Kale Caesar Salad w/ Chickpea Croutons

Those classic dishes that every family has on most of their dinner tables can often go unappreciated. Maybe it’s because people have it so often or maybe it’s just not as good as I think it is. I know that I did not start appreciating how good caesar salad is until I became vegan and suddenly I couldn’t have it anymore.

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That’s why whenever I come a across a good vegan caesar salad I savour it right until the end. A good vegan caesar salad is to die for. I am gonna be honest, my recipe is not my favourite caesar salad that I have ever had. Is that weird to say in a post that is supposed to get you to want to make this recipe? Ah well. No this is not my favourite caesar salad, but it is my second favourite. My favourite caesar salad will always be found in Montreal, QC Canada at a little restaurant called L’Gros Luxe 100% Vege. If you are ever in Montreal go there, you won’t regret it.

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Until the time you can have that one, this recipe is what you should be eating if you ant a good caesar salad. It is creamy, there is nothing I hate more than ordering a caesar salad at a restaurant and getting a vinegaratte caesar – I’m sorry but when did this become a thing, rich and get this – healthy! Yea this caesar salad is healthy, but you still feel like you are indulging.

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Kale Caesar Salad

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups kale, shredded
  • 2 cups romaine lettuce, shredded

Dressing:

  • 1/2 cup hemp seeds
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 2 tbsp lemon juice
  • 1 tbsp garlic powder
  • 1 tbsp dijon mustard
  • 1 tsp soy sauce
  • 1 tsp olive oil
  • 1/4 cup nutritional yeast

Crispy Chickpea Croutons:

  • 1 can chickpeas
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 tsp olive oil
  • 1 tsp onion powder
  • 1 tsp smoked paprika
  • 1 tsp hot chili powder

Tofu Bacon Bits:

  • 1/2 block firm tofu, pressed overnight or at least 1 hour
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 1 tsp liquid smoke
  • 1 tsp smoked paprika
  • 1 tsp sesame oil
  • 1 tsp soy sauce

Instructions:

  1. Preheat oven to 425F.
  2. Empty chickpeas into a strainer and rinse until all the brine is gone. Pat dry with a paper towel or tea towel and add to a medium bowl with oil, garlic powder, smoked paprika, onion powder and hot chili powder. Toss until evenly coated.
  3. Place chickpeas on a lined baking sheet and bake for 25-30 minutes or until crispy.
  4. While the chickpeas are baking prepare your tofu ‘bacon’ bits by crumbling your firm pressed tofu with your hands in a small bowl. Add water, sesame oil, soy sauce, liquid smoke and smoked paprika and mix. Allow to marinate for 10 minutes. Once marinated drain any excess marinade and put tofu on a section of the chickpea’s baking sheet. Allow to bake for the remaining time left on the chickpeas.
  5. To make our dressing add; hemp seeds, water, lemon juice, garlic powder, dijon mustard, soy sauce, olive oil and nutritional yeast to a blender and blend until smooth. Add to a jar as you will have some extra dressing for later!
  6. To put together your salad, thinly slice lettuce and kale and add to a large bowl. Add your chickpeas, tofu bacon bits and dressing and toss to coat. As a final, optional, touch you can sprinkle with nutritional yeast.
  7. This is a perfect dish for a barbecue or a great way to add a bunch of green vegetables to any meal!
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