One of the most common salads is your traditional Caesar salad. While a traditional Caesar salad may be tasty it’s not exactly always the healthiest. Restaurants pile on the creamy dressing, load on the croutons, and add a more than a sprinkle of parmesan cheese.
I love Caesar salad and wanted to put a little twist on it to lighten it up. First, I started with kale as my base. The key, in my opinion, for eating kale raw in a salad is to stick to baby kale. Baby kale is more tender and not a fibrous as your big leafy kale. Why kale? – Because it is packed with a ton of nutrients. Stick to your dark leafy greens as they are more nutrient dense.
Next up, how to get that crunch factor without the empty calories of croutons. Insert roasted chickpeas! Now, you can make your own roasted chickpeas, but I went for the ones from my grocery store: The Good Bean. They come in all different flavors, but for this recipe I stuck to the sea salt variety. A crunch factor with more fiber and protein – check!
One of the biggest calorie bombs to the traditional Caesar salad is the creamy full fat salad dressing. To put a healthy twist on this salad, I added some healthy fat avocado on top and switched the dressing to a lighter vinaigrette.
- 2 tbsp garlic, minced
- ¼ cup lemon juice
- 1 tbsp Dijon mustard
- ½ tsp Worcestershire sauce
- 1 tsp hot sauce
- 1 tsp anchovy paste
- ½ cup olive oil
- 6 cups baby kale, washed
- 1 avocado, diced
- ½ roasted chickpeas
- 2 tbsp freshly grated parmesan cheese (optional)
- In a medium size bowl, whisk together all of the dressing ingredients, except the olive oil. Slowly stream in the olive oil while whisking vigorously.
- Toss kale with the dressing until coated. (Note: incorporate a little dressing at a time, just until salad is coated – do not over dress! Save the remaining for additional salads.)
- Top salad with avocado, roasted chickpeas, and parmesan cheese (if using).