Craving Italian food, but without the guilt that comes with it?
This is a quick summer or fall salad with the taste of Italy but none of the carbs. I’m a big fan of fresh raw greens as a base with warm, hearty ingredients on top. This is a bed of baby spinach topped with balsamic grilled Mediterranean veggies and pine nuts, served with a side of crispy oven baked asparagus.
Create big, thick slices of zucchinis, eggplants, and portobello mushrooms, and throw these in a giant skillet with diced red onions, sliced sundried tomatoes, and red bell peppers. Add in 3 tbsp of balsamic vinegar, 2 tbsp olive oil, 1/2 tsp sea salt and 1/2 tsp fresh cracked black pepper. Sprinkle in onion powder and garlic powder to taste, I usually do about 1/2 tsp each. You can sub in fresh chopped garlic cloves if you have them, anywhere between 2-4 would work perfectly! I also sprinkle in oregano and basil to taste. Let all of this sizzle and cook for about 10 minutes, then place atop your fresh greens. Again, I used raw baby spinach, but arugala would also work great for a more peppery taste, or massaged kale for something heartier in the winter months.
I added in fresh sliced tomatoes sprinkled with salt and pepper and then topped with pine nuts and vegan parmesan cheese. I use Go Veggie brand vegan parm, and I put it on everything. Evvvvvverything. It’s such a good subtle ingredient that gives a really defining flavor to a lot of versatile dishes.
For the asparagus, chop off the white bottoms, and then lay out flat on a Silpat reusable baking sheet. I then mist them with spray olive oil from my Misto. Wait, do you guys have Mistos? They’re amazing. Spray olive oil is usually a ton of chemicals jam packed into wasteful containers, but this little baby is a glass cylinder you can refill again and again with your own yummy fancy olive oils. I digress. Spray with oil, add sea salt, fresh cracked pepper, garlic powder, and sprinkle with dried onion flakes. Bake for 12 minutes at 400 degrees. If you want to go wild, put a little vegan Parmesan on top too. Muah, she’s beautiful.