Kale Caesar Salad

Story by Alyssa
Kale Caesar Salad
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There are few dishes more iconic than the Caesar salad. I dare you to show me one person who isn’t a fan. Okay, well, I’m sure there are plenty out there, but it’s safe to say that most people enjoy the sharp garlicky bite of Caesar dressing adorning crisp romaine, crunchy croutons and generously sprinkled fresh grated parm. It’s a classic for a reason. It’s completely and utterly delicious. But, (and I promise I’m not trying to ruin it for you) have you ever stopped to think about what, if any, nutritional value a traditional Caesar salad holds? I’m pretty sure we all know the answer is ‘not much.’


...salads are most definitely not all created equal.

My January foray into the world of Whole30 has forced me to think outside of the box as I strive to make food for my family and myself that not only feeds our bodies, but our souls as well. To me this means no skimping on flavor, but upping the nutritional value in a big way and getting creative in the process. Whether you’re eating temporarily restrictive like me, are permanently vegetarian, or are just looking to add more variety and nutritional punch to your diet, this updated version of the classic Caesar is a winner.

What makes this salad so great?

  1. Hearty kale (our personal favorite green at the moment)
  2. Macadamia nut crumble (easily the best thing you’re likely to have tasted in a while)
  3. Soft boiled eggs
  4. Thick chunks of bacon
  5. Homemade Caesar dressing
Kale Caesar Salad

Yum! Right? I think too often we can be fooled by the word ‘salad,’ and assume what we are eating is healthy, but salads are most definitely not all created equal. In our take the Caesar, we’ve taken out all the “bad stuff” (sugar-infused processed dressing), and added lots of “good stuff” (crunchy kale and a protein-packed toasted crumble that is out of this world good and will have even the biggest fromage fan saying “what cheese?”) resulting in a reimagined salad that not only lives up to the name Caesar, but somehow manages to surpass its predecessor.

But I’m kind of lazy—can I really make this from scratch without breaking a sweat?

Yes! Caesars get a bad wrap for being labor intensive when made from scratch, but the 20 minutes it takes to make this health and flavor packed dish are worth it. You’ve got 20 minutes right? Make it simple with just the homemade dressing, crumble and kale, or make it a meal by adding Whole30 compliant bacon and soft boiled eggs (which is my preferred method) and marvel at how satisfying and tasty nutritious food can be.

Kale Caesar Salad

Serves 4

Vegan "Cheese" Crumble

2/3 cup macadamia nut
2 tbsp nutritional yeast
1/2 tsp garlic powder
1/2 tsp salt
2 tsp olive oil

Caesar Dressing

1 large egg
1 cup extra light olive oil
1 large garlic clove
1 tbsp lemon juice
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp freshly ground pepper
2 tbsp reserved bacon fat from cooked bacon (optional)
1-2 tbsp anchovy past (depending on how strong you want it)

Ingredients

1 large bunch kale, stems removed and roughly chopped
4 6 minute eggs
1/2 lb thick whole 30 compliant bacon
Caesar Dressing
"cheese" crumble

Method

  1. For the “cheese crumble” blend all dry ingredients in a food processor until a rough crumble is achieved. Add olive oil and pulse to combine. Spread mixture onto a baking sheet and bake for 3-5 minutes at 375°F or until lightly browned. Allow to cool and store in a airtight container for up to 2 weeks.
  2. In a mason jar add the egg and top with remaining ingredients. Using an emulsion blender to create a thick dressing, start with the blend pressed firmly on the bottom of the jar. Turn blender on high. Once dressing begins to emulsify (it will turn thick and white) very gently pull the blender straight up to incorporate remaining ingredients. Your dressing should be close to the texture of mayonnaise.  
  3. In a large bowl toss kale with desired amount of dressing. Top with cooked bacon pieces, 6 minute eggs and “cheese” crumble.