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Bruschetta Squares

 

~~posted by Jen

 

I can’t help it, I love making it look like the rooster is eating the food!

It’s New Year’s Eve and my original plans were to go over to my local BFF’s house (where I spent Christmas Eve) for a small party with a few close friends and stay over to hang out on New Year’s Day. Good ole’ Mother Nature saw things differently, since NJ got bombarded with over 2 feet of snow on Sunday and Monday. The townships have been dragging their feet to get the roads cleared, so that means I’ll be staying home with the boys.

Of course we’ll need some snacks to nibble on while we watch the ball drop. We’ll probably watch some movies (I’m thinking The Blind Side and maybe Avatar, since I never got to see those) until the Anderson Cooper New Year’s Eve special comes on. Kathy Griffin cracks me up and I love to watch her embarrass the crap out of ole AC 360. He’s so cute when his face turns red!

I made these “party bites” a few weeks ago for the RV (resident vegetarian) to take over to a party at his friend’s house, and they were a hit with them so I’ll definitely make them again for us. The ingredients are vegetables I always have on hand, and he loves crescent rolls, so I always have a can or three of those in the fridge. You could also use the Arnold Multi-grain Flatbreads for the crust, those work well, too.

This is not especially WLS-friendly, as it’s not a high protein dish. You could certainly add some Any Whey Protein Powder into the vegetable mix if you like, or even add some meat to the vegetable mixture. Chunks of ham, salami, or even pepperoni would be tasty since this is kind of an “Italian” vegetable medley.

You could also use ground turkey, or Italian Sausage would be good also! That’s where the “Play With Your Food!” part comes in. Start with this recipe as a jumping off point and make it your own unique dish. Snap a pic when you do and send it our way, so we can share your awesome idea with everyone else!

I used a good bit of cheese, but without adding protein powder or meat, these are one of those dishes I allow myself in moderation only AFTER I’ve met my goal of 100 grams of protein for the day. As always, we are not the managers of your plan or your pouch, we just try to offer ways to help you meet your nutritional needs and still have an occasional treat. (Sad that I think of a vegetable dish as a treat, but I digress.) Here’s how it’s done:

Jen’s Bruschetta Party Squares
Ingredients:
4 small zucchini, diced
1 medium sweet onion (such as Vidalia), diced
1 cup chopped mushrooms
1/4 cup sun-dried tomatoes (dry, not packed in oil), chopped into pieces
2 tbsp Olive Oil
1 tbsp Butter (or I Can’t Believe It’s Not Real Butter, your choice)
1 tbsp Garlic Powder
1 tbsp Onion Powder
1 tbsp Italian Seasoning
1 tsp Salt
1 cup marinara sauce (jarred or homemade, whichever you have on hand)
2 cups Italian Blend Shredded Cheese
1 can Reduced Fat Crescent Rolls or 4 Arnold Thin Multigrain Flatbreads.

Directions:
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. If you’re using Crescent Rolls, leave them in the fridge until just before time to bake them. In a large non-stick skillet with a lid, heat the olive oil and butter together until butter is melted.

 

Chop the zucchini into bite sized pieces

Add the onions to the skillet and let them cook for about two minutes, then stir in the mushrooms, zucchini, sun-dried tomatoes, and seasonings. Put the lid on the skillet and let vegetables cook for a few minutes, then remove the lid. Continue cooking for three or four more minutes, stirring constantly, until vegetables are tender.

I got the mushrooms already sliced, then chopped those into smaller pieces along with the onions

Stir in the marinara sauce and 1 cup of the Italian blend cheese and heat through until cheese is melted. If you’re using the Any Whey protein powder, whisk it into the marinara sauce just before you add the sauce to the vegetables.

Remove skillet from heat and set aside so topping mixture will cool a bit while you get the crust ready. Using a potato masher, mash up the vegetable mixture so there are no big chunks left in it. This will make it more manageable as a party bite.

Mashing up the cooked veggies with a potato masher

If you’re using the Arnold Multi-grain Flatbread thins, skip to the “Bake” step and change the time to 2 to 3 minutes, then go straight to topping!

If your using the crescent rolls, remove them from the fridge now. Open the can, do NOT separate the crescent rolls. Using a rolling pin, roll them out into one large rectangle on a cookie sheet/jelly roll pan.

Bake for 10 to 12 minutes until crust is lightly golden brown, then remove from the oven and allow to cool slightly.

If you use the flatbreads, I’d recommend crisping them in the oven for 2 or 3 minutes before topping them.

Cut the crescent rolls (or multi-grain flatbreads) into squares with a pizza cutter. Spread some of the vegetable mixture on each square, then top with a sprinkle of the remaining cup of Italian Blend cheese. Once they are all topped, return the squares back to the oven for about 5 minutes or so, just until the cheese melts. These are great served hot or at room temperature.

I usually have 3 of these, especially if we have other snacks set out