The Perfect Summer Lunch

photo-257The tomatoes are beginning to ripen, their plump red flesh whispering promises of the juicy sweetness within. The basil plants are full, green limbs reaching towards the warming sun. The sultry air forbids the oven or meals prepared over a hot stove, asking instead for cool and simple meals that can enjoyed in the shade.

One of my favorite summer meals is a higher protein version of the ubiquitous caprese salad followed with some fresh blueberries. This meal is light yet filling and takes almost no time to prepare. By replacing the usual mozzarella with cottage cheese, the protein is increased and the fat, decreased.

Higher Protein Caprese Salad

3/4 cup low fat cottage cheese

2 ripe tomatoes, sliced

6 basil leaves

a drizzle of balsamic vinegar

Caprese salad made with 2 oz mozzarella: 242 calories, 13 grams fat, 16 grams protein

Caprese salad made with 3/4 cup lowfat cottage cheese: 194 calories,  5 grams fat, 22 grams protein

1 cup blueberries: 83 calories of complete yumminess:)

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4 thoughts on “The Perfect Summer Lunch

  1. Not to pry too much, but I thought you were vegan? I’m reading Kathy Freston’s book “The Lean” and wondering about veganism. Mentally, I’m already behind the 8-ball because I don’t want to give up greek yogurt. Your thoughts?

    • Not prying at all! After all, I write about all this:)

      I haven’t read that book, but I’ve read many others that promote veganism (including The China Study). As with all dietary studies, there is some evidence that a vegan diet can be beneficial and other evidence that it is not. I’ve been vegan at times and I generally settle around 80% vegan. For me, the potential benefits of full vegan aren’t worth the trade-offs (being able to eat socially, easy protein and, yes, Greek yogurt:) ). I choose to eat in a way that doesn’t require a feeling of sacrifice. Diet is so personal and individual. Figure out what works for you (physically and mentally) and go with it, always being willing to reevaluate it again in the future.

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