Do you ever feel like you’re on the verge of a breakthrough, but you’re not quite sure how you’ll do it? This has been my mindset lately. I’ve been so inspired in different areas of my life to create meaningful change with things like personal growth, career dreams, family life, etc. You could say that a little self-help inspo has struck me! I’ve felt stuck with indecision and fear for a while now, and the motivation finally hit me to actively do something about getting unstuck. It’s easy to just go through the motions each day.
For most of my life, I’ve always been trying to “fix myself”…this can be a positive thing (such as when I’m trying to be the best version of myself I can be), but it can also turn into a very toxic mindset. It’s easy for me to veer to the dark side of self-improvement and lose sight of my qualities and self-worth. Anyone who suffers from this tendency knows that it’s not a particularly fun way to live. You never feel “ready” because there’s always something to fix or a goal to achieve before being worthy of your and others acceptance. I’m working to make progress in this area. It’s kind of hard to explain, but maybe you can relate?
I have Dr. Brené Brown to thank for my recent bout of inspiration. I first became enamoured with Brené after watching her TED talk on vulnerability years ago and listening to her on Oprah’s SuperSoul Conversations podcast. I’ve read The Gifts of Imperfection twice, and plan on reading it a third time soon (it’s a quick read and easy to devour in a couple evenings). There’s so much wisdom to soak up, and I learn things each time I read it. Currently, I’m reading Daring Greatly (which I’m finding slower, but still learning from it), and hope to read this one and this one next. I’ve been carving out some reading time in the evenings lately, and it feels so good to get back into it! I’m also (late to the party) using my Kindle reader on my phone and love how I can read a few pages here and there while I’m waiting for an appointment or when I have time to kill. I’d love to hear if you’re reading anything inspiring lately too!
“As children we found ways to protect ourselves from vulnerability, from being hurt, diminished, and disappointed. We put on armor; we used our thoughts, emotions, and behaviors as weapons, and we learned how to make ourselves scarce, even to disappear. Now as adults we realize that to live with courage, purpose, and connection—to be the person whom we long to be—we must again be vulnerable. We must take off the armor, put down the weapons, show up, and let ourselves be seen.”
Vegan, gluten-free, grain-free, nut-free, refined sugar-free, soy-free
The first time I made this healthy comfort food recipe, Eric and I had the song Ave Maria playing (Michael Bublé version…so hypnotizing!), and we fell into a trance as we ate crispy round after crispy round of potato bruschetta. Needless to say, we heard the angels singing and I think you will, too! This recipe serves two hungry people as a main or five as an appetizer. The best tip I can give you when making these is to serve it directly on the baking sheet (if you can!) as it keeps the rounds a bit warmer compared to transferring to a platter, and also to top the rounds and serve them right away. If they sit for longer than 10 minutes, they’ll start to lose their fantastic crispiness and soften considerably. This recipe is inspired by the Taco Fiesta Potato Crisps in The Oh She Glows Cookbook (also a delicious appetizer option!) and Potatoes USA.
For the potatoes:
- 2 large (500 g total) Russet potatoes (unpeeled)
- 1 tablespoon (15 mL) grapeseed oil or virgin olive oil
- Fine sea salt
For the Avocado-Tomato topping:
- 2 medium (7 g) garlic cloves
- 1/2 cup (15 g) lightly packed fresh basil leaves
- 2 cups (344 g/12-ounces) grape tomatoes
- 1 tablespoon (15 mL) fresh lemon juice
- 1 tablespoon (15 mL) balsamic vinegar
- 1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt, to taste
- 1 large (240 g) ripe avocado
- Preheat the oven to 425°F (220ºC) and line an extra-large (or 2 medium) baking sheet(s) with parchment paper.
- With a sharp knife, slice the potatoes into 1/4-inch thick rounds. Make sure they’re not any thinner than that, or they might not be sturdy enough to pick up with your hands and the edges will burn more easily while cooking.
- Place the rounds into the centre of one baking sheet in a mound. Toss with the oil until all sides of the rounds are fully coated. Spread into a single layer, spacing them a 1/2-inch apart. Sprinkle liberally with salt.
- Roast the potatoes for 25 to 35 minutes (I do 30), flipping once halfway through baking, until tender and golden brown in some spots. I prefer these slightly overcooked so they’ll crisp up a bit around the edges.
- Meanwhile, prepare the topping. In a large food processor, mince the garlic and basil until finely chopped. Add the tomatoes and pulse — only 10 to 14 times — until the tomatoes are chopped into almond- and pea-sized pieces. Remove the bowl, take out the blade and set aside, and stir in the lemon juice, balsamic vinegar, and salt. Set aside to marinate.
- Five minutes before the potatoes are ready, dice the avocado very small into almond-sized pieces. Fold the diced avocado into the tomato mixture. Taste and stir in more salt if desired. The mixture will look quite juicy/watery, but this is normal!
- After removing the potatoes from the oven, add another generous sprinkle of salt on top. Add 1/2 to 1 tablespoon avocado-tomato mixture onto a fork and strain out the juices by tapping the inside of the bowl. Place the strained mixture onto the centre of a potato round and repeat this process for the rest of the rounds.
- Serve immediately, directly from the baking sheet(s) — I find serving from the baking sheet keeps them warmer, but if you prefer you can transfer the rounds to a platter before adding the topping. If the potatoes sit they will soften and lose their crispness, so I don’t recommend letting them sit around for longer than 10 minutes (usually not a problem in this house!). If you have any avocado-tomato mixture leftover feel free to polish it off with some tortilla chips!
Up the glow factor: Sprinkle my Vegan Parmesan Cheese on top.
Should your potatoes become soft from sitting for too long, these reheat well on a sauté pan, preheated over medium heat, for 1 to 2 minutes. This results in slightly browned bottoms and revives the firm texture without affecting the toppings.
Oh Eric, what a sport for being my food photography model, hah. There were some heavy sighs when his arms got tired…no one said being a model was easy! Okay, maybe they did say that…but just ask Eric about the struggles!
In case you’re wondering – these “photoshoot” potato bruschettas were SO COLD by the time we finally got to eat them. Sniff, sniff . But they were still worth eating! And we’ve enjoyed them many times piping hot out of the oven which is simply the best. If you try them out, I’d love to hear what you think and see your photos, so don’t forget to tag them with #ohsheglows on social media!