My trip to the personal growth-pushing Miraval spa included a three-hour class that I sort of glazed over in an earlier post: cooking. Now, if you know me, then you’ve already guessed that this was about as out of my comfort zone as you can get. (I’ve always been way more into my career than anything domestic.) I also don’t take great food photos. After digging through my notes, however, I ran across so many low calorie recipes and tricks that Chef Chad Luethje uses to cut calories in his foods, that I really wanted to include one actual recipe. Plus, the class rocked for another reason: We made friends! After our class, we headed straight to the bar for the first of many fun times with the friendly Canadians. Girls, did you ever cook your husbands the five-course dinner you promised?!
45-calorie Caesar salad
I love a good Caesar salad but rarely order it because it’s so notoriously high in calories. If you’re willing to make it yourself, you can reduce that down to just 45 calories per serving!
And I assure you, it’s delicious.
I was skeptical when Chef said he uses tofu in his dressing to get a thicker consistency — but my hope was renewed when he said he doesn’t particularly like tofu but that it works wonderfully in this case. His second trick: Ditch calorie-heavy croutons for parmesan crisps and homemade tortilla strips to get crunch.
For 20 (!) servings (you’ll have to do the math to make a smaller batch!), puree the following ingredients in a blender or food processor:
1 1/2 T minced garlic, 2 T lemon juice, 2 T lime juice, 3 anchovy filets in olive oil, 1/2 chipotle in adobo canned pepper, 2 T Dijon mustard, 14 oz soft tofu, 1T parmesan cheese, 2 t Worchestershire sauce, pinch of toasted ground cumin, 2 t red wine vinegar.
Calorie count: 20 calories per 2 tablesoon serving.
Low-calorie parmesan crisps:
Preheat oven to 350F, and grab a nylon baking sheet. Take one teaspoon of finely grated Parmesan cheese and sprinkle into a small pile on the pan. Press down in a circular motion to make a round about the size of “a 50 cent piece.” Bake for 6-8 minutes. Cool completely before removing from pan.
Calorie count: a whopping 5 per four crisps.
Cut a 6 inch corn tortilla into strips, tossing the rounded edges. The width should be as thin as matchsticks. Toss in a bowl with 1/4 t (barely any, I know!) of olive oil. Spread on a sheet pan and bake (if you made the parmesan crisps, the oven should already be heated at 350F) for 3-4 minutes. Toss with a pinch of ground cumin.
Calorie count: twice as that of the Parmesan crisps (harhar). At only 10 per teaspoon, maybe it’s ok to double the serving size?
TOTAL CALORIE COUNT: 45
Click here for more of Chef’s healthy recipes.
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