KALE CAESAR PASTA SALAD

So we all know it’s the holiday season, which typically means heavy and not so healthy dishes. It’s always refreshing to throw a little something green into dinner/lunch in the winter months. This kale Caesar salad is the perfect thing to lighten things up for dinner. I know what you’re thinking…caesar dressing isn’t exactly “light”. But there’s kale in it, so I can call it healthy right?! Anyways, this pasta salad has me smiling all throughout dinnertime because it’s just so dang yummy.

Like most men, my husband refuses to eat a salad for dinner. He claims it doesn’t fill him up enough. Which I totally get…he’s a man and needs more food I guess? Well this is the one “salad” my husband will actually eat for dinner. Since it’s loaded with pasta, it actually fills him up and leaves him feeling satisfied. I made this for dinner tonight along with some grilled chicken. As soon as I heard the first “mmmm” come out of his mouth, I knew this meal was a home run.

If you’re looking to add a little more substance to this pasta salad, I would suggest grilled chicken or bacon. Or both! If you want to be lazy (like me) I marinated my chicken breast in store bought Italian dressing and grilled it. It’s easy, simple and good. Another great store bought marinade is the “Stubbs Chicken Marinade”. This has a great citrus flavor that pairs wonderful with a handful of things. Having those go-to store bought dressings/marinades is so vital for anyone with a busy lifestyle. Sometimes I don’t have the time to mix up a homemade marinade (or I’m too tired/lazy). So I always keep these staples in the pantry for those “lazy” days I don’t feel like trying too hard on dinner. I’m sure many busy momma’s can relate!

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KALE CAESAR PASTA SALAD


Prep time: 15 minutes

Total time: 20 minutes

Serves: 4


INGREDIENTS for caesar salad dressing:

  • 2 large garlic cloves, minced
  • 1.5 tbsp anchovy paste
  • 1/2 large lemon, juice of
  • 1.5 tbsp red wine vinegar
  • 1/4 cup Parmesan cheese, grated
  • 1 tbsp Dijon mustard
  • 1/2 cup mayonnaise
  • 1 tbsp Worcestershire
  • 3 tbsp good quality extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/4 tsp kosher salt
  • 1/2 tsp freshly ground black pepper

DIRECTIONS:

  1. Place all ingredients in a bowl and whisk together. Set aside till ready to use.

INGREDIENTS for pasta salad:

  • 1/2 lb. mini penne pasta, cooked according to package
  • 4-5 cups curly kale, stem removed and chopped small

INGREDIENTS for homemade croutons:

  • Stale French bread, sliced into 1 inch cubes
  • Olive oil
  • Salt
  • Dried oregano

DIRECTIONS:

  1. Preheat the oven to 425 degrees.
  2. Place the bread on a baking sheet and drizzle with olive oil. Sprinkle on salt and dried oregano.
  3. Place in the oven for 8-10 minutes. Or until crispy. (Keep a close eye on them as they cook very fast).
  4. Remove from oven and set aside.

ASSEMBLY:

  1. Toss together kale, pasta, croutons, and enough salad dressing to your liking. Sprinkle on more Parmesan cheese and freshly ground black pepper.

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