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Easy Kale Caesar Salad with Homemade Croutons

You’ll want to make this Easy Kale Caesar Salad w/ Homemade Gluten Free Croutons over and over again. Packed with nutrition, it’s a fresh and healthy twist on the traditional favorite!March is one of my favorite times of year here in Southern California.

Kale Caesar Salad//The Spicy RD

Strawberries dripping with juicy goodness are coming in to season…

Delosperma cooperi starts blanketing the San Diego Freeway in all its hot fuschia colored glory…

And the normally golden hued hillsides are swathed in spring green for at least the next month or so…

So, naturally, I find it very fitting that this month’s love bloghop, #greenslove, is dedicated to that super nutritious category of veggies we call greens.

If you’ve visited my website before, or have been following my blog for awhile, you probably realize that when it comes to dispensing dietary advice, I’m all about personalized nutrition, and completely eschew the notion that there is a “one size diet that fits all”.

Vegan…Gluten-Free…Mediterranean…Paleo…Vegetarian…Flexitarian…

If a particular type of eating style works for you, you feel healthy and are meeting your individual nutritional needs, and it’s sustainable in the long run, then I say go for it!

Sure, there are foods you’ll be eating on a paleo diet that you won’t be on a vegan diet, and vice versa, but one thing common to all these diets is that plenty of green leafy vegetables are encouraged!

And, the leafy green I chose for this months #greenslove bloghop, and this super yummy kale caesar salad, is one that has become my favorite leafy green this past year.

Kale.

It’s hard for me to imagine it, but it was only a little over one year ago that I was just starting to get caught up in the kale craze.

Since then, I have made kale chips, sauteed kale, creamy triple pepper and kale dip, an orange, blueberry, kale smoothie, and, one of my absolute favorites, kale pasta salad with pistachio nuts.

And, today, thanks to a recent snow mobiling excursion in Mammoth, I bring you this Easy Kale Casear Salad with Homemade Gluten Free Croutons.

SiSi and I in all our snow mobilizing glory.  It was the first time for both of us and it was a blast!

Quickly, the story goes like this…

On our recent family trip to Mammoth, we had the pleasure of dining at The Yodler, Mammoth’s legendary Apres ski bar, on two occasions.  The first night, my friend Lourdes ordered their Kale Caesar Salad, and although I did not try any, my mouth was watering just looking at it.  Lourdes later declared it “fabulous.”

So, a couple days later, right before we were to go snow mobiling, we had lunch with our friends at The Yoedler. I was smart this time and ordered my own Kale Caesar Salad {sans croutons}.  The food took awhile to arrive and we were told we had to be at the snow mobiling site by 2:00 pm or else the snow mobiling tour would LEAVE WITHOUT US!

SO…about 4 bites in to my pepper laced kale, I had to abandon my salad {it was SO good}, and rush myself and the kids to the car so we could change in to our after-ski-boots.  My friend Vinita, who was still waiting for her own lunch to arrive and who had already donned her after-ski-boots had a little more time on her hands.

So she ate my  Kale Caesar Salad.

Nice friend, huh? πŸ™‚

Well, Vinita also declared it to be delicious, so I knew then and there, that I would have to re-create this healthy and delicious kale caesar salad on my own, so I could enjoy more than 4 bites.

You can never go wrong with lots of freshly ground pepper IMO!

Here’s how easy it is to make this Kale Caesar Salad…

Kale Caesar Salad//The Spicy RD

Kale Caesar Salad with Gluten Free Croutons

You'll want to make this Easy Kale Caesar Salad w/ Homemade Gluten Free Croutons over and over again. Packed with nutrition, it's a fresh and healthy twist on the traditional favorite!
5 from 1 vote
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Prep Time: 12 minutes
Cook Time: 3 minutes
Total Time: 15 minutes
Servings: 4 servings

Ingredients

  • 4 slices bread crusts trimmed and cut in to cubes {Regular or gluten-free bread}
  • 1/2 cup + 1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 cloves garlic minced and divided
  • Salt and lots of ground pepper to taste
  • 1/4 cup lemon juice
  • 2 egg yolks
  • 1 tbsp Dijon mustard
  • 12 cups kale washed and chopped
  • 3/4 cup grated parmesan cheese

Instructions

Make the Croutons

  • Preheat oven to 450 degrees F. Trim crusts from bread and cut bread in to cubes.
  •  In a bowl, combine 1 tablespoon olive oil, 1 clove minced garlic, and lots of ground pepper. Place bread cubes in bowl, and using hands, toss in olive oil mixture until well coated. 
  • Spread bread cubes on a foil lined baking sheet and bake in oven for 3-4 minutes, or until golden brown. Remove from oven and set aside to cool.

Make the Dressing

  • In a blender, combine lemon juice, egg yolks*, 1 clove of garlic and mustard, and blend for approximately 30 seconds or until smooth. While the blender is running, add the olive oil slowly until it is emulsified. Season with salt to taste. Refrigerate the dressing unless using it right away.

Assemble the Kale Caesar Salad

  • Place chopped kale in a salad bowl. Pour dressing on top, then add parmesan cheese and toss until kale is well coated with dressing and cheese.
  • To serve: Divide salad on to 4 plates, then top with crutons and fresh ground pepper.

Notes

I used Udi’s gluten-free bread for my breadcrumbs.
*Please use caution when consuming raw eggs due to the potential risk of salmonella or other food-borne illness. If you are pregnant, your immune system is compromised, or you do not wish to use raw egg yolks, you can use pasteurized eggs, coddled eggs, or simply omit the egg yolks.

Nutrition

Calories: 586kcal | Carbohydrates: 34g | Protein: 20g | Fat: 44g | Saturated Fat: 9g | Cholesterol: 114mg | Sodium: 556mg | Potassium: 1087mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 2g | Vitamin A: 20372IU | Vitamin C: 248mg | Calcium: 562mg | Iron: 5mg
EA Stewart, RD | Registered Dietitian Nutritionist
Course Appetizer, Dinner, Lunch, Salad
Cuisine American, Gluten Free, Mediterranean, Vegetarian
Keyword caesar salad, healthy caesar salad, kale salad
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Please join in on the #greenslove fun by linking up any leafy green recipe from the month of March 2012. Don’t forget to link back to this post, so that your readers know to come stop by the #greenslove event! The twitter hashtag is #greenslove :).

Spreading a little #greenslove with my lovely co-hosts: ASTIG Vegan~Badger Girl Learns to Cook~ Baking and Cooking, A Tale of Two Loves ~BigFatBaker~Bon a croquer~CafeTerraBlog~Cake Duchess~Cheap Ethnic Eats~Easily Good Eats~Georgiecakes~Kitchen Belleicious~Mis Pensamientos~My Twisted Recipe~No One Likes Crumbley Cookies~Oh Cake~Queen’s Notebook~Rico sin Azucar~Savoring Every Bite ~Simply Reem~Soni’s Food for Thought~Sprint 2 the Table ~Teaspoon of Spice ~That Skinny Chick Can Bake~The Art of Cooking Real Food~The Wimpy Vegetarian~Vegan Yack Attack! ~Vegetarian Mamma~You Made That?~

More Delicious Salad Ideas…

Let’s Chat!

Have you ever eaten a Kale Caesar Salad? What’s your favorite way to eat greens? Have you ever been on a snow mobile before???

If you enjoyed this post, please consider sharing. Thanks so much for your support!

26 thoughts on “Easy Kale Caesar Salad with Homemade Croutons”

  1. This sounds AMAZING!!! I have really been into kale lately, but strangely enough I have NEVER added it to salads. Can you believe it?! I need to. The texture is prefect for a big hearty salad. I think I’ve been missing out!

  2. Lora @cakeduchess

    I adore cooking with kale and can’t wait to make your salad recipe. Delicious croutons…my kids would be thrilled if I made them. Lovely photos, EA:)

  3. How cool this is! I can’t wait to try it out. I eat a vegan diet, so I’d have to remove the eggs and make a vegan parm… I LOVE kale and the peppery croutons. Maybe I could use my peppery tempeh bits… it would be a #greenslove marriage! πŸ˜‰

    Lots of #greenslove to you!!!

  4. I may make this tonight with tomato soup, EA what’s your fave tomato soup recipe (I’m so greedy but thought I’d ask). Your recipes are always so good, I’ve been baking eggs and thinking of you. Um and it must be the kale you look like one of your daughter’s pals in the photo, I did a double take. I will circle back and read the other green love recipes.

    1. Confession time…I often make Trader Joes Organic Cream of Tomato soup right out of the box! This week though, I’m trying out a Tomato Soup recipe that I posted on my latest weekly menu blog, so check it out. I’m flattered you think my 10 yo daughter and I could be buddies :-). Yep…must be the kale!

  5. As always BEAUTIFUL photos. They make me want to make the salad now! And love the point about all diets need more greens! I’m super jealous of all the green things in your neck of the woods! Enjoy…and write about them so we can all enjoy! (:

  6. Beautiful salad EA!Those peppers look so pretty and colorful and your dressing looks absolutely yummy!I can almost imagine the flavors in there!So glad to be hosting this #Greenslove with you πŸ™‚

  7. love those colorful peppers, croutons and pretty kale salad! so true about greens.. greens should be number 1 on daily intke requirements. we discovered Kale last year too.. so weird that we never heard of it before we started our transition to a vegan diet.. Kale should be more out there in restaurants too! its such a great greenie…

  8. Oh YUM!! I’m with you on the extra pepper when it comes to salads – I getting me a bunch ole bunch of kale next Trader Joe’s trip to make this.

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