than 5 minutes for something to cook was not an option.
So what does Blimpy Girl do when pursued by a hunger attack… and trying to avoid the Cheez-it box and chocolate hidden in the 4th drawer next to the dishwasher? OK, OK, I’m getting a little sidetracked just thinking of what could of been… chocolate melting in my mouth intermingled with a handful (or two) of Cheez-its…
My strong will prevailed. Instead I walked outside, picked some fresh basil leaves from the garden and made these open-faced sandwiches.
- Two slices French baguette bread (I used poppy seed flavor)
- 2 slices of tomato
- 2 tablespoon of marinara sauce
- Onion slice cut in half
- 4 teaspoons artichoke & asiago tapenade/pesto (purchase at Costco)
- 5 pitted Kalamata olives cut in half
- 2 tablespoons shaved/grated Parmesan cheese
- 4 fresh basil leaves, roughly chopped
Add the following to each bread slice:
One tablespoon marinara sauce, 1/2 of the chopped basil, 1/2 of the sliced onion, 1 tomato slice, 1/2 of kalamata olives, a layer of cheese and 2 teaspoons tapenade/pesto.
Bake in toaster oven until bread is toasted and cheese has melted. About 5 minutes. You’re in the neighborhood of 302 calories for two open face sandwiches. Add a garden fresh salad with tomatoes and shredded carrots (drizzled with garlic balsamic vinegar) for an additional 20 calories.
Oops, let’s not forget the drink of choice for this dish… Pinot Grigio. A four-ounce serving will add an additional 98 calories. If you opt for Chardonnay, add 80 calories.
To call this a bread doesn’t seem right, it’s more like a moist cake. You can either bake it in a bundt pan or in two loaf pans. Using loaf pans allows you to keep one and gift or freeze the other loaf. The fact that my three year old grand son loved it, is a clear indicator that this bread/cake is a winner in Blimpy Girl’s recipe book.
My honey-man, the Wine Guy, baked this yesterday for dessert. A light confectioner sugar and cream cheese frosting was the drizzled topping. I love the color and texture of the slices. Knowing there are two veggies and a fruit incorporated into the recipe is an added bonus.
The bread easily serves 12. Pair it with a strong cup of java…yum…yum! Grab the Recipe