Real Recipe: Arugula Salad with Tomato and Mozzarella


Happy belated 4th of July! Besides two games Monday and Tuesday, this is the only week I have off from soccer for the summer…so you can bet I’ve been soaking it up as much as possible!

Lounging on the dock at the cabin, splashing around in the pool, cheering on the Twins, playing some golf, sleeping in, and lots of time with family and friends = a great week. And tomorrow I’m going to sneak in some boat time with the bf and a couple friends. Oh, how I do love you summer. Did I mention the weather has been perfect?! :)

Check out our view for the game this week at the beautiful Target Field (unfortunately we lost, to the Yankees, boo!):


Anyway, on to the important stuff. Last night to celebrate this great country’s independence, we went to a friend’s house for a barbecue and fireworks. On the menu was some delicious smoked pork and chicken. Mmm, so good. Seriously, it was enough to convince me that maybe I need a smoker (not that I have any idea how to use one, nor have the space right now). Maybe some day :) Although that might not help my “eat less meat” approach to life…

And for the BBQ, all attendees were in charge of bringing a side (as the meat was provided for) and our original plan was to bring Caprese Salad (see my recipe here!).

However, what we ended up making was this beautiful arugula salad, with tomatoes and mozzarella. Very similar flavors to caprese, just a bit different texture and taste with the arugula.

Pretty to look at and delicious to eat. Perfect for a summer BBQ. It even tasted good the day after (which is not very common with salads). Enjoy!

Arugula Salad with Tomato and Mozzarella


1) 5 oz Arugula leaves

2) Two pints Cherry Tomatoes, halved

3) 1 ball fresh Mozzarella, cubed

4) 1 package Basil leaves (or 1 large bunch), torn

5) Balsamic Vinegar

6) Extra Virgin Olive Oil

7) Salt, to taste

8) Pepper, to taste


1) Combine arugula, tomatoes, mozzarella, and basil in large serving bowl

2) Season with salt and pepper

3) Drizzle with equal parts vinegar and oil

4) Toss to combine

5) Enjoy!


Arugula Salad with Tomato and Mozzarella
Prep time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 6-8
Delicious, light salad perfect for summer!
  • 5 oz Arugula Salad
  • Two pints cherry tomatoes, halved
  • 1 ball fresh Mozzarella, cubed
  • 1 package Basil (or 1 large bunch), torn
  • Balsamic vinegar
  • Extra virgin olive oil
  • Salt, to taste
  • Pepper, to taste
  1. Combine arugula, tomatoes, basil, and mozzarella in large serving bowl
  2. Season with salt and pepper
  3. Drizzle with equal parts vinegar and oil
  4. Toss to combine

Real Recipe: Caprese Salad


As most holidays can be pretty heavily food-centered, the 4th of July here in the United States is no exception. It is also one of my favorite when it comes to good eats. The night before the 4th the boyfriend and I were at his friend’s parent’s place on the river celebrating early. As part of our meal we enjoyed Caprese salad (using fresh mozzarella from Cossetta’s in St. Paul – yum!). Wednesday morning I was craving it again; I just can’t get enough these days! So I stopped at the co-op to get some fresh mozzarella (already had the tomatoes and basil) Wednesday morning, and went to work. I brought my fresh, all-natural Caprese salad to the cabin as a perfect compliment to the chicken and steak kabobs, juicy watermelon, and corn-on-the-cob. Life doesn’t get much better than this :)

Here’s how to make your own simple, oh-so-delicious Caprese Salad:


1 ball fresh mozzarella, cut into thick slices

3 large tomatoes (preferably organic), sliced thick

Basil leaves (stems removed)

Balsamic vinegar

Extra-virgin olive oil

Fresh sea salt and ground pepper (optional)



  1. Lay the tomato slices down on a plate or serving platter

  2. Layer the mozzarella slices on top of the tomato slices

  3. Layer the basil leaves on top of the mozzarella

  4. Drizzle with the balsamic vinegar and olive oil

  5. Sprinkle with sea salt and ground pepper

  6. Enjoy!

Note: If you have the time, consider making a balsamic reduction. To do so, pour a small amount of balsamic vinegar (1/4 to 1/2 cup should be plenty – depending on how much balsamic you like on your Caprese!) into a small saucepan. Bring to a boil over medium-low to medium heat (be careful not to let it burn!). Let reduce down until starts to thicken, approximately 10 minutes (or more depending on how much you started with). Remove from heat when it is nice and thick, but still thin enough to pour. Let cool and then pour over your Caprese salad.


Photo courtesy of

Real Recipe: Margherita Pizza


For those of you who live in the St. Paul/Minneapolis area, you have the luxury of having a Punch Neapolitan Pizza close by. If you live in the area and you haven’t tried Punch Pizza yet, you need to get there. One of the best Margherita pizzas in the Twin Cities. My mouth is watering just thinking about it!

Craving Punch but trying to limit the number of times I eat out (or get take-out!) this summer, tonight I made a quick homemade Margherita Pizza. Here’s my quick clean version:

  • All-natural or organic Pizza Crust (I used ready-made Rustic Crust – Tuscan 6 Grain. Rustic Crust makes all-natural, organic, and even gluten-free pizza crust!)
  • All-natural or organic Pizza or Pasta Sauce (I used Monte Bene Low-Fat Vodka Sauce for a bit of a creamier version)
  • Fresh Tomatoes (I used a big Beefsteak tomato grown in Minnesota – nothing like local produce!)
  • Fresh Mozzarella Cheese (either cut into slices or you can use mozzarella balls)
  • Fresh Basil
  1. Pour the desired amount of pizza/pasta sauce on crust and spread evenly with the back side of a spoon or a spatula (leaving enough room sauce-free on the edges)
  2. Add tomato slices
  3. Put basil leaves on top of tomatoes (stems removed)
  4. Add sliced mozzarella cheese on top of basil leaves (to prevent basil leaves from burning)
  5. Bake according to crust directions (Rising Crust recommends 8-10 minutes at 425 degrees). Note, the mozzarella will melt quickly and basil leaves can burn if cooked too long. Also, adding fresh tomatoes on pizza tends to make the pizza a bit waterier, so watch to make sure the juices don’t start running off the edge of your pizza and onto the bottom of your oven!

NOTE: Although most pizza/pasta sauces are already all-natural, when possible try to use organic pizza/pasta sauce. Tomatoes are one of the heaviest pesticide sprayed crops!

Now enjoy your fresh, all-natural, easy summertime pizza!