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Low-Carb Caesar Salad with Kale, Romaine, and Shaved Parmesan

I could make an entire meal of this Low-Carb Caesar Salad with Kale, Romaine, and Shaved Parmesan, and this favorite salad of mine is also Keto, low-glycemic, and gluten-free, and can be South Beach Diet friendly if you go easy on the Parmesan! Use the Recipes-by-Diet-Type Index to find more recipes like this one.

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Low-Carb Caesar Salad with Kale, Romaine, and Shaved Parmesan found on KalynsKitchen.com.

I first made this Low-Carb Caesar Salad with Kale, Romaine, and Shaved Parmesan with my nephew Jake in 2011, and we absolutely could not stop eating it when we tested the recipe. It was Tuscan Kale Caesar Slaw from Bon Appetit Magazine that gave us the idea of Caesar dressing with kale, and when we made it we added some Romaine for a more traditional, but still interesting take on Caesar salad.

Through the years I’ve made this quite a few times, adapting the recipe a bit along the way by using baby kale, shaving the Parmesan (and using more!) and also replacing the anchovy paste in the original dressing recipe with a little bit of fish sauce. (Or use Vegan Fish Sauce if you want to keep it strictly meatless.)

I love the idea of Caesar dressing recipe with no raw eggs, and the dressing in this recipe is really good, but even if you cheat and use my favorite bottled Caesar Dressing (or your own favorite vegan Caesar dressing) this will still be an amazingly delicious salad. And recently I decided this favorite salad recipe simply must have better photos to show off its deliciousness, so here you go!

Low-Carb Caesar Salad with Kale, Romaine, and Shaved Parmesan found on KalynsKitchen.com.
We used ice cold water in the salad spinner to crisp the baby kale, which is a step you can certainly skip if you’d like. Make sure the kale leaves are as dry as you can get them, then put the kale into the salad bowl. Chop Romaine, wash in the salad spinner and spin extra dry and add to salad bowl. Buzz together the fresh lemon juice, fish sauce (or anchovy paste), garlic, Dijon, olive oil, salt, and pepper to make the dressing. Use a vegetable peeler to shave large strips of Parmesan from a block of Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese and then coarsely chop it with a knive (or you can use coarsely grated Parmesan from a jar if you don’t have a block.) 

Low-Carb Caesar Salad with Kale, Romaine, and Shaved Parmesan found on KalynsKitchen.com.
Toss the baby kale and washed Romaine together in a bowl with the desired amount of dressing. Then add a generous amount of shaved Parmesan (saving some for the top) and toss again! That’s all!

Low-Carb Caesar Salad with Kale, Romaine, and Shaved Parmesan found on KalynsKitchen.com.
Add fresh-ground black pepper at the table if desired. Devour the salad and start thinking about how quickly you can make it again. (And Kale is one of The World’s Healthiest Foods, so you can give yourself a tiny pat on the back if you eat this as a main dish salad or part of a healthy meal.

Low-Carb Caesar Salad with Kale, Romaine, and Shaved Parmesan
(Makes 4 servings or more, recipe adapted from Tuscan Kale Caesar Slaw at Bon Appetit Magazine.)

Ingredients:
5 oz. package of baby kale, crisped in cold water if needed and dried well (I used a salad spinner and then dried more with paper towels)
4-5 oz. romaine lettuce, chopped, washed and dried very well
shaved Parmesan from a block of Parmigiano-Reggiano to taste, I used a generous amount
(You can use coarsely grated Parmesan from a jar, but I don’t recommend finely grated Parmesan for this salad.)

Dressing Ingredients:
2 T fresh-squeezed lemon juice (I use my frozen fresh lemon juice)
1 tsp. fish sauce (I like Red Boat Fish Sauce.)

(You can also use 1 T anchovy paste from a tube or substitute soy sauce. This salad is also great with my favorite bottled Caesar Dressing if making dressing just isn’t happening at your house.)

1 tsp. garlic puree (I used garlic puree from a jar)
1/2 tsp. Dijon mustard
6 T olive oil
sea salt and fresh ground black pepper to taste

Instructions:

If the kale seems even the tiny bit wilted I’d put it into a salad spinner with very cold water and let it crisp for a few minutes. Then spin the kale dry, dry more with paper towels if needed, and put kale into large salad bowl. Chop the romaine lettuce (discarding root ends and any damaged outer leaves). Then wash the lettuce in the salad spinner with very cold water, spin dry, and dry more with paper towels if needed. Put the lettuce into the salad bowl.

In a blender, food processor, or the mini-processor bowl of an immersion blender combine the lemon juice, fish sauce (or anchovy paste or soy sauce), garlic puree, and Dijon and pulse together a few times. Then add the olive oil 2 tablespoons at a time, pulsing for a few seconds after each addition of oil is. Season the dressing with sea salt and freshly ground pepper.  Put dressing in the fridge and chill until ready to use,.

Add desired amount of dressing to the greens and toss, until all the salad greens are very lightly coated with dressing. (You may not need all the dressing, but save it in the fridge for another time.)  Add the shaved chopped Parmesan to the salad and toss again.  Serve right away, adding fresh-ground black pepper at the table if desired.

If making this dressing is just not going to happen at your house, I’d still make the salad and simply dress it with Cardini’s Caesar, which is my all-time favorite bottled Caesar dressing, or use your favorite vegan Caesar dressing.

We had a little bit of the salad left and I was pleasantly surprised at how good it tasted the next day even after being in the fridge overnight.  I think this would be a great salad to take to work already made for lunch, as long as you have a fridge to keep it in during the morning.

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Low-Carb Caesar Salad with Kale, Romaine, and Shaved Parmesan found on KalynsKitchen.com.

Low-Carb Diet / Low-Glycemic Diet / South Beach Diet Suggestions:

This salad is perfect for low-carb or Keto Diets and a long as you use a moderate amount of dressing, this salad is a great choice for any phase of the South Beach Diet. I still remember how excited I was when I found Cardini’s Caesar recommended as a good low-glycemic salad dressing in one of the South Beach Diet cookbooks, since it had been my favorite for years, so any salad with these flavors is going to be a hit with me.

Find More Recipes Like This One:
Use the Recipes by Diet Type photo index pages to find more recipes suitable for a specific eating plan. You can also Follow Kalyn’s Kitchen on Pinterest to see all the good recipes I’m sharing there.

Nutritional Information?
If you want nutritional information for a recipe, you can sign up for a free membership with Yummly and use the Yum button on my site to save the recipe and see the nutritional information. Another option is entering the recipe into this Recipe Nutrition Analyzer, which will calculate it for you.

More Tasty Salads with Kale:

Spinach and Kale Salad with Greek Flavors ~ Kalyn’s Kitchen

Easy Chopped Mediterranean Kale Salad ~ Chelsea’s Messy Apron

Baby Kale Greek Salad ~ Kalyn’s Kitchen

Massaged Kale Salad ~ That Skinny Chick Can Bake

Baby Kale Paleo Taco Salad with Chile-Lime Dressing ~ Kalyn’s Kitchen

Chopped Mexican Kale Salad with Creamy Avocado Dressing ~ Lauren Kelly Nutrition

Original photo Low-Carb Caesar Salad with Kale, Romaine, and Shaved Parmesan found on KalynsKitchen.com.
For old time’s sake, here the original uninspiring photo from 2011! Aren’t you happy that I’ve improved the salad since then with much more thickly shaved Parmesan!
Low-Carb Caesar Salad with Kale, Romaine, and Shaved Parmesan found on KalynsKitchen.com.
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33 comments on “Low-Carb Caesar Salad with Kale, Romaine, and Shaved Parmesan”

  1. I had a Kale salad for the first time when we were in Atlanta for BlogHer (and pretty much fell in love with it!) I've made it at home without mixing it with other lettuces, and I find that the secret to a good kale salad is to let the dressing soak into the leaves for a good 15 minutes before devouring. It makes it a little more tender and takes on the flavors. Love your idea too- happy to have another excuse to make a kale salad! Yum!

  2. Lori, I have heard about that idea of soaking the kale, but in this recipe the kale is cut in pretty thin strips so I didn't think it needed it. Now I wish I had tried the kale salad you had in Atlanta!

  3. Yeah, I always cut my kale into thin strips (& toss the ribs) in kale salad, but letting it "marinate" in the dressing still softens it a bit. Otherwise it can tend to be tough and chewy. SInce you've mixed it with romaine, it's probably less like that I would think.

  4. Lori, maybe it's because I'm using small kale leaves from the garden too. But will definitely try that when I (sob!) have to start buying kale.

  5. What a great idea!

  6. Wow! This is delicious. I had some left-over kale (after making your sausage, garlic and pasta dish) and decided to make this tonight. Yum! Thank you for helping me on the South Beach . . . and for great recipes.

  7. What a great way to get people like me to eat more kale. I know it's good for me, but I don't love it. Combining it with a bunch of things I do love is just genius.

  8. I really do need to start eating more kale, and I think this would be a great way to start!!

  9. I'd say this 100% counts for meatless monday! I really love kale but still haven't eaten it raw…if anything could make me love it, it's that hint of caesar.

  10. I think kale is so underrated and underused. I, too, think that when it's cut small enough, soaking it isn't necessary. We eat it in salads all the time!

  11. I love this salad idea, Kalyn! I'm a big fan of Caesar salad, but your variation looks super good and super healthy, too. 🙂

    Shirley

  12. Thanks everyone. So glad I am enticing all of you to eat more kale!

  13. I hope this isn't a duplicate comment; I don't think my first one went through.

    This looks delicious, I love kale salads! I did want to say that I am a vegetarian, not a vegan, and I would not eat this dressing – anchovy paste definitely counts as meat for me.

    But I'd love to make it with the soy sauce substitute!

  14. Liz, that's why I wanted to mention it, but do try with the soy sauce.

  15. I love kale salad, and cutting it into thin strips is definitely the way I like it. I saw this recipe a while back too in Bon Appetit and meant to try it, but never got around to it. Happen to gotten some kale in my CSA Box this week and will be trying this.

  16. Jeannette, I loved it with the romaine-kale mixture!

  17. Sound divine Kalyn! I have yet to try kale in a Caesar, but now I really want to. ps thanks for the shout-out to one of my favorite kale salads!

  18. I'm like Lydia-know kale is good for me so am trying to eat it more. Great idea with the caesar dressing and mixing in the romaine!

  19. Salads will never be the same! I don't know why I've never thought of using kale… it is sooo much tastier than the wimpy lettuces.
    Thanks for the recipe!

  20. The kale we planted last spring didn't sprout for some reason, so I'm trying it again, hoping for something soon. I've not eaten kale in salads, only sauteed, so I'll have to give this a try.

  21. Not sure how I got so far behind in answering comments (maybe I really *do* have a life beyond the computer, lol!) So glad everyone likes this idea. Just had it for dinner again tonight and loved it.

  22. Brilliant. I have long wondered how to get my younger son to eat delicious, nutricious kale but never could. He loves Ceasar's Salad (as do I) so, hey, I think the problem may be solved. And this would make a great lunch meal in itself!

  23. Jamie, the kale is so good with the Caesar dressing. Hope he will like it!

  24. Looks amazing. I love kale salad, this sounds just delicious.

  25. Thanks Natalie. I'm still making it and love it!

  26. Seriously, Kalyn, I never thought this would work even though I love kale. Fortunately I had a little faith and a bottle of my favorite Caesar dressing. I used the kale and romaine together, and it is completely awesome. The first day, I had two huge salads (one when I would have had dessert–I found it that addicting). I've had it pretty much every day since then. Today I'm linking to it from my own blog. Thanks.

  27. Jeanie, isn't it just addictively good! I love this recipe and have also been eating it ever since I first tried it. Thanks for the link!

  28. I have never used kale raw like this before and now I am going to have to try!

  29. I could not have imagined eating kale raw, but this was just delicious. I cheated and used bottled dressing from Costco (not your favourite, but another great one!) and it was great.

  30. Anna, I had eaten raw kale before, but I still thought this was just surprisingly good! And I am not one of those people who look down on bottled dressing if it's good.

  31. It is super. I've made a similar recipe and it was great.

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