When I was in college I gained the Freshman 15, along with most of my friends (except for one of us, you know who you are KJ!) The food served at the cafeteria was terrible but since it was in abundance, most of us ate way too much. So the summer before sophomore year my friend and I joined Weight Watchers and managed to stay at a healthy weight through to graduation. We used to spend hours in the kitchen making up ways to get broccoli to taste as good as those fries they served in the Cellar, our local hangout.
When I became a mother those extra pounds came in the form of baby weight not beer weight. I had to draw on all those creative meals my friend and I made that summer to get back in shape, especially after having twins! Recently, that same friend, who is back on Weight Watchers (a great program, in my opinion) sent me a picture of something she had made and the corresponding points. It made me nostalgic for that summer we spent mixing up our concoctions and meticulously adding up our points for the day.
So my inspiration this week comes from those fun days in our campus kitchen. After last week’s eggplant debacle I was hoping to turn out a dish the boys would actually eat. I should clarify that I am absolutely not putting my boys on Weight Watchers (I do not advocate putting children on diets.) If my kids are eating real food with fresh ingredients, for the MOST part, that is what matters to me. Now, let’s see if they will eat shrimp!
12 slices, french baguette, sliced on diagonal, 1/2 inch thick
3 Tbsp olive oil, divided
1 roasted pepper, yellow or red, peeled and seeded
2 plum tomatoes, peeled and seeded
2 Tbsp Parmesan, grated
1 Tbsp lemon juice, fresh
Salt & Pepper
1 clove garlic, minced
12 large shrimp, precooked, cut into bite size pieces
1 tsp parsley, plus more for garnish (optional)
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Arrange bread slices on a baking sheet and drizzle with 1 Tbsp of the olive oil. Toast bread, approximately 8-10 minutes, remove from oven and set aside.
If you have the time and inclination to roast the pepper it is super easy and tastes so much better. Otherwise store-bought is fine! To roast peppers simply place them directly on your stovetop with a medium-high flame. Turn frequently with tongs until charred and slightly soft to the touch. Place in plastic freezer bag for 10 minutes to steam, peel away charred skin and take out seeds.
Combine pepper, tomatoes, Parmesan, 1 Tbsp olive oil, and lemon juice in food processor. Blend until a chunky paste, salt and pepper to taste.
Meanwhile, heat the last Tbsp of olive oil in a skillet over medium-high heat. Add garlic and cook until fragrant, about 2-3 minutes. Add the pepper tomato mixture and cook down about 5 minutes. Add shrimp and parsley for the last minute just to heat through.
Spoon shrimp mixture on top of toast and garnish with remaining parsley.
And the VERDICT is:
Matthew: “It’s a home run!”
Dylan: “I like the shrimp and the bread, but not the seaweed. It is a little messy”
Liam: “Can I have Dylan’s? This is the best thing I ever ate!”
Wow, sometimes my kids surprise me… And if anyone reading this can figure out how many points are in these crostini, I would love to know!