Thursday, January 3, 2008

Breakfast of Champions

One of my New Year’s resolutions is to recapture my health, and I am pleased to say I have taken this commitment to heart. I am three days into my 11th, 12th, and 13th resolutions. I’ve abstained from sugar and processed, refined food, haven’t had to take any of my prescription stomach medications or antacids, and haven’t had one sip of diet coke. I’ve even had breakfast, which I am sure you are not surprised to hear I usually skip. I hate breakfast. Not the concept, per se, but the traditional food offerings. Eggs are revolting. Danishes and other pastries are equally disgusting. Don’t even get me started on cereal. And you know what? I don’t even like pancakes! You can see why it is pretty easy for me to grab a diet coke and go.

But, I’m trying to be better and set a good example for the boys. To that end, and since I don’t see me liking breakfast foods anytime soon, I decided to rework the idea of breakfast. Those of you out there who are diehard breakfast fans (Hi, The Mister!) will not appreciate the following recipe, but maybe it will make a tasty, light lunch or mid afternoon snack.

Let’s make a little Tomato Crostini, shall we?

The ingredients are simple and healthy, and the recipe (if you want to call it that) is perfect for those of you with little time on your hands.

*I apologize for the poor picture quality. There is a film on my lens I haven't been able to remove. It would help if I knew what it was and how it got there!

Really good breakfast

  • 2 Slices whole grain bread
  • 1-2 Fresh tomatoes, more or less depending on size. I used a mix of grape and small in low acid varieties for my stomach
  • Pecorino Romano (Like parmesean, but made from sheep's milk. Again, this is for my stomach. Parmesean works just fine.)
  • Sea salt
  • Olive oil

Preheat your oven to 375 degrees if you're in and out of the kitchen (like I am) or 400-425 degrees if you're short on time and can catch the bread before it burns.

Start off with a good, dense bread. Take two slices and place it on a lined cookie sheet. You need a sturdy bread that can support the water content of the tomatoes once they release their juices. Sourdough works well here, but I can’t eat yeast or gluten breads without feeling like my esophagus is engulfed in flames. Instead, I stick with whole grain, yeast and gluten free breads like Whole Grain Spelt or Spelt White by Pacific Bakery.

Drizzle the bread with olive oil. If you like a crispier bread, place it in the oven while you slice the tomatoes.

Slice the tomatoes thinly, about 1/4" and remove bread from the oven if you decided to pret-toast. Arrange tomato slices on top of the bread. Spread them out and try not to pile them too much into the center. It looks prettier piled, but it's easier to eat when evenly distributed.

Drizzle the tomatoes and bread with more olive oil.

Grate cheese on top and sprinkle with sea salt.

Place in the preheated oven and bake until the tomatoes are very soft (they'll wrinkle a bit) and the cheese is melted. This should take anywhere from 10-20 minutes at 375 degrees (which is why I use this temperature--I can go back to my room and get ready) or 5-10 minutes at 425 degrees.

Take out of the oven, cut into triangles, and enjoy!

I know it seems rather silly to be so excited about my progess since, oh, Sunday. Perhaps I should have held off on this post until I had a more respectable number of days under my belt. I don't think so, and here is why. I believe part of the reason resolutions fall by the wayside is that we expect perfection and don't often take the time to ackowledge and applaud even the small steps we take towards achieving our goals. The journey is just as important as the destination. Because of this, I think I’m going to another resolution to my list:

21. Celebrate the small successes.