*Quantity of ingredients varies upon how much you’re making
Mozzarella Cheese (Whole, not shredded)
Extra Virgin Olive Oil
Slice mozzarella cheese into ¼ inch thick slices
Do step 1 to tomatoes
Place 1 slice of cheese on each tomato slice
Add 1 basil leaf to each tomato / cheese combo
Drizzle olive oil & balsamic vinegar on top of each combo
Sprinkle a pinch of salt and / or pepper on each combo
When made with all fresh, organic ingredients, this dish contains little processed food items. The ingredients that are processed are still healthy, For example, cheese is the main processed ingredient, but it has to be processed in order to kill bad bacteria. Extra Virgin Olive Oil is technically processed because it’s been pressed in a factory, but there’s no additives or chemicals in it. Most salt has iodine added to it which causes it to be labeled as processed, but iodine is an essential dietary mineral that we would get very sick without.
Although this is a healthy dish, if you were to eat nothing it each day you would get very sick. Firstly, you would be lacking many essential food groups such as fruits, meats, and bread. Also, the intake of salt each day could add up and possibly lead to diabetes, but the monounsaturated fats in olive oil are known to prevent the risk of type 2 diabetes.
For this particular dish, I used Cento balsamic vinegar, Sunset tomatoes, Belgioioso mozzarella cheese, Carbonell olive oil and Olive Creek basil. I purchased all of these ingredients at my local Shoprite. The vinegar came from Italy, the tomatoes came from Mexico, the cheese came from Wisconsin, the olive oil came from spain, and the basil came from New Jersey. These ingredients are healthy, but since they have traveled so far, it means that they’re aren’t environmentally friendly. The vinegar, olive oil, and tomatoes all come from different countries, which means they’ve traveled the farthest. My dad was the one that went food shopping, but if I had gone then I would have chosen organic, local ingredients. From what I’ve learned this year, organic food isn’t necessarily better than conventionally grown food. They both contain nearly the same amount of nutrients, but organically grown food is better for the environment.
Overall, this dish made approximately 12 servings (2 cheese / mozzarella combos) and came to around $12. This is affordable, healthy, and filling as a side dish or snack. Fast food is cheap but will cause health problems and leave you feeling sluggish. If you were to eat this dish as a snack, it would be satisfying and refreshing.
My family grows herbs and tomatoes in our backyard in the summer, so my dad and I would use them when making this dish almost everyday. Basil pretty much grows on it’s own once it’s planted, needing only to be watered and trimmed, and the same goes with tomatoes. When these items are purchased, they have to be grown (where you don’t know the exact growing process that took place) shipped to the grocery store, and then brought home.