vegan food blog

chickpea caesar salad

chickpea caesar salad

A vegan take on a classic standard salad.

As a kid, any time my family went out to a restaurant I would order a caesar salad. Without fail.  Since going vegan, I’ve been on the lookout for a recipe that comes close to tasting like the real thing, and this one adapted from hotforfood is perfection.  The look, consistency, and taste are nearly identical to a standard caesar dressing, making my salad dreams a reality.

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To spice up your salad add the pan-fried chickpeas and some homemade croutons on top, giving a protein boost, and a change to the texture.  Whenever we buy baguettes we can’t seem to get through the whole thing without it going stale; thus our crouton recipe was born!

Nutritional yeast is featured in the dressing and crouton recipe; despite it’s strange appearance, when blended into sauces it adds a cheese-like flavour.  These yellow flakes are a pure strain of yeast called Saccharomyces cerevisiae.  B-vitamins are added during the growing process to provide the yeast with the nutrients it needs; making it one of the few sources of vitamin B-12 that can be found on a vegan diet, since it is normally only found in animal products.

Caesar Dressing Ingredients

  • 3/4 cup raw cashews
  • 3/4 cup water
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 pitted medjool date
  • 3 tbsp lemon juice
  • 1 tsp lemon zest
  • 3 1/2 tbsp nutritional yeast*
  • 1 tbsp apple cider vinegar
  • 1/2 tsp dijon mustard
  • 1 tsp sea salt
  • 1 tsp ground pepper
  • 2 tbsp fresh dill, minced

*nutritional yeast can be found in the bulk section or by Bob’s Red Mill in the natural foods section of the grocery store

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1. Place cashews in a small boil, bring 2 cups of water to boil in a kettle and pour over cashews.  Let sit for 10 minutes, drain off the water.

 

2. Place the cashews and all other ingredients in a blender and mix on high until smooth.

3. Refrigerate for 1 hour before serving. In the meantime, prepare the croutons and salad.

Crouton Ingredients

  • 4 cups cubed whole wheat bread (we like to use a baguette)
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 tbsp nutritional yeast
  • 1/4 tsp dried oregano
  • 1/4 tsp dried basil
  • 1/4 tsp turmeric
  • 1/4 tsp black pepper

1. Preheat your oven to 400°F.  Prepare a baking sheet with parchment paper.

2. Combine all ingredients in a large mixing bowl, toss to mix so bread cubes are evenly coated.  Place on the baking sheet in a single layer.  Bake for 10 minutes, tossing cubes halfway through cooking.

Yields: 4 entree size salads, or 8-10 side salads

Salad Ingredients:

  • 1 head romaine lettuce, chopped (or 3 romaine hearts)
  • 4-5 kale leaves, shredded finely
  • 1 green bell pepper, sliced thinly
  • 1 cucumber, diced
  • 1 can chickpeas, drained and rinsed
  • 1/4 tsp cumin
  • 1/4 tsp smoked paprika
  • 1/2 tsp dried basil
  • salt and pepper, to taste

1. Heat a pan on medium heat with 1 tsp olive oil.  Add the rinsed chickpeas to the pan and add cumin, paprika, basil, salt, and pepper.  Pan-fry for 10 minutes, until golden brown.

2. Wash kale and remove the leaves from the ribs/stems and discard those. Finely chop the leaves into ribbons or shreds and place in a large mixing bowl.  Add the romaine, bell pepper, cucumber,  chickpeas, croutons.  Add approximately 1 cup of dressing and toss to mix.

3. Chickpeas will settle at the bottom of the salad, so scoop from the top and bottom when serving.

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Notes:

Dressing adapted from hotforfoodblog

Caesar dressing will keep sealed in the fridge for 2 weeks.

Store the croutons in a large air-tight freezer bag, will keep well in the cupboard.

Make it Gluten-free: Use certified gluten-free bread for croutons

Entree Size Caesar
Entree Size
Side Size Caesar Salad
Side Size

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

References:

Nutrition facts from: CRON-O-Meter

Hottinger, G. (2016) Nutritional yeast.  Retrieved from: http://bestnaturalfoods.com/nutritional_yeast.html