You want to choose something healthy when you dine out, and you are probably thinking,
Hmm…I’m not getting enough veggies lately, so what’s the first thing that comes to mind?
‘Let me order a salad.’
But, not all salads are good for you.
Some salads can be a dangerously unhealthy food in disguise: if a salad rakes up equivalent amount of calories to a cheese burger, then it’s probably time to look into the ingredients. For my weight-loss clients, the ‘salad road block’ is something we address at the very beginning.
What’s lurking in your salad that could sabotage your healthy-eating efforts:
1. The Killer Dressing
The creamy, delicious dressing is what makes a good caesar salad ‘caesar’ :), but it could also be the culprit ruining your efforts.
Lots of egg yolks are used to create that rich, smooth emulsion. Since you don’t have any control over how the dressing is made, mayonnaise, cool-whip, or even bottled dressing can potentially be used to speed up the process. Chemical preservatives, genetically modified soybean oil, emulsifiers and lots of sugar and salt are often added to bottled dressings. Restaurant-style caesar salad is usually drenched in dressing, and this is how you can consume a lot of it in a serving.
2. The Croutons
If you enjoy some extra crunch, croutons might be your topping of choice. It might not look like you are not having a lot of it when they get mixed with all the lettuce, that’s exactly how croutons slip under your radar. If you wouldn’t eat a slice of white bread saturated with oil, then you might need to watch out for croutons because they that are made from white bread, which contains excess amount of refined carbohydrate, and they soaked in oil.
3. Too much cheese
I personally love a little bit of Parmesan cheese in my caesar salad. When the chef serves up a generous pile of shaved cheese over your salad, you are getting a hefty amount of calories and fat.
Do you get dry mouth or feel a tad sticky in your throat? These symptoms are typical for people who have dairy sensitivity, which can usually go under-detected because those mild inflammatory symptoms can easily be ignored or misunderstood as being dehydrated.
*If you want to order a caesar salad when dining out, here is a fun tip to make it a lot healthier for you. Bookmark this page, pin it to your Pinterest board or share it on Facebook so your server can easily help you with your healthy choices.*
These tips are great for cutting back on empty calories and maintain your healthy-eating effort without leaving you feel hungry.
Ordering tips aside, today I want to share with you one of my favourite, ridiculously healthy caesar salad recipe. Combined with the insanely creamy and delicious dressing, you can go all out without feeling guilty. Enjoy!
Healthy Caesar Salad
1 head romaine lettuce
1 can chickpeas
1 tbsp coconut oil
1 tsp turmeric
½ tsp garlic powder
½ tsp onion powder
1/3 cup Coconut bacon bits
(note: this ingredient is not mandatory but highly recommended. I know you may not have seen in regular grocery stores, but you have a few options at Wholefoods)
1 tbsp miso paste
¼ cup lemon juice
½ cup tahihi sauce
¼ cup water
¼ tsp onion powder
¼ tsp garlic powder
Freshly ground pepper
Preheat the oven to 400F. Toss the chickpeas in the coconut oil and spices. Roast the chickpeas for 30min.
Meanwhile, add all the dressing ingredients in a mason jar. Securely tighten the lid and shake vigorously until all ingredients are well combined into a thick, creamy sauce.
Chop the lettuce into bite-size pieces.
Assemble the salad by adding your topping of choice. Drizzle the dressing over the salad immediately before serving so the lettuce stays crunchy!
Time Saving Tip
Alternatively, you can whip up this recipe in minutes by opting for ready made roasted chickpeas. Just can't wait to show you one of my favourite time-saving option. I do think roasted chickpeas are easier to find than the coconut bacon bits. If you can get your hands on BBQ flavoured type, you can skip the bacon bits.