Caesar Salad – all the flavour without the FATness

low fat caesar salad

Okay, I know it sounds so boring that I am putting in a recipe for Caesar Salad. Who doesn’t just buy Renee’s dressing? I was left without any salad greens today, and the only lettuce I could buy at our local store was a head of romaine. (60 kms to a Loblaws). So that got me thinking about caesar salad for a change, but since we are trying to watch our carb/fat/sugar intake, I thought this dressing sounded pretty good, and it did turn out to be easy and flavourful, so what the hell. If you are watching your calories, and alot of us are at this time of year — the dreaded bathing suit season — this is a good solution. It can be used as dip for veggies too.  A 6.5 oz serving is 150 calories, that’s almost a cup! A cup of delicious dip when you are starving, hello.

Caesar Salad – Low Fat

adapted from Moosewood Restaurant Low-Fat Favourites

Dressing: (makes about 1 cup)

2 hard-boiled eggs

1 tsp dijon mustard

1 clove garlic, minced

1/3 cup low fat cottage cheese

2 kalamata olives, pitted and minced

2 Tbsp olive oil

1 Tbsp red wine vinegar

3 Tbsp fresh lemon juice

2 tsp worchestershire sauce (*to make this GF, use GF tamari sauce instead)

salt and pepper to taste


1 medium head of romaine lettuce, torn into bite size pieces

1/2 cup freshly grated parmesan cheese

2 hard-boiled eggs, sliced

In food processor or blender, combine dressing ingredients, except salt and pepper — puree until smooth. Add salt and pepper to taste. Cover and refrigerate. (will keep for several days in fridge).

Wash and dry lettuce, tear into bite-size pieces. Toss with about 1/3 cup of dressing to coat. Sprinkle with grated cheese, add sliced hard-boiled egg. Serve immediately. (serves 4)

simple ingredients

put dressing ingredients into processor

mixed dressing ready to go

Caesar salad

Roasted Asparagus: the best way to enjoy it!

roasted asparagus as a side dish to a summer bbq meal

If you don’t roast your asparagus, you really must start. I have converted asparagus haters by roasting it. It’s easy and so good, I can’t imagine going back to steaming it.  I’m not going to say much more about it, just follow along and make it– you will love it.

Roasted Asparagus

1 lb asparagus

2 tsp olive oil

1/2 tsp salt

freshly ground pepper

zest of one  lemon

Preheat oven to 400 F. Wash asparagus and snap off the ends. If the stalks are thick, give them a quick peel. (This makes them nice and tender).  Place them on a baking sheet and drizzle with the olive oil.  Use your hands to roll it back and forth to make sure they are coated. Sprinkle with salt and pepper and grate lemon zest over top. Place in oven and bake for 8-10 minutes, until tender. Enjoy!!

* can be done on the bbq in an aluminum pan, high heat, upper shelf with opposite side burners on, (one side lit only). Close cover while cooking.

* also tastes great with parmesan cheese and if you have any leftovers, throw them in your salad the next day.

purple asparagus, who knew?

peeled asparagus

add some grated lemon zest

ready for the oven or bbq


Healthy Salad with Creamy Japanese Dressing

Notice how I titled it, “Healthy” salad? I did so because there are so many salads that are extremely fattening and high in carbohydrates –but this one really is very healthy with steamed veggies, sauteed peppers,  feta, and toasted almonds. You can add whatever you like — bean sprouts and some red onion would be nice – some roasted red peppers would add great flavour and perk up the colour as well. I put this together with what I had on hand, and so should you. The creamy Japanese dressing ties this salad in nicely with the previous post, “Ginger Soya Glazed Salmon Skewers”.

Vegetable salad with Creamy Japanese Dressing


Healthy Vegetable Salad

1 head boston lettuce

2 cups baby spinach

2 cups broccoli, cooked until tendercrisp

2 cups cauliflower, cooked until tendercrisp

1/2 yellow or red pepper, sliced

1/4 cup feta cheese, diced

2 Tbsp toasted sliced almonds

1/2 cup Creamy Japanese Dressing (see recipe below)

Cook broccoli and cauliflower in boiling water until tendercrisp, about 5 minutes. Immerse in a bowl of ice water. Cool, drain.  Saute pepper strips for 2-3 minutes in a tsp of butter or oil.  Remove from heat. Toss lettuce in a bowl with dressing. Place on platter. Surround lettuce with cauliflower, broccoli and sauteed peppers. Sprinkle feta and toasted almonds on top. Drizzle a little more dressing on vegetables.

Creamy Japanese dressing, vegetables and salad

Creamy Japanese Dressing

adapted from Chatelaine magazine

1/2 cup olive oil

1/4 cup rice vinegar

2 Tbsp ketchup

2 Tbsp mayonaisse

2 tsp sesame oil

2 tsp maple syrup

1 Tbsp grated fresh ginger

1/2 tsp salt

Place all ingredients in a jar and shake vigorously.  Serve over salad greens. Refrigerate remainder. Makes 1 1/2 cups.

Hearty Spring Salad

Hearty Spring Salad

I like this salad for dinner with some grilled fish or chicken. It’s extra filling because of the roasted asparagus and avocado. Putting it on a platter instead of a bowl is a nice way to present it. Toss your greens with dressing before putting on the platter, add your extras, then drizzle a little more dressing on top. The skies the limit here, it IS a salad after all.

Hearty Spring Salad

serves 4-5 as a main course with lean protein

5 cups mixed greens

1 pound roasted asparagus

1 avocado, sliced

2 tangerines, sectioned

3/4 cup grapes, sliced

1/2 cup shaved fresh parmesan

1/3 cup old-fashioned dressing (see recipe below)

Wash and dry mixed greens. Place in bowl. Prepare remaining ingredients. When ready to assemble, toss salad greens with salad dressing. Place on platter. Top with remaining ingredients as seen in photo. Drizzle with a tablespoon or more of dressing. Serve. Enjoy. 🙂

roasted asparagus

To roast asparagus:Preheat oven or bbq to 400.  Snap off ends. If asparagus is thick, peel stalks.  Place on a baking sheet and drizzle with a tablespoon of olive oil, salt and pepper. Roast for 8-10 minutes until tender. Cut into smaller pieces and add to salad.

Old-Fashioned Dressing

1/2 cup olive oil

1/4 cup white wine vinegar

1 clove garlic, minced

1 tsp honey

1/2 tsp salt

1/4 tsp ground black pepper

1 tbsp mayonaisse

Mix all ingredients together in jar and shake vigorously. Refrigerate remaining dressing.

Maple-Dijon Vinaigrette with Mixed Greens, Fruit and Cheese Salad

Maple dijon vinaigrette with Mixed Greens

Here’s what we eat for lunch and dinner practically every day, along with some lean protein. It’s a great everyday salad, everyone likes it and the dressing is well-loved by all, young and old. I’m listing my salad ingredients, but use what you have on hand, although I think our combination of ingredients is best. As well for the vinaigrette, follow the recipe, but feel free to substitute whatever vinegar you have on hand. I use rice vinegar, sherry vinegar, white balsamic, red balsamic, red wine vinegar. The maple syrup (or add sugar or honey if you don’t have real maple syrup on hand) adds just enough sweetness to balance the vinegar. This will be your new standard, so you might as well learn it by heart. I keep mine on the counter in a glass jar — good for 5 days or so on the counter (providing it isn’t too hot in your kitchen)– feel free to refrigerate if you aren’t using it daily.

Maple-Dijon Vinaigrette

1 cup extra virgin olive oil

1/2 cup vinegar of your choice

2 tsp dijon mustard

2 tsp real maple syrup

1 tsp salt

1/2 tsp freshly ground pepper

Mixed Salad

(Serves 4)

6 cups mixed greens (preferably organic)

1/2 cup red grapes, sliced in half

1 tangerine, sectioned

1/3 cup diced feta cheese

2 tbsp. toasted slivered almonds

shavings of fresh parmesan


In a jar with secure lid, add all ingredients. Shake well. Shake again before dressing salad. For the above amount of salad, I use approx. 1/4 cup of dressing.


Wash and spin your greens, even if it says they are pre-washed. Add the rest of the ingredients, except almonds and parmesan. Toss. Top with almonds and parmesan. Bon Apetit. Goes great with chicken, fish, burgers…everything. 🙂

everyday salad