A fresh salad with homemade vegan dressing and an added crunch!
During summer months I spend more time outside playing in the sun and less time in the kitchen which means easy meals are necessary to keep health a priority. I have a handful of recipes I like to come back to week after week and this easy Caesar Salad is one of my favorites! Erin usually makes her own salad dressings at the office and always encourages us to do the same. Why? Because it’s so simple to make and it helps you avoid any funny ingredients lurking in store-bought dressings. I typically go for balsamic or citrus dressing but sometimes all you want is something classic and creamy. If you like creamy dressings such as thousand island, ranch or caesar you will love this Vegan Caesar Dressing. Did you know that caesar dressing usually has anchovies in it? While I’m not opposed to eating fish there was no way I was putting it in my blender to make this dressing. After ditching the anchovies and making a few other tweaks I landed on a perfect vegan friendly dupe for everyone’s favorite dressing.
Caesar gets most of its flavor from anchovies, capers, garlic, lemon and parmesan. It’s acidic and creamy with a unique flavor you can’t quite put your finger on. In this vegan version I kept the capers because they’re the perfect combination of salty and vinegary. The addition of cashews and nutritional yeast give the dressing a nutty, cheesy, deliciously creamy texture. Cashews are a popular non-dairy alternative because of their neutral flavor and buttery texture. Soaking the cashews for 24 hours before use will give you a creamier texture but it’s not necessary for this recipe. You can always make adjustments and find your personal preference with homemade dressings. I enjoy this recipe with 4 cloves of garlic or more, but you might prefer only 2 to avoid post-dinner garlic breath. Some may prefer more nutritional yeast and less mustard. The beauty of making your own dressing is that it will taste however you want it to. You’ll notice the only step to make the dressing is to load up your blender and press “go”. You can chop your veggies, blend the dressing and get back outside to enjoy the sun in no time.
I’m a firm believer that every ingredient in a salad is important, not just the dressing. Every ingredient can make a big impact on how satisfying a salad is and that includes which greens you include. Do you cringe at the sight of kale? Often people don’t like kale because it can take a lot of effort to chew compared to other lettuces like Romaine. Especially if you don’t eat a lot of salads or raw vegetables, this can be a real turnoff when exploring new vegetables. Kale is more fibrous than other greens and that’s why its leaves are tougher to chew. To combat this you can slice your kale thinly and massage it before adding the rest of your salad ingredients. Or skip the kale and add something else that you like! Raw cabbage, shaved brussel sprouts and broccoli slaw are fun ways to add more crunch and versatility to your everyday salads. By switching up basic ingredients you can avoid getting bored of meals that you make frequently.
If you decide to use kale simply place the sliced kale in a bowl, drizzle on about 1 tsp of olive oil and a pinch of sea salt. Use your hands to massage the oil into the leaves. The texture will be easier to chew and more enjoyable to eat. If you prefer not to use any oil in your salad dressing you are welcome to replace it with more water. The recipe makes enough dressing for two of these salads depending on how much dressing you like to use! You will get 2 large servings from this recipe or, if you’re having it as a side dish, it can serve 4-6.
A classic Caesar salad topped with parmesan, croutons and dressing just wouldn’t do here. I decided to jazz it up with some red onions and cherry tomatoes! You can’t go wrong with onions and tomatoes on a salad. Be adventurous, more toppings mean more opportunity for nutrition and flavor. Where you normally find croutons you’ll see I added some Sea Salt Sprouted Snacks. They are beyond perfect on salads! Instead of your standard crouton which is usually made with bread and spices, Sprouted Snacks are made with oats, cashews, almonds and a mix of sprouted seeds. They’re naturally gluten free and low in sugar which means I’m getting more from my toppings while still getting that crunch I crave! A full 5 oz bag of Sea Salt Blue Bike Sprouted Snacks will be plenty for this recipe.
What toppings do you usually put on your salads? Let us know in the comments.
Crunchy Caesar Salad Recipe with DIY Vegan Dressing
Vegan Caesar Dressing
- 6 tbsp. Water
- 1 tsp Salt
- ½ C Raw Cashews
- 2-4 Garlic Cloves
- 2 tbsp. Nutritional Yeast
- 2 tbsp. Oil (or water)
- ¼ tsp Apple Cider Vinegar
- 1 tsp Soy Sauce
- 2 tsp Capers
- 1 tsp Dijon Mustard
- Juice of 1 large lemon
- Add all ingredients to blender and blend until smooth. Store in an airtight container in the fridge up to 3 days
Crunchy Caesar Salad with Sea Salt Sprouted Snacks
- 5 oz. thinly sliced Kale
- 1 head of Romaine Lettuce
- ½ Red Onion
- 6-8 Cherry Tomatoes
- Lemon Juice
- 1 tsp Olive Oil
- Pinch of Sea salt
- 1 C Sea Salt Sprouted Snacks
- Remove stems, slice your kale and add to a large bowl.
- Drizzle 1 tsp Olive Oil and pinch of salt over the kale and massage with your hands.
- Chop romaine lettuce into bite sized pieces, combine with kale.
- Thinly slice red onions and cut cherry tomatoes in half and add to salad.
- Top salad with Vegan Caesar Dressing, Sea Salt Sprouted Snacks and lemon juice.
Customer Experience Coordinator | Erin Baker's
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