The classic salad as a burger. Caprese salad? I’m sure the yumminess bell is ringing in your head right now. Yes, it’s a delicious salad, but it’s usually made with plenty of olive oil, full-fat mozzarella and has way more calories than you would think. I got a little creative with this recipe. Instead of full-fat mozzarella, I used low-fat mozzarella. I left out the olive oil and white bread that’s usually served with the salad and replaced them with other, more wholesome ingredients. If that’s too much change for you, I promise, the pulled chicken in this super tasty tomato marinade will make up for it.
Pulled Chicken Caprese Burger
SERVES 1 / RSF
1 wholewheat spelt bun
1 tablespoon tomato purée (paste)
salt and freshly ground black pepper
70–80 g (2 1/2–3 oz) low-fat mozzarella
1 large tomato, sliced
lettuce or spinach leaves
220–250 g (8–9 oz) chicken breast
1 teaspoon vegetable stock (broth) powder
bunch of basil leaves
1/2 lemon, sliced
3 teaspoons tomato purée (paste)
2 teaspoons honey or sweetener of choice
freshly ground black pepper
1 teaspoon paprika
2 teaspoons dried oregano
2 teaspoons balsamic glaze
1 teaspoon onion powder
1 teaspoon garlic powder
- Preheat the oven to 160ºC (320ºF/Gas 3).
- To make the pulled chicken, bring a large saucepan with 200 ml (7 fl oz) of water, the vegetable broth, basil and lemon slices to the boil. Add the chicken breast, cover with a lid and cook over a low–medium heat for 12–15 minutes. Take off the heat but leave the chicken breast in the water for 2–3 more minutes so that it’s well cooked through.
- Take the chicken out of the pan, drain any excess water, put it on the work surface and pull into strips with a fork. Put the pulled chicken into a large bowl, add the remaining ingredients and mix well. Cover with a towel and set aside. The chicken will stay juicy and tender in this marinade.
- Halve the bun and spread the tomato purée over each half. Season with salt and pepper and add some fresh basil leaves on top. Tear the mozzarella into pieces and divide it equally between both halves. Bake in the oven until the mozzarella has melted (this will take a few minutes longer than with full-fat cheese). Take out of the oven and add the tomato slices on top.
- Add some salad on one half, top with the pulled chicken and place the other half on top. Press down a little, open your mouth wide, close your eyes and hope that nobody’s watching you eat, because it could get quite messy!
TIP If you don’t want to make a mess or for anything to fall out of the burger, simply add some pulled chicken on both halves and eat the halves separately. Problem solved.
VARIATION If you want the pulled chicken to be hot, put it into the oven as well when you melt the mozzarella. I like the pulled chicken when it isn’t too warm in combination with the hot and melted cheese.
Recipes excerpted with permission from Eat Better Not Less by Nadia Damaso, published by Hardie Grant Books 2017, RRP $24.99 hardcover. Images