Healthy Caesar Salad (52 New Foods, Week 16) April 26 2012, 98 Comments

Move over mayo! Jamie Oliver’s healthy Caesar salad is coming to dinner.

Last week I started on the journey of introducing Caesar salad to my kids, so I was thrilled when I came across Jamie Oliver’s healthy version of this classically delicious dish. Made with Greek yogurt instead of mayonnaise, this healthy Caesar salad dressing is a winner and a Crunch a Color™ family favorite in the making!

Feature Recipe: Jamie Oliver's Healthy Caesar Salad

Healthy Caesar Salad

Finding healthy alternatives to mayonnaise is difficult, so the advice from nutrition experts is often “enjoy it sparingly.” Many recipes suggest substituting yogurt in dishes featuring this creamy creation, but could the tantalizing tang of a deliciously homemade Caesar Salad dressing be achieved with any ingredient other than mayonnaise? I was skeptical, and thoroughly delighted when Jamie’s recipe for healthy Caesar salad turned out to be even better than I expected! I tweaked the recipe slightly to suit my family. Here’s how I made it:            `

Jamie Oliver's Healthy Caesar Salad

1 bunch organic Romaine lettuce
1/3 cup non-fat Greek yogurt
3 Tbsp olive oil
1 Tbsp grated Parmesan cheese
1 small clove of garlic, finely chopped
Juice from 1/2 lemon
1 anchovy filet
1/8 tsp table salt
½ loaf of herbed Italian bread

For the dressing:
1) Place the garlic, anchovy, yogurt, Parmesan cheese, 2 Tbsp olive oil, salt and lemon juice in a food processor. Blend for 2 minutes. Refrigerate until ready to use.

For the croutons:
1) Slice the bread into ¼” cubes.
2) Toss in the remaining 1 Tbsp olive oil and a pinch of salt.
3) Bake in a 250 degree oven for about 10 minutes, tossing occasionally, until lightly browned.

Pull it all together:
1) Wash and dry the romaine lettuce. Tear into bite size pieces.
2) Add the dressing and croutons and toss until fully coated.

Crunch a Color Kids Vote: Tasters all around!

What we liked: This healthy Caesar salad dressing is deliciously easy to make. I dialed down the garlic and anchovies to create a milder version of the dressing that would be easier on the palates of my burgeoning Caesar salad fans. Blending in the food processor ensures a consistent, creamy dressing, which is key for my kids. Like the last dressing I tried, I worked in a few appearances of the recipe over the course of the week, letting them try it with some familiar favorites like teriyaki chicken wings. Slowly, they are coming around. Remember, it can take up to 10 times of exposure to a new food before some children will like it, so don’t give up! If they don’t like it the first time, wait a few days, bring it to the table again and suggest, “Give it another try. Your taste buds may have grown!”

Do you have a favorite healthy homemade dressing? Share the details! 

Next up: May is the month for Mothers. To celebrate, we’ll be featuring a fun lineup of my favorite recipes. Be sure to tune in.

Craving more new recipes to try? Catch up on last week’s recipe: Easy, Italian chicken

About the author: Jennifer Tyler Lee is a mom of two children and the creator of Crunch a Color™ -- the award-winning game that makes healthy eating fun. Like most parents, she struggled to get her kids to eat healthy, balanced meals, so she decided to make it into a healthy eating game and she’s giving back to support non-profit children’s nutrition programs including Jamie Oliver’s Food Revolution and FoodCorps. Watch her picky eaters tell the story of how they turned into healthy eaters playing the game. Follow @crunchacolor on Facebook and Twitter to tune into Crunch a Color's healthy eating adventure and Jennifer’s tips and kid-friendly, easy recipes.