Bocconcini Tomato Salad with Quinoa from The Healthy Italian

Photo by Michael Rao

Photo by Michael Rao

Fina Scroppo is one busy lady.  Over the years, I worked with her on many an occasion where she edited my nutrition columns or interviewed me for pieces she was writing. What I didn’t know, though, was about her love of cooking, especially the Italian traditions of her family.  But it’s  very evident in her new cookbook, The Healthy Italian – Cooking for the Love of Food and Family (Danvid and Company Inc.).

Fina wanted to share her secrets for cooking up healthy homemade eats that are packed with flavour and don’t require hours slaving over the stove.  She sums it up when she says, “I’m a passionate home cook who can’t move away from eating and cooking Italian. So the challenge has always been to cook Italian healthfully, fit it in my day and be proud of serving it. This was the seed for The Healthy Italian cookbook.”
The book, containing 150 recipes with top-notch nutrition-packed ingredients and nutrition information,  is also filled with tips , make-ahead options, and full-page photography.  The icons provide info on preparation, including labels like gluten-free, meatless, make ahead, 30 minutes or less.

Here’s a sampling of how Fina takes nutrition in family favorites up a notch. Instead of always using a crusty whole grain bread to soak up the juices from traditional Caprese – the fabulous tomato-mozzarella combo- she adds quinoa for a change of pace.

Bocconcini-Tomato Salad with Quinoa (Caprese con quinoa)

Salad
3/4 cup uncooked quinoa
11/2 cups reduced-sodium vegetable broth
2 cups halved ripe cherry tomatoes
11/2 cups halved mini (cherry) light bocconcini (about 200 g)
1 cup sliced celery
1/4 cup chopped fresh basil

Dressing
2 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
1 tbsp good-quality balsamic vinegar (see tip)
Pinch sea salt
Freshly ground black pepper to taste

In a medium pot, combine quinoa and broth and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium-low and simmer for 12 to 15 minutes or until all liquid is absorbed. Fluff with a fork. Set aside.

Combine tomatoes, bocconcini, celery and basil in a large bowl. Add the quinoa and toss until well coated.

Whisk together all dressing ingredients in a small bowl or measuring cup. Pour over salad and toss well to coat. Refrigerate until ready to serve.

TIP: Choose an aged balsamic vinegar for a more exquisite flavour. The finest balsamic comes from Modena, Italy, considered the birthplace of this distinctive vinegar.

4 to 5 Servings | 30 min or less | Gluten-free | Meatless

PER SERVING (based on 5)  187 CALORIES | 9 G TOTAL FAT (4 G SATURATED FAT) | 20 MG CHOLESTEROL | 105 MG SODIUM | 11 G CARBOHYDRATE | 2 G FIBER | 13 G PROTEIN

 

Tags: , , , , ,

Categories: Recipes

Author:Rosie Schwartz

Rosie Schwartz is a Toronto-based consulting dietitian and writer.

Get Enlightened Eater in your inbox

Subscribe to get the latest nutrition news, fresh recipes and more!

No comments yet.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: