This is one of my first recipes and to me it never gets old.
I just love mediterranean food. In any of the countries bordering the sea everything just feels good and healthy. There are fruits on every tree and the vegetables are full of sun.
We were lucky to visit some parts of Italy a few years back and I remember how good the food was. Salads, soups, pizza, pasta, antipasti..mmm.., the only think that put me off was the amount of olive oil that everything was drowning into. Don’t get me wrong, I love olive oil. It’s good for you and I’m beyond lucky to have parents that produce organic, extra virgin portuguese olive oil. So, I, myself, have been drown in it as well since I was born. I have to admit that I can’t live without it and have to have some everyday, but since I changed my lifestyle I had to considerably reduce the amount I was consuming, because unfortunately, I’m sure you know, it’s very very high in calories. Like with everything good, we have to remember that excess is not, especially when you are trying to be healthy and keep your weight down. So that’s how I got the idea to create a salad that doesn’t contain any. ( Just please don’t tell my mum that!! )
You will all recognise the typical ingredients you will find so often in italian cooking. Tomatoes, basil, pine nuts, lemons, and the artichoke hearts and roasted peppers usually oily in antipasti. Then I added spring onions for taste, baby spinach for bulk, tofu for protein and dijon mustard just because I like it. After all I didn’t say I was making an Italian salad, I just said I was “inspired”.
So well, here it is, try it and I hope you are gonna like it as much as I do.
Italian inspired Skinny Salad
A nice refreshing salad with artichoke hearts, tofu and pine nuts, for only 300 calories.
- 200g baby spinach ( 46 cal )
- 500g chopped tomatoes ( 90 cal )
- 2 cups of fresh basil leaves ( 8 cal )
- 200g jar of roasted peppers, in brine not oil, not drained yet ( 50 cal )
- 240g artichoke hearts from a tin, in brine not oil, drained ( 105 cal )
- 200g cubed tofu ( 152 cal )
- 100g chopped spring onions ( 32 cal )
- 5g, about 1 tsp of dijon mustard ( 14 cal )
- 15g toasted pine nuts ( 101 cal )
- juice of half a lemon ( 2 cal )
- salt and pepper.
- Divide your 200g of washed baby spinach between two plates. Set aside.
- Take your roasted peppers out of your jar, chop them if they are too big for you and put them in a big mixing bowl, but keep some of the brine inside the jar, about 4 tbsp. Add the mustard, the lemon juice, some salt and pepper, close the lid and shake until the mustard is dissolved. Your dressing is done.
- To the mixing bowl where your peppers are add the tomatoes, basil leaves, artichoke hearts cut in half if you want, cubed tofu and spring onions. Pour your dressing on top and mix everything together, then divide between your two plates on top of the baby spinach.
- If you haven’t toasted your pine nuts yet, put them in the smallest pan you’ve got on medium heat then swirl them in the pan until they change colour and start smelling nice. It takes about 3 min. Don’t take your eyes out of them or they will burn. When they are a nice golden brown you can divide them between your two plates on top of the salad. Enjoy.
I made a video about this recipe some time ago, if you want to see how easy it is made have a look here : youtube video : italian inspired vegan skinny salad.
On that, take this salad outside, enjoy the sun and see you next time!