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