Friday, August 19, 2011

Whole Wheat Tomato Basil Bread


T cubed has gone south to visit our parents. For most people, the extra sun might spark ideas of swimming in pools, eating ice cream, and tanning. I was struck by the idea that bread would rise like crazy in the heat. Yeah, I can be weird like that. 

While plain whole wheat bread it good, a can of tomatoes sitting in the pantry gave me an idea. Why not spice it up with a tomato basil variation? Heck, if they make tomato basil bagels, why not a tomato basil bread?

It's like all the goodness of the pizza in one healthy snack, which is even more delicious with olive oil and balsamic vinegar.


  • 3 cups Whole Wheat Flour
  • 2 cups Warm Water
  • 1 tsp Yeast
  • 1/2 tsp Salt
  • 1 Can of Diced Tomatoes
  • ~2 tbsp Italian Herbs (e.g. Basil, Thyme, Oregano,Tarragon) depending on how herby you like your bread
  1. Combine first four ingredients. This should form a pretty wet dough that is very sticky
  2. Let rise in the sun outside for ~1 hour until doubled in size (Note: using plastic wrap and a metal bowl will cause it to heat up rapidly; I ended up covering my in a towel over the plastic wrap)
  3. Drain the tomatoes, keeping the juices. Then rinse the tomatoes (to remove excess sodium they usually pack in with canned foods) and add them to the dough. (Note: I added the tomatoes at this step so their acidity wouldn't retard the growth of the yeast)
  4. Add herbs to taste. Knead until incorporated 
  5. Oil a cookie sheet and place the lump of dough in the middle. It will spread out with time. 
  6. Let the dough rise outside for ~1 hour again until doubled in size
  7. Preheat the oven to 450 degrees. Also, put a oven-proof, non-rustable container (I used a ceramic pie pan) filled with water inside. This will create a moist environment in the oven that is conducive to a better crust. 
  8. Using the reserved tomato juices, paint the top of the dough. Beyond infusing the dough with more tomato-y goodness, this gives the crust a little extra sugar, which helps with the caramelization that creates a crispy crust. 
  9. Put in the oven for ~30 min
  10. Enjoy!
Calorie Counters: The entire recipe has 1300 calories, 52 g protein, 6 g fat, and 43 g fiber

Strawberry Peanut Butter Breakfast Blondies


It has been brought to my attention that much of the world doesn't understand the beauty of peanut-butter-covered strawberries. This combination, I dare say, rivals the perfection of chocolate-covered strawberries. If you have not tried the two together, please run to your peanut butter jar now with strawberry in hand. 

However, strawberries and peanut butter hardly classifies a meal in itself, as much as I would like to believe otherwise. Ergo, I decided to revamp the combination with a little inspiration from Chocolate Covered Katie's blondies to make a higher protein, ultra-satisfying meal. 

While Chocolate Covered Katie calls hers blondies, mine have no sugar, so the sweetness is a little understated. Thus, mine are called breakfast blondies to emphasize that they aren't really a dessert per se, but a very delicious, not bean-y tasting, breakfast treat. 

I had my little brother who is known for his sensitive palate taste it, and he had no idea there were beans in it!

Without further ado, 

  • 1/3 cup Peanut Butter (I used Nuttzo multi-nut butter, which tastes very peanut buttery)
  • ~15 Strawberries
  • 1 tsp Vanilla Extract
  • 1 tsp Almond Extract
  • 1 tsp Baking Soda
  • 1 can White Beans
  1. Dice Strawberries into chunks
  2. Combine all ingredients
  3. Blend batter until beans are pureed (I did this with just a spoon and some elbow grease, but I think you could also do this in a food processor or blender)
  4. Bake at 350 degrees for 1 hour
  5. Enjoy!
For those counting, the entire recipe has about 900 calories, 46 g protein, 26 g fiber, and 45 g healthy fat.