This Low FODMAP Caesar Salad with grilled shrimp has all of the incredible flavors and crispy deliciousness of a classic Caesar salad without the FODMAPs or carbs! Featuring "garlicy" grilled shrimp on crisp romaine lettuce topped with parmesan cheese, low FODMAP croutons (made from pork rinds! Prepare to be amazed!), and low FODMAP Caesar dressing, this Caesar salad recipe makes a delicious lunch or light dinner ideal for summer or any time of year. In addition to being low FODMAP, this Caesar salad is also Keto, low carb, grain-free, and gluten-free.
- Pork Rinds for Low FODMAP Croutons!?! You Gasp
- What are pork rinds?
- Are Pork Rinds Low FODMAP?
- What do pork rind croutons taste like?
- Low FODMAP, Keto, Low Carb, Grain-Free and Gluten-Free
- Necessary Equipment
- Low FODMAP Shrimp Caesar Salad: Ingredients, FODMAP Information & Success Tips
- Low FODMAP Shrimp Caesar Salad with Pork Rind Croutons (Keto, Grain-Free)
- Related Recipes
Pork Rinds for Low FODMAP Croutons!?! You Gasp
Along with eating Low FODMAP, I have been eating Keto for about four months now. This has been to help stabilize my blood sugar, which is typically a roller coaster due to reactive hypoglycemia. While Keto is not necessarily recommended by doctors or dieticians for those with IBS or blood sugar sugar issues, I decided to try eating Keto in conjunction with low FODMAP anyway as very little of the medical and dietary advice I was getting from health care professionals was working. Taking this step has been life-changing for me, and I plan to write about this experience in greater detail in the future. While eating Keto and Low FODMAP has been beneficial to me, it may or may not be beneficial to others. Ultimately, you have to do what's right for your own body in consultation with your doctor or nutritionist.
That being said, even if one doesn't undertake a full-fledged Keto diet while eating low FODMAP, I believe certain elements and innovations based in the Keto diet can benefit those on the low FODMAP diet. When researching Keto substitutions for ingredients, one of the things I came across was to substitute pork rinds for croutons in a salad. As grains are too high in carbs to work for a Keto diet, regular grain-based croutons will not work for Keto. Regular croutons also do not work for a low FODMAP diet due to gluten-containing grains being too high in FODMAPs. While there are gluten-free croutons available, they will often contain garlic powder and possibly other high FODMAP ingredients.
Making your own low FODMAP croutons using a low FODMAP flour could be an option, but why go through all that trouble and work for a single salad ingredient when you could just use pork rinds?
What are pork rinds?
Pork rinds, also referred to as chicharrones, are fried pig skin eaten as a snack. They are crunchy, savory and salty pieces of fried skin that are kind of like potato chips. Pork rinds can be found in North America at most grocery stores or gas stations, mainly in the chip aisle. They're Keto-friendly as they are naturally low carb, containing mostly fat and protein. As they are high in cholesterol and sodium, pork rinds are best consumed in moderation.
Are Pork Rinds Low FODMAP?
Pork rinds haven't been tested for FODMAPs but are thought to be low FODMAP as most meat proteins are low FODMAP. However, pork rinds are high in fat, which can be an additional symptom trigger for people with IBS. Consult your doctor or dietician to discuss whether consuming pork rinds would be right for your body.
Additionally, some brands of pork rinds have flavoring added, such as garlic powder, which is high FODMAP. It's important to always check the labels when buying pork rinds for any added high FODMAP ingredients.
Personally, my tummy handles unflavored (so, regular) pork rinds well, but everyone is different. Initially, before incorporating them in a recipe, I tried eating a few as a snack to see if my stomach could tolerate them.
What do pork rind croutons taste like?
I hate to use the word "crack" to describe food. Let's just say these pork rind croutons taste AH-MAZING and are incredibly addictive. I could eat them incessantly as a snack if I had no self control. They taste 100 times better than regular pork rinds and just as good (if not better) than a regular salad crouton. Texturally, they are less dense than regular salad crouton, which makes them even easier to eat in a salad.
To make my low FODMAP pork rind croutons, I simply sauté them in garlic-infused olive oil, butter and salt in a skillet on the stovetop for a few minutes and then let them cool. Sautéing them in garlic oil and butter gives them amazing "garlicy," buttery flavor (obviously), and their texture and crunch is similar to that of a crouton. They still have a subtle pork flavor that I actually feel goes really well with shrimp.
Low FODMAP, Keto, Low Carb, Grain-Free and Gluten-Free
As mentioned, this low FODMAP Shrimp Caesar Salad with Pork Rind Croutons is compatible with the low FODMAP (considering the FODMAP-related information above), Keto, low carb, grain-free, and gluten-free diets. Although my low FODMAP Caesar Dressing recipe is dairy-free, this low FODMAP Caesar salad recipe does contain dairy due to the parmesan cheese and the ghee or butter added to the croutons.
- Outdoor grill (I use a natural gas grill) or grill pan
- Measuring cups and spoons
- Cutting board
- Chopping knife
- Large salad bowl
- Salad tongs (or any tongs that will toss salad)
- Large skillet
- Grill / barbecue skewers - I use metal grill skewers. If you use wood skewers, you will need to soak them in water prior to using them.
- 2 baking sheets or platters for raw / cooked shrimp
- Basting brush
- 4 large plates
Low FODMAP Shrimp Caesar Salad: Ingredients, FODMAP Information & Success Tips
Low FODMAP Caesar Dressing
To start this low FODMAP Caesar salad recipe, I make a full batch of my homemade Low FODMAP Caesar Dressing, the ingredients, FODMAP information and instructions for which can be found on that post. My low FODMAP Caesar Dressing recipe only takes about 5 minutes to make and is incredibly delicious. If you prefer not to make your own, Fody makes a bottled low FODMAP Caesar salad dressing, which is also Keto-friendly, vegan, and gluten-free. I prefer my homemade version (I may be biased...), especially because it's so easy to make.
If we plan on eating the entire salad right away, I will make the dressing in the bottom of the same bowl that I make the salad; otherwise, I keep all of components separate until we're ready to eat. I'll also keep them separate if I anticipate leftovers. This keeps the salad from getting soggy and unpalatable.
Low FODMAP Pork Rind Croutons
Next, I make my beloved pork rind croutons (please refer to the sections above for detailed FODMAP considerations on pork rinds). I measure out two cups of pork rinds onto a cutting board and chop them into ½-inch pieces (more or less).
As pork rinds come in a variety of shapes and sizes, even those in the same bag, they will not all be perfectly shaped squares. Visual imperfection is the nature of pork rind croutons, and that's okay. We're going for amazing flavor here, and pork rind croutons have it in spades.
Garlic-Infused Olive Oil, Ghee or Butter, and Salt (Optional)
Once chopped, I place a large skillet on medium heat on the stove top. I add garlic-infused oil and ghee or butter. As FODMAPs are not oil soluble, garlic-infused olive oil adds garlicy flavor without the FODMAPs. Ghee and butter also do not contain carbohydrates, and therefore, no FODMAPs.
Once the butter is melted, I add a small amount of salt and stir to combine. Depending on how salty your pork rinds are, you may or may not want to add additional salt to them. I think they taste amazing with more salt, but I'm a bit of a salt fiend.
Once the skillet is hot, I add the pork rinds and sauté them, stirring frequently, until most of the oil in the skillet is absorbed, about 2-3 minutes. I remove them from heat and set them somewhere to cool while I prepare the other ingredients.
Low FODMAP Grilled Shrimp
While the croutons are cooling, I preheat my outdoor grill or grill pan to medium heat. I thread the shrimp onto metal skewers and baste them with garlic-infused olive oil.
Then, I sprinkle the shrimp with salt and freshly cracked black pepper and place them on the grill. I grill the shrimp for about 5-6 minutes total, flipping them halfway through, until they're bright pink on both sides. Then, I remove them from the grill.
Low FODMAP Caesar Salad
Finally, I'm ready to assemble the salad. If I've made the low FODMAP Caesar dressing in a large salad bowl, I'll simply return to that bowl and add the chopped romaine. According to Monash University's Low FODMAP Diet App, romaine lettuce is low FODMAP in serving sizes of up to 2 cups or 75 grams per serving. We're adding 6 cups across 4 servings.
I also add freshly-grated parmesan cheese to the salad bowl. Monash University has recently tested parmesan cheese for FODMAPs and only found trace amounts. Wahoo! A little bit goes a long way in this recipe, so we're only adding ¼ cup.
Then, I add the cooled pork rind croutons to the bowl and toss with tongs until evenly mixed.
I divide the salad between 4 large plates and then top them with shrimp and garnish each salad with more parmesan and freshly-ground black pepper if desired.
Low FODMAP Shrimp Caesar Salad with Pork Rind Croutons (Keto, Grain-Free)
Low FODMAP Caesar Salad Dressing
- ⅔ cup Low FODMAP Caesar Dressing, homemade or store-bought
Low FODMAP Pork Rind Croutons
- 2 cups unflavored pork rinds, chopped into ½-inch pieces*
- 1 tablespoon garlic-infused olive oil
- 1 tablespoon ghee or butter
- ¼ teaspoon salt, optional*
Low FODMAP Grilled Shrimp
- 1 pound large or jumbo shrimp, peeled and deveined with tails removed
- 1-2 tablespoons garlic-infused olive oil
- salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
Low FODMAP Caesar Salad
- 3 hearts of romaine, chopped (about 6 cups)
- ¼ cup fresh parmesan, finely grated
- Prepare dressing. If making homemade dressing, prepare a full batch of my Low FODMAP Caesar Dressing recipe, either in the bottom of a large salad bowl (where you’ll be mixing the rest of the salad) or a separate small mixing bowl.* Cover and refrigerate until ready to use.
- Prepare croutons. Chop pork rinds into ½-inch pieces (they won't be perfectly shaped, and that's okay). Place a large skillet on medium heat on the stovetop. Add garlic-infused olive oil and ghee or butter and swirl the skillet to mix and coat. Once the butter is melted, whisk in salt (if using it). Once the skillet is hot, add pork rinds and sauté, stirring frequently, until the oil in the skillet is mostly absorbed, about 2-3 minutes. Remove skillet from heat and place somewhere for croutons to cool while you prepare the remaining ingredients.
- Prepare shrimp. Preheat outdoor grill (I use a natural gas grill) or grill pan to medium heat. While the grill is warming up, thread shrimp onto skewers, baste with garlic oil, and sprinkle with salt and freshly cracked black pepper to taste. Grill for 5-6 minutes, flipping halfway through, until shrimp are bright pink on both sides. Remove promptly from grill.
- Assemble salad. Return to the large salad bowl containing the Caesar dressing (if you haven’t chosen to keep it separate). Add chopped romaine, parmesan, and pork rind croutons and toss with salad tongs to combine. Divide between 4 salad plates. Top with shrimp and garnish with more parmesan cheese and freshly ground black pepper if desired.
- FODMAPs: See post above for detailed FODMAP information on each ingredient.
- Pork rinds: Although believed to be low FODMAP, pork rinds are high in fat, which can be an additional trigger for some people with IBS. Also, check the label of the pork rinds you end up using for any added high FODMAP ingredients, such as garlic powder.
- Salt: As the salt content of pork rinds can vary by brand, if your pork rinds taste particularly salty, you may want to reduce or omit this additional salt.
- One vs. two bowls: If you’re anticipating leftovers or are not eating the salad right away, I suggest keeping each component separate so the salad doesn’t become soggy; otherwise, you can make everything (including the Low FODMAP Caesar Dressing) in the same bowl.
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