Photo by Marissa Angell

It may be a salad, but the classic Caesar is far from healthy. This lunch-menu staple is typically packed with calories and fat. The dressing is the worst offender, with cholesterol-laden raw egg yolks (possibly served with a side of salmonella). Add in too much cheese and white-bread croutons, and you’ve got a recipe for disaster.

But that doesn’t mean the Caesar is beyond redemption. In fact, romaine lettuce is among the best leafy salad greens. A make-at-home dressing sans egg yolks is a much healthier alternative. Opt for whole-wheat croutons or crunchy almonds and just a sprinkling of Parmesan cheese as toppers. Keep that portion size under control, and you’ve got a guilt-free Caesar.

The Takeaway: Restaurant Caesar salads often veer toward the danger zone with high calorie content and even bigger portions. Remix this standard salad for a waistline-friendly alternative.

How ‘bout a little green?

Sure, romaine lettuce is a great starting point, but why not beef up a bland bed of lettuce with some more healthy leaves? Try tossing in spinach for a surprising dose of calcium and iron.

Fun Fact:

Despite its prominent placement on Italian restaurants’ menus, the Caesar salad was invented in Mexico by Caesar Cardini, an Italian chef. But, contrary to popular belief, it has nothing to do with famed Roman Julius Caesar.