Foodie on the Half Shell: Blissful bruschetta

I truly think that food can fix anything. From shedding tears over love lost or a failing grade to helping you feel energetic and motivated. Our mind and body are intertwined in a way that is abstract to think about for someone who may not know a lot about integrative medicine. I took an Intro to Integrative Medicine last semester, and I really enjoyed it because it made me think a lot about what we, as individuals, need to eat to be the best we can be.

The main focuses in integrative medicine are prevention of disease, non- invasive remedies of disease, and the mind body connection. Although I am a huge supporter of modern day medicine (go get your kids vaccinated, darn it!), I also am a supporter of a holistic way of looking at how I take care of my body. Now, my column isn’t about medicine and science, because that is truly not my forte. What it is about, though, is nourishment.

If we nourish our bodies with what they need, our minds (or spirits, whatever you prefer) will respond positively. Sometimes, we need to feed our minds and spirits, though! For the most part of day, I am eating to survive. For breakfast and lunch I eat strictly vegan. I eat a lot of vegetables, whole grains, and healthy fats like hummus and avocado. All of those foods are delicious, but there is truly nothing like creamy cheeses or heavy Italian meals. For dinner, I eat to enjoy, while still nourishing myself. It isn’t like I say, “Oh, to Hell with nutrition,” when it is dinner- time, but I do take the time to make something that I truly want to savor.

This bruschetta is a perfect appetizer or small dinner. It feeds your desire for breads and cheese but won’t make your diet crash and burn. By balancing it with a soft cheese, like chèvre, and roasted vegetables, you are getting what your body needs and wants. Tonight, I made this bruschetta to help my partner get ready for an exam tomorrow. When you are studying your butt off, you don’t want to have to think about making yourself food. Also, microwave dinner just won’t support your extreme mental endeavors. I have no idea when microwave meals are a good idea…anyone care to enlighten me?

Eating instructions include serving this on your coffee table while you sit on pillows and drink red wine sangria.

What you will need for two people:

About 6 slices of fresh crusty bread

1 small packet of goat cheese

2 red bell peppers

A package of asparagus

2 teaspoons of garlic salt

Olive oil

Salt and pepper

Roast the bell peppers and asparagus with some olive oil at 350 degrees for about 20 minutes or until the vegetables are caramelized. When cool, chop up the vegetables into small pieces. Mix in the garlic salt and pepper into the vegetables.

Toast the bread with on a cookie sheet in the same oven for about 5-10 minutes with some olive oil drizzled on it.

Smother the goat cheese on the toast. Top with hefty spoonfuls of the vegetables and finish with a drizzle of reduced balsamic vinegar.

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