Oven-Roasted Eggplant Caprese Salad

I love a good Caprese salad. It’s refreshing and just makes me feel so healthy and Italian! But this week when I was making Caprese salad as a side dish for dinner, I wanted to make it a little more hearty. Digging through my refrigerator, I happened to find an eggplant that I purchased the week before at the farmer’s market. What a great new ingredient to add to the Caprese salad!I thought, as I sliced it up and threw it in the oven. And you know what? It was delicious and so easy to make! The oven does all the work for you while you slice up your tomatoes and mozzarella. A simple salad that’s easy to make, delicious, and looks amazing? Get your Mediterranean on and make this for dinner tonight.

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Oven-Roasted Eggplant Caprese Salad

IngredientsIMG_5129

  • 1 medium eggplant
  • 1-2 tomatoes
  • 1/2 pound fresh mozzarella                       (1 mozzarella ball)
  • Extra virgin olive oil
  • Balsamic graze
  • Fresh basil leaves, optional
  • Salt and pepper, to taste

Directions

  1. Preheat your oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit. Clean and cut eggplant into slices that are about 1/2 inch thick. Place slices on a cooking sheet covered with non-stick spray.
  2. Brush eggplant slices with olive oil and season with a little salt and pepper. Place cooking sheet in the oven to bake for about 25 minutes.
  3. While your eggplant is baking, clean tomatoes and slice them. Slice mozzarella as well. (The thickness of your slices is up to you. I sliced my tomatoes and mozzarella almost 1/2 inch thick.)
  4. When the eggplant is golden brown and soft (you’ll notice the difference in texture when you see it), remove the eggplant from the oven and allow it a few minutes to cool.
  5. Layer eggplant slices, tomato slices, and mozzarella slices on a serving plate. If you have basil leaves, sprinkle them on top. Drizzle olive oil and balsamic glaze over the top of the salad, and sprinkle a little salt and pepper on top.
  6. Eat and enjoy! Mangia!

Light Tuna Avocado Salad

Ah summertime, what a wonderful time of the year! Even someone like myself who lacks air conditioning in a sweltering season like this one has to appreciate how nice it is to have sunshine and warmth. The weather just makes me want to listen to reggae music and be outside more. 

Specifically, the weather makes me want to go to the beach. Last weekend and this weekend were my first real beach weekends, and despite the fact I did not go swimming in the water (I like the beach, I’m not particularly fond of super cold ocean water), I really had a wonderful time. Even have the tan lines to prove it.

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There are plenty of things about being close to the coastline that are enjoyable to me. From a food standpoint, its definitely all about the sea food. I love fish. Not only is fish tasty, it is a lean protein and a great source of omega-3 fatty acids.

This Light Tuna Avocado Salad is made to bring the seafood to you, wherever you may be and especially if you fear cooking seafood. This recipe uses canned tuna because its inexpensive, stores well, and can be incorporated into the salad in no time. And I added avocado for obvious reasons: avocado makes everything better.

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Makes this salad, eat healthy, and have yourself a little beach day no matter where you are!

Light Tuna Avocado Salad (Serves 1)

IngredientsIMG_4584

  • 1 can of tuna fish in water, drained
  • 1/2 cup yogurt (I used Fage 0% fat Greek Yogurt)
  • 1/2 avocado, peeled and diced
  • Salt & Pepper
  • 1 cup of greens (mixed greens, Romaine, spinach…pick your favorite!)
  • Optional: a dash of Sriracha adds a nice spicy kick!

Directions

  1. Mix drained tuna with yogurt and avocado. Sprinkle salt and pepper to taste. 
  2. Place tuna salad on top of greens of choice OR spread salad onto bread for a delicious and flavorful sandwich!

Feel Stressed? Eat a Salad!

This last week was a doozy for me. You know that feeling that there aren’t enough hours in a day to get things done? I actually think I experienced that firsthand. Usually when life gets a little hectic I tend to naturally reach for something sweet: a cookie, some candy, even a spoon of peanut butter. While these things are all delicious (and tend to make me happier in the moment), they definitely do not lend well to eating healthy. And I can become even more concerned when I realize I have eaten a whole package of cookies/candies/peanut butter.

This was not my approach to food during this bout of busyness. Last week I made sure my meals were nourishing and satisfying, allowing me to maximize my brain power to tackle anything in my path. Now that I finally have a free moment, I want to share my recipe for a de-stressing salad: a salad that is easy to make, wholesome, and light. The ingredients kept me calm and focused during my work, and I ended each day feeling satisfied. I would have normally chopped up the almonds in this recipe, but I did not even feel I had the time to do that (safely, that is-I would like to keep all 10 fingers!).

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Easy to prepare, easy to eat, easy to feel healthy after eating this delicious masterpiece! Say bye-bye to stress and hello to wholesome goodness!

De-Stressing Salad (Makes 1 serving)IMG_3645

Ingredients:

  • 1 cooked chicken breast, chopped
  • 1 cup mixed greens, rinsed
  • 1/2 cup green beans, rinsed
  • 2 Tbsp almonds
  • 2 Tbsp dried cranberries
  • 1 Tbsp balsamic vinegar
  • 1/2 Tbsp olive oil
  • pepper, to taste

Directions:

This recipe is as simple as throwing together all of the ingredients and enjoying! Feel free to alter the amounts of the ingredients/change the ingredients in the recipe to suit your taste preferences. For example, I ran out of cranberries and used slices of apple and it was still delicious!

Steak & Blue Cheese Salad

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Steak and blue cheese. A combination as beautifully delicious as they come. Nothing beats a good steak and blue cheese salad when I want a red meat fix AND I know I should get a serving of vegetables in my diet. Add some light dressing and I’m good to go!

Steak & Blue Cheese Salad (serves 1)

Ingredients:

  • 3-4 oz. cooked steak (I used NY Strip Steak, baked in the oven to medium-rare perfection)
  • 2 cups spinach
  • 1 Roma tomato
  • 1 handful blue cheese
  • 1 Tbsp balsamic vinegar
  • 1-2 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • Salt & Pepper, to tast

Directions:

It’s as simple as chop, toss, and enjoy!