Vegan Caesar Salad (V, GF) | Busy Girl Healthy World
The simple and modest Caesar salad gets a totally awesome vegan makeover and it could quite possibly be my favorite salad ever. Not only is the healthy factor boosted by adding amazing ingredients like kale and chickpeas, but this recipe gets rid of some not-so-healthy ingredients that you would find typically find in a traditional Caesar salad, like shaved Parmesan cheese and croutons. The highlight of this salad is definitely the dressing (and the vegan “Parmesan cheese”). It’s made with heart-healthy cashews and a variety of spices and seasonings and it honestly tastes BETTER than regular Caesar dressing. The roasted chickpea croutons are baked to perfection and add the perfect crunch to the salad. This is definitely a more time-consuming salad, but all of the components could be made ahead of time to help cut down on the prep time. I would definitely suggest making double batches of the croutons, Parmesan “cheese,” and dressing so that you can just cut up romaine and kale later in the week and assemble a second salad in less time. This whole recipe made 4 dinner-sized salads or about 6 side salads. I brought leftovers to work the next day, and although it did get a little soggier because I pre-dressed it, it was still delicious. DO NOT skip out on this amazing salad recipe. It honestly elevates Caesar salad to new heights. Traditional Caesar will never be good enough after eating this!

Some additional notations:
-If you are strictly gluten-free, make sure to use a gluten-free Worcestershire sauce, such as Wizard’s gluten free.
-This recipe requires that the cashews be soaked overnight. DO NOT skip this step.
-Don’t be scared of the fat content in this recipe. Almost all of the fat comes from the olive oil and cashews, which are both heart-healthy sources of monounsaturated fat, which is essential for a healthy diet.

Vegan Caesar Salad (V, GF) | Busy Girl Healthy World
Vegan Caesar Salad (V, GF) | Busy Girl Healthy World
Active Time: 20 minutes Total Time: 45 minutes
Serves 6 (as a side salad)

Ingredients:
For the roasted chickpea croutons:
1 (15-oz) can chickpeas
1/2 teaspoon extra virgin olive oil
1/2 teaspoon fine grain sea salt
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder

For the dressing (makes 3/4-1 cup):
1/2 cup raw cashews, soaked overnight
1/4 cup water
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1/2 tablespoon Dijon mustard
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
1 small garlic clove
1/2 tablespoon vegan Worcestershire sauce
2 teaspoons capers
1/2 teaspoon fine grain sea salt and pepper, or to taste

For the nut and seed Parmesan cheese (makes 1/2 cup):
1/4 cup raw cashews
2 tablespoons hulled hemp seeds
1 tablespoon nutritional yeast
1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
fine grain sea salt, to taste

For the lettuce:
1 small/medium bunch Lacinato kale, destemmed and chopped
2 small heads romaine lettuce, chopped

Directions:
Soak cashews in a bowl of water overnight, or for at least a few hours. Drain and rinse.

Roast chickpea croutons: Preheat oven to 400F. Drain and rinse chickpeas. Place chickpeas in a tea towel and rub dry. Place onto large rimmed baking sheet. Drizzle on oil and roll around to coat. Sprinkle on the garlic powder and salt and toss to coat. Roast for 20 minutes at 400F, then gently roll the chickpeas around in the baking sheet, then roast for another 10-15 minutes, until lightly golden. They will firm up as they cool.

Prepare the dressing: Add the cashews and all other dressing ingredients (except salt) into a high speed blender, and blend on high until the dressing is super smooth. You can add a splash of water if necessary to get it blending. Add salt to taste and adjust other seasonings, if desired. Set aside.

Prepare the Parmesan cheese: Add cashews into a mini food processor and process until finely chopped. Now add in the rest of the ingredients and pulse until the mixture is combined. Salt to taste.

Assemble: Add dressing onto lettuce and toss until fully coated. Now sprinkle on the roasted chickpeas and the Parmesan cheese. Serve immediately.

NOTE: I do not have a food processor, so I used my high-powered Ninja blender to make the dressing and vegan Parmesan and both worked great!

Vegan Caesar Salad (V, GF) | Busy Girl Healthy World
Vegan Caesar Salad (V, GF) | Busy Girl Healthy World
Vegan Caesar Salad (V, GF) | Busy Girl Healthy World
Nutrition Information per serving
Calories: 324 Fat: 24 Carbs: 19 Protein: 12 Sodium: 899 Sugar: 2

*Nutrition information is based on the products I used personally in this recipe. Different products may yield slightly different information.

Source: Oh She Glows: Crowd-Pleasing Vegan Caesar Salad

Written by Christina

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