Grilled Caesar Salad

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One of my favorites things to make during grilling season is a grilled Caesar Salad. It is so simple to prepare yet grilling the romaine completely elevates this “recipe.” I honestly hesitate calling it a recipe! The first time I tried this was at my friend’s house in high school. Her mom used to cook for us all the time and this is one of the recipes I have taken on as my own!

Grilled Caesar Salad

1 head of romaine lettuce (try to get one that holds it shape- no leaves falling off)

Olive Oil

Salt and Pepper

Caesar dressing (store bought or homemade)

Croutons (store bought or homemade)

Directions

Start your grill (propane, charcoal or grill pan) and bring to a moderate heat. You want to grill and heat the lettuce slowly but you want it warm enough to leave grill marks.

Cut the romaine lettuce in half lengthwise then cut each half in half again. Make sure you take care to keep all the leaves in tack!

Brush each 1/4 of romaine on all sides with 1-2 tsp of olive oil (just enough to lightly coat ) and then sprinkle with salt and pepper.

Place on the grill turning every 2-4 minutes until the outside of the lettuce is warmed through and has grill marks.

Drizzle with dressing and top with croutons. Serve immediately.

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This is by far the worst “recipe” I have written on this blog but that is mainly because grilling lettuce is all about trial and error. I have made this salad a number of times and it turns out differently every time. Just wing it and I promise it will turn out well!

Picnic in Central Park

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My picnic was a success (well still is because I am still sitting here in the sun)! The egg salad is delicious and the salad in a mason jar kept my dressing away from greens on the trip down to the park! I packed a seltzer water, small plate and fork into my left over Organic Avenue insulated bag along with the egg salad (securely in a tupperware), toasted rolls, and my mason jar. All I had to do was toss in an ice pack and I was on my way. It’s just too beautiful to be inside!

Salad in a Mason Jar

I love this idea so much, I had to share it. Honestly, I wish I was smart enough to think of this! My friend from college, Bryarly, has an adorable blog “Everything that Flickers” and she posted this a week ago. It is the perfect way to bring a healthy meal with you on the go!

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Mason Jar Salad

1 tbsp of your favorite salad dressing (I used Tessemae’s)

Lunch meat of your choice (I used turkey plus a little chicken salad)

Miscellaneous salad toppings (olives, tomatoes, cheese, etc)

Greens of your choice (arugula, spinach, etc)

Directions:

Start with putting the salad dressing in the bottom of the mason jar. Next put the lunch meat in on top of the salad dressing (this will help keep the salad dressing away from the lettuce and prevent it from getting soggy). Top the lunch meat with the misc. toppings and fill the rest of the mason jar with the greens.

WW Points: varies with toppings used

When you’re ready to eat it just dump it out on a plate and the dressing will be on top! Check out Bryarly’s post about Mason Jar Salads here!

 

Maysville

I just wanted to post something quickly about a restaurant I have checked out twice in the past week or two. Nick and I first stopped in on his birthday for a cocktail before the Rangers game. Maysville (named for the birth town of Kentucky bourbon) is about 6 months old and it specializes in everything bourbon. Everything bourbon:

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Well today, I was wandering around Chelsea with a friend of mine and we decided to stop in for lunch. Maysville received 2 stars from the New York Times a month ago so I figured we would be in for a great lunch as well as a great Redemption Rye Old Fashioned. I didn’t do so well with breakfast today so I opted for one of the healthier items on the menu: a beet salad with whipped goat cheese, cured pork belly and wild greens.

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Kris got the pulled pork sandwich (which looked amazing!) with homemade potato chips dusted in BBQ powder. I will definitely be back for the food (and the bourbon!). Check it out!

Tessemae’s All Natural Salad Dressings

I’m not sure about everyone else but I have an odd aversion to making salads at home. They just never taste as good as one I can get at a bodega, deli or restaurant. There are two problems with those options: I have no idea where the lettuce, veggies and meat came from and a simple salad always ends up costing at least $8. I always try to get over this and buy salad fixings but they never taste right or I’ll have one salad and the rest of the food goes bad.

One solution was to start making my own salad dressings. Salad dressing is so easy to make but I always end up making some sort of vinaigrette with oil, balsamic and dijon mustard and then I can never decide what to put on the salad. The issue here is that it makes about a half cup of dressing which I store in left over mason jars but I always forget about it in the back of my fridge. The dressing will separate and then it is really annoying to clean out the mason jar. Basically, its a mess I like to avoid unless I am making a huge salad for a ton of friends.

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So when I stumbled upon this product at Whole Foods, I decided to give it a try. I am really picky when it comes to salad dressings because, if it is like most store-bought dressings, most of the ingredients are artificial and I can taste that. This dressing caught my eye because it was separated (fat solids were separated from the rest of the dressing) which means there is no artificial ingredient holding it all together (much like hydrogenated fat in peanut butter). I also noticed that the ingredient list was short and sweet: olive oil, organic lemons, organic garlic, mustard and sea salt. I also loved that it is advertised as a salad dressing, marinade and dip and it was only $5.49!

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I grabbed the Lemonette dressing and I have loved it! For some reason, I keep grabbing for it in my fridge (I have actually surprised myself that it hasn’t just sat in the back the way most of my homemade dressings do). First, I was using it more for a marinade for chicken or fish but then I threw it on a salad I made with marinated olives, feta and cherry tomatoes and it completely transformed the salad. Just make sure you take it out of the fridge about 10 minutes before you need to use it and shake it well once it’s room temp! I can’t wait to go back to Whole Foods and trying some of the other flavors!