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Lightened up (Leftover Turkey) Caesar Salad with Olive Bread Croutons

Turkey Caesar Salad with Olive Bread Croutons Image via Jessica Gordon Ryan, taken with an iPhone 6

Turkey Caesar Salad with Olive Bread Croutons
Image via Jessica Gordon Ryan, taken with an iPhone 6

I love a really good Caesar salad. The problem is most of them are loaded with fat and sodium - that's what makes them good though, isn't it?! A few years back I found a Caesar dressing recipe in Cooking Light that had about half the fat and calories and all of the taste. We made that salad all the time. The page on the magazine was dog eared and that pages had a good bit of splatters on them. It was a very well loved issue and recipe. And then I moved. Not once but twice and in the packing mayhem the magazine disappeared. The good thing is I had made the recipe so many times that I knew roughly what the ingredients were, and therefore I was able to tweak them to taste. Regardless of recipe, I'm always tweaking. This is a really good and healthy way to use up some of your leftover holiday turkey. 

In this household it's not always easy to get a couple of my family members to eat enough greens. Salads are a pretty safe bet, and Caesar salads are always a safe bed. When we add chicken I can pass this salad off as a meal - a nutritious and easy meal!

Serves 4 (Adapted from Cooking Light)

Ingredients:

2 large heads of Romaine. Leaves washed, dried and trimmed.- add 1 head of trimmed Romaine for every 2 people)
Leftover sliced turkey, or 2 chicken breasts cut into strips or cubes (It is perfectly acceptable to use the meat from a roasted chicken.)
1/2 cup of Caesar* dressing, or two taste
Olive Bread croutons* for sprinkling onto the salad

For the dressing:
1/2 cup of light mayonnaise 
1/4 cup of water
1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons shredded Parmesan cheese
2 large cloves of garlic, minced
2 tbs Worcestershire sauce
Juice from 2 lemons
1 tbs of mustard
1 tsp mustard powder
Salt and pepper to taste

I a medium sized bowl add the dressing ingredients - in no particular order - and whisk well until all the ingredients are well blended and the mixture is creamy and smooth, and a very pale yellow in color. Pour into a jar and set aside - in fridge if desired.

For the croutons:
Olive (or any flavor) Bread cut into bite sized pieces
Olive oil, 1 - 2 tablespoons
Salt and pepper to taste

In a large saucepan or frying pan, heat the olive oil. When the oil is hot add the bread pieces. Cover them in the oil and cook them until they turn a nice golden brown. Transfer the bread into a toaster oven and lightly toast to further harden the croutons, just a minute or two. These croutons have an incredible amount of flavor - and the olive lends itself perfectly to this salad. These would work wonderfully with any flavored bread and croutons are a great way to use up any bread that's getting stale. 

In a large bowl place the lettuce and about 1/4 cup of the dressing and mix well. If desired add more dressing. Next add the chicken and fold in. Place desired amounts on to plates or into bowls and sprinkle with more Parmesan if desired and a small handful of croutons. 

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