Vegan Caesar Salad

Vegan Caesar Salad

WHAT IN THE HELL?! YOU’RE A VAY-GUN AND YOU WON’T EAT A DAMN CAESAR SALAD? IT’S JUST LETTUCE!

This is a sentiment often expressed to me when I turn down a Caesar Salad at most dinner parties (best read in a redneck Albertan voice). Aside from the obvious bacon bits and parmesan often accompanying one of North America’s favourite salads, most caesar salad dressings typically also include egg yolk and even anchovy paste. I have spent more time than I care to admit seeking the perfect Caesar dressing recipe, but most recipes I’ve come across have included soft tofu which gives me the willies. Finally, through experimentation with various dressings and recipes, I think I’ve found something that works. It might not be perfect as I have not eaten a “proper” Caesar salad in about 13 years, but I enjoy it.

Ingredients:
1 head of Romaine Lettuce

For dressing
¼ cup water
juice of one lemon (about 3-4 tbsp)
2 tbsp braggs
1 tbsp olive oil
3 tbsp nutritional yeast
2.5 tbsp slivered almonds
2 cloves garlic
1.5 tbsp Dijon mustard

For homemade croutons:
1/2 baguette, or 4-5 slices of french bread, ripped up into little cube-ish shapes.
2 tbsp of melted Earth Balance
1 tsp each garlic powder, dried rosemary, dried thyme

Instructions:
1. Start with the croutons because they will take longest. Toss bread cubes into melted earth balance and add herbs and garlic powder.
2. Spread croutons in a single layer on a non stick pan, and bake at 300 degrees farenheit until they are nice and crisp. Baking time depends on thickness of cubes and what kind of bread you use, but mine normally take roughly 25 minutes 🙂
4. For dressing, combine all ingredients in a food processor or blender. If you don’t have one of these fancy devices, no worries! Simply replace the slivered almonds with blanched, ground ones, and shake everything up in a tightly sealed mason jar! My favourite way to make dressing. Pleeeease don’t omit the almonds- they do so much for the texture of this dressing.
5. Once croutons have cooked, toss dressing and croutons with torn romaine lettuce.

To dress this salad up, or to turn it into an entree, I often add some tofu or tempeh rilled with a little braggs and liquid smoke on top for protein. This recipe is also perfect if you’ve just so happened to make Veganomicon’s Chickpea Cutlets, (http://www.theppk.com/2010/11/doublebatch-chickpea-cutlets/), and feel like cutting some up and throwing it over a salad! Happy eating! 🙂

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