Caesar salad is my all-time favourite salad. I wanted to make this comfort food healthier so I tweaked a few things to make it gluten-free and dairy-free. Instead of croutons we have crispy chickpeas and instead of parmesan, I used nutritional yeast. To make it even healthier, I served it with some coconut water for some extra potassium content to balance my potassium and sodium ratio (electrolytes) and keep the bloating at bay!
Kale is great source of Vitamin C, Vitamin K, beta-carotene and calcium. It’s an antioxidant powerhouse and has anti-inflammatory properties. Because of it’s recent popularity, it has made it’s way into the Dirty Dozen List so it’s best to buy organic kale! And if you can, buy it local to support your economy and local farmers 🙂
And did you know that a sprinkle of lemon juice on kale can help you absorb the nutrients from the kale so much better? So go ahead, add some extra lemon zing to your kale caesar salad for flavour and nutritional benefits!
- 2 bunches kale
- 1 pack (350g) nitrate-free bacon
- 1 cup crispy chickpeas
- 1/2 recipe homemade Caesar dressing
- Pre-heat oven to 350°F. Line a baking tray with parchment paper then lay each bacon strip on the tray. Bake for 15-20 minutes or until desired doneness is reached. (Crispy bacon is best for this recipe). Once ready, take out of the oven and let cool.
- Meanwhile, prepare half of the Caesar dressing recipe.
- Wash and de-stem kale. Chop into bite-sized pieces and place in a bowl. Lather the Caesar dressing into the kale and start massaging the kale. Massaging the kale changes its bitter flavour subtly into a sweeter and softer leafy green.
- Once bacon has cooled, chop into bite-sized pieces. Add into the bowl of massaged kale and mix.
- For serving, place the massaged kale and bacon mixture into each bowl, top with crispy chickpeas, nutritional yeast and garnish with lemon slices. Serve & Enjoy! ☺
- Use your favourite type of kale, there's a bunch! I used the curly kale but purple kale or dino kale works great too! Better yet, mix them all up!
- Feelin' fancy? Try pancetta instead of bacon!
- You could also chop the bacon raw and cook it in frying pan if that's easier for you!
- For this recipe, there was no cooking involved, only a light massaging for about 3-5 minutes. Massaging kale makes it taste less bitter and makes it easier to digest.
Kale & Oxalic Acid
- You may have heard of the oxalic content found in leafy greens like spinach, swiss chard and kale. Oxalic acid present in these greens have the potential to bind with magnesium, calcium, iron, copper and zinc in our intestines to form oxalates and insoluble salts. This means that it can fight for the absorption of these minerals in our bodies. The way to get rid of the oxalic acid content is by cooking the greens. Lightly steaming, sauteing or roasting are the best ways.
- A little oxalic acid in our diets is okay once in awhile, but if you are putting leafy greens such as spinach and kale in your smoothie everyday, it’s best if you lightly steam them first.
- It is especially important for those who have Kidney stones or have had them in the past to reduce the amount of oxalic acid in your diet. This is because when oxalates become too concentrated in our body fluids, it can crystallize.