Summertime Tomatoes Shine In This Easy Caprese Appetizer Bites Recipe
|Caprese Appetizer Bites make a quick|
and delicious low carb appetizer!
The irony is that I eat way more veggies on a low carb diet than I ever did eating SAD (Standard American Diet). And summertime with its vegetable bounty is one of my favorite seasons. Honest, this is straight from the mouth of a low carber!
*the crowd makes a collective gasp and swoons*
And tomatoes, a summertime superstar, offer great options for quick and easy recipes! From salads to ingredients in main dishes and veggie side dishes, tomatoes brighten the summertime plate. Every spring, my blood starts pumping as I plan recipes highlighting the new tomato season.
I’m going to focus the next couple of posts on quick and easy vegetable dishes that feature some of the summer’s brightest stars, and why not kick this off with the beloved tomato? I want to illustrate that our low carb lifestyle isn’t all about the meat, although it’s lovely to fearlessly chow down
on a delicious hamburger or eat the skin on the roasted chicken leg and thigh with abandon. I feel equally privileged to enjoy huge salads with luscious homemade vinaigrette and creamy yogurt dressings or eat big servings of low glycemic veggies of all kinds, tossed with olive oil and garlic.
In fact people are surprised I generally keep my protein servings in the 3-4oz range per meal and the 1-2oz size in the unlikely event I feel the need to feed on a snackalicious little something or other. You guys may eat bigger protein servings, I think it’s a highly individual thing. But I maintain, I probably eat more veggies now than I ever did during the days I ate a SAD style “nutrition”. I generally eat about 5-9 servings of veggies and low glycemic fruits daily.
(General Disclaimer - No offense to you R.D.'s and Nutritionists out there. I will just tell you that few nutritionists were harmed in the making of this blog post. All were safely released back into the wild.)
True story. And a funny one, to boot! I was sent over to the nutrtitionist – a PhD and R.D. (Registered Dietician) recently and he told me in the first 3 minutes of conversation that he DID NOT prescribe low carb diets and that I was killing myself with all that protein and fat and wasn’t giving my body enough carbs; that my body was cannibalizing itself and eating my muscles, because it wasn’t getting enough carbohydrate. He then went on to tell me he wanted me on a 1400cal/day diet with 20% coming from protein, 20% coming from fat and 60% coming from carbs.
So let’s look at his recommended numbers:
1400kcal/day x 20%Protein = 280 calories ÷ 4cal/gram = 70g Protein/day
1400kcal/day x 20% Fat = 280 calories ÷ 9cal/gram = 31g Fat/day
1400kcal/day x 60% Carbs = 840 calories ÷ 4cal/gram = 210g Carbs/day
I laughed and asked him what made him think that I could magically start handling carbs without a spike in my blood sugar when I couldn’t do it during a 5 hour glucose tolerance test about 6 years previously? And then I went on to let him know that “all that protein” in my current diet averages around 60-80g Protein daily, about the same amount he recommends.
All I’ve done in my diet is reduce the calories so that it’s closer to 1100-1200kcal/daily and swapped carbs for healthy fats that don’t affect blood sugar. By eating my version of a low carb diet, which allows me plenty of veggies and some low glycemic fruits, I consume between 40-60g of Net Carbs.
Now, I hear ya, I shouldn't be talking about calories, 'cuz well, it's low carb. We don't talk about calories because calories-in = calories-out is a specious equation and means little to doodley-squat! But someone forgot to give the message to my little chubby-lover fat cells that calories don't count in low carb eating. I'm an over 40, post-surgical menopausal woman, unfortunately on many drugs for asthma and cancer with known side effects of weight gain. I'm a breast cancer survivor as well, and I'm just hear to tell you in my little n=1 corner of the world, if I WANT to lose weight, I must cut the calories. If I want to maintain? Well, eat away! The calories don't matter as much to me.
So let’s look at my numbers:
1200kcal/day x 25%Protein = 300 calories ÷ 4cal/gram = 75g Protein/day
1200kcal/day x 60% Fat = 720 calories ÷ 9cal/gram = 80g Fat/day
1200kcal/day x 15% Carbs = 180 calories ÷ 4cal/gram = 45g Carbs/day
|Yellow cherry tomatoes taste and look great in |
Caprese Appetizer Bites.
Oy veh! Archaic science. Gotta love it! Oh and did I mention his PhD is in epidemiological nutrition? Hmmm…can you say China Study? *snort*
Ok, so go visit your local farm stand and fall in love with summer tomatoes.
|Bocconcini with grilled zucchini and red bell peppers.|
Oh my! Here we are with MORE veggies. Are you
sure this is LOW CARB we're talking 'bout here, Susie?
Bocconcini are small balls of fresh mozzarella about the size of a golf ball or egg, about an ¾ ounce to 1 ounce each.
Try this quick little Caprese Salad recipe and use the "bites" for appetizers or a side dish. It’s great with all sorts of grilled and pan roasted meats! Mangia!
(Yeah, I know that’s not Texan!)
|Caprese Appetizer Bites make a |
great low carb side.
Serves – 4
Prep Time – 10 Minutes
Cooking Time – 0 Minutes
Difficulty – Easy
16 Grape Tomatoes
(You can also use yellow or red cherry tomatoes.)
16 Basil Leaves
16 Cubes Fresh Whole Milk Mozzarella
16 Wooden or Bamboo Mini Skewers or Toothpicks
2 Tbsp. House Vinaigrette
(See House Vinaigrette Recipe here - I’ve told you about a dozen times!)
|You can use cherry tomatoes or grape tomatoes in the|
Caprese Appetizer Bites.
Place basil in a salad spinner or carefully dry leaves with a paper towel to keep leaves from turning brown when water sits on the leaves. Place in the fridge until ready to assemble and let the leaves crisp.
Cut fresh, Whole Milk Mozzarella into ½” cubes, or use small bocconcini size mozzarella. If using bocconcini, cut them in half or in quarters, depending on their size. You only want a mouthful of mozzarella on each skewer.
|Zippy says to tell you, "Brown basil is yukky!"|
Skewers can be made ahead and stored in an air tight container up to 4 hours before serving. Make sure all elements of the appetizer are dry! Take Zippy's word for it, brown basil is yukky…
Just prior to serving, arrange skewers on a serving plate. Drizzle with House Vinaigrette. (See recipe with Chopped Salad and House Vinaigrette).
Caprese Appetizer Skewer – Individual Skewer
Grilled Lemon Rosemary Chicken with Roasted Grape Tomatoes and Garlicky Green Beans and Asparagus. I made this recipe for a Recipe Lion Memorial Day Recipe Rodeo and will re-post it on the Fluffy Chix Cook blog, soon.
Allow 4 Caprese Appetizer Skewers per person if this is the only appetizer being served. If you are serving other apps, then cut the per person quantity to 2-3 per person. If you are serving this as a side salad, allow 4-6 skewers per person (about 2oz of cheese/person).