By: Julia Gagulska
Prep time: 10 minutes
Having direct familial roots in eastern Europe has meant that I have always been lucky enough to experience the unique flavors and tastes of Poland when I visit family. My family and I also typically travel to other neighbouring countries, mostly in the Mediterranean, and Italy is one of my favorites. While its famous landmarks, gelato and wine are irreplaceable, its abundance in extraordinarily fresh food is unparalleled! From burrata salad to home-made risotto, Italian cuisine is not only diverse in flavor and colors but never fails to taste delicious, all the while including healthy ingredients. Similarly to many other Mediterranean cuisines, Italian dishes are loaded with a plethora of fiber-rich nutrients such as leafy greens and healthy fats like olive oil (Jennings). Tomatoes, a staple in Italian cuisine found in most dishes, are abundant in antioxidants, promoting heart health (Pinocchio’s 2019). Below, I explore just one variation of the caprese salad, although this dish is incredibly versatile! Other caprese salad variations include cantaloupe, prosciutto and sometimes even roasted red pepper! Although I, myself, am not a vegan I often enjoy exploring and comparing vegan alternatives to my favorite foods in order to potentially cut back on dairy products while maintaining their delicious flavors in my diet.
- 2-3 heaping handfuls arugula
- 2-3 slices Miyoko’s™ Italian-style Vegan mozzarella, cubed
- 2 Tomatoes-on-the-vine, roughly cubed
- Olive oil
- Balsamic vinegar
- Salt and pepper
- Wash your arugula and tomatoes thoroughly.
- Place arugula, roughly chopped tomatoes, and cubed mozzarella in a bowl.
- Drizzle olive oil and balsamic vinegar across the top of your salad to your heart’s desire.
- Add salt and pepper to taste, toss the salad, and enjoy!
Jennings, K.-A. (n.d.). Health benefits of Italian Foods. Food Network. https://www.foodnetwork.com/healthy/packages/healthy-every-week/healthy-international/health-benefits-of-italian-foods.
Pinocchio’s Italian Eatery . (2019). Health benefits of eating ITALIAN food: Pinocchio’s co. Best Italian Restaurants in Brighton, Colorado. https://www.pinocchiosbrighton.com/blog/9-health-benefits-of-eating-italian-food.