Iceberg lettuce, be gone! Caesar salad gets a nutritional boost in this kale and brussels sprout Caesar salad with parmesan toasts.

Disclosure: This post was sponsored by Pompeian. As always, my thoughts and opinions are my own. Thank you for supporting the brands that keep me inspired in the kitchen.
kale and brussels sprout Caesar salad with parmesan toasts

Confession: I used to be a dieting self-help junkie.

I could tell you every rule in every “how to lose 10 pounds in 10 days” guide (interestingly, they are quite similar to those found in the “how to lose a guy in 10 days” manuals, given that you will be so bitchy after the 10 days that any guy you once had, shall be no more), every “eat this, not that” recommendation, every tip and trick for how to eat at restaurants and still lose weight.

And if there is one cardinal rule/take-home message from all of these, it is this: DON’T EAT THE CAESAR.

IMG_2675

And with good reason!

The Caesar salad is typically the most nutritionally devoid salad on the menu. It’s usually made with romaine, which I think is useless (and fairly flavorless) as far as leafy greens go, and a thick, gloopy, creamy tangy dressing that is a caloric nightmare. I mean, I know I’ve had bad dreams about it.

If we’re being honest, the only thing it really has going for it is the croutons and unless you’re frequenting a really good restaurant, even those are pretty lackluster.

IMG_2654

Recently, the.boy and I were dining at a local neighborhood establishment that I’m obsessed with when I spotted their version of a Caesar salad on the menu, and all of a sudden, I realized just what the Caesar needed to be elevated from it’s current “DANGER ZONE” status.

An upgrade.

And a pretty serious one.

IMG_2658

Out went the romaine, along with it’s dressing sidekick that I not so affectionately call “gloop”, and in trotted in kale, brussels sprouts, and a Greek yogurt-based Caesar dressing that won’t have you falling into a food coma or gripping your chest with impending coronary artery disease after eating.

Oh, and I supersized the croutons.

You can thank me later.

IMG_2668

But first, get in the kitchen and get this into your life.

We’re in this wedding diet thing together.

One kale and brussels sprout Caesar salad at a time.

IMG_2670

Rather than soak the parmesan toasts in olive oil before roasting them, I chose to lower their caloric load by instead spraying them with one of Pompeian’s new oil sprays! The line includes Coconut Oil Spray, OlivExtra Original Spray, and Avocado Oil Spray. Specifically, I used the avocado oil spray which has no propellants added to it and is made from 100% avocado oil. This is a high-heat oil so it’s great for baking, roasting, stir frying, searing, BBQ-ing or broiling. It has a fairly mild flavor and I loved how it melded with the parmesan in the toasts, without adding extra unneeded calories. A total win/win, if you ask me!

 

Kale and Brussels Sprout Caesar Salad with Parmesan Toasts
 
Iceberg lettuce, be gone! Caesar salad gets a nutritional boost in this kale and brussels sprout Caesar salad with parmesan toasts.
Yield: 4 servings
Ingredients
For the dressing
  • 4 cloves garlic
  • 3 tbsp 2% Greek yogurt
  • 2 tbsp grated parmesan cheese
  • 1 tbsp dijon mustard
  • 2 tsp red wine vinegar
  • ¼ tsp salt
  • ¼ tsp black pepper
  • juice of ½ lemon
  • ½ cup olive oil
For the salad
  • 1 bunch lacinato kale, leaves thinly sliced
  • 1 lb brussels sprouts, shredded
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • pinch of salt
  • 4 hard-boiled eggs
For the parmesan toasts
  • 8 slices ciabatta
  • avocado or olive oil cooking spray
  • 4 tbsp grated parmesan cheese
Instructions
  1. For the dressing, combine the garlic, Greek yogurt, parmesan cheese, mustard, red wine vinegar, salt, black pepper, and lemon juice in the bowl of a food processor. Process until smooth. Slowly add the olive oil with the processor still running until it is combined and forms a creamy dressing. Set aside.
  2. In a large bowl, combine the kale and the brussels sprouts. Add the olive oil and a pinch of salt. Massage the salad until the kale shrinks in volume by about a half. Toss with the dressing.
  3. For the parmesan toasts, preheat oven to 350F. Arrange the bread slices on a baking pan. Spray the tops with avocado oil or olive oil spray. Sprinkle with the parmesan cheese. Bake in the oven for 5-10 minutes, until cheese is melted and starting to brown.
  4. Serve the salads topped with a hard-boiled egg and 2 parmesan toasts per salad.
Notes
Dressing from How Sweet Eats
Nutrition Information
Serving size: ¼ of recipe

Looking for more kale salad inspiration? Check out these:

kale salad with brie croutons, roasted butternut squash, cumin-spiced pecans and a cranberry vinaigrette

Kale Salad with Brie Croutons, Roasted Butternut Squash, Cumin-Spiced Pecans and Cranberry Vinaigrette

kale and brussels sprout salad with butternut squash

Kale and Brussels Sprout Salad with Almonds and Butternut Squash

garlic roasted butternut squash and kale wheatberry salad with pomegranate

Garlic-Roasted Butternut Squash and Kale Wheatberry Salad with Pomegranate

From Around the Web:

Apple and Pomegranate Quinoa and Kale Salad from Closet Cooking

Kale Salad with Feta, Garlic Panko Crumbs, and Fried Poached Egg from Jeanette’s Healthy Living

Detox Kale Salad from Food Fanatic

Feta Fiesta Kale Salad with Avocado and Crispy Tortilla Strips from Cookie + Kate

Kale and Roasted Red Kuri Squash Salad from A House in the Hills

IMG_2677

blog_share_subscribe
Share →

53 Responses to Kale and Brussels Sprout Caesar Salad with Parmesan Toasts

  1. haha, I used to be the same way too. But it’s soooooo good!! Although, I think I would actually prefer this version! Those eggs on top are calling to me.

  2. Yummo! Your excellent version of a creamy dressing would be great on any type of salad.

  3. I love this healthier take on Caesar salad! Brussels sprouts + kale are a great Fall combo!

  4. I never opt for the caesar salad on the menu…but if your version was on there, I certainly would! Looks awesome!

  5. A really nice alternative to a regular Caesar salad.

  6. I much prefer this version of the classic Joanne 🙂

  7. Megan says:

    This looks amazing! A definite upgrade!

  8. Romaine lettuce is one of my favorite foods, so calling it flavorless is basically picking a fight :-p Its flavor is crunchy water. But I wont argue that Caesar salads are in need of a major nutritional makeover and this looks great. I love making Caesar dressing with Greek yogurt and always appreciate some brussels!

  9. Love the makeover of this – especially with the addition of the brussel sprouts which the husband would love!

  10. You’re making me hungry for salad and that’s a mighty good thing! So pretty.
    Have an awesome week Joanne!

  11. cheri says:

    Hi Joanne, I’m on a salad kick right now, love your remake of a classic!

  12. Sues says:

    Yes!! Honestly, the #1 top moment in my month was when I asked my local lunch spot if they could make the Caesar salad with kale and they said yes. I’ve had it once a week since. I love the addition of brussels sprouts here!!

  13. bellini says:

    I’m in Joanne. I read somewhere recently that people just pretend to enjoy kale, but I am sure there are plenty of us out there that genuinely LOVE this left green. Great salad choice!!

  14. I was starting to feel guilty I loved ceasar salad so much – but now I can munch away and not feel any guilt – this brussels sprouts and kale version is BRILLIANT, Joanne!

  15. Joanne, love seeing kale and brussels sprouts in this salad and I can’t wait to try this dressing!!! I have Pompeian’s Coconut Oil Spray too and love it! what a fabulous idea to use it to make parmesan toasts!!! seriously love this!

  16. Yeah, this sounds infinitely better than any Caesar I’ve ever had! So, I’m super biased because I worked on romaine lettuce for my Master’s…it does have some nutrition. Not nearly as much as kale + sprouts, but some, haha! I love it for its water-y flavor. I use it in juices, too. It is what it is, but your version of Caesar is way superior!

  17. Oh yum!! Now I want a caesar salad!! I wish all those dieting rules worked on me :p

  18. Joanne I love this kind of autumm dishes, but I must say that these parmesan toats are the best part of the meal! Yummy =)

  19. Jordan says:

    Yes! I was so excited to see this. I love caesar salad but usually avoid for all the reasons you mentioned. This health upgrade is just what it needed and I can’t wait to try it. 🙂

  20. Now that’s my kind of caesar salad! Love the eggs on top too…

  21. Kale and brussel sprouts in a salad? I am totally sold on that! I love caesar salad too, so this is a great twist on it.

  22. Heather says:

    Yum!! I love caesar salad, but hate what a waste it is. I’m definitely going to try this!

  23. Eileen says:

    You have to love a hearty kale salad! Although I will also happily eat piles of romaine, no problem. 🙂 This dressing sounds great — so creamy and tangy!

  24. Oh, I do love the look of this, but will have to put it away until next winter when Brussels Sprouts are back in-season.

  25. OOOOOhhhhh I LOVE your take on the Caesar Salad Joanne!!!!! I agree with you on how unhealthy the original version is (although the croutons are always the saving grace) But I know for a fact that your version of this salad is something that I want to stick to from this point on. Loving the addition of the boiled eggs!!!!! *_* ^_^

  26. Kate says:

    I’m going through a major Cesar salad phase right now. I even brought one for lunch!

  27. I must try this creamy salad dressing with yogurt. The salad looks super, Joanne.

  28. Love the twist! I’m not a big Caesar salad either because like you said of the goopy dressing but a lighter version I’m all in! Love everything in it

  29. What a delicious healthier twist on the usual Caesar salad – Kale is one of the best ingredients 😀

    Cheers
    Choc Chip Uru

  30. I am with ya on the usual Caesar salad and love this healthier twist! The dressing sounds fabulous with the kale and brussels sprouts!

  31. what an awesome kale salad! and caesar salad! and brussels! all in one. yum 🙂

  32. Such a fabulous idea. I love Brussels sprouts and never grow tired of putting them in everything (in fact, I’m cooking up some right now!). This salad looks wonderful!

  33. Yes yes yes! WHat a great healthier take on a ceasar!

  34. I love caesar salads, especially the ones with homemade dressing. Supersized croutons are always a good thing. I wish I am having a big bowl of this for dinner right now!

  35. Rivki Locker says:

    Brilliant way to make caesar salad healthy. LOVE those jumbo croutons.

  36. I love the makeover you did on the Caesar salad and the Parmesan toast. Who could ask for anything more? Yum.

  37. Kim Tracy says:

    Now this is a Caesar salad to get excited about! I love everything about this right down to the healthy dressing. I can even afford to splurge and shave some extra Parmesan on top:)

  38. Kinsey says:

    This looks amazing! I also love that it doesn’t have anchovies so vegetarians can have it too. And those croutons with olive oil and parmesan look so crunchy and delicious. It’s been too long since my last kale salad!

  39. Isadora says:

    I love your healthier take on the caesar salad, Joanna! And the parmesan toasts just sound amazing! I’ve been experimenting more with raw brussels sprouts in salads and this salad looks so good!

  40. I love this!! Adding the brussels is genius.

  41. I have never liked Caesar salad…but this one might just draw me in 🙂

  42. Looks like a very good makeover to me

  43. Deena kakaya says:

    I’m a sprout lover but never eaten them this way! Looks light and with bite! X

  44. tigerfish says:

    Love your vivid vibrant kale and brussel sprouts salad!

  45. Oh boy. I love a Caesar salad. *hangs head in shame* BUT I would also love this brussels version. Redeemed?

  46. Reeni says:

    You hurt me right in my caesar and romaine loving heart! But if I had a choice between this and that I’d chose yours every time! What a way to rock out the caesar! This should be on your wedding menu! 😉

  47. Tash says:

    So many more food bloggers have had their demons than they care to admit, Joanne! I guess that’s why they are so good at what they do now. They appreciate food so much! Love this x

  48. Sarah says:

    This looks so healthy and good! I’m am sometimes hesitant about using brussel sprouts in salads, but this salad has convinced me otherwise. Also I love that the olive oil is a spray so we don’t have to drench the bread in it.

  49. Johanna GGG says:

    Yep I like your take on the caesar – I don’t like it because I can never spell it but also never order it because it is always served with bacon or the veg versions are just lettuce with some heavy dressing – now kale with dressing I can take esp if there are some of those cute little brussel sprouts keeping it company

  50. I’ve never been super into Caesar salads, but your twist on it looks fantastic!

  51. […] 2. Kale and Brussels Sprouts Caesar Salad with Parmesan Toasts Joanne Eats Well […]

Leave a Reply to Karen (Back Road Journal) Cancel reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *