The Hairy Dieters’ take on a lighter Chicken caesar salad recipe is one of my ‘go to’ lunches, it can be rustled up in under 20 minutes and tastes fantastic, warm or cold. This dish is traditionally regarded as being quite unhealthy but if you follow the method below you can have a filling, nutritional meal on the table for under 300 calories!
A word of warning. Well, perhaps ‘warning’ is a little dramatic. The caesar salad dressing is lovely (you only need half of it) but it does taste quite strongly of garlic, so you may wish to use only a small clove if you’re taking it into work. Although personally, I couldn’t care less and nothing will compare to the stick I got when I brought in a smoked haddock chowder one balmy afternoon a couple of years ago.
The photo above is actually only of one chicken breast (the recipe states you can have two) but it was more than sufficient for me. The ciabatta ‘croutons’ are a nice touch, but not essential, so don’t go out of your way to buy a ciabatta loaf if you don’t have one in. Hail Caesar! Enjoy!
Recipe: Chicken caesar salad
Calories: 271 per portion
Book: Hairy Dieters – How to Love Food and Lose Weight
Prep time: Approx 10 mins
Cooking time: Approx 10 mins (just to cook the chicken breast)
Ingredients: 2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts, 1 tsp sunﬂower oil, 1 romaine lettuce heart, 10 cherry tomatoes (halved), 2 slices of ciabatta bread (each about 1.5cm thick – 15g a slice), ﬂaked sea salt, freshly ground black pepper
Dressing: 2 anchovy ﬁllets in oil (drained and roughly chopped), 1 garlic clove (peeled and roughly chopped), 2 tbsp light mayonnaise, 1 tsp lemon juice, 15g Parmesan cheese (ﬁnely grated), 2½ tbsp cold water
Cost per portion: Approx £1.84
Method: To make the dressing, put the anchovy ﬁllets in a pestle and mortar, add the chopped garlic clove and pound into a paste. Add the mayonnaise, lemon juice, Parmesan and water and stir well to make a pourable dressing
Place a chicken breast between 2 sheets of cling ﬁlm and bash it with a rolling pin until the chicken is about 1cm thick. Bash the other chicken breast in the same way, then season the breasts on both sides with a little salt and plenty of black pepper.
Dip a pastry brush in the oil and brush over the base of a large nonstick frying pan. Place the pan over a medium heat, add the chicken and cook for 2 minutes. Turn the breasts over and cook for 2–3 minutes on the other side until nicely browned and cooked through. Remove from the heat and leave the chicken in the warm pan to rest.
While the chicken is cooking, make the salad. Separate the lettuce leaves and wash and drain them well. Tear any large leaves into smaller pieces. Arrange the lettuce in a large serving dish and scatter over the tomatoes. Toast the slices of ciabatta and tear them into bite-sized pieces.
Put the cooked chicken breasts on a board and cut them into thick strips. Scatter these over the lettuce and tomatoes and toss everything together lightly. Spoon over half the dressing and serve while the chicken is warm. Fantastic!