Meatless Monday – Lazy Hazy Crazy Days of Summer

I first became acquainted with the “Lazy Vegetarian Meal Ideas” from the site Sophia’s Ramblings, a WordPress blog. She lists a number of easy-to-create and substantial meals that are vegetarian. In the spirit of her recipes I’ve decided to keep this post short, sweet and simple.

Links Lazy Vegetarian Meal Ideas Sophia’s Ramblings

Summertime is usually a hot affair with lots going on and a desire to be outside. Who wants to be stuck in the kitchen baking all day? (Well I do sometimes, but that’s beside the point.) This Meatless Monday I share with you an easy recipe for a vegan take on an Italian caprese salad.

A caprese salad consists of mozzarella, tomato, basil and balsamic vinegar.

All you need are grape/cherry tomatoes (organic is best), fresh basil leaves, black olives, soy mozzarella (or the real thing if you’re vegetarian) and balsamic vinegar. Cut tomatoes in half, then slice each half down the middle (but not all the way) to create ‘wings’. Use a balsamic reduction to make the spots. (Tip: The vinegar will stick better if the tomatoes are completely dry.)

Balsamic reduction
Bring to a boil ½ cup of balsamic vinegar and ½ Tablespoon of maple syrup or other liquid sweetener of your choice. (Omit if you are sugar-free.). Immediately reduce to low heat and let simmer about 10 minutes. Stir occasionally.

Cut each olive in half to make the head. Place at the stem side to cover it. Sit tomato halves on a single bed of basil leaf. Underneath the leaf will be a piece of the vegan/vegetarian mozzarella. Use a miniature cookie cutter to cut out a round of cheese. Et voilà!

Photo by Kimberley (c)2015
Photo by Kimberley (c)2015

This makes for a whimsical, bite size appetizer suitable for any summer party.

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