Healthy Chicken Caesar Salad – Meals by Mel

Caesar Salads may look like the healthy option, but they do have a tendency to be quite high calorie, particularly if you are using an oil based dressing.  Having previously tried the Hairy Biker’s Warm Chicken Caesar Salad, I was keen to try another recipe that was a little lighter.

The Healthy Chicken Caesar Salad from Meals by Mel, seemed to fit the bill and I was interested to see whether the real caesar flavour would still come through despite the “healthy” option.

Ratin 7.5/10

 

Healthy Chicken Caesar Salad

Healthy Chicken Caesar Salad

Ingredients

Olive oil, chicken breast, pancetta, wholegrain bread, egg, yoghurt, Dijon mustard, anchovy fillets, lemon juice, cos lettuce, parmesan cheese. 7/10

Healthy Chicken Caesar Salad

Healthy Chicken Caesar Salad

Level of difficulty

This is one of the simplest recipes that I have tried so far.  Very little equipment is required and no real cooking expertise is needed. 8/10

Healthy Chicken Caesar Salad

Healthy Chicken Caesar Salad

Time taken to prepare

The recipe was extremely quick and light on washing up! The chicken, bacon and croutons are all cooked in the same pan and the dressing is prepared in a single bowl. 8/10

Healthy Chicken Caesar Salad

Healthy Chicken Caesar Salad

The food

The dish was delicious and I particularly enjoyed the poached egg.  I used pancetta rather than bacon, which added quite an intense flavour and it was interesting to have wholegrain croutons.  I was pleased that the croutons were pan-fried, as I particularly like the flavour that this gives them.  The dressing was pleasant, but not particularly rich.  I would have preferred a little more seasoning, particularly in the chicken, bacon and croutons. 7/10

Healthy Chicken Caesar Salad

Healthy Chicken Caesar Salad

Overall

This was billed as a healthy chicken caesar salad and as such it was a light caesar salad dressing.  I wouldn’t really call it a caesar dressing though and personally I think it would have benefited from a small amount of grated parmesan and garlic in the dressing. You could add a small amount and still keep the dressing fairly low-calorie, if that is what you prefer.  This is definitely a salad I would try again. 7.5/10

Healthy Chicken Caesar Salad

Healthy Chicken Caesar Salad

Telegraph Healthy Caesar Salad Recipe

The Telegraph Healthy Caesar Salad appealed to me, as it’s not your usual Romaine Lettuce, Parmesan and Croutons.  The recipe lost a few points for me, for the length of time it took to take prepare, it made up for it overall though with the flavours.

Rating 7/10

Healthy Caesar Salad

Healthy Caesar Salad

Ingredients

Cherry Tomatoes,Balsamic Vinegar, Golden Caster Sugar, Baby Gem Lettuce, Smoked Pancetta, Parmesan, Caesar Dressing, Butter, Anchovy Fillets, Garlic, Crusty Bread

 

Ingredients for Healthy Caesar Salad

Healthy Caesar Salad Ingredients

9/10

Level of difficulty

Clarifying the butter and slicing the lettuce (without them falling apart) is probably the hardest thing in the recipe.  There is nothing technically difficult, however there is a lot to juggle to make this complex recipe, which is why have given it slightly a slightly lower score.

6/10

Time taken to prepare

Pangrattato

Pangrattato

Wow, this took about 3 hours!  For a side dish, I probably

Waitrose Cherry Plum Tomatoes

Waitrose Cherry Plum Tomatoes

wouldn’t make this again unless it was a special occasion. Most of the time was taken roasting the tomatoes, although the pangrattato  also takes quite some time.  I don’t think the tomatoes need anywhere near as long as the recipe suggests and it could probably be completed in about half the time.

4/10

The food

What this recipe loses in preparation time, it more than makes up for in flavour.  The taste is quite complex and it is worth spending the time to make the pangrattato.  The pangrattato was quite fishy, so I would probably use slightly less anchovy fillets if I made it again. The roasted cherry tomatoes are sweet and work really well with the balsamic vinegar.  The dish was slightly too salty, so I would add salt sparingly.

9/10

Overall

Healthy Chicken Caesar Salad

Healthy Caesar Salad

 

As long as you have plenty of time to make this dish, then it’s definitely worth it.  It’s not an everyday dish, but for a special occasion it would make a lovely side dish.   I added pan-fried chicken breasts to make it a slightly more substantial meal.

7/10