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Sunday, March 27, 2011

Skinny Bread's

These Skinny breads are fab - they look great and taste so good and they are quiet possibly the furthest thing from traditional "diet food".
Ciabatta - the traditional stone baked ones are beautiful. However, they are not very nutritious and when prepared trationally with olive oil they can be rather high in calories. 

These savoury breads can be created on a mutli-grain or wholemeal french bread or a rye or spelt bread to increase the nutrition.

These breads are ideal as a lunch, a light supper, canapes or a casual starter. Fitting in with the "skinny " ethos they are so quick, easy to prepare and they look and taste very impressive . Also they are low in saturated fat and calories.

Deli's, bakeries and almost all supermarkets sell these breads. These recipes use Aldi's 4 individual ciabatta breads. These are ideal because the doughy centre can be removed and discarded and all that remains is a beautiful crisp bread and obviously this is far healthier. 
In relation to the basil pesto if I dont have time to make my own I choose Dunnes fresh pesto. It is far superior to anything in a jar and because of the intense flavour only a small amount is needed again saving calories.

Basil Pesto, Oven Roast tomato and Cheese Ciabatta
Serves 1
2 slices ciabatta (thinly sliced) or 1 ciabatta bread roll
3 cherry tomatoes
1 tsp deli qaulity basil pesto
2 tsps low fat grated cheddar/mozzerella

  1. Preheat the oven to 180o C  /  Gas 7.  Wash, half the cherry tomatoes, seasoning, place on an oven tray and bake for 15mins.
  2. If using the ciabatta rolls bake in the oven for 10 minutes.
  3. When they are baked, cut in half and scoop out the doughy centre. Spread each half with a little pesto, top with 3 cherry tomatoes and a small sprinkling of cheese. Bake in the oven for 5/7 mins until the cheese has melted. 
  4. Serve with a small green side salad.
Smoked Salmon, Cream Cheese & Rocket Ciabatta
Again this tasty little bread can be divided into 8 and served as dainty canapes or it is ideal as a light lunch or starter. Smoked salmon is fine but I prefer the Hot Barbequed Smoked Salmon which won a Blas na HEireann award. Although, perhaps considered a luxury product these days I think it is so well worth the splurge for a treat. It is so important to dress the rocket leaves before serving these breads as it really does impact the flavour.

Serves 1
1 ciabatta roll
3/4 slices hot smoked salmon
40g extra light cream cheese
1/2 tsp dijon mustard
salt & pepper
1 tsp chopped chives
A small amount red onion
2 tsp olive oil
1/2 tsp white wine vinegar
1/2 tsp lemon juice
salt & pepper
Small handful of rocket

  1. Preheat the oven to 180oC  /  Gas 7. Bake the ciabatta roll in the oven for 10 mins.
  2. While it bakes prepare the cream cheese and the dressing. For the cream cheese mix together the extra light philadelphia, mustard, chives and seasoning. Set aside. Thinly slice a little red onion.
  3. For the salad dressing in the bottom of a small bowl, using a fork whisk together the olive oil and white wine vinegar. Add a squeeze of lemon juice and season.
  4. Remove the ciabatta from the oven, cut in half and scoop out the doughy centre.
  5. Dress the rocket in the lemony dressing.
  6. Spread the cream cheese on the bread, layer on two slices of hot smoked salmon.
  7. Layer the rocket and red onion on top.
  8. Serve and enjoy.

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