A Caesar Salad is always a hit. It's a favorite of mine but I started avoiding ordering it....or making it at home... once I started living a Paleo lifestyle because Caesar dressing isn't the healthiest, right? It's usually made with unhealthy oils (like canola and soybean oils), sugar and dairy galore. Dressings are what you have to watch out for because dressings can make a salad unhealthy fast... I found a great way to recreate this "Kaeser Salad" that I had in Maui earlier this year that was FABULOUS. Instead of romaine, they used kale....
I make this one with the Curly Kale which is the most common kale you'll see. You could make this with any variety of kale you choose, but I prefer the curly kale for this one. (I prefer the Black Kale or "Dinosaur Kale" for my Tuscan Kale Salad.)
Kale - 1 bunch
1/2 cup pine nuts (toasted, see below)
Caesar Dressing of choice (I'm going to give you healthy options below)
Parmesan Cheese (optional, leave out for dairy-free and Whole30)
Chicken (optional to make it a meal)
Wash and dry the kale. Slice the kale into strips with a sharp knife. Discard any large pieces of the tough center ribs. Place all of the kale pieces in a bowl and "massage" it a bit. This means just rub it, which bruises is a little so that it makes it more tender. Set aside.
In a dry skillet, heat a pan to medium heat. Add the pine nuts and stir constantly until golden brown. It's important you don't walk away during this process as you don't want them to burn. If needed, turn the heat down so they cook evenly. Once they are golden brown, remove from heat to cool in a bowl. You don't have to use the whole 1/2 cup of nuts, they'll keep because you will want to make this again soon;)
If you don't want to make your own dressing, a great healthy bottled option is Tessemae's Dressings which are fantastic. The Caesar one is Whole30 approved! (Most of them are, just read the ingredients as a couple they make are not Whole30 approved) They carry them at Whole Foods in the refrigerated section near the salads and they have a Caesar that works perfectly for this salad. If you can't find it in a store near you, I gave you the convenient Amazon link above.
If you want to make your own, try Primal Palate's Caesar Dressing Recipe. It's healthy, easy and tastes fantastic.
With Kale, you actually want to dress your salad at least 30 minutes before serving it, and be generous with your dressing to make sure it's coated well. This allows the dressing to soften the kale and decrease the bitter taste kale can have. Dress your salad and toss and set aside in the fridge. When ready to serve, add the toasted pine nuts and a sprinkle of high quality parmesan cheese if you choose.
This is a wonderful, healthy side dish for your summer BBQ's that your family and friends will love! If you want to make it a meal, add shredded chicken to it...easy! What's more? It keeps if you have leftovers even after it's dressed! I love that about kale, it doesn't get soggy and you can make it ahead of time and have a healthy salad at your fingertips!