A good, vegan caesar salad is my absolute favorite! Add some hearty kale, toasted spiced chickpeas & a tahini based dressing & you’re in for a delightful way to get your greens. I haven’t been very excited about food lately…hence the silence…but this yummy salad added a bit of sparkle to my day.
I have to admit, I’ve not been eating the healthiest lately. My appetite has been inconsistent, my evenings & weekends have been too busy for cooking, & I’ve just been eating, well, whatever–if anything. Not good, I know. There is a lot going on in my corner of the world & with cold, wet weather in the forecast, lots of sick kiddos at my school, & the hustle-bustle holidays here, like, now (!!!), it is the optimal time for nurturing self care. I know what it takes to be & feel well, I know what I need to do…it’s just finding the energy & motivation to do it. I’m working on it. I just re-joined a gym & re-kindled my membership at my former yoga studio that has hot yoga & more level II classes that will keep me moving & challenged. Consistent yoga & exercise are key for me. I am looking into a new CSA share, as a box of seasonal veggies usually inspires me & I am trying to get myself back in the kitchen, as a wholesome, healthy diet should always be my top priority. I am looking to implement many lifestyle changes in the new year..but why wait until then? How about starting now!
And how about a delicious salad to kick things off! Like I said, I live for a good caesar salad, with vegan dressing of course. And while I love the traditional romaine, bready croutons & zesty creamy dressing type of caesar, I also enjoy changing it up a bit, making it a bit more healthy by adding in some dark, leafy lacinato kale, protein rich chickpeas & a calcium rich tahini based dressing! I was inspired by this kale caesar salad created by one of my favorite bloggers, Dishing up the Dirt. I followed Andrea’s lead by roasting some chickpeas, but swapped out the garlic & jazzed them up with a bit of warming Madras curry powder! I also whipped up her delicious & creamy tahini dressing. The traditionalist in me had to toss in some romaine lettuce. besides it makes the salad more colorful. And we cannot forget the parm! It’s all about that extra bit of “cheesy” goodness. I was out of peptias, but followed my basic “pepita parma” recipe with walnuts & added a bit of curry powder to that as well. Mmmm, mmm good!
- For the Chickpeas:
- 1 cup cooked chickpeas
- ½ tsp.Madras Curry Powder
- ½ tsp. extra virgin olive oil
- pinch of fine sea salt
- For the Greens:
- 1 small bunch Lacinato kale, destemmed
- 1 small romaine lettuce, chopped
- ¼ cup red onion, finely diced
- For the Dressing (from The Roasted Root):
- ¼ cup tahini
- ¼ cup water
- 1 garlic clove, minced
- 1 Tbsp. fresh lemon juice
- 2½ Tbsp. nutritional yeast
- 2 tsp dijon mustard
- ⅛ tsp cayenne pepper
- pinch of fine sea salt
- For the Curried Walnut Parma:
- 1 cup raw walnuts
- 1 clove of garlic
- 2 Tbsp. of nutritional yeast
- 1 tsp. Madras curry powder
- 1 tsp. sea salt
- Roasted Chickpeas: Place in a single layer on a prepared baking sheet and bake until golden and crisp. About 25-30 minutes. Tossing chickpeas halfway through cooking time. Careful not to let them burn. Allow to cool.
- Prepare the Dressing: Combining all the ingredients into a food processor or blender & blend until smooth & creamy.
- Prepare the Parma: Place all ingredients into a food processor & pulse to combine. Continue to pulse until desired texture is achieved. Store in an airtight container & refrigerate. Lasts for 3-4 weeks.
- Prepare the Greens: De-stem the kale & julienne the leaves. Chop the romaine into bite-sized pieces. Place into large salad bowl.
- Assemble: Add dressing onto lettuce and toss until fully coated. Sprinkle on the roasted chickpeas, red onion, & parma. I love a good squeeze of fresh lemon juice as well! Serve immediately & enjoy!
Oh, those roasted chickpeas! They almost didn’t make it into the salad. I could’ve eaten the entire batch straight of the baking sheet. But I am glad they made it into the salad as they added a beautiful toasty crunch!
Well, hopefully this delicious salad will give me the boost I need. It felt good to get my hands dirty in the kitchen again. It had been a while! And felt so good to get some greens in my system. Good fuel for my weary soul!
Until next time, friends. xx