Healthy Summer BLT Salad

When I was a little girl, my grandma would sometimes take me to this restaurant called Skyline Diner. It was the type of place that seemed stuck in the 1950s—nothing updated aesthetically, but that’s what made it charming. It was where she and my grandpa had hung out when they were younger, so I always felt nostalgic about it. Anyway, it was the first place I ever tried a BLT—and they became an instant favorite!

As I got older and became more aware of health and nutrition, I’ve tried to think of fun ways to incorporate the flavors of a classic BLT in other meals: nitrate-free bacon, sweet tomatoes, the crunch of good lettuce… so good! This recipe is a healthier mix-up of that classic sandwich. I use whole-wheat pasta and add in mozzarella and it is divine

Healthy BLT Salad 2.jpg

 

What You’ll Need:

For the Dressing:

  • ½ cup plain Greek yogurt
  • ½ cup mayonnaise
  • 2 tbsp. warm water
  • 2 tbsp. apple cider vinegar
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • ½ tsp. sea salt or Himalayan salt
  • ¼ tsp. freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 tsp. freshly chopped thyme

For the Salad:

  • 1 lb. of your favorite whole wheat pasta (corkscrew, macaroni, shell, or any other shape you prefer!)
  • 1 Tbsp. EVOO
  • ½ lb. Nitrate free bacon
  • 2 cups cherry tomatoes, halved
  • 4 tablespoons chopped chives
  • 2 heads chopped Bibb lettuce, spinach, kale, or green lettuce
  • 1 ½ cup fresh mozzarella balls or 1 ½ cup chopped mozzarella sticks (find your favorite organic “string cheese” if you prefer!)

The Method:

  1. Cook the pasta in a large pot of salted boiling water as the label directs. Drain and toss with olive oil in a large bowl so noodles do not stick together. Set aside.
  2. Meanwhile, cook the bacon in a large skillet over medium-high heat until crisp. Set bacon onto paper towels once cooked and crumble into small pieces. Chop mozzarella into small chunks or drain fresh mozzarella balls.
  3. In a large bowl, combine chopped tomatoes, lettuce, bacon, pasta, and mozzarella balls.
  4. Whisk together ingredients for Dressing—then gently toss over the salad. Add additional salt and pepper. Enjoy!