Meatless Monday- Simple, Delicious Bruschetta

by - Monday, January 09, 2017

One of our big goals for 2017 is to really get going on Meatless Monday. We are never going to be a vegetarian household, but like so many people, we could stand to get a little more meat out of our diet for our health and the Earth's. Meat, come at a shockingly high environmental cost. They use so much water, create so much waste (including plastic), and emit a lot of greenhouse gases. Beef uses 11 times the water and produces 5 times the greenhouse gases of other animal proteins, so if you want the most bang for your environmental buck, that is where to start. 

So, we are devoting one day a week to vegetarian meals. We have been doing this a while, but we don't honestly have a lot of vegetarian recipes in our arsenal, so I thought I would share some of our attempts and successes with you. My husband is an awesome cook, so I know we will find some good stuff to share. 
meatless monday bruschetta with tomatoes, ricotta, and basil
This week, we kicked things off with one of our go to's- Bruschetta! Usually, we do this as an appetizer when we have people over, but we tried doing a big plate of it as a meal for us to share. We also tried adding some ricotta cheese to make it a little more substantial so we don't get hungry an hour or two later. If you decide to go dairy-free, that plan wouldn't work, but I will share how The Boy did it anyway. 

meatless monday bruschetta ingredients tomatoes, basil

Ingredients

Tomato Mixture


3-4 cloves of garlic peeled
1 loaf fresh baguette
2-3 tomatoes, chopped
3-4 basil leaves, chopped
2-3 tbsp chopped red onion
2 tbsp olive oil
1 tsp balsamic vinegar
salt and pepper to taste

Ricotta Spread

1 cup ricotta
3 tbsp grated parmesan cheese
2 tsp oregano
salt and pepper to taste

meatless monday bruschetta tomato mixture

Directions



1. Cut bread into 1- 1.5" slices (make some skinny ones if you are feeding a toddler) and arrange on a baking tray (preheat oven at 350). For the record, this was the also the first time we used my new USA Pan baking sheet I got for Christmas.

2. Peel garlic and crush with the side of a knife. Rub crushed garlic on the bread. 

3. Mince garlic. 

4. Chop tomatoes (and deseed if things seem excessively moist)

5. Heat 2 tbsp oil, med high, saute garlic and onion to soften (makes it less intense so if you like those tastes intense, do it less time). Allow to cool. 

6. Combine 2/3 basil, tomato, garlic, onion, and salt and pepper. 

7. Toast bread in oven (takes about 7 minutes). 

meatless monday bruschetta spreading ricotta

8. Mix the ricotta spread ingredients all together. Spoon ricotta mixture on to the toast. 

meatless monday bruschetta tomato, ricotta, garlic, and basil

9. Spread on tomato mixture. 

10. Sprinkle with remaining basil, pinch of parmesan cheese, and salt and pepper. 

meatless monday bruschetta tomato, basil, ricotta, and garlic

 What We Learned

- The Boy baked bread longer, maybe 9-10 minutes, or cut them all thinner (more like 3/4")

- We thought it could have been a little brighter. A more acidy tomato? Red wine vinegar? I thought just leave the garlic raw, but I absolutely love raw garlic. I will eat it until it gives me heartburn. The Boy does not agree.

-A tasty tomato makes a big difference. Maybe not the best recipe for the winter once tomatoes are out of season.



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