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!
KALE CAESAR PASTA SALAD
Prep time: 15 minutes
Total time: 20 minutes
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
- 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
- Dried oregano
- Preheat the oven to 425 degrees.
- Place the bread on a baking sheet and drizzle with olive oil. Sprinkle on salt and dried oregano.
- Place in the oven for 8-10 minutes. Or until crispy. (Keep a close eye on them as they cook very fast).
- Remove from oven and set aside.
- Toss together kale, pasta, croutons, and enough salad dressing to your liking. Sprinkle on more Parmesan cheese and freshly ground black pepper.