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Healthy Summer Dining and Cooking

RockFit - Blackened Salmon Sandwich 1

With the weather getting hotter, and beach season in full effect, this is the perfect time to find your new favorite health-forward meal. Lighter choices that use fresh, seasonal ingredients are easy to find at restaurants and make at home during this season … plus they can be delicious!

For example, Rockit Bar & Grill {22 West Hubbard Street, Chicago; 312.645.6000} now has a health-conscious and rotating lineup of RockFit lunch fare.

Chef Amanda Downing changes the menu each week, this week highlighting a refreshing Blackened Salmon Sandwich (baby arugula, tomato, avocado spread, harvest wheat bun) for $16 until August 26. The finale is Marinated Tofu Caprese (farmers market tomatoes, baby greens, pesto) for only $12, next week from August 29 – September 2.

If you want help eating healthy anytime you’re out on the town, Chef Downing has some easy tips to follow once you sit down to eat:

  • Ask your server about lighter and healthier options on the menu. They should be educated to help guide you on how items are prepared and assist with suggestions.
  • Don’t forget, just because it is a salad, doesn’t mean it’s the healthiest choice on the menu!
  • Go for leaner protein: turkey, chicken, or fish

To eat healthier at home, she also shared her Marinated Tofu Caprese recipe with us!


  • 1 package firm tofu
  • 2 each large ripe tomatoes, washed*
  • 2 cups baby greens, washed
  • 4 tablespoons prepared pesto
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • ¼ teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 5 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon minced garlic
  • 2 tablespoons white balsamic vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon basil, julienne

*always great to support your local farmers this time of year and check out what they have available for tomatoes at the market!


Cut tofu block in half. In a small bowl, mix together ½ teaspoon salt, 1/8 teaspoon black pepper, 4 tablespoons olive oil,  garlic, white balsamic vinegar, and basil. Place the tofu in the marinade, cover, and chill for one hour or overnight, flipping the tofu a couple of times.

Slice each tomato into 1/2 inch thick slices, and sprinkle remaining 1/2 tablespoon salt and 1/8 teaspoon black pepper. Set aside.

Heat a small nonstick sauté pan over medium heat. Add 1 tablespoon olive oil. Place both pieces of tofu in the hot pan and sear on every side for approximately 30 seconds per side, until golden brown. Remove from heat.

Mix the baby greens with 3 tablespoons of pesto. Spread out on large serving plate. Slice the tofu blocks into ½ inch thick slices. Arrange the tomato slices and tofu slices in an alternating pattern over the greens. Drizzle remaining 1 tablespoon of pesto over the tomatoes and tofu. Serve.

By Kaleigh Glaza | Online Editor