Thanksgiving doesn’t have to be all heavy starches and fatty dishes. This recipe is packed with good for you greens and fiber rich farro, tied together with just enough dairy to make it feel like a celebration. Greens like kale, chard, and spinach are rich in folic acid, vitamin C, potassium, magnesium, and antioxidants that lower cholesterol and blood pressure, and even help to slow your absorption of carbohydrates into your bloodstream after meals, preventing that energy crash and burn, or “food coma” feeling. They also boost your immune system and help fight off those pesky colds. Make this dish as a vegetarian side for your Thanksgiving feast, and as cozy hearty recipe all winter long.
Okay, so this isn’t really an authentic Caesar salad. It does however have the same tangy, creamy, decadent feel as the original- but with a hefty nutritional boost from super food kale. If you’ve tried kale in the past and hated it, or are too nervous to try it, this salad will make you a convert. Working the kale with a little salt and olive oil gives it a more palatable texture while still keeping it raw and healthy. I’ve swapped the traditional heavy croutons for chopped almonds, which give you a similar crunch, but feel free to add the croutons back if you like. As is, this salad is a seamless way to ease into the lighter eating and cooking of spring. It would be a great accompaniment for a meal, or delicious on its own with any of the traditional Caesar salad toppings. Try grilled shrimp or chicken, or even a fried egg. The kale holds up well to the dressing, keeping well in the fridge for great leftovers.
Makes 6 servings as a side dish, or 3-4 as a main course.
Prep Time: 15 minutes
3 Bunches Kale (Try Lacinato or Dinosaur Kale)
2 tbsp Olive Oil
1 pinch Kosher Salt
1 tbsp Lemon juice
4 tbsp Low Fat Mayo
1 tbsp Dijon Mustard
2 tbsp Fresh Parsley (minced)
1 clove Garlic (minced)
1 pinch Black Pepper
1⁄2 cup Raw Almonds (roughly chopped)
Wash and dry the kale, then cut off the hard stems (usually the lower inch or two). Roll the kale into a cigar shape (like you’re doing a chiffonade of basil) and slice thinly into even strips.
In a large bowl, add the kale, olive oil, salt, and lemon juice and massage everything together for 2-3 minutes. You’ll notice the kale will become darker and more silky- that’s the goal.
In a small bowl, whisk together the mayo, mustard, parsley, garlic, avocado, and pepper. Once everything is smooth and combined, add the dressing to the kale a little at a time (you might not need all the dressing). Once your kale is nicely coated with dressing, add the chopped almonds, give everything another toss, season to taste, and serve your salad with additional chopped almonds on top if you like.
Notes: If you’re a vegetarian or a vegan, you can use Nayonaise in place of the regular mayo- it will still taste delicious!