Kale Caesar Salad

There is just something special about a really great caesar salad- and homemade dressing is even better, but so many people feel intimidated by caesar (and other homemade dressings, to boot!). But making dressings at home couldn't be easier- and it's a great way to save money, waste and take that usual caesar salad up a notch.

I especially love using homemade caesar on kale-- it's the perfect addition, as it's robust brininess and thick texture work well massaged into the bitter greens, wilting them down just enough and complimenting the bitterness perfectly with salad and acid. Top with some homemade croutons and a sprinkle of parmesan, and you have one of our go-to sides or dinner salads (we love it with some quick-sauteed shrimp or rotisserie chicken on top for ease!).

Let's make it! A couple notes:

- Don't love anchovies? I get it, they're kind of weird. But would you give them a chance? They add such a great flavor! Ok, if you're a hard no-- you can use capers instead! Use 2 tsp capers to replace 2 anchovies (or 1 tsp paste).

- Homemade croutons: These couldn't be easier! Preheat the oven to 375. Grab some stale bread (fresh is fine, stale works better!) and toss in some olive oil (less is more to start-make sure your bread is coated in oil, but not soaking.) Toss in garlic powder, sea salt and if you'd like-- some Italian seasoning, as well. Spread evenly on a parchment-lined pan. Toast for 15-20 tossing halfway until crunchy.

Homemade Caesar Dressing 3/4 cup homemade mayonnaise (store bought works great, as well) 2 tbsp lemon juice 1 tsp gluten-free worcestershire sauce 2 anchovies packed in oil or 1 tsp anchovy paste (see alternative, above) 1 clove garlic, minced 2-4 tbsp tbsp fresh grated parmesan cheese (or nutritional yeast for dairy-free) sea salt to taste 1. In a food processor or immersion blender, add mayonnaise, lemon juice (start with 2 tbsp), worcestershire, anchovy paste, garlic and parmesan. 2. Pulse or blend until smooth. Add more lemon juice, parmesan and/or sea salt to taste.

Kale Caesar:

1 bunch kale, rinsed and dried well- deveined and chopped into bite-sized pieces 1/4-1/2 cup homemade caesar dressing

Croutons (see instructions for homemade, above)

Fresh grated or flaked parmesan

  1. Combine kale and dressing- start with 1/4 cup, depending on how large your bunch is, you may need more.

  2. Using clean hands, massage until kale begins to wilt slightly.

  3. Divide into bowls, top with croutons and fresh parmesan.

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Kristin Dovbniak


I'm Kris! Founder of Healthy Balanced Mama, I'm a holistic health coach, certified intuitive eating counselor, trained chef, and mama of two, and I'm here to guide busy moms like you in stressing less and finding freedom with food through balanced eating and simplified routines around meal planning, meal prep, grocery shopping and cooking with confidence.


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