Caesar salad is one of my all-time favourite salads. I’ve always felt it’s more of a meal than other salads – I don’t know why. It’s just so much more satisfying to me.
Growing up I would always whip up a Caesar salad whenever I wanted a healthy option for lunch. Little did I know that store bought caesar dressings I was using were filled with So. Much. Junk. I don’t actually know what half the things are in the Kraft Caesar salad dressing.
One of my rules for living is “if you can’t pronounce it, you probably shouldn’t eat it.” Many of the ingredients on this list fall into that category. So typically I make most of my food and salad dressings at home. For one, it’s cheaper, but it also ensures that you know exactly what you are putting in your body.
Simple Vegan Caesar Salad With Crispy Tofu Bacon Recipe
So caesar’s are pretty simple. It’s typically just lettuce, the dressing, and croutons or bacon. Perhaps a little parm to top it off. I chose to keep this one pretty simple. However, often times when I make this salad I add in any random veggies I have in the fridge like tomato, cucumber, avocado (drool again), peppers or carrots. Whatever I have on hand. I’m all about the nutrients. So feel free to add in whatever veggies you want, your salad will still taste delicious. But for this recipe, I wanted to keep it classic.
1 head of romaine lettuce
2 tablespoons hemp seeds
Lemon for garnish
- Chop your romaine lettuce into pieces and place in a bowl to set aside.
The thing that really makes a Caesar is the dressing. Because without it, it’s just lettuce. Bleh. The dressing is super simple, with 5 ingredients you can ACTUALLY pronounce, and probably have at home. You can also totally make it without the cashews and it’s equally delicious. The other amazing thing about this dressing is it’s just packed with nutrition. So you should basically have this salad dressing every day because it’s shaping up to be a real elixir of life!
1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
1 lemon juiced (approx 1/4 cup)
3-4 cloves garlic (I use 4 sometimes but I really like garlic, so use less of this if you’re impartial)
1/4 cup soaked cashews (use more for desired thickness)
Salt and pepper to taste
- Place olive oil, apple cider vinegar, lemon juice, garlic, and cashews in a blender and blend on high.
- Add additional cashews for extra thickness and salt/pepper to taste.
- Mix your dressing in with your greens in a large bowl, and serve topped with tofu bacon bits and hemp seeds.
The Tofu Bacon
This emerged out of a recent dislike for tempeh, but a general love for bacon taste. If I’m totally honest, I think the tofu bacon tastes much better, but tempeh fans – this versatile recipe works a charm for the fermented soybean kind.
When preparing the tofu bacon, you’ll want to slice the tofu nice and thin like the picture above. If your tofu is thicker like mine, you can opt to slice them in half lengthwise. I felt this gave it more of a “bacon” look and size. Let it marinate in the sauce for 5-10 minutes (or go all out and marinate for an hour or two). I just marinated for a couple minutes and had great results! I also used low sodium tamari (soy sauce) so I opted to add a little Himalayan salt at the end.
1/2 package firm tofu (or sub tempeh)
3 tablespoons tamari sauce
1 tablespoons maple syrup
1 teaspoon chilli powder
3 tablespoons coconut oil (or more if needed)
Salt to taste
- Cut your tofu into thin slices as shown in the picture above. You can also cut your tofu into skinny pieces depending on the thickness of your tofu (mine was quite large so I opted to cut them into more “bacon” sized slices).
- In a bowl, mix together tamari, maple syrup, and chilli pepper.
- You can choose to let the tofu strips marinate for a few hours, or soak them quickly 5-10 minutes.
- Put coconut oil in a pan, and place over medium heat. Add in the tofu strips. Use some of the excess sauce to cover the tofu strips for extra flavour.
- Let your tofu strips cook for about 15 minutes, flipping halfway through. Fry to desired crispiness. You may need to add a little more coconut oil if the tofu starts to stick to the pan.
- You can choose to leave the tofu bacon whole, or crumble into pieces over your salad.
This recipe was republished with permission from Melissa Singh.