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Healthy Caesar Salad with Crunchy Herb Toasts

July 20, 2018

If you thought salad was boring you are about to eat your words (heehee) with this fresh, delicious and beautiful salad!

 

Lately I have been watching a few health documentaries on Netflix and it's made me think a little more about the nutritional and health aspect of my food.  Many of us know  food affects health but sometimes when we are time poor we don't make the best choices because we think it's too much work to create a healthy meal form scratch.  That's why I love this salad so much - it is quick, has bags of flavor, makes a light and healthy meal in itself or can be the perfect side dish to complement pastas, meats, bakes and more. 

 

A traditional Caesar Salad is usually a healthy eaters worst nightmare but there's so much to like in this salad! Yogurt's creamy consistency,  is perfect for making dressings and is also full of healthy probiotics crucial for gut health.  Parmesan cheese adds depth and flavor and is also believed to be easier to digest than some other cheeses while fresh and crispy cos lettuce and vibrant baby spinach offers loads of vitamins and minerals - there is so much goodness in this salad to enjoy!  

 

While croutons are usually served with this style of salad I decided to change it up a bit with my Garlic and Herb Toasts - and they work perfectly with this salad!  If you feel like a quick snack make these with a little grated Parmesan cheese and a pinch of chilli powder as well...(Shh, I didn't just tell you that, we're being healthy here!)

 

MY TIPS  

  • When serving this as a quick main meal boiled eggs, cooked crumbled bacon, chopped chicken, even cranberries and nuts can work really well on this salad.  

  • This salad is a great accompaniment your favorite meats, pizzas, pastas, bakes and more

  • If you are feeling a bit indulgent a fried egg with a soft yolk served on top of this salad tastes divine! 

  • Fresh is best when making a salad like this so please do not be tempted to use a garlic paste in the dressing as it will not quite have the same freshness and flavor

  • The dressing makes an EXCELLENT sauce to go with pasta, as a sauce on your favorite wraps and sandwiches, as a topping on potatoes and so much more - it is so versatile.  I think you could probably even marinate chicken in it and bake it too!

 

YOU WILL NEED

Salad

1 large clove of garlic finely chopped and lightly cooked in a little oil (see Method for details)

1 cos lettuce roughly chopped

1/2 cup baby spinach leaves

1 large clove of garlic finely chopped

1/3 cup natural or Greek yogurt

2+1/2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

1/3 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese

1/2 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce

Juice of 1/2 a medium lemon (about 3 tablespoons)

1/4 - 1/2 teaspoon finely ground Pink Himalayan salt/sea salt according to taste

Freshly cracked pepper to taste 

 

Optional Extras

Boiled eggs/chopped cooked chicken/crumbled bacon (optional)

Extra Parmesan for serving (optional)

 

Herb Toasts

8 semi-thick slices of stale bread (stale bread  toasts up better.   Bread with grains/seeds or something like a ciabatta gives extra texture and health benefits but you can use whatever bread you like)

1 whole garlic clove gently crushed with a knife (should still be one piece)

Dried mixed herbs (Italian mixed herbs work well)

Butter

 

METHOD

 

Salad

  1. In a small frying pan and a little oil and gently fry off the chopped garlic until fragrant but do not burn (this will only take a minute or so.)

  2. In a large salad bowl add the lettuce and set aside.

  3. In a small jug mix the cooked garlic, yogurt, extra virgin olive oil, Parmesan cheese, Worcestershire sauce, lemon juice, salt and pepper and set aside. (If you want a smoother dressing use a hand-stick blender with the "chopping/puree" fitting to get it smooth however this purely optional and does not change the taste only the texture making it slightly smoother and thinner).

  4. Pour the dressing  onto the salad or pour into a small serving bowl to serve along-side your salad.

  5. Add desired toppings if using - fresh shaved Parmesan, boiled eggs, crumbled bacon and/or chopped chicken

 

Garlic & Herb Toasts

  1. Heat a medium non-stick pan over a medium heat.

  2. Butter BOTH sides of your bread slices.

  3. On one side, rub the garlic over the butter and lightly  sprinkle some mixed herbs 

  4. Place the herb sprinkled side DOWN in the pan and allow to cook until the bottom is golden brown and crisp.

  5. Turn over and lightly sprinkle with herbs and continue cooking until the other side is also golden brown.

  6. Slice in half if desired (this is useful if you are serving many people or if people do not want to eat a lot of bread).

  7. Serve immediately with your salad.

 

SERVES 4 AS A MEAL 6 AS AN APPETIZER

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