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Fresh Ingredients for Nutritional and Delicious Salads

Tomato & Mozzarella Salad photo by Kaye BaileyIt is so important that we re-think salads and prepare dishes that are light, nutritious using fresh in-season ingredients. When we do this our cravings for other things are diminished because our taste, texture and nutrional needs have been met. Fresh salads of fruits and vegetables tend to sit lighter in our tiny tummies and do not result in the food coma we often experience after eating a starch-heavy pasta or potato salad.

The first known published salad cookbook came out of Venice, Italy and was written by Salvatore Massonio in 1627. This work of scholarship is titled "Archidipno, ovvero Dell'Insalata, e Dell'Uso di Esso" translated "The First Course, or About Salad, About Its Use". This book includes 57 chapters on individual ingredients - not one of which is potato or macaroni. Even in 1627 the emphasis was on fresh locally available seasonal ingredients and salad was revered as a useful course to aid in nutritional health and digestion.

Well made salads with an emphasis on fresh ingredients, nutrition and flavor are a smart and satisfying addition to the LivingAfterWLS diet.

Tomato Mozzarella Salad Insalata Caprese

4 large red tomatoes, vine ripe
1 pound fresh mozzarella
salt & pepper to taste
1/4 cup EVOO (Extra Virgin Olive Oil)
1/4 cup Balsamic vinegar
1/4 cup snipped fresh basil

Slice tomatoes to 1/4-inch thickness reserving stem and blossom ends for another use. Slice mozzarella into 1/8-inch round discs. Arrange tomato and mozzarella slices alternately on a serving plate in a spiral. Sprinkle with salt and pepper to taste. Drizzle with olive oil and vinegar. Sprinkle with fresh snipped basil. Allow to sit at room temperature 30-60 minutes for flavors to develop. Serve with tongs.

Note: if tomatoes are a bit bitter (as can be with commercially grown produce) sprinkle with a pinch of sugar and allow to rest for 10-15 minutes before arranging salad.

Tomatoes are low in calories and big on flavor, rich in vitamin C and lycopene. Mozzarella has 7 grams of protein per ounce and is rich in calcium. Olive oil is 72% monounsaturated fat and widely recognized for its heart-healthy benefits.

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