Is it just me or does Italian food make you want to start belting out Dean Martin lyrics? Something about his voice and swagger just complements the richness of Italian food so well.
Volare, oh oh
Cantare, oh oh oh oh
Anyway, Italian food is known for being rich, calorie-dense, and super satiating. Healthy isn’t necessarily the first adjective that comes to mind when I think of Italian food. Pizza, gelato, bolognese, panna cotta, carbonara, tiramisu… All delicious but dense! However there are many tricks and healthy swaps to make some of your favorite Italian foods healthier.
Take Caesar Salad for example. (Yes, I know, Caesar Salad isn’t even really Italian food. Moving on…) Store-bought Casear dressing, like Kraft’s Creamy Caesar, is 120 calories, 12g of fat, and 270mg of sodium per serving (serving size 2 Tbsp). This homemade version of Light Caesar Dressing is 45 calories, 3g of fat, and 146mg of sodium per serving (serving size 2 Tbsp). Not to mention the homemade version is rid of harmful ingredients, preservatives, processed oils, etc. Kraft’s version has soybean oil, corn syrup, molasses, and a slew of preservatives that I can’t pronounce.
Making your Caesar Dressing at home cuts your calories and sodium in half and cuts your fat by almost 75%. MALTO BENE!
The main ingredients for this Caesar Dressing recipe are greek yogurt, lemon juice, Parmesan cheese, milk, olive oil, anchovy paste, worchestershire sauce, garlic, dijon mustard, sea salt, and black pepper. You probably already have all of these ingredients in your pantry (besides the anchovy paste), so what’s holding you back from whipping up some homemade Caesar Dressing?!?
- 1/2 cup plain Greek yogurt (I used 2%)
- 1/2 cup freshly-grated Parmesan cheese
- 3-4 tablespoons milk
- 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
- 2 teaspoons anchovy paste
- 2 teaspoons worcestershire sauce
- 1 clove garlic, pressed or minced
- 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
- 1/4 teaspoon sea salt
- pinch of black pepper
- 2-4 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
- Whisk all ingredients together until combined and smooth, whisking in the lemon juice a tablespoon a time at the end until the balance tastes right to you. Season with additional salt and pepper if needed, and add extra milk if needed to thin out the dressing to your desired consistency.
- Serve immediately on a Caesar salad, or refrigerate in a sealed container for up to 3 days.
This dressing is creamy yet light boasting a zesty zing from the lemon and an umami flavor from the anchovy paste. The freshness of the dressing is what really sets it apart from traditional dressings. Whip up some homemade croutons, toss the dressing in with some hearts of romaine, and dinner is served. If you’re feeling extra adventurous, grill up some chicken or shrimp to add a touch of protein to your plate. The great thing about salad is that it can be either the supporting actor or the lead role of the meal. Side or main dish, this salad is MAGNIFICO!
Ciao for now and Hail Caesar!