I remember when I first started “eating healthy” as a teenage girl. One of my friends lost a bunch of weight one summer and even though I had never thought I needed to lose weight, I started noticing her eating patterns and the clothes she was buying and the way those clothes fit, and I started mimicking her.
First stop: chicken caesar salads.
There were so many emotions that went along with those caesar salads – when I’d eat out with friends who were still on the chicken fingers and fries train or eating big sandwiches for lunch, I felt a little ashamed or embarrassed.
Girls. We’re so funny, aren’t we?
Anywho, eventually, in college, I started reading about nutrition. I became very fascinated by the way our bodies respond to not only the movements and stresses of our days, but by what we put in our mouths.
Long story short, I discovered that Caesar salads are low on the health totem pole – usually anything creamy is. Typically loaded with way too much cheese, the Caesar dressing paired with croutons and more cheese garnish can yield a salad with an extremely high sodium content and of course, a high calorie count.
Pretty much, I was better off eating a bag of potato chips.
Well, not exactly, but you know what I mean.
EVENTUALLY, when I started cooking and experimenting in the kitchen as a vegan, I perfect a vegan Caesar salad dressing (that I used in this recipe already.) Now, it’s okay to throw in some croutons or a little dusting of Parmesan cheese on top, because you’re eliminating all of those fats from the cheese-y version.
Seriously, make a big batch of this and use it on your salads all week – you’ll get that same creamy, delicious, Caesar-like taste, without making you feel like you just had a cheeseburger.
This chicken is also a keeper – a simple splash of lemon juice and dried parsley makes for a tangy, savory chicken breast.
You’ll never order a Caesar salad at a restaurant again after making this zucchini noodle version!
Unless it’s the Tuscan kale Caesar with sourdough croutons at Razza. Pretty irresistible.
On a totally separate note, yesterday, I entered Intuit Quickbooks’ Small Business Big Game Challenge. Basically, small businesses can enter to win a chance for their own commercial spot during the 2016 Superbowl. Uhm. Talk about HUGE. Talk about life-changing. Talk about monumental.
Immediately after, I logged onto their website, built my profile and then said to myself, “if anyone can do this, it’s your followers – they’ve helped everything happen thus far, why not ask for their help?”
So, here’s the scoop: you can vote once a day everyday from now until August 17th – more votes, more judges’ eyes on me when they go to pick the Top 10. Then the Top 3. Then the winner.
From now until August 17, I’m going to end each post with the below banner – so, if you remember, please please please click it and vote (it literally takes 5 seconds.) No registering, no nothing – just click “Vote”!
Thank you in advance. If Inspiralized is on the big screen in 2016, you know who I’ll be thanking in a BIG way.
Nutritional Information & Recipe
Weight Watchers SmartPoints*: 7 points
- For the dressing:
- ½ cup raw cashews, soaked for at least 30 minutes and drained
- ½ cup unsweetened almond milk
- 1 large cloves garlic
- 1tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
- 1 teaspoon dijon mustard
- salt and pepper, to taste
- For the salad:
- 1 slice of gluten-free bread, cut into cubes
- 3 medium zucchinis
- 1 cup halved cherry tomatoes
- For the chicken:
- 2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts (thin cut)
- ¼ cup lemon juice
- 1 teaspoon dried parsley
- ½ teaspoon garlic powder
- 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
- salt and pepper, to taste
- In a medium bowl, add in the lemon juice, parsley, garlic powder and season with salt and pepper. Set aside.
- Meanwhile, place a large skillet over medium-high heat and add in the olive oil and let heat. While the oil heats, dip the chicken breasts in the marinade. Once the oil heats, add in the chicken breasts and cook for 2-3 minutes on one side and then flip over, cook another 3-5 minutes or until chicken is cooked through and juices run clear. When done, transfer to a cutting board. Slice the chicken into pieces.
- Meanwhile, place the slice of gluten-free bread into a toaster and toast to crispy. Once crispy, slice into cubes and set aside. Also, slice the zucchinis halfway lengthwise and then spiralize them, using Blade D. Place the zucchini noodles into a large mixing bowl with the tomatoes and bread cubes and set aside.
- Place all of the ingredients for the dressing into a food processor or high-speed blender and pulse until creamy. Taste and adjust to your preference, if necessary. Set aside.
- Once chicken is cooked and sliced, pour the dressing over the zucchini noodle mixture and toss to combine.
- Divide the noodles onto plates and top each with chicken breast slices. Drizzle with any remaining dressing.