Grilled Chicken Kale Caesar with Roasted Balsamic Brussels & Cherry Tomatoes in a Mayo-Free Healthy Caesar Dressing a.k.a. The-Healthy-Version-That-Will-Take-You-Back-To-Your-Childhood-Days-Where-Ingredients-Didn’t-Matter-&-Life-Was-Simple!
OKAY, who doesn’t love a good ‘ol Caesar salad?
I feel like it was a childhood staple for a lot of us. I don’t know about you guys but whenever I saw it on the menu at restaurants, it was always a no-brainer. Like, I legit stopped reading the menu & just ordered that. I don’t know why. It was just a thing. I mean, it’s creamy, zesty, garlicky, a little bit smokey, so do you really blame me?
BUT, then FAST FORWARD. Time passes. Suddenly, you’re not a kid anymore & you can’t just eat whatever you want without experiencing any of the consequences that come with it. I’m talking bloating, digestive issues, cramping, bad reactions to dairy & refined sugar & THE LIST REALLY GOES ON.
SUDDENLY, with all those issues, the Caesar salad becomes the obvious choice, the one you REALLY REALLY WANT, but the one you resist.
BUT LIKE… HELLO! WHY ON EARTH SHOULD YOU HAVE TO DEPRIVE YOURSELF OF SOMETHING THAT YOU LOVE? Why not come up with a healthier alternative that tastes just like the real deal but won’t cause all that bad stuff?
WELL GUESS WHAT?
You don’t have to. I did the work for you. So, not only do you get to enjoy your fave childhood salad tonight, BUT YOU ALSO GET TO DO IT IN THE COMFORT OF YOUR OWN HOME, with your OWN INGREDIENTS & in SWEATPANTS, HAIR TIED, CHILLIN’ WITH NO MAKEUP ON (Yes, that’s a Drake reference. No shame).
Caesar salad really is all about the dressing, lez be honest. And guess what, AGAIN? This one only takes 2 minutes… No cashew soaking. None of that heavy-takes-forever-but-tastes-delicious stuff. JUST A SIMPLE ‘OL CAESAR DRESSING THAT’S HEALTHY, LIGHT, FILLED WITH PROTEIN & THAT WILL TAKE YOU BACK TO YOUR CHILDHOOD DAYS!
The base for it is organic grass-fed GREEK YOGURT. You can imagine that the yogurt does just the trick at creating a creamy, savoury base, that you’re most probably delighted about because:
1) It tastes DELISH!
2) It’s packed with protein!
3) IT ISN’T MAYO!
3) (Most importantly) Who doesn’t have Greek yogurt in their fridge already, right?
THEN, you add in some minced garlic, coconut aminos (for some smoke & to replace the Worcestershire sauce that you’ll find in most traditional Caesar dressings), lemon juice for zest & brightness, Dijon mustard for zing & flavour, sea salt & pepper to taste & BAM. BAM. BOOM. BOOM. Turn on that NutriBullet & THERE YOU HAVE IT!
So, TO SUM IT ALL UP (Yes, we’re still only talking about the dressing…), THIS BABE OF A DRESSING is all things:
DAIRY-FREE (but you would never know).
P.S. AN IDEA JUST POPPED INTO MY MIND. I tots should’ve added some nutritional yeast to the dressing to THICKEN IT, ADD A DOSE OF B12 & to complement for the USUAL PARMESAN that is found in most traditional Caesar dressings. I will definitely be adding it next time & I totally recommend that you guys do it too!
KAY, now let’s talk about the salad. Whether you meal prep the grilled chicken & the brussels sprouts or not, this salad does not require that much effort or take that much time. BUT, IF YOU DO MEAL PREP (Which I totally recommend), this salad is literally ready in just ten minutes. I am not even kidding!
Not only is she ready in ten, but she’s DELICIOUS. NUTRITIOUS. PROTEIN-RICH (Thanks to the grilled chicken, kale & Greek yogurt). Satisfying. Gluten-free. & Dairy-free. WHAT MORE CAN YOU ASK FOR, REALLY?
(P.S. You can totally ask for it to be Vegan... & if that’s what fits your dietary restrictions, NO PROBLEM. Replace the chicken with some sort of legume or bean (Oven-roasted chickpeas would work great. Check out my recipe HERE) OR with some smoked tofu/tempeh!
If you need ideas for meal-prepping the chicken, HERE ARE JUST A FEW:
- 4-Ingredient Maple Mustard Grilled Chicken Breast a.k.a. The-Perfect-Balance-Between-Sweet-&-Savoury-I-Mean…-Oh-&-Ready-In-20-You?
- Kelly’s Turmeric Roasted Chicken Breast a.k.a. Meal Prep Solutions FTW – Oh & Making Your Life Easier One Day (OOPS, I Mean Roast) At A Time!
- Kelly’s Healthy-AF Greek-Inspired Lemon Oregano Chicken Marinade a.k.a. I’m-Takin’-You-To-Greece-With-This-Baby-&-We-Ain’t-Never-Comin’-Home!
- Kelly’s Honey Dijon Dill & Garlic Chicken Marinade a.k.a. Another-Day-Another-Marinade-Oh-&-All-Your-“NO-IDEA-WHAT-TO-MAKE-FOR-DINNER”-Sitchs-Solved!
- Kelly’s Clean-Eating Maple Mustard Balsamic Chicken Marinade a.k.a. That-“I-Smother-That-Stuff-On-Everything”-Marinade-That-Will-Render-You-Speechless-Mostly-Because-Your-Mouth-Will-Be-CONSTANTLY-Busy-Chewing!
And if you need ideas for the brussels, HERE ARE A FEW:
- My Go-To Guide For Roasting & Sautéing Veggies From Start To Plate To Devour a.k.a. Making Your Meals (& Life) Easier One Day At A Time!
- Kelly’s Indian-(VERY)-Spiced Brussels Sprouts a.k.a. When-The-Flavour-Combination-Is-MAD-REAL!
- Kelly’s Clean-AF Maple Balsamic Roasted Brussels Sprouts a.k.a. That-Perfect-Sweet-&-Salty-Caramelized-Divine-Goodness-&-That-Roast-Though!
SEE, I’VE GOT YOU COVERED!!!
ANYWHO, now that we’ve got all of that down-packed:
MAKE THE CHICKEN.
MAKE THE BRUSSELS.
THEN MAKE THIS SALAD. OKAY?
Follow my orders & you will not regret it. You’ll be a happy camper & your tummy will be ECSTATIC, not to mention FULL AF! (But in the best way possible. No bloat. Promise!).
For TWO MEAL-SIZED SALADS, you will need:
FOR THE SALAD:
- 1 large bunch of kale, WASHED, DRAINED, STEMMED & CHOPPED;
- 1 pint of cherry tomatoes, HALVED;
- LOADS of roasted Brussels sprouts (made according to one the recipes above, OR AS YOU LIKE!);
- 2-4 chicken breasts, DICED (Depending on how much chicken you want!) – As mentioned above, for a vegan option: replace the chicken with my oven-roasted chickpeas (link is listed above) OR any other type of legume or bean OR some smoked tofu/tempeh!).
FOR THE DRESSING:
- 1/4 cup of grass-fed organic Greek yogurt (I use the one by Rolling Meadow, available at Health Tree!);
- The juice of 1 organic lemon;
- 1 tsp. of raw organic Dijon mustard;
- 3-4 cloves of fresh garlic, MINCED;
- 1.5 tsp. of coconut aminos (As always, I use Naked Coconuts);
- Sea salt & black pepper for seasoning;
- OPTIONAL: 1/2 – 1 tbsp. of nutritional yeast (I use Bob’s Red Mill).
NOW, for that HOW-TO:
- PREP THE VEGGIES: Add the chopped kale, halved cherry tomatoes, roasted brussels sprouts & diced grilled chicken breast to a LARGE mixing bowl.
- MAKE THE DRESSING: Add all the ingredients to your blender or NutriBullet & BLEND until all the ingredients are combined, incorporated & emulsified!
- Bear in mind that your dressing won’t be AS CREAMY as regular Caesar dressing, but it will sure AF do the trick & it’s WAY HEALTHIER!
- Pour the dressing over your veggies & chicken & TOSS to combine & coat all the ingredients in the deliciousness that is this dressing!
- P.S. I always like to mix for a little bit longer when I use kale because I find it takes more time to absorb liquids than other types of greens!