Enjoy this lighter chicken cesar pasta salad without any guilt!
This salad. Must. Eat. All. Of. It. Now!
Guys, seriously. It’s SO GOOD!
It’s actually so good that when I made it for lunch today Branimir almost-very-nearly ate all of it away from me.
And let me tell you something about Branimir, he’s not a salad person.
Nope, nada, nothing. He won’t touch any green leaves unless it’s baby spinach or arugula or something else really fancy.
He claims it’s because there’s so little nutrition in your good ol’ lettuce he might as well eat cardboard.
But guess what, this salad totally changed his mind (at least for lunch today). But hey, really. I just can’t get enough!
But I’m going to tell you something a bit embarrassing about me and lettuce now.
You know, I sometimes frown at Branimir for not eating the good green stuff.
I tell him all about the importance of nutrients and fiber and a varied diet – yada, yada, yada.
You know the story.
So I’m having a really hard time to admit that today was actually the first time I’ve had any kind of lettuce in weeks.
No, months. Picture me with an entirely red head from embarrassment.
I mean, come on. I’m pregnant.
I should be eating all the good and nutrient dense and super duper things to support my baby. Right?
But honestly, I just didn’t feel like lettuce the past few weeks. I tried, I really tried.
You know how there’s things you absolutely want to like but you just don’t get there?
That’s how I felt about lettuce.
I knew it would be good to at a nice green salad every now and then (or every more often) but I just couldn’t.
People even made comments about this.
And not friends or Branimir (I guess he was relieved to get a break from my stern looks), but completely random people.
The waitress at a small bakery for example.
I didn’t eat my side salad and she actually asked me why I wasn’t eating all that “good for you salad”.
Uhm, red cheek alert, red cheek alert! I’m gonna go hide under the table now.
But then something totally out of the blue changed today and I got major lettuce cravings.
Just like that!
And I wanted my lettuce with buckloads of creamy dressing and possibly some cheese and way too many bad things.
But then I made THIS. This gorgeous, lettuce-hater turning salad.
It has all the good stuff but tastes so indulgent, you won’t believe your tastebuds.
But seriously, they are right. Because it really is awesomeness in a bowl.
And just as a side note, there’s a whole lot of it.
I need to buy myself some more lettuce. And chocolate. Whoops, did I just say that out loud?
Lighter Chicken Caesar Pasta Salad Recipe
Enjoy this lighter pasta version of the salad favorite without any guilt!
- 12.5 oz boneless skinless chicken breast
- Salt pepper, paprika
- 7 oz whole wheat pasta preferably small shapes
- 4 baby gem lettuce shredded
- 1 pint cherry tomatoes halved
- 1 slice whole grain bread OR 4 tablespoons store bought croutons
- 4 tablespoons low fat greek yogurt
- 4 tablespoons lemon juice
- 2 tablespoons parmesan grated
- 2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
- Pinch of salt
- Black pepper
- Bring a large pot of water to boil. Cook pasta according to package directions. Drain and set aside.
- Preheat a grill pan over high heat. Pat the chicken dry and cut into strips. Season with salt, pepper and paprika. Grill from both sides until done, about 5 minutes. Let cool and then slice into bite-sized pieces.
- To make the dressing whisk all the ingredients together until you achieve a creamy consistency.
- If you are making your own croutons, cut the slice of bread into small cubes and dry fry in a non-stick frying pan over medium heat until golden crispy.
- To assemble the salad put the chicken and pasta into a large bowl. Add the lettuce and tomatoes together with the dressing and mix everything until evenly coated. Top with the croutons and serve immediately.
Serve with additional parmesan shavings on the side for even more cheesy goodness!