Romaine lettuce is typically the star of the Caesar salad, an early 20th century creation based on smothering the leafy greens in grated parmesan cheese, a coddled egg, anchovy dressing, and crispy croutons. It’s a popular and manly dish that makes a great side to a grilled steak, chicken, or fish dish, but the calories and the unhealthy fat grams can really add up.

It’s time to take back control of this delicious salad, ‘healthify’ it, and put it front and centre at your next barbeque.

Father’s Day is June 17th, so why not treat Dad to a Caesar with a twist by grilling the romaine and serving it with a vegan Caesar style dressing. Grilling lettuce? Absolutely. Romaine is hearty enough to stand up to the heat, taste great with a barbeque smokiness and look beautiful with grill marks to boot.

You’ll also be giving Dad a nutritious boost since romaine has an impressive nutrition profile. It is an excellent source of folic acid and chromium, important for maintaining blood sugar levels. ip address Additionally, romaine is a concentrated source of phytonutrients such as beta carotene, lutein and zeaxanthin all which have powerful anti-oxidant qualities. steam cloud Lutein is especially key to healthy eyes and reducing the risk of macular degeneration.

Nutrient rich and low in calories (at only 16 calories for 2 cups), romaine is a great salad choice IF the dressing is also healthy. This recipe is both good and good for you! A tip of the hat to my fellow holistic foodie Laila Crosby at Green Heart Nutritionista for the dressing idea.

To grill the romaine:
• Cut your romaine head in half lengthwise. Be sure to keep the core end intact – this will hold everything together on the grill.
• Lightly brush both sides with olive oil.
• Place on hot grill for 1-2 minutes per side or until grill marks appear and lettuce slightly wilts.
• Remove, cut off core end, and place on serving plate. Drizzle with dressing below.
NOTE: each ½ head will serve 1 person.

Vegan ‘Caesar’ Dressing

• 2 tbsp sunflower seed butter
• 2 tbsp nutritional yeast
• 2 tbsp tamari
• 2 tbsp dijon
• 1 tbsp olive oil
• 2 garlic cloves, chopped
• juice from 1/2 lemon
• 2 sprigs of fresh dill
• 1/3 cup water
Place all ingredients into your vitamix, blender, or bullet. Blend and drizzle over salad or use a dip.