Time and again it has been said that eating a balanced, natural diet is the only way to maintain a healthy body. While this information might be nothing new, people all over the world do not adhere to that advice wholeheartedly. For a myriad of reasons, whether it be convenience, taste, or time, many people choose processed foods packed full of preservatives and unhealthy fats over natural, whole ingredients.
Eating healthy does not mean sacrificing taste; instead, it means taking a bit more time methodically putting meals together that manage to combine both health and flavor. For example, instead of grabbing a burger and fries at the nearby take-out joint, make a burger at home with fresh ground turkey or beef, natural whole-wheat buns, and oven-baked sweet potato fries. You achieve the same delicious meal, but you are one hundred percent certain of what ingredients are within the meal.
While most people know that healthy nutrition is good for the body, conversely, they usually do not know just how bad unhealthy nutrition is for the body. Unhealthy foods lead to a greater risk of stroke, heart attack, hypertension, sleep apnea, and in some cases, even cancer. Making the switch from unhealthy eating habits to healthy eating habits can help to decrease your risk of infection, giving you a long, healthy life.
If cooking from scratch seems daunting, start with basic recipes that call for simple, fresh ingredients, such as Caesar salad with Sargento Cheese. It is easy, flavorful, and heart healthy.
For a Caesar salad that serves 4, here are the essential ingredients:
2 cloves garlic, minced
½ teaspoon of salt
½ teaspoon of ground black pepper
1 teaspoon mashed anchovies or anchovy paste (optional)
2 Tablespoons lemon juice
1 Tablespoon mayonnaise
¼ cup olive oil
8 cups torn romaine lettuce
½ cup (2 oz) Sargento Artisan Shredded Parmesan Cheese
Do not be overwhelmed with the amount of ingredients listed, for even with 10 ingredients, this fresh salad takes 15 minutes or less to prepare. Additionally, for the optional ingredients, while typical Caesar salads use anchovies in the dressing and croutons as a garnish, do not be afraid to omit them if you are disinterested in working with those ingredients, especially the anchovies. However, if you want to maintain the preserve the traditional flavor but do not want to work with whole anchovies, anchovy paste is much easier to work with.
In a small bowl, combine the 2 cloves of minced garlic, ½ teaspoon salt, ½ teaspoon pepper, and anchovies (either the mashed or paste) into a small bowl. Whisking gently, combine the lemon juice and mayonnaise into the anchovy mixture. Slowly add in the oil, and whisk until the mixture has thickened to the consistency of salad dressing. Set aside, or refrigerate until ready to use.
In a large bowl, gently toss together the lettuce and salad dressing. Add in the Parmesan cheese and toss lightly. Top with the croutons if desired.
Sargento covered the costs of the ingredients used in this recipe, but the opinions are my own.
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