The Best Damn Vegan Caesar Salad Ever

Caesar feature

Can you tell I love this salad? Seriously though, Todd and I eat this salad every week. The dressing is sublime and the salad has everything to make it a complete meal. It’s one of the few salads that can easily be a stand alone meal for Todd, even when he is training a few times a day. We make sure to make a ton so we have some for the next day as well.

This salad is more of a caesar on crack. It has quinoa, home made tempeh fakin’ bits, shredded carrots, tomaotes, avocado & home made gluten free croutons. And the dressing is so good you’ll be licking your plate. I’m not sure where this dressing first originated. It’s been passed among my veg friends and, like a game of telephone, keeps getting altered. I’ve seen many versions of this caesar dressing on websites and in cookbooks. I apologize to the originator who inspired this dressing craze. I would bow down to you if I knew who you were.

There are so many ways to serve up this salad. I mix up the greens between some combination of romaine, spinach and kale and sometimes I even serve it hot. Yes, a hot salad. I always find myself eating fewer salads in the winter because I crave warm foods. So when the weather is chilly I serve this salad when the quinoa, tempeh and croutons are just finished and are nice and hot. I usually start with a layer of hot quinoa, followed by my greens and veggies and topped with the hot tempeh and croutons. It makes the whole salad warm but never wilty. Try it some time! If you want this salad cool, then just be sure to make the quinoa, tempeh and croutons first.

Salad
Greens of your choice. I love romaine mixed with either spinach or kale.
1 or 2 carrots freshly shredded
Chopped tomatoes
Chopped avocado
1 tablespoon hemp seeds (optional)
Cooked quinoa. I like to cook my quinoa in a salt free vegetable bullion for added flavor.

This salad is made with kale & spinach. The salad at the top of the article is made with romaine & spinach. Yum either way.

Gluten Free Croutons(inspired by the People’s Co-op in Ocean Beach)

Always in my freezer for my next crouton moment.

5 slices of Food for Life Gluten Free bread. The brown rice bread & millet bread make the best croutons.
3 Tablespoons olive oil
1/2 Tablespoon dried oregano
1/2 Tablespoon dried basil
Sea salt to taste.
Preheat oven to 350. Slice the bread into small cubes. Combine oil and herbs in a bowl and then toss the bread cubes around until mixture is evenly distributed. Bake until toasty; 15 – 25 minutes depending on oven.

Gluten free croutons straight out of my toaster over.

Tempeh fakin’ Bits
1 8oz package of tempeh
3 Tablespoons olive oil
2 – 3 Tablespoons reduced sodium tamari
Cut tempeh into small cubes. Heat olive oil in skillet on medium for 30 seconds. Add tempeh and cook until tempeh starts to brown. (Keep the temeph moving so it doesn’t stick to the pan.) Add tamari and cook until the tamari is absorbed and the tempeh begins to brown further.
I understand this isn’t the healthiest preparation for tempeh. Sometimes I reduce the oil and tamari. But honestly the salty tamari combined with the oil makes a damn good bacon substitute.

Best Dressing Ever (makes approximately 16 ounces)
1/4 cup (heaping) raw almonds
6 heaping tablespoons nutritional yeast
6 tablespoons dijon mustard
1/4 cup Braggs liquid aminos
2 tablespoons olive oil (optional)
1/2 cup to 3/4 quarter cup water (depending on how thick you like your dressing.)
Place all ingredients in a powerful blender (Vitamix) or food processor and process until smooth. If your blender/processor can’t handle almonds very well, soak them for a few hours or overnight first. It’s healthier to soak them anyways!

Try it tonight and let me know what you think.  Or take it to a potluck and blow everyone away.

 

 

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