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Kale Caesar Salad

I have a very big spot in my heart for Caesar Salad. As a youngster, Parmesan cheese was a staple on our dinner table. I put  it on everything. Pasta, green beans, eggs, broccoli, whatever it was, it probably had Parm on it. So when I discovered there was a salad in which the dressing was uber rich and creamy, and then was covered in my favorite cheese, my mind was blown. This was it for me. I loved it. Thinking that since I was eating a salad, it was healthy. Wrong. But, there are ways to make even our favorite not-so-light-in-calories meals into a healthier and satisfying dish.

Nowadays, I am trying to cut dairy as much as possible. Switching to coconut milk ice cream and dark chocolate, I have found ways to make keep my favorites in the loop while skipping out on the dairy. However, this recipe seems to be one where having the cheese is a must. I decided to go with a raw sheep’s milk cheese that has a similar saltiness and texture to Parm. I couldn’t even tell the difference. It was great, and about the same cost as a good hunk of Parm, and it didn’t seem to effect me like a cow’s milk cheese would…yippie! Though romaine lettuce is better for you than iceberg, nothing can beat kale in terms of nutrition. Kale also holds up better overnight if you want to have leftovers. No soggy leaves that just disappoint you the next day.  The dressing also gets better as it sits, so making ahead is also a good idea. I had this for three meals in a row, and not because I felt like I had to… it’s just really, really good.

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Kale Caesar Salad

Adapted from Epicurious

Serves 4, generously

1/4 c of lemon juice
1 garlic clove
1 tsp Dijon mustard
1/2 c Parmesan cheese or other hard salty cheese, finely shredded, divided
6-8 anchovies, packed in oil, and drained on a paper towel
A small handful of fresh parsley
3/4 c olive oil
6 cups (generous) of Dino Kale, Curly Kale or any combination or kale (I used a mixture of Dino & Curly)
4 hard boiled eggs, one per serving if serving as a main course
Salt & Pepper

In a food processor, place the first 6 ingredients, including 1/4 c of cheese, and pulse until smooth. While blending, pour the olive oil in slowly, and blend until the dressing comes together. Taste, and season with salt and pepper. If making ahead, cover and put in the fridge.

Remove the kale leaves from the steam, and chop into small ribbons. Put in a large bowl, and mix in about 3/4 of the dressing, toss to coat. Place the kale mixture in the fridge, while you make the hard boiled eggs or for about 20-30 minutes.

When eggs are done, or after 20-30 minutes, take the kale out of fridge. If serving as a side dish, place in a large serving bowl, add the eggs either by slicing or chopping, the remaining cheese, more dressing if needed, and a bit of cracked pepper. If serving as individual dishes, divide up kale, add one sliced or chopped egg,  a bit more dressing if desired, cheese, and cracked pepper.

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