Plant-Based Caesar Salad
One of my New Year's resolutions this year is to eat more plant-based foods. In the past, I have done plant-based diets and I always love how much better I feel when I do. Since I am trying to eat more plant-based foods this year, I thought it would be nice to share more plant-based recipes with you. I always like the challenge of revising a classic favorite to adapt to different diets.
Vegan Kale Caesar Salad
This Vegan Kale Caesar Salad with Crispy Chickpeas is one that keeps making an appearance at our house during lunch. This salad is originally inspired by Minimalist Baker's 5 Minute Vegan Caesar Dressing. I made the dressing for an event a few weeks back and it was so good. No one could believe how good it tasted and you certainly can't tell that it is vegan! I decided I wanted to come up with my version of a plant-based Caesar salad using a similar technique for the dressing. To add some more protein to this delicious salad, I decided to add crispy chickpeas, which are also a convenient gluten-free substitute for croutons.
Chickpeas are extremely versatile and used quite a bit in vegan and gluten-free recipes. They can be used to make baked goods, dips or dressing and are an excellent source of protein. These crispy chickpeas are one of my favorite things to snack on. Toss the chickpeas with olive oil and season them with salt, lemon pepper, garlic powder, and paprika. Then, roast them in a hot oven until they are slightly crispy on the outside and chewy on the inside. This makes them the perfect gluten-free substitute for croutons as well as a great plant-based protein addition.
How to Make Vegan Caesar Salad
For this salad, I used both romaine lettuce and kale to give it extra flavor and texture. I recommend finely shredding the romaine and kale into thin ribbons, so you don't have huge chunks of salad. The dressing is very easy to put together. Simply add all of your dressing ingredients, minus the olive oil, to a food processor or blender and pulse to roughly chop the chickpeas and start to blend the ingredients. Then, while processing on low, you will drizzle in the olive oil to blend it up nice and smooth. Scrape down the sides at least once and blend again to make sure everything is well incorporated. Once your dressing is done, toss the salad with the dressing and sprinkle in the chickpeas. Serve and enjoy!
Vegan Kale Caesar Salad with Crispy Chickpeas
- 6 cups romaine lettuce finely shredded
- 4 cups kale finely shredded
- In a small bowl, combine chickpeas with olive oil, salt, lemon pepper, garlic powder, and paprika. Toss to combine and spread out evenly on the prepared baking sheet.
- Roast in preheated oven for 25-30 minutes, making sure you toss them halfway through the cooking period. Chickpeas are done when they are golden brown, slightly crispy on the outside and chewy on the inside. Set aside to cool
Vegan Caesar Dressing
- Add chickpeas, tahini, capers, lemon juice, garlic, and salt to a food processor or blender and pulse to begin combining the ingredients. Once the ingredients are roughly chopped, slowly drizzle in the olive oil while processing on low until dressing is smooth and creamy. Scrape the sides of the bowl and pulse a few more times to ensure all ingredients are well blended.
- Finely shred both the romaine lettuce and the kale into thin ribbons. Place in a serving bowl and add in dressing. Gently toss to make sure the dressing is lightly covering all of the greens. Sprinkle in crispy chickpeas and toss one more time to combine. Serve immediately.
I hope you enjoyed my version of this plant-based Vegan Kale Caesar Salad, especially the crispy roasted chickpeas! Looking for more plant-based recipes that are also gluten-free? Here are a few of my favorites:
- Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Bread
- Roasted Eggplant & Spinach Penne
- Cashew Coconut Homemade Granola
- Garlic Sriracha Hummus