Chickpea Crouton Ingredients
|1 15 oz can||chickpeas|
|1 tsp||olive oil|
|1/2 tsp||sea salt|
|1/2 tsp||garlic powder|
|1/8 tsp||cayenne powder|
|1 small/medium bunch (~5 cups)||destemmed lacinato kale|
|2 small heads (~10 cups)||romaine lettuce|
Caesar Dressing Ingredients
|1/2 cup||raw cashews soaked overnight|
|2 tbsp||olive oil|
|1 tbsp||lemon juice|
|1/2 tbsp||dijon mustard|
|1/2 tsp||garlic powder|
|1 small clove||garlic|
|1/2 tbsp||vegan worcestershire sauce|
|1/2 tsp||salt and pepper|
Vegan Parmesan Cheese Ingredients
|1/3 cup||raw cashews|
|2 tbsp||hulled hemp seeds|
|1 tbsp||nutritional yeast|
|1 tbsp||olive oil|
|1/2 tsp||garlic powder|
|to taste||sea salt|
Make the Salad
Making the salad was fairly easy. I destemmed the lacinato kale. Then, chopped the romaine and kale into bite sized pieces.
Make the Dressing
The dressing was also very simple. I added all the ingredients to my blender and blended until it was smooth. It blended very easily. I didn't need to add anymore water like the recipe said I might. But, if you need to add some extra water.
Make the Parmesan Cheese
|Cashews and Garlic||Blended||Finished|
To make the parmesan I added the cashews and garlic into a food processor and chopped it finely. Then, I added the rest of the ingredients and pulse it until combound.
Make the Chickpea Croutons
This is where I cheated. I already had a bag of roasted chickpeas in my pantry so I used those. No sense making more when I had some to use! However, if you want to make these yourself you can do so by preheating your oven to 400°F. Rinse and dry your chickpeas. Then, add the oil and spices and make sure they all get coated. Roast for 20 minutes and take them out and roll them around to flip them over. Then, roast them again for 10 to 20 minutes until lightly golden.
Putting it Together
After making all the pieces I put the salad together. The great thing about this salad is you can make each part in advanced and put it together right before serving. I mixed the salad (romaine & kale) with the dressing and slightly massaged it in to help soften the kale. Then, I topped it with the parmesan and chickpea croutons. After assembling you should server it immediately or it may get soggy.
This is the best vegan caesar salad I've ever had! Hands down! It was amazing. It was super flavorful. I didn't even miss the fact that there weren't bread croutons on this salad because the chickpea croutons were perfect. They were crunchy and the taste went well with the caesar dressing. Normally, I love romaine caesar salads but the kale was great. I couldn't even taste I was eating it. Normally, kale tends to be a strong taste but the dressing really masks it. I feel a little healhier eating some kale in there. The parmesan bits added texture to the salad that I didn't know I wanted. You can buy shredded vegan parmesan at the store but this parmesan was a different texture then what you can find in the stores. Between the dressing and the parmesan there was a strong garlic taste which you'd expect in a caesar salad. The capers and vegan worcestershire sauce added to the flavor and made it taste so close to non-vegan caesar I would never be able to tell the difference.
This recipe wasn't too bad for the price of a large salad. The vegan worcestershire sauce was hard to find but surprisingly pretty cheap (~$4). Cashews are always expensive and this recipe calls for almost a cup. Hemp seeds can also be pricey but 2 tbsps isn't very much. I also had a hard time finding the lacinato kale but found it for about $4 a bunch. Overall, I would say it costs about $10 to make this salad. Having to buy the vegan worcestershire sauce put this over that but can use it for many recipes and this recipe only calls for 1/2 tbsp.
It really is a beautiful salad. The contrasting colors from the kale and romaine made it vibrant. The dressing made it look creamy and delicious before even trying it. The parmesan gave it more texture. And the roasted chickpeas gave a pop of color.
This recipe is quick and easy. The hardest part was remembering to soak the cashews for the dressing before I went to bed the night prior. You only have to chop lettuce and kale. The parmesan and dressing are quickly blended. And if you are lazy, like me, you can buy already roasted chickpeas.
Would I make it again?
YES YES YES! This recipe is fire! I loooooooooove this recipe. If I could give it more than 5 stars I would! The funny thing is I've wanted to try this recipe for ages now but never got around to do it. I had it on one of my Pinterest boards for a long time. I think the recipe came out in 2014 and I probably saw it way back then. Time flys. Now, I'm kicking myself for not making this sooner. This is definitely a new staple for me and I will make it all the time. I will probably make the vegan caesar dressing on the weekend to use on salads throughout the week. The paramesan is quick and easy to make as well so I will probably make that too. I try to meal prep on the weekends so I have stuff to take to work for lunch and so I don't have to make the whole meal once I get home from work. So, I love this because I can make each part of this recipe in advanced and put it together when I'm hungry.