Is it possible to be a dedicated homeschooling mom while still making time for myself as an individual (a girlie girl who likes cute shoes)? I like to think so. Follow along, and I'll let you know for sure.

Trust me . . . it's not ALL about the shoes.

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Tomato-White Bean Bruschetta and Vegan Caesar Salad

I knew the time would come when the tomatoes would overrun the fruit bowl and demand to be made into more than just a salad topping. Their timing could have been better though since this week was extra busy and we've eaten out a lot. So, with two tomatoes on their last leg and several more at the peak of ripeness, today was the day to get the job done. Here's what I did:

Tomato-White Bean Bruschetta

For the topping:

4 vine-ripened tomatoes
1 cup cooked white beans (I used navy beans)
3 tablespoons chopped basil
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
1 tablespoon chopped garlic
1 tablespoon rice Parmesan (optional)
Salt and pepper to taste

For the base:
1 whole wheat baguette
1/2 cup Earth Balance (softened)
1 tablespoon chopped garlic
1 tablespoon parsley
Salt and pepper to taste

Halve the tomatoes, remove the seeds and "juice" and dice into small pieces. Toss in a bowl with remaining topping ingredients, and let marinate while you prepare the base (and the salad). Cut the baguette into quarters, then slice each quarter in half (you'll end up with eight pieces). Mix the Earth Balance, garlic, parsley, salt and pepper until well combined, then brush over the baguette pieces. Bake on 425 for about 10 minutes or until toasty, cover each piece with topping and enjoy!

Vegan Caesar Salad
(modified from a Vegetarian Times recipe)

For the dressing:
2 tablespoons blanched almonds
2 tablespoons chopped garlic
3 tablespoons nutritional yeast flakes
2 tablespoons soy sauce or tamari
3 tablespoons lemon juice
3 tablespoons Dijon mustard
1/4 cup water

For the salad:
1 large head of romaine, roughly chopped
Extra veggies of your choice
Croutons (optional)

Grind almonds in food processor. Add all remaining dressing ingredients until thoroughly blended. Toss with lettuce and any other veggies. Top with croutons, if desired.

The original recipe calls for oil, but I've never tried it that way. To me, it tastes great without. I've found the dressing keeps pretty well, so I often make a double batch and use it for a few days. My kids love it, so it goes pretty quickly. If I ever have extra, it also works well as a dip for raw veggies.

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