High protein, low carb: Classic chicken caesar salad

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich.  (WOTV) — Stick to those New Year’s resolutions with my classic chicken caesar salad recipe. It’s healthy, fresh and satiating. Kids like it too! My son’s team cleaned out the salad bowl at the last team dinner. It’s healthy because it’s mostly leafy greens with the right amount of protein, just a few carbs and good heart-healthy fats. The recipe looks long, but it’s super simple to make. I promise!

classic chicken caesar salad-Margaux Drake

Classic Chicken Caesar Salad
(vegan and gluten-free options)
Serves 4

Ingredients:
Croutons
2 tablespoons Earth Balance buttery spread, melted
1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
1 loaf whole grain bread or gluten-free bread, crusts removed, cut into 1/4-inch cubes
2 teaspoons sea salt
1/4 teaspoon ground cayenne pepper
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

Dressing
2 garlic cloves, smaller cloves are easier to mash with a fork
1 tablespoon dulse, a sea vegetable with a fishy flavor
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lemon juice
1 teaspoon Braggs Liquid Aminos
1/2 teaspoon Dijon mustard
1 tablespoon mayonnaise or Nayonaise, a vegan alternative
1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil

Protein
4 organic & free range chicken breasts, grilled or 1-2 bags of Beyond Meat’s Beyond Chicken grilled strips (pictured)

Salad
3 heads of romaine lettuce, washed, dried and chopped
1 cup Parmesan cheese, grated or a vegan alternative parmesan cheese, grated

Preparation:
Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Combine the buttery spread and olive oil in a bowl. Add the bread cubes, and toss until coated. Sprinkle with salt, cayenne pepper, and black pepper; toss until evenly coated. Spread the bread in a single layer on a 12-by-17-inch baking sheet. Bake until croutons are golden, about 10-15 minutes. Set aside. 

-Place the garlic, dulse and salt in a large bowl. Using two forks, mash the garlic into a paste. Using a small whisk or a fork, whisk in the pepper, lemon juice, Braggs Liquid Aminos, Dijon mustard and mayonnaise or Nayonaise. Whisk in the olive oil.

-Use two tablespoons of the dressing in a separate cup to brush on the chicken breasts or the Beyond Chicken strips and grill the chicken or sauté the Beyond Chicken until cooked. Never double dip into the whole dressing when marinating raw meat. While grilling or sautéing complete the next step…

-Chop the romaine leaves into bite size pieces and place in the salad bowl with the rest of the dressing. Add the croutons and cheese to the bowl, and toss well. Plate with a warm chicken breast cut into strips or Beyond Chicken grilled strips on top of each salad. Serve immediately.

Note:
Make the croutons and dressing in bulk on the weekend for a lightening quick weeknight meal. Store the croutons in an air-tight container in the pantry and the dressing in refrigerator.

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