If you have a Caesar salad lover in your home as I do (my husband predictably chooses the Caesar option over any house salad at a restaurant), you are going to want to make this stat. It was a divine combo of healthy super foods coupled with that comforting and bad-for-you taste of a nice creamy calorie-laden Caesar salad. We grilled a bunch of chicken yesterday, so this was a cinch to make (and the taste of grilled chicken is so much better than when boiled or roasted, in my humble opinion), but please use whatever form of cooked chicken you have (yes, feel free to grab a rotisserie chicken at the store if that is your thing). It will all be gloriously delicious in this salad. I promise.
Kale and Quinoa Chicken Caesar Salad
-adapted from Cooking Light, September 2014 (messed with dressing ingredients and proportions)
-2 T. fresh squeezed lemon juice
-3 T. olive oil
-1/4 cup light mayo
-1/4 cup water
-1/2 t. black pepper
-2 garlic cloves, grated on a microplane or zester
-1 t. Worcestershire sauce (I used this instead of anchovy paste they recommended-didn't have it and wasn't buying it just for this)
-1/4 cup freshly shredded Parmesan cheese
Whisk all of the above together well until the mixture is emulsified. You won't probably use all this dressing...but you might when all is said and done.
-1 bunch of lacinato kale stemmed and thinly sliced (OK, so this is the dark smooth kale you might see at the farmer's market or grocery store, also called "dinosaur kale". I saw some at the market today so I used it. It is perfectly tender without a massage, so try it, but feel free to use regular old curly kale as well. Just take care to slice it thinly and give it a good rubdown with a bit of salt or olive oil until it darkens and relaxes if you go with the latter).
-2 cups cooked quinoa (if you cook 1 cup dry you will have about 3 cups--use the extra to toss with some berries, nuts, and yogurt for breakfast)
-2 cups chopped cooked chicken (feel free to use other meats--leftover steak or shrimp, or just leave it out altogether. There's no magic with chicken here).
-1/2 cup walnuts, toasted and chopped
-1/4 cup shredded parmesan cheese
Toss kale, quinoa, 1/4 cup parm, walnuts, and chicken together. Drizzle with dressing until it tastes good enough to you. Enjoy, folks.