Balsamic Chicken Caprese Salad

It was a nice, lazy day, filled a few adventures.


Hot cereal

(Bob’s Red Mill hot cereal with frozen organic berries, Sun Warrior, coconut milk and almond butter + coffee)

a gym trip to test out Summer Shape Up (starts 2 weeks from today!)


(flowers at work- definitely not my flowers)

Family trip to Jamba Juice

Jamba juice

(tried the new coconut water refresher in Tropical Mango. Wasn’t a huge fan- it tasted very artificial to me)

Home Goods

Home goods

(When we were walking up to pay, the Pilot asked, “is there anything else you like?” The woman next to me laughed. She said, “did you really just ask that question?” I told the Pilot we could play the game called things I don’t like, and we’d probably get fewer answers. I love Home Goods)


Grocery list

+ the necessary impulse buys

Hot dogs

(my hot dog dreams came true!!!)

and a seriously delicious dinner.

Caprese salad

I saw a recipe for Grilled Chicken Caprese floating around Pinterest and thought it sounded so good. The Pilot LOVES caprese, so I thought it would be fun to make a salad version of caprese for extra greens + chicken for some protein.

I remember hearing on Food Network that it’s taboo to put either balsamic or olive oil on caprese -I can’t for the life of me remember which one is wrong- but this salad is guilty of committing both. Does anyone know what the “rule” is?

Here are the very simple steps to making your own caprese salad beast:

-Salad greens

-Balsamic vinegar + olive oil

-Salt, pepper, oregano, rosemary, fresh lemon, fresh basil

-Grape tomatoes

-Chicken (tofu would be lovely, too)

-Cheese of choice (the Pilot went traditional with mozzarella and I rolled with goat cheese)

1. Marinate two chicken breasts (or tofu) with 1/4 C balsamic vinegar, 2 T extra virgin olive oil, sea salt, pepper, 3 minced garlic cloves, 1/2 t dried oregano, 1/4 t dried rosemary, squeeze of lemon juice, sea salt and pepper

2. Either grill the protein, or roast it along with 1/2 container of grape tomatoes, sprayed with nonstick spray (or olive oil from the misto) and seasoned with salt and pepper. (375* for 25-30 min)

Popped tomatoes are my favorite:

Popped tomatoes

While the protein and tomatoes are cooking, plate the greens, top them with a nice drizzle of balsamic and olive oil, salt and pepper.

Add sliced or crumbled cheese of choice, basil chiffonade and a squeeze of lemon juice.

Lest the cooked chicken rest on a covered plate to restore the juices, slice and add to the salad. If you’re using tofu, simply top and serve.

Caprese salad2

A fresh, easy summer meal.Β 

I’m off to read in bed for a while and call it a night <3

Hope you’re enjoying your evening!

See you in the morning.



Something to think:Β 


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  1. Balsamic is the taboo one. Italians put olive oil on EVERYTHING. Balsamic masks the milky sweetness of the mozz. I think the salad looks great though πŸ™‚

    • Fitnessista says:

      ok, good to know!

    • My nana says that’s why we have great skin & look so young, I’m 31 and people think I’m 18. My fav part of caprese is the balsamic but it has to be reduced, I never follow the rules lol! I yell at my friends for not having olive oil more so when they want me to cook, you also must have garlic and Romano cheese those are italian staples!

  2. Haha, I had no idea there was a “rule”. Can’t wait to break it! As an aside, I bought two big square serving bowls (1.99 a piece!!!) at Target yesterday. They’ll be used not for serving others, but for serving Me a giant salad beast. Sometimes a girl just needs a serving bowl, for a salad. Thanks for the idea! πŸ™‚

    • Fitnessista says:

      whoa! guess who’s going to target tomorrow?! i need a new one πŸ™‚

      • I tried to find them on the website but maybe I’m looking in the wrong place, or they aren’t for sale online yet. They’re a medium weight plastic and come in three colors, red, white and blue (clearly put out for Memorial Day serveware/summer.) They were on an end cap at the bottom. I bought two but I’m going to grab another 2 or 3, they’d make great actual summer serveware too. I love the squared shape too. I <3 Target!

  3. Hahah your husband is awesome! He would let you walkout with the whole store!

  4. So jealous you have a Home Goods! I keep my fingers crossed one will open in Albuquerque, but it is not looking too good. : (

    • Fitnessista says:

      i will keep my fingers crossed for you! LOVE that store. do you have a hobby lobby??

      • NO! We had both a Hobby Lobby AND Home Goods when we lived in Savannah, so I love them both! I kid you not, when I found out we were moving here I did actually go to the Home Goods website to see if one is in the Abq, and I was disappointed-and aware of how lame it was to do that : )

        • OMG- I just checked and we do have a Hobby Lobby here! Eeek- I have been here a year and had no idea- All this time I had been settling for Michael’s! : )

  5. That salad looks so yummy! And helps me realize just how hungry I am. I gotta get off this computer, have a snack and go to bed!

  6. Alexandra says:

    Gina, have you tried the new vegan coconut milk ice cream at TJs? it’s absolutely divine (in both chocolate and strawberry) and your coconut milk oats reminded me of my huge bowl i had tonight! That caprese looks delish as well!

    • Fitnessista says:

      no wayyyyy! i’m getting the rest of our groceries at ti’s tomorrow, so i’ll pick some up! might have to get both flavors πŸ˜‰ what is it sweetened with?

  7. Those little Popped tomatoes are so cute and I bet so good!

    And Livi is just an angel in the Babyhawk. Love it!

  8. Alexandra says:

    sugar is listed in the ingredients for both! i can’t wait for you to try them. they are both by far the best ice creams i’ve ever had, vegan or not!

  9. Negar M says:

    Omg, I cannot believe the rule about balsamic! It totally makes sense, and I can see myself skipping it from now on only to miss the flavor of the balsamic….I’m crazy like that.

    I never went to Home Goods in Tucson, and now my local Home Goods is in a creepy basement. A very large, very creepy basement :-/

    At least I don’t have room for the cute decorations in my apartment right now, but I hate it when I miss out on things! Bah!

  10. Balsamic is definitely the taboo.. my nana is Italian and she puts an olive oil/garlic/lemon juice/S&P dressing over her mozzarella and tomato (also that’s what she’s always called it for some reason and not caprese. She calls lasagna “lazign” though so who knows haha) πŸ™‚

  11. I’ve never heard that, so not too sure! This looks really good! I absolutely adore popped tomatoes too, the only way I’ll eat them are when they’re cooked! And that quote is great :), but then again anything the dalai lama says is.

  12. Salad looks great! Will be making this tomorrow for dinner (without the cheese, I am dairy free) thank you so much!

  13. I almost always put both olive oil and balsamic on my caprese, but the key is to reduce the balsamic so that it gets syrupy and luscious and coats the salad instead of seeping into it.

    • Fitnessista says:

      i have a thing against balsamic reduction. it comes from the night when i ate too much reduction and drank too much wine.

  14. Trader Joe’s is finally coming to Colorado and I’m so excited after reading about it on here so much!

  15. Whoa! Had no idea about the Balsamic rule – may (or may not) try to observe when I try this delicious looking salad beast!

  16. Where did you get those turkey corn dogs?!

  17. Eleonora says:

    Well, it’s a matter of geography more than a rule! Caprese salad is typical of Southern Italy, where traditionally balsamic vinegar (a Northern Italy thing) didn’t exist. The same applies to spaghetti bolognese, which is something invented outside Italy: bolognese sauce is served only with lasagne (strips of egg noodle – Northern Italian) not with durum wheat pasta (Southern Italian).

    • Eleonora says:

      ETA: since you put chicken in your salad, it’s no longer a Caprese, so feel free to add anything you like πŸ˜›

  18. You look so happy and Livi looks very snug! You guys are naturals at parenting!

  19. Really excited for the Summer Shape Up!

  20. Izabela ( says:

    HI Gina,
    I woke up today and thought that i had no idea what to make for dinner. And here you go-thanks much. i will try it with a tofu since I have in my fridge open. Looks delicious.

  21. I love caprese salads! I almost always order one for an appetizer when I go to Italian restaurants. I’ve never had one with roasted tomatoes before, but I love that idea. πŸ˜€

  22. Along with smoothies, caprese is my favorite summer meal. This looks incredible!

  23. this looks delicious! I need to make this soon!!

  24. Michelle says:

    I LOVE Homegoods! I went there with the hubby and baby yesterday for a quilt for our bed. Before we even entered the store he asked “We are just looking at the bedding right?” Me “Yes Why?”.. Him “Because you have been known to spend two hours in here” … We found just what we were looking for and we were checked out in about 10 minutes! A home goods record! πŸ™‚ P.S. I love your tablecloth.. Where is it from?

  25. I LOVE Caprese yum! And I love Home Goods… definitely a dangerous store for me! Yay for having an understanding hubs hehe.

  26. Tomatoes, mozzarella and fresh basil is a seriously dreamy combination! Perfect perfect for the summertime :).

  27. i love that breakfast and it reminds me of my oatmeal and eggs that i make every morning. thanks for the salad recipe and i will try it out.

  28. Love Bob’s Red Mill hot cereal, eat it almost every morning. I need to start added protein powder and nut butters as well. Thanks for the idea.

  29. This salad looks amazing. It’s definitely going to go in my menu planning box. Thank you!

    And those turkey corn dogs…I need to find those for my kids. That’s a great weekend lunch for them

  30. We just went to Italy last year, and Italians NEVER put balsamic on Caprese, or pretty much anything at all for that matter. Believe it or not, I became a fan of Caprese without the balsamic…just olive oil, salt and pepper. It allows you to taste the mozzarella much more.

  31. This dinner is happening tonight. I already have the ingredients! About to go pick the herbs. You are inspriring me!

  32. How are those Ian’s mini corn dogs? Corn dogs have been sorely missed since going GF!

  33. zeeanna says:

    I just found this recipe posted on another blog without credit given back to you…just thought i’d let you know!

  34. That salad looks so yummy. I think I have chicken caprese salad in my future!

  35. I am 100% stealing this dinner idea. Looks delicious! I thought balsamic always went on a caprese salad, and I’m Italian, but who knows! I love balsamic, so I couldn’t have it without!

    I just discovered roasting tomatoes…and YUM. So much better than raw, esp in a salad! Thanks for the recipe.

  36. haha that’s cute, my fiance would never ask such a question. That salad looks so good. I love mozzarella but it doesn’t sit well in my stomach for some reason. I’d use goat cheese or maybe some feta. Thanks for another great recipe!!

  37. I have been wanting to try this since I saw it on Pinterest a couple days before you posted this. Once I saw it posted here I KNEW I had to try it. I have to thank Pinterest and you for finding another winner! We had it for dinner tonight and it was amazing! I can’t wait to have the rest tomorrow! I LOVE the tomatoes in the oven, that will now be happening with other recipes. Thank you for your post!

  38. Ooooh, I bought a container of grape tomatoes and had no idea what to do. YUM! My HEB was all sold out of the chocolate coconut milk. Must be popular! I need to research the different types of dairy and why goat is better. I use almond milk for coffee/cereal, but my cheese is completely gone on my weight loss because the regular kind is so caloric but the fat free is YUCK. πŸ™‚

    Enjoy your Tuesday!

  39. Thanks so much for this awesome recipe! Just made it tonight for dinner. Even the hubby was happy! πŸ™‚

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