There are some days that I amaze myself! But this can have unintended consequences.
I made a Barbeque Chicken Caesar Salad for dinner tonight. It was one of the best caesars I have ever made. The dressing was creamy, rich, garlicy and lemony, the croutons crunchy and delicious and the chicken tender and sweet.. The whole plate – and that was 2-3 cups of greens and a chicken breast each – was under 400 calories – with only 12 grams of fat, 9 grams of fibre and 40 grams of protein. And how did I accomplish this miraculous feat? The romaine was bumped by spinach (more iron my starving red blood cells), the croutons replaced by roasted chickpeas and the dressing base was soft silken tofu. Yes! Can you believe it? I replaced the egg and the usual 1/2 cup or so of olive oil with TOFU! That is crazy, crazy stuff, people!
And because I don’t want my inbox flooded with requests for the recipe, here you go:
Delicious and Healthy Caesar Dressing (unless you are allergic to soy, then delicious but not healthy)
1 cup soft silken tofu
2 cloves of garlic (or more because garlic is good!)
2 tbsp of Dijon or other spicy mustard
1 tsp olive oil (just a touch for consistency’s sake)
1 Tbsp Worcestershire Sauce (vegetarian if you swing that way)
2 oz of grated/shredded parmesan cheese, I used the Kraft stuff, but you could use the good stuff or not (you could replace this with nutritional yeast flakes I suppose if you were a vegan, but it will lose that sharp and sour parmesan taste, but if you’re a vegan, you already gave that up ages ago)
1.5 tsp of wine vinegar (I used red because that is what I had)
salt and pepper
2-4 tbsp of lemon juice (I used the lemon juice to adjust the thickness to my liking)
Blend all the ingredients except lemon juice in food processor until smooth. Then add enough lemon juice to taste. You can also add more olive oil if gets lemony enough without thinning to your liking. I found I only used 1/3 of this batch to coat about 5 cups of spinach and the chickpeas, so toss to your liking and the rest can be saved for another day.
Here is a link to the chickpea roasting method. I took the time to remove all the chickpea skins (warning – only undertake if you need some quiet contemplation time, and you like chickpea-y fingers) . I’ve done it both ways (skin and skinless), and I don’t think it really makes that big of a difference. But I had some time today. Please note, you want to roast them until they are crisp, so they stay crisp in the salad. As I was making a caesar, I used garlic, olive oil and italian seasoning as my spices of choice. I still want to try a salt and vinegar version one day.
So, cook your chicken in some barbeque sauce and pour over your tossed salad while still warm, that is the best! It wilts the top spinach pieces a bit (which incidentally helps our body digest iron from spinach more readily).
I know! I know! It is amazing that I am not cooking for a living! Thank you for noticing.
Unintended side effect of healthy dinner: The next day Emile weighted in at 160.2 lbs. Although I still weigh less than him, the possibility of his number beginning with a “1-5” is disconcerting to me. I am going to start sneaking in calories into every meal I make for him. “Here’s your turkey sandwich, dear, enjoy that low-fat mayo I put on it. It looks weird because it is low-fat, not because it is coconut oil.” I want him healthy, but I don’t want him lighter than me. Damn men and their metabolisms.
May 22, 2012 Extra-Ordinary: Soft Silken Tofu, Hello!
Maintenance May Day 22:
Feeling no guilt at all for missing my friend Lisa’s birthday on May 21st. It’s our “thing” afterall. I might wish her a good day come June. (soul, friendship)
Baking two batches of vegan brownies and not eating a single brownie. (body) Let’s not talk about the chocolate chip sampling.
Not killing the cat when he stepped in white paint I left out and walked all around the house (carpeted stairs and all). (Kindness to animals)
Phone interview with company. (career)