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Chicken Caesar Salad is reinvented by substituting kale—one of the top-rated super foods—instead of the traditional romaine lettuce.
Chicken Caesar Salad is one of my very favorite restaurant lunch menu items, but I realize that when dining out many Caesar-style dressings are often high in calories and fat. That sort of defeats the purpose of eating salad in the first place! With just a few tweaks, this classic salad can be reinvented to make it much more nutritious while still maintaining plenty of flavor in this Chicken Kale Caesar Salad that I first shared over at The Weary Chef.
Since one of my goals for 2017 is to introduce more vegetables into my diet, eating healthy salads is important to me. Substituting kale for romaine in this salad instantly offers more nutrients and vitamins—kale is one of the top super-foods—and many other health benefits, too!
- Kale is a low calorie, high fiber food that aids in digestion and elimination
- Kale is high in iron which is essential for good health and proper liver function
- Kale is filled with powerful antioxidants which help protect against various cancers
- Kale is a great anti-inflammatory food
- Kale can help lower cholesterol levels
- Kale is high in Vitamin A which is good for your vision and your skin
- Kale is high in Vitamin C which helps with your immune system and metabolism
- Kale is high in calcium. In fact, per calorie kale has more calcium than milk!
- Kale is a great for detoxifying your body and keeping your liver healthy.
The first time I served a kale salad, my husband commented that it really gave his “jaws a work-out” because it is requires a little more chewing than other lettuces. A trick for that is to be sure to remove the leaves from the stem and to chop the leaves into small pieces. Another trick used in this salad is to use your hands to “massage” the dressing right into the kale for a few minutes. This softens the kale making it easier to chew.
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Chicken Kale Caesar Salad
- 2 boneless skinless chicken thighs cut into bite-size pieces
- 2 tablespoons flour
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon pepper
- 2-3 tablespoons canola oil
- 1 bunch kale leaves removed from stems
- 3 medium radishes
- 1/2 tablespoon red wine vinegar
- 2 tablespoons grated Parmesan cheese
- 2 tablespoons roasted almonds roughly chopped
- croutons if desired
For the Caesar dressing:
- 3 tablespoons low-fat mayonnaise
- 1 1/2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
- 2 tablespoons grated Parmesan cheese
- 1 medium garlic clove minced
- salt and pepper to taste
Prepare the dressing:
- In a small bowl, combine the mayonnaise, 1-1/2 tablespoons red wine vinegar, 2 tablespoons Parmesan cheese, and minced garlic. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
Prepare the salad greens:
- Remove the stems from the kale and discard. Roughly chop the leaves and place in a large bowl. Pour 3/4 of the dressing over the kale and toss to coat. Using your hands, massage the kale for 3-4 minutes to soften. Refrigerate until ready to serve.
- In the meantime, thinly slice the radishes and place in a small bowl and toss with 1/2 tablespoon red wine vinegar. Season with salt and pepper and set aside to marinate.
Prepare the chicken:
- Place chicken in a zip lock bag with 2 tablespoons flour and 1/4 teaspoon each of salt and pepper. Toss to coat chicken.
- Add 2-3 tablespoons canola oil to a non-stick skillet and heat over medium-high heat. Cook the dredged chicken, turning occasionally, 7 to 9 minutes, or until browned on all sides and cooked through. Drain on paper towels.
Assemble the salad:
- Add the cooked chicken to the kale salad and sprinkle with almonds. Add remaining dressing. Toss to combine and serve garnished with remaining 2 tablespoons Parmesan cheese and croutons, if desired.