Here's the latest addition to my thirteen year old daughters repertoire.
Meet her Chicken Caesar Salad with gluten free croutons of course, because after all, I know people who will order a Caesar Salad JUST for the croutons!
It's another really budget friendly option, as you can vary the ingredients according to what's available. If anything, we lash out on good organic eggs when possible, and would be happy to leave out the meat altogether if the budget is tight. The parmesan was also excluded as the refrigerator held grated tasty cheese and not much else yesterday!
The moral of the story? Don't get hung up on how it should be made or the traditional ingredients. Work with what you have, and enjoy!
For two people you'll need:
2 eggs, boiled for six minutes, then dunked in cold water to cool
1 rasher bacon, diced and pan fried till crisp
1/2 small head lettuce (any kind...remember...don't get hung up on the traditional ingredients)
1 cold chicken drumstick or any leftover chicken, shredded into uniformly sized pieces
1 slice bread, crusts removed and cubed. We used gluten free bread
Optional extras: Mayonnaise and cubed, grated or shaved cheese
Tear the lettuce into bite sized pieces. I suggest this as it gives the salad a nice crunchy, rustic quality and is easier if you happen to be teaching younger children to assemble your Caesar-Like Salad.
Peel the eggs. Kids love to do this too, so let them go for it. We also have one of those dinky egg slicer contraptions, where you lay the egg on a little dippy hollow, and press down with a wire divider, and hey presto! Neatly sliced egg in little rings. Hardly a necessity, but if you're trying to persuade a teen to cook, then any gadgetry is welcome. Use the egg slicer to make neat rings of boiled egg or cut or chop the egg up however you'd like.
Pop a frypan onto a medium heat, and spray liberally with cooking spray. Toss the little bread cubes into the pan and stir and flip them around until they're nice and brown on all sides. Sprinkle them with a little salt and pepper or other seasoning if you wish. We actually love ours sprinkled with Cajun seasoning as it gives the whole salad a bit of bite.
Now, you or your beloved teen are going to assemble the salad. I've seen Caesar Salad served in so many ways, that I think this bit is entirely up to you. I've seen it in a tower, on a large platter, in small bowls, in large bowls, on long plates and as finger food.
We stuck with a large bowl each, a generous amount of lettuce on the bottom, chicken and bacon on top, egg slices around the side to make it look appetising, and our crispy gluten free croutons at the back so we can pick one up with each mouthful, rather than getting a mouthful of croutons and not much else! A drizzle of mayo for those that like it, and you're done. Chicken Caesar-ish Salad assembled, pronto. A great dish when the lettuce is inexpensive or you've grown it yourself, and even better if you have your own chickens for free range (and free!) eggs.
For a teen, student or novice cook, this is another really simple, healthy, wouldn't-bother-with-takeaway meal, and one that our teen would be proud to serve to friends or guests.
Thumbs up from the crowd here!