Caprese Salad with creamy avocado is delicious and so easy to make! This salad is the ultimate way to enjoy fresh, ripe summer tomatoes & basil!
A classic caprese salad is made with very few ingredients–mozzarella, tomatoes, basil and olive oil. I decided to put a spin on this classic dish by removing the dairy (a common food allergen) and replacing it with creamy & nutrient-rich avocado.
Now this fresh Italian salad can be enjoyed by those following a dairy free, paleo or plant-based diet!
How to make a caprese salad
It’s real simple… start by slicing the tomatoes. Feel free to use tomatoes that are different shapes, sizes and colours.
Then slice the avocados, keeping them similar in thickness to the tomatoes. Arrange one slice of tomato then overlap with one slice of avocado around the outside of a plate (or however you choose).
You can incorporate whole fresh basil leaves into the layers or scatter freshly torn basil on top.
Lastly, finish this dish with a good drizzle of high-quality olive oil and sea salt or add even more flavour with a homemade dairy free pesto.
Important tips for making a caprese salad
- Find the freshest, ripe locally grown tomatoes
- Use a high-quality extra virgin olive oil
- Use fresh basil
- Find ripe avocados for more creaminess
Pair this salad with one of my dairy & gluten free Italian main dishes …
Avocado Caprese Salad
Caprese Salad with creamy avocado is delicious and so easy to make. This salad is the ultimate way to enjoy fresh, ripe summer tomatoes & basil! I decided to put a spin on this classic dish by removing the dairy (a common food allergen) and replacing it with creamy & nutrient-rich avocado. Now this fresh Italian salad can be enjoyed by those following a dairy free, paleo or plant-based diet!
- 2 tomatoes, ripe
- 1 avocado, ripe
- 1 handful basil, fresh
- 1-2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil, or homemade pesto*
- Sea salt, to taste
Thickly slice tomatoes and avocado.
Arrange one slice of tomato then overlap with one slice of avocado around the outside of a plate (or however you choose).
Incorporate whole fresh basil leaves into the layers or scatter freshly torn basil on top.
Drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle with sea salt or use homemade dairy free pesto.
Oranges are not only a great source of vitamin C – providing 163% of your daily needs in just one orange – but they’re also a great source of fiber. One large orange provides you with 17% of your daily fiber needs.
Fiber from whole foods is important for both weight loss and gut health, here’s why …
Fiber can help stop cravings and hunger since it moves through the GI tract slowly, creating a sense of fullness. Feeling full and satisfied from whole foods will help keep you on track with good eating habits, making weight loss easier.
Fiber adds bulk to stool which helps to increase stool frequency. Healthy and frequent bowel movements are an important part of gut health.
In addition, whole food fiber also acts as a prebiotic which fuels good gut bacteria. Healthy gut bacteria are not only important for good gut health, but also weight loss and many other areas of health.
Give this fiber rich salad with oranges a try!
Orange & Avocado Salad
INGREDIENTS: (serves 2)
6 cups spring mix salad
1 orange, sliced
1 avocado, sliced
4 tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
1 tbsp. balsamic vinegar
1 tbsp. lime juice
1 tsp. dried basil
Sea salt and black pepper to taste
1. Place salad, orange and avocado into a bowl.
2. Add all other ingredients into a small jar and shake, shake, shake!
3. Add dressing to salad and toss.
DID YOU KNOW? The FDA approves the de-greening (forced ripening) of oranges, making it difficult to select the ripest and most flavourful fruit. If you buy organic oranges, you will know for certain that they have not been de-greened.
Are you looking for healthy meal ideas that you can easily pack up and take with you to work?
I happen to be a pro at easy and portable lunches and dinners since I spend a couple of long days at my studio each week. On these days, I pack a breakfast/lunch (which is usually a big @$$ smoothie) and dinner.
My dinners usually consist of either canned wild salmon, sardines or tuna mixed in a salad – or I add some good stuff to my canned fish and wrap it in my favourite gluten free coconut wraps or green wraps.
Here’s one of my quick and easy salad recipes that I put together in the morning before work and store in the fridge until it’s time to eat. I just shake everything up and voila – healthy and delicious food is served! If you don’t have a fridge at work, use a small cooler bag with an ice pack.
Quick Raspberry Tuna Salad
INGREDIENTS: (serves 1)
1 can wild albacore tuna
4 cups spring mix salad
1/2 cup fresh or frozen raspberries
2 tbsp coconut yogurt or kefir
1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
1 tbsp balsamic vinegar
1/2 tsp dried basil
Sea salt to taste
1. Place all ingredients in a large glass (or BPA free) container.
2. Keep refrigerated (or in a cooler bag) until ready to eat.
3. Shake container to mix all ingredients and enjoy!
Creamy Dill Coleslaw is the perfect healthy go-to side dish when you’re short on time or preparing food for multiple people. This plant-based, keto & paleo friendly side is packed with nutrients that are detoxifying and waistline loving.
DID YOU KNOW? Cabbage is packed with many beneficial vitamins, minerals, plus water and fiber, making it a great vegetable for weight loss & gut health.
Cabbage is full of gut-friendly insoluble fiber, a type of carbohydrate that can’t be broken down in the intestines. Insoluble fiber helps support digestive health by adding bulk to stools and promoting regular bowel movements.
In addition, cabbage is rich in soluble fiber, which has been shown to increase the number of beneficial bacteria in the gut, like Bifidobacteria and Lactobacilli.
Now, the trick to making a quick coleslaw with cabbage is using a food processor. Simply throw all ingredients in and process until everything is roughly chopped and well combined.
There’s a lot of room for creativity with coleslaw which makes it a fun side dish to prepare. Feel free to use different veggies, herbs and spices. Also, if you don’t have a healthy version of mayo (without vegetable or seed oils), I recommend replacing mayo with 1/2 an avocado or full fat coconut yogurt/kefir.
What you need for this recipe:
- Green onion
- Lemon juice or apple cider vinegar
- Avocado oil mayo
- Sea salt & black pepper
Serve Creamy Dill Coleslaw with:
Creamy Dill Coleslaw
Creamy Dill Coleslaw is the perfect healthy go-to side dish when you're short on time or preparing food for multiple people. This plant-based, keto & paleo friendly side is packed with nutrients that are detoxifying and waistline loving.
- 1/2 large green cabbage
- 2 large carrots
- 4 sprigs fresh dill , or 1 tsp dried dill
- 1 green onion
- 1 small garlic clove
- 2 tbsp lemon juice, or apple cider vinegar
- 2 tbsp avocado oil mayo*
- 1/4 tsp sea salt
- 1/4 tsp black pepper
Chop cabbage, carrots and green onion into large chunks.
Place all ingredients into a food processor.
Process until vegetables are roughly chopped and ingredients are well combined. Do not over process.
Eat right away or store in an airtight container in the fridge and use within a day or two.
*If you don't have a healthy version of mayo (without vegetable or seed oils), I recommend replacing mayo with 1/2 an avocado or 2 tbsp. full fat coconut yogurt/kefir.
This Pumpkin & Beef Salad recipe is a heartier version of my Big Beef Salad and one of my go-to meals when lazy and hungry Jen strikes.
OK, so I’m only human which means there are many moments where the thought of spending an hour in the kitchen to prepare a healthy meal is just not appealing (especially after a long day of work).
Given that these moments happen quite often and I refuse to settle for low-quality food, I created a handful of go-to recipes that I can whip up in 20-minutes or less.
This Pumpkin & Beef Salad recipe is a heartier version of my Big Beef Salad and one of my go-to meals when lazy (and hungry) Jen strikes.
It also makes for a great post-workout meal since 1 cup of cooked pumpkin has 564 mg of the refueling nutrient potassium. Potassium helps to restore the body’s electrolytes after a heavy workout and keeps muscles functioning optimally.
Pumpkin & Beef Salad
INGREDIENTS: (serves 2)
1 lb grass-fed ground beef
1/2 lemon (juice only)
2 cloves garlic (finely chopped)
1/2 tsp. cumin
1/2 tsp. coriander
398 ml canned pumpkin
1 tsp. sea salt
1/4 tsp. black pepper
8 cups salad greens
4-5 tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
2 tbsp. balsamic vinegar
1 tbsp. lemon juice
Sea salt to taste
Optional toppings: pine nuts and broccoli sprouts
1. Add ground beef and lemon juice to pan. Break a part meat as you cook over medium heat.
2. When beef is 3/4 of the way done, add garlic and spices.
3. Cook until garlic becomes fragrant then mix in pumpkin, salt and pepper. Cook for 5-minutes.
4. In a large bowl, dress salad greens with oil, vinegar, lemon juice and sea salt. Toss salad and place onto a dish.
5. Add cooked pumpkin & beef onto the salad and enjoy!