Wednesday, January 24, 2007

Kalyn's Kitchen Picks: Cardini's Caesar

Recently I introduced a new feature for the blog called Kalyn's Kitchen Picks where once a week or so I'm going to spotlight products I adore. If they're food items, they'll be things that also happen to be South Beach Diet friendly. I started last week with Patak's Biryani Curry Paste, something I use to make an easy chicken curry in the Crockpot. This week I'm sharing a recommendation for my all-time favorite salad dressing, Cardini's Caesar.

It's not that I don't love to make my own dressing. Yesterday I talked about how wowed I was with Mimi's Honey Mustard Dressing for Tossed Salad, and many times I've mentioned how I love my friend Mary's Perfect Dressing for spring lettuce mix. But life gets busy, and it's great to have a fabulous tasting dressing you can buy ready-made.

The daughter of a good friend calls this stuff "Kalyn's Dressing", and it's true I've been buying it for a long time. After I'd been eating the South Beach Diet way for a while, I realized there was one thing I absolutely loved about this diet compared to a lot of other well-known diet plans. Can you say Full Fat Salad Dressing? I never really could develop any kind of a taste for low fat salad dressing, and as for fat-free dressing, well forget about it. Not that anyone who's trying to lose weight shouldn't be a little conscious of how much fat they're eating, but on South Beach what really matters is the type of fat, and whether the dressing has sugar. Cardini's Caesar is made with soybean oil, and doesn't have any sugar at all, so it's a great choice. It's also very flavorful, so a little goes a long ways.

At the top of this post are two of my favorite ways to eat it. The first photo is simply tomatoes, drizzled with a little Caesar dressing, then sprinkled with my homemade rosemary salt and some fresh ground black pepper. It's the dead of winter here, but I buy tomatoes all year at Costco and eat them this way. (Be sure they smell like tomatoes when you open the lid, or don't waste your money.)

The second photo is Cucumbers Caesar, something that used to be requested a lot when I was catering houseboat trips, and one of my Easy South Beach Recipes with five ingredients or less. If you like cucumbers at all, I promise you the idea of diet food will never cross your mind when you eat them with a little Cardini's Caesar.

Cardini's is available at most major grocery stores in the U.S. The large size above is from Costco. If you can't find it where you live, it can be ordered from

Is there a ready-made salad dressing you love? I'd love to hear about it in the comments if others have discovered some great dressings. To be sure it's South Beach Diet friendly, check the label to see that dressings have only unsaturated fat (soybean oil or olive oil is most common) and less than 2 grams of carbs/sugar per serving.counter customizable free hit
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More to Chew On:


  1. If you don't have a Costco, BJ's has an absolutely fabulous Caesar dressing - their (house brand) Berkley & Jensen Fresh Garlic Caesar Dressing. It's also made primarily with soybean oil, but with the addition of olive oil, fresh garlic, and reggiano parmesan cheese.

  2. I can vouch for Cardinin's is the best I have ever eaten.....I found the large bottle at Shnucks yesterday.......I noticed they others too but i will stick with this!

  3. I'll vouch for Cardini's as well. VERY good.

  4. Hi kalyn
    Made your Chicken Soup with Garbanzo, adapted a little to suit my tastes. But it turned out great and thanks for the recipe
    My post has al ink to yours
    Thanks Again

  5. My whole family is totally addicted to Newman's Own Olive oil and vinegar dressing. It is sugar free, which is why I first tried it 7 or 8 years ago. It is basically the only brand I buy. (Otherwise I make my own.)

    Oh how I have tried to replicate the flavor in a homemade dressing... but somehow Paul Newman has concocted some kind of magical dressing that refuses to be imitated.

    LOVE the stuff. (Can you tell I love it?!)

  6. You have an excellent blog about recipes.

  7. I'm always thrilled when I see something here that I can buy locally. I am sure I have seen Cardini's.

    Newman's Own is good, too.

    You know, I love a meal of tomatoes and dressing, especially in summer.

    Mimi, slowly moving toward South Beach

  8. I love the Italian Dressing sold at Olive Garden. It's made with soybean oil and is South Beach Friendly. I have only found it at the restaurant. I run into the bar area then run out. Knowing me, I'll gain weight just smelling their food.

  9. Mary Ellen, I'll have to check that out. I didn't realize they sold their dressing or that it didn't contain sugar.

  10. Cardini's used to make a Lemon Herb Salad Dressing that was the bomb on just about any kind of fish. I don't think they make it any more as I haven't seen it for years. Shame, as it was a staple at our house. - Brenda

  11. Brenda, I liked that lemon herb dressing too but haven't seen it for a long time.


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