Monday, February 24, 2014

Engine 2 White Bean Bruschetta

If you haven't heard about the Engine 2 diet, it's a "plant-strong," no-oil diet created by vegan firefighter Rip Esselstyn. You've no doubt seen Rip's line of Engine 2 brand cereals, crackers, hummus, almond milk, and more. And of course, there's a book all about the diet, appropriately titled The Engine 2 Diet.

Well, we all know I'm not oil-free. But I understand that some people who have been on a Standard American Diet for years can benefit from taking on a super-healthy diet free of oils, added salt, sugar, and refined grains. Whole Foods asked me to come back this year and do a cooking demo for their Engine 2 class. Last year, I made an oil-free version of my Chipotle Chickpea Chili for the class.

We have a brand new Whole Foods that's about three times the size of the old store, which was demolished this week. It's pretty amazing. Everything is so spread out and shiny and new. But they don't have their Salud! Cooking School built yet, so cooking classes are held in a small area at the back of the cafe. Check out the cool folk art on the cafe walls!

And there isn't a stove or anything. So I went with something super-simple this year — White Bean Bruschetta.

This is a variation on the Butter Bean Bruschetta from Cookin' Crunk. That recipe has two tablespoons of oil, but I modified it a bit and added some new ingredients to beef up the flavor since we weren't using oil. A baguette slice is schmeared with a white bean spread (butter beans, cannellini beans, or great northern beans will do), and then that is topped with a tomato-basil-onion-avoado mixture.

The above picture is from when I tested the oil-free version of my recipe using one of the Everything Baguettes from the Whole Foods bakery. But tonight, at the class, I learned that Engine 2 students can only have whole grain or sprouted grain breads. Whole Foods didn't have a whole grain baguette, so we subbed halves of toasted Ezekial sprouted grain English muffin. If you can find a whole wheat baguette though, it'd be perfect for this. Here's the oil-free recipe.


White Bean Bruschetta
Yields 16 to 20 servings

1 whole-grain baguette
1 large tomato, chopped
1 avocado, diced (you’ll want one that’s ripe, but still a little firm)
1/4 cup minced red onion
2 tablespoons chopped fresh basil
1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
1/2 teaspoon salt
Freshly ground pepper
White Bean Spread
1 (14-ounce) can butter beans (or any white bean), drained and rinsed
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1 teaspoon white miso
1 clove garlic, minced
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon ground pepper
1 to 2 tablespoons water, as needed

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.

To make the bruschetta, slice the baguette on the diagonal into 16 to 20 slices, each about 1 inch thick. Put the baguette slices on a baking sheet and toast in the oven for until lightly browned, 7 to 10 minutes. The time will vary depending on how toasty you like the bread.

Put the tomato, avocado, onion, basil, vinegar, and salt in a large bowl. Season with pepper to taste.

To make the spread, put the beans, lemon juice, miso, garlic, salt, and pepper in a food processor. Process until creamy, stopping occasionally to scrap down the sides of the work bowl as needed. Add 1 to 2 tablespoons of water as needed to achieve the desired consistency. Process again until very creamy.

To assemble, spread each baguette slice with a rounded tablespoon of the bean spread. Scoop out 2 tablespoons of the tomato mixture using a slotted spoon and put it atop the bean spread. Serve immediately.

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