Posts Tagged ‘basil’




I know bruschetta should have some sort of crusty, crispy bread involved…and you can add it to this wonderful topping.  But being that I try to eat low-carb, the bread is a bit off the radar for me!

I love this so much, though.  On top of burgers, fish, omelets, chicken…stirred into cottage cheese, ricotta, or even Greek-style plain yogurt, or over slices of fresh mozzarella…it’s so good.

Inspired by Biba’s recipe in her book Biba’s Italy, this has been a favorite in my house for a long time…and will be forever!

Add it to the top of toasted bread if you must…you will want to just eat it out of the spoon, too!

The process seems daunting, but it’s worth it.  And the sweetener REALLY adds to the end flavor.  (I’ve actually reduced the amount of sweetener Biba suggested, but don’t leave it out!)




1 pound cherry or grape tomatoes

5 Roma tomatoes

4 teaspoons Splenda/Whey Low Granular/sugar, if you can have it

7 fresh basil leaves, chopped

3 cloves of garlic (put through a garlic press or finely minced)

1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil


Black Pepper

1/3 cup Shaved Parmesan cheese

If you are so inclined:

1 baguette – sliced, drizzled with olive oil and broiled till golden (turn and do other side, too!)


Preheat oven to 275 degrees.

Cut cherry or grape tomatoes in half. Lay cut side up in a pie plate – single layer. Squeeze them in to fit! Sprinkle with 2 of the minced cloves of garlic. Sprinkle with Splenda/sugar.  (Don’t skip the sweetener- it’s what makes this SO good!) Roast in oven, uncovered for about 2-2 1/2 hours, stirring three or four times.

Tomatoes will be shriveled and almost dry. Remove from oven and let cool. Meanwhile, cut Roma tomatoes in quarters and squeeze to remove seeds and then dice them. Add to roasted tomatoes along with remaining clove of garlic, basil, oil and cheese. Toss well. Add salt and pepper to taste.  Cover and let sit at room temperature for at least 30 minutes to marinate and get BETTER!!

Makes 8 servings – 1/4 cup each

Per Serving (does not include bread): 102 Cal; 2 g Protein; 8 g Tot Fat; 5 g Carb; 1 g Fiber; 1 g Sugar; 64 mg Sodium


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This dip is great on fish, chicken, burgers, or even a crisp green salad.




1 tablespoon lemon juice
1/8 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon Splenda
1 clove garlic, minced
1/2 cup chopped fresh basil
1/2 cup light sour cream
1/2 cup reduced fat mayonnaise
Freshly ground black pepper

In a small bowl whisk together the lemon juice, salt, Splenda, garlic, basil, sour cream, mayonnaise, and black pepper. Cover and chill for at least one hour. Makes 8 servings about 2 tablespoons each.

Per Serving: 69 Cal; 1 g Protein; 5 g Tot Fat; 2 g Carb; 0 g Fiber; 0 g Sugar; 150 mg Sodium

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Thanks and smooch to my friend Laurel for inspiring this one.

This actually tastes like lasagna…with the tomato sauce, basil, sausage and smooth, cool ricotta….WOW!

All your favorite flavors without so much of the starchy pasta.  There are still a few pieces floating in the rich meat broth, but you’ll never miss the rest.

Try it vegetarian, too…fantastico!!




1 tablespoon olive oil
1 pound bulk hot Italian turkey sausage (or 1 pound sausages, casings removed) OR 1 pkg. Morningstar Crumbles
2 cups diced onions
5 cloves garlic, minced
2 cups diced zucchini
1/2 teaspoon dried basil
1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
One 14.5-ounce can diced tomatoes seasoned with oregano
One 15-ounce can tomato sauce
Two 14-ounce cans low sodium chicken broth
1 cup frozen chopped spinach, thawed
1/2 cup mini Farfalle pasta – optional
2 cups ricotta cheese
2 tablespoons fresh, chopped basil

In a saucepan or stockpot heat the olive oil over medium heat. Add the sausage, onion, and garlic. Cook, breaking up with spoon, until sausage is browned and onions are softened. Add zucchini, dried basil, oregano, pepper flakes, salt, black pepper, tomatoes, tomato sauce, and chicken broth. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium-low and allow to simmer for 15 minutes. Add spinach and pasta, if using, and continue to cook until pasta is done, about 7 minutes.

Meanwhile in a small bowl stir the fresh, chopped basil into the ricotta cheese. When soup is finished, ladle into shallow bowls. Carefully add 1/4 cup of the ricotta-basil mixture to the bowl. Sprinkle with freshly grated Parmesan cheese if desired. Makes 8 servings.

Per WLS Serving: 260Cal; 20 g Protein; 10 g Tot Fat; 17g Carb; 2 g Fiber; 3 g Sugar; 609 mg Sodium

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CapreseSalad42lg wm


This salad would be great to spoon on top of chicken breasts, baked fish fillets, or on top of burgers.  It’s easy to put together and the addition of the white balsamic vinegar keeps it pretty!

Add some marinated artichoke hearts and brined olives for a different taste.

I get my white balsamic at Trader Joe’s – inexpensive, but really, really good.



2 large tomatoes, seeded and diced

1 cucumber, diced

1 red onion, diced

1/4 cup chopped fresh basil

1/2 cup fresh Perlini mozzarella balls (the tiny ones!) or diced fresh mozzarella

2 tablespoon olive oil

2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar (I like the white in this so it doesn’t discolor)

Kosher salt and black pepper

Combine tomatoes, cucumber, onion, basil and cheese. Whisk together the olive oil, vinegar, salt and pepper. Drizzle over salad and serve. Makes six servings.

Per Serving: 98 Cal; 5 g Protein; 7 g Tot Fat; 5 g Carb; 1 g Fiber; 1 g Sugar; 88 mg Sodium

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