Not all salad dressings are created equal….its actually one of the most deceptive condiments out there! No one would think that 2 tablespoons of Ceasar dressing could have up to 160 calories and 16 grams of fat…and that’s not the good fat we’re talking about! All throughout college, I was always a fan of dousing my salads with creaming dressings, adding tons of unnecessary calories and disguising the sweet taste of the veggies. Remember, this was a time when I thought that the Barbeque Ranch Salad at Californian Pizza Kitchen was healthy. It wasn’t until I graduated college and wasn’t dancing as often (I doubled majored in dance), that I started noticing a couple of unnecessary pounds compiling in my saddle bad vicinity. Slowly but surely this was the beginning of a new era, where what I ate actually changed my body type. I have never had an overwhelming sweet tooth, so I knew that I had to look between the lines to find the culprit of my unflattering weight gain. I became a food detective, monitoring everything I consumed. If you’re a regular Vibrant Beet reader, you know I love myself a salad, so it was an interesting revelation that my salad dressings were making me fat. But, with every revelation comes a positive change. I switched from buying salad dressings to making them myself, by combining olive oil, vinegar, lemon, salt and pepper, which is always a great way to go! After meeting Cat, an amazing cook and innovator in the kitchen, she introduced me to a new healthy alternative to one of the unhealthiest salad dressings out there, Ceasar. I’m now obsessed with this recipe and must share it with you!! Below, our version of the Mock Ceasar Salad....
Serves 2 to 3 (depending if you’re hungry)
2 romaine lettuce hearts or 1 bag (try to get it pre washed to make your life easier)
2 tbsp. of Parmesan or “Rice” grated Parmesan
1 tbsp. herbs de Provence
First, cook the brown rice by putting the brown rice and water together in a pot with a lid. Use the ratio of 1.5 cups water (or veggie broth) to 1-cup rice. Set the heat to maximum, and bring the rice/water to a boil uncovered. Then put the lid on the pot, and reduce the heat to low/simmer. Let the rice simmer for 20 minutes. Turn off the heat, and let the rice sit in the covered pot for another 10 minutes.
If you decide to use croutons, peel and dice the jicama. Put it on a cookie sheet and season it with herbs. Bake it for 10 minutes on 350 degrees. Take it out of the oven and let it cool.
Scoop out the inside of the avocado and put it in the blender. Then cut the top and bottom off of the lemon, peel the skin off and put it in the blender. It’s fine to blend the seeds. Peel the garlic, cut it in half and put the blender. Add the olive oil and salt and blend all the contents until it becomes creamy.
Cut up the romaine hearts and place them into a large salad bowl. Then wash and slice the cherry tomatoes in half. Add as much brown rice as desired to the salad. Add the salad dressing and toss it with your hands, as the salad dressing needs to distribute evenly. Sprinkle the hemp seeds and Parmesan over the salad and toss it again. Add a handful of jicama croutons on top of your salad. Sit back, relax and enjoy a guilt free Mock "Ceasar Salad"!!