It’s starting to feel like Spring with warmer temperatures and I’m craving salads.
I still crave pizza and ice cream, but it’s all about moderation. In the meantime, I’m going to take advantage of my salad obsession while it lasts. I wanted a healthier Caesar salad, i.e. remove the buttery croutons (which is arguably the best part of a Caesar salad). I replaced them with little pasta shells. Pasta added to lettuce salad is surprisingly wonderful. I don’t feel like I’m eating a “salad.” Keep in mind that this is not a pasta salad though, it’s just got essence of pasta. You could certainly add more but I was trying to keep the calorie and carbs down.
I added some white beans for some good old fashioned protein and cucumbers for crunch factor. Chicken is a great substitute or a way to add variety to this salad. I kept the Parmesan cheese and Caesar dressing that you’d find on a traditional Caesar salad. I took a shortcut and used store-bought dressing to save time, but more power to you if you’d like to find a homemade recipe instead.
I’ve been eating this salad for lunch for the past week and a half and I’m still loving it (which says a lot because I get bored of the same lunches quickly). Salads with lettuce are hard to make ahead of time because the lettuce will often go limp or get soggy over time in the fridge. I don’t know about you, but that bothers me. To prevent that, I prep all of the ingredients and place them each into their own container. That way things that can soak up random liquids or end up ruined because of them are not anywhere near liquids.
The chopped and washed lettuce in one container, the cooked pasta in another container, you get the idea. I put the dressing in its own small container and I combine the rest of the ingredients for the salad into a separate container the night before I take it to work for lunch. It only takes me a minute or two because I’m simply grabbing the prepped ingredients from the fridge. Once it’s time for lunch I throw the dressing on the salad, give it a shake in its container, and voila lunch. I’ve got a delicious and healthy meal (without any gross soggy bits).
Beans and Pasta Caesar Salad Recipe
(Makes 4 servings)
- 4 ounces of small pasta (I used small pasta shells.)
- 1 (15.5 ounce) can of white beans, drained and rinsed
- lettuce (as much as you want)
- cucumbers, sliced (as much as you want)
- shredded Parmesan cheese (as much as you want)
- your favorite Caesar dressing (I used Ken’s Lite Creamy Caesar dressing.) (as much as you want)
- Cook the pasta according to the directions on the box, then drain it.
- In a bowl, mix together the cooked pasta, beans, lettuce, sliced cucumbers, shredded Parmesan cheese, and Caesar dressing.
Source: Tina’s Chic Corner