Bagna Cauda Bruschetta

Chocolate Broccoli is under the weather.  It all started about 2 days ago with a simple stuffy head and this morning the gal in my office took one look at me and said: ‘Go home, girl.’  I am fortunate enough to work with two very AWESOME physicians, one of which checked me out yesterday while I was bundled in a fluffy blanket.  (I keep it in my office drawer for the frigid temps that often times submerge our work space.  Its red.  And fluffy.)   She said it seemed as though it was just allergies- something that I have never dealt with- ever.  I guess in my adult age I’ve developed sesitivity.. because a cold doesn’t seem likely this time of year.  But you never know.  I’m on OTC meds for now.. but if it lasts through the weekend I need antibiotics (according to my MD friend.)  Hoping for bright-eyes and bushy-tails tomorrow. 
 
Last night FireMom was loading me with Vitamin C, and anything she could pull out of her remedy cabinet.  I started to think about what whole foods I could choose that would benefit my immunity.  Experts agree that a diet rich in a variety of fruits and vegetables, whole grains, lean proteins, and low-fat dairy products(Check..check..check, anndd check.) combined along with getting enough sleep (oh dang..I fail miserably at getting enough), moderate exercise (get it.. most of the time..), and minimal stress (hmm..) can help to provide a well-functioning immune system and in turn can help with a faster turnaround if you do come down with the sniffles.  Eating the whole food, you can also benefit from other nutrients not typically found in supplements.  I suggest:
*Plenty of fruits and vegetables for vitamins A, C, and E.
**Whole grains, lean meats, and poultry for zinc, and vitamin E.
***Low-fat dairy products for excellent sources of vitamin A.
Not only will you reap the benefits of an immunity boost, eating the whole food offers fiber, B vitamins, minerals, and other nutrients, which support overall good health.  Take for example this recipe I made recently.. Antioxidants like lycopene and vitamins A and E from the veggies, Vitmain C from citrus, heart healthy fats from the anchovies and olive oil- this one is packed with natural immune enhancement. Bagna Cauda is typically a warmed (high calorie) Italian appetizer.. but I’ve turned it into an alternate version getting the flavor with a lot less fat..plus more antioxidants!

 

Bagna Cauda Bruschetta
with Melted Tomatoes and Zucchini
 
INGREDIENTS:
1 (8-ounce) baguette, sliced crosswise into 24 pieces
1 medium zucchini
1 pint cherry tomatos, halved
Cooking spray
1/4 cup chopped shallots
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
1/4 teaspoon salt
5 garlic cloves, minced
3 canned anchovy fillets, rinsed and minced
1/4 cup extravirgin olive oil
2 tablespoons chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley

3 tablespoons drained capers

DIRECTIONS:
For Toasts:
Preheat broiler.
Arrange baguette slices in an even layer on a baking sheet. Broil 1 minute or until toasted. Cool completely on baking sheet.

For Roasted Vegetables:
Preheat oven to 375°.
Place tomatoes and zucchini  in a 13 x 9-inch baking dish coated with cooking spray. Sprinkle with black pepper. Bake at 375° for 30 minutes or until browned, stirring occasionally.  Chop zucchini and tomatoes; add shallots. Cover and keep warm.

While vegetable roast, combine juice, salt, garlic, and anchovies in a small food processor; process 30 seconds or until mixture forms a paste. Add oil; pulse 10 times or until combined. Spoon mixture into a small saucepan; bring to a simmer over medium-high heat. Remove from heat; stir in parsley and capers.

To Serve, arrange baguette slices on serving platter. Drizzle each slice with about 1/2 teaspoon oil mixture, and top with about 1 tablespoon vegetables. Serve immediately.

Nutrition Information
Serves 12 (2 bruschetta each)
Calories: 101
Fat: 4.8 g
Carbohydrate: 13 g
Fiber: 1 g
Protein: 3.4 g

 

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