Same Ingredients, 3 Ways: Italian Staples

One of my favorite things to do, which I’m sure you’ve gathered from past blog posts, is being creative and conscious of waste by utilizing the same ingredients for multiple meals. I love peering into the fridge and coming up with something to eat based on the random grouping of ingredients I see in front of me!

This week’s recipes started because I was in the mood for some comfort food that was “summer-approved” (ie: no oven casseroles or creamy pastas), and decided to pick up ingredients for a classic Caprese salad, which I added avocado to for a fresh and seasonal element. Then I realized I could make a few different variations with the same ingredients, more or less.

Hope this helps inspire you to remix some of your own ingredients from meal to meal this week and beyond!


  • Mozzarella/Gouda Cheese (I bought a ball of fresh mozzarella and had half a wedge of Gouda in the fridge from a picnic, but you can use both or either cheese for these recipes)
  • Shredded Romaine Lettuce
  • Tomato
  • Avocado
  • Red Onion
  • Roasted Red Peppers
  • Sliced Prosciutto
  • Italian Bread
  • Tortillas
  • Olive Oil
  • Balsamic Glaze
  • Mayo


Avocado Caprese Salad

Slice Roma or vine tomato into equal slices and arrange on plate. Slice fresh mozzarella into slices and place on top of tomatoes. Add a few sliced roasted red peppers. Cut half an avocado into equal slices and add to salad. Sprinkle shredded lettuce over top. Drizzle olive oil, balsamic glaze, and top with salt and pepper. Enjoy the salad with chunks of fresh Italian bread (and be sure to dip into the leftover vinegar at the bottom of the plate–the best part)! If desired, you can add the prosciutto and red onion from the rest of the ingredient list for a more robust salad.

Italian “Ham & Cheese” Quesadilla

Fill half a large, flour tortilla with slices of prosciutto, grated Gouda (or mozzarella) cheese, and roasted red pepper slices. Fold in half, heat a pan over medium-high heat, add cooking spray, and fry filled tortilla for a couple of minutes on both sides, until browned. Place on plate, drizzle with olive oil, balsamic, and salt and pepper. Slice with a pizza cutter, and enjoy! I think this would also be tasty with some red onion or tomato. Serve with sour cream/Greek yogurt on the side if desired.

Loaded Garden Sub Sandwich

Slice remaining Italian bread from salad recipe in half lengthwise (I had about 2/3 of the loaf left). Toast underside of the bread, spread mayo on either side. Layer prosciutto, sliced Gouda, and shredded lettuce on one side. On the other side, layer sliced tomatoes, red onion slices, and roasted red peppers. Drizzle olive oil, balsamic, and salt and pepper over both halves. Push together, squish down, and try to eat in one bite! You could add avocado to this too if you have any left.

See you next week! To see what I’m eating in the meantime, follow me on Instagram or Twitter @ClaireLeaden


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