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This recipe post is super exciting because it is one of my all-time, favorite salads. I am obsessed with roasted garlic cauliflower, and it is AMAZING on a Caesar salad. It’s got chicken for protein, and homemade croutons…they are so good! It’s all very simple, and totally satisfying. If you love a strong Parmesan and garlic taste, this is for you. I like strong flavors, so I make the Caesar vinaigrette to drizzle on top, which is the final step to all the garlic goodness. This recipe features the Mazola® Corn Oil, rather than the usual olive oils or butters you might see in this type of recipe. I’ve got three healthy swaps for this post, including swapping the olive oil Mazola® Corn Oil in the Caesar vinaigrette recipe, adding more roasted cauliflower to the salad for lots of veggies and making fresh, homemade croutons, rather than store bought. A recent study has found that adding Mazola® Corn Oil to one’s diet resulted in lower cholesterol levels than Coconut Oil. A previous study found that corn oil can also help lower cholesterol more than extra virgin olive oil. To learn more about the study, see Mazola.com.
I’ve also swapped for Mazola® Corn Oil because of the benefits of using corn oil. Did you know a clinical study showed Mazola® Corn Oil reduces cholesterol 2x more than extra virgin olive oil? To learn more about this claim, see Mazola.com. I loved learning about Mazola® Corn Oil because is an all-purpose cooking oil that is a smart heart-healthy choice for your family and has a Variety of uses include baking, grilling, sautéing, stir frying, or mixing up a marinade or dressing. Mazola® Corn Oil has a neutral taste that won’t negatively impact the taste of ingredients, so it lets the natural flavor of your food stand out. It also has a smoke point higher than most cooking oils at 450°F and performs well in a variety of cooking applications, including stir-frying, sautéing, grilling and even baking. The smoke point of an oil is really important to pay attention to, and many home cooks may not realize that all cooking oils have a smoke point that, once exceeded, not only negatively affect the food’s flavor and also its nutritional value.
I am actually not a fan of olives, so olive oil or extra virgin olive oil isn’t my top choice when I’m cooking. The taste of olive oil is too strong for me, so the Mazola® Corn Oil is a wholesome swap I can make instead. Let’s get to the recipe I am so excited to share!
First, The Caesar Vinaigrette with Mazola Corn Oil:
I put my dressing in an old dressing bottle because I like the way it pours. With mason jars it’s a little harder to do a drizzle. It’s also easy to shake it up, then drizzle, which is important because of the seasonings, cheese and garlic.
2/3 Cup Mazola® Corn Oil
1/4 Cup balsamic vinegar
1 tbsp Dijon mustard
2 tbsp Lemon juice, fresh
1/4 Cup grated Parmesan cheese (the super fine, powder grate)
1 tbsp minced garlic, or 2 cloves minced
1/4 tsp Black pepper, ground
pinch of sea salt
Pour the oil and vinegar in a bowl and whisk together. Add the Dijon, lemon juice, Parmesan, garlic, pepper and salt to the oil and vinegar mixture and whisk well. Pour into a bottle or container to save for the salad.
Roast Cauliflower with Mazola Corn Oil:
This is probably my favorite part of the salad, and one of the easiest to make! Just a few ingredients to toss in the oven! Start with pre-heating your oven to 425 F.
2/3 Head of Cauliflower cut into pieces
1 big spoonful, or 2 tbsp of minced garlic
1/4 cup Parmesan cheese
1/8 cup Mazola Corn Oil (this is where the high smoke point is great!)
Pinch or two of sea salt
1 tsp or so of pepper (I like to leave this to personal taste. You can always add more after too)
Spread your cauliflower out onto a dish, or on a foiled baking sheet. Drizzle the Mazola Corn Oil over the cauliflower, then sprinkle with the garlic, cheese, salt and pepper.
Put everything in the oven for about 25 minutes. I like the cauliflower nice and soft for the salad, so it is super easy to fork and eat!
Homemade Croutons with Mazola Corn Oil:
These are so good!! I love a home made crouton, and you can make them with your favorite bread. I happen to make these ones with left-over gluten free bread I had from another recipe creation. It worked wonderful! It doesn’t have to be old either, just whatever you want to use. You can also keep your oven at 425 from the cauliflower. When your roasted cauliflower is done, pop it in for about 15 minutes. I’ve put it all on the same sheet before too. It depends on your instincts for the croutons. They will finish before the cauliflower, and you just have to watch it.
7 or so slices of bread, cubed
1/4 Mazola Corn Oil
2 tbsp of minced garlic
Small hand-full of Parmesan cheese or about 1/8 of a cup.
1 tsp black pepper
2 pinches of sea salt
(some people love parsley for their croutons, you can add that too. I don’t think it’s needed)
Drizzle your Mazola Corn Oil over the bread. Sprinkle your garlic, Parmesan, salt and pepper over the bread cubes. Use your hands to toss and coat all the cubes.
Put your bread in the oven for about 15 minutes at 425. Watch to see when the bread starts turning golden and crispy.
While your bread is cooking, you can start getting the Caesar salad ready.
5-6 leaves of washed Romaine lettuce
1 cup of grilled chicken pieces if desired. You can buy pre-made, or grill up some chicken, or use left overs if you have them. I like this for some protein.
1 cup roasted cauliflower
4 tbsp of your home-made croutons
Drizzle of your Caesar vinaigrette to taste
Chop up your washed lettuce and put into a bowl. Add your chicken, cauliflower and croutons on top of the lettuce. Then drizzle with your Caesar vinaigrette!