I love herbs! These plants add such an incredible depth of taste to any meal. They turn a dish from meh to yeah! And the health benefits are there as well. My family and I have our own garden, which is a great cost effective way to have delicious and organic vegetables and herbs. Ever since switching to more plant-based meals, I have noticed that my taste buds have become more acute to the subtle differences in the variation of fruits and vegetables, also if they are organic or not. I love organic produce because I can really taste the freshness and flavor in these compared to GMO produce, which is full of chemicals and pesticides that we are putting into our bodies when we eat them.
So anyways, we have an abundance of cucumber this year. Probably because we have had so much rain in Illinois this summer. We also have a ton of basil! Mmmmm, I love me some fresh basil. It is so good in Italian dishes, adding so much freshness to the meal. Normally when I combine cucumbers and tomatoes, I lean towards Greek inspired dishes, but due to the basil I wanted to use up, I blended Greek and Italian….Greetalian? Italeek? Whatever the combo for the two is, I made a refreshing salad that is so simple to make, I feel a tad embarrassed with sharing the recipe. But first, let me share all the wonderful health benefits that this salad gives:
- Cherry Tomatoes-Tomatoes are full of antioxidants. The antioxidants found in tomatoes have been linked to support cardiovascular, bone, liver, and kidney health. Cherry tomatoes also have tons of vitamins, such as A, C, and B-6.
- Cucumbers-More wonderful vitamins found here, such as A, B, and C. Cucumbers are also very hydrating, containing 96% water, which helps our bodies flush out toxins. Cucumbers are good for skin health, containing magnesium, potassium, and silicon, that help smooth damaged skin.
- Basil-This leaf has anti-inflammatory properties, helps support cardiovascular health and bone health due to its high levels of vitamin K and calcium.
- Red Onion-Onions seem to play into these theme I have going with their anti-inflammatory properties, cardiovascular benefits and support with healthy bones.
So here is the super-duper simple recipe for this wonderfully refreshing salad.
Hydrating Basil, Cucumber and Tomato Salad
makes around 4-5 cups
- 1-1 1/2 cups of fresh basil, chopped finely
- 1 medium sized cucumber, diced finely
- 1-2 cups of cherry tomatoes, halved or quartered
- 1/4 a red onion-diced
- 1/4-1/2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
- 1/4-1/2 tbsp balsamic vinaigrette
- Salt and pepper to taste
- Combine all ingredients into a large bowl and mix well.
I told you! How simple right. Is this even considered a recipe? Anyways, I hope you enjoy! As a side note, I use a high quality balsamic, because I don’t care for the taste of the grocery store kinds. I go to a local olive oil and balsamic shop by my house. They have a variety of different oils and vinaigrette. My go to is this Tuscany Balsamic. I use it for so many of my dishes. Here is the link to their website, but you can also use whatever kind you prefer. I also use a minimal amount of oil and balsamic because I like to taste the flavor of the veggies. (Yes, veggies have flavor). You can adjust to your tastes though. Opa! Bon Appetit. Or whatever those Italeeks or Greetalians like to say.