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Vegan Caesar Salad

 

My mom happens to make the very best Caesar salad that there ever was – until I developed my vegan version. I have no problem eating my mom’s awesome salad, but I do have a hard time taking those little squiggly fish out of the can and putting them into a blender. I needed an alternative vegan Caesar salad that I could take with me to people’s homes when they invited me for summer BBQs.

I am not a vegan, but I also prefer not to eat food that comes off a BBQ (that’s a whole lotta heat going on). I use high-quality meat as a side dish, which means it’s eaten in small amounts next to plants that are the superstars. Any bit of an appetite that I may have gets absolutely squashed, squelched and eliminated whenever I see a barbecue grill loaded down with a zoo’s-worth of animals, and animal assemblages (mixed meat burgers, hot dogs and sausages).

As per my potluck rule, I like to bring a dish that could serve as my whole meal, and given that I love fermented foods like tempeh, I am a whizz with this probiotic rich, protein dense, healthfully fermented food that makes a great meat substitute. You name it, I can make it with tempeh!

I figured that I could make tempeh do a great impersonation of bacon, make croutons out of some gluten-free bread, mix-master up a dressing that had that little bit of tang, that little bit of creamy, and that little bit of salty, and ended up with a winner of a vegan Caesar salad!

Blow those horns of victory because I do! I do have a winner – the bestest, lightest, canned-fish free Vegan Caesar Salad. She truly is a barbecue’s best friend and will totally hold her own against any sausage fest, and will surely outshine the mayo-clad potato salad.

You can prep the dressing and tempeh bacon bits ahead of time, which makes this vegan Caesar salad even easier to make and serve.

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Vegan Caesar Salad


  • Author: Meghan Telpner
  • Total Time: 35 minutes
  • Yield: 4-6 servings 1x

Description

A delicious vegan Caesar salad recipe with tempeh bacon bits and the best fish-free dressing.


Ingredients

Scale

For the Tempeh Bits

  • 1 block of tempeh, chopped into 1/4 inch cubes
  • 3 Tbsp olive oil
  • 3 Tbsp tamari

For the Croutons

  • 34 pieces of stale gluten-free bread or bread ends, cut into 1/2 inch squares
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced or chopped finely
  • 1 Tbsp dry or 23 Tbs fresh oregano, chopped
  • 2 Tbsp olive oil

For the Vegan Caesar Salad Dressing

  • 1/3 cup water
  • 1/4 cup almond butter
  • 1 clove garlic
  • 3 Tbsp nutritional yeast
  • 2 Tbsp tamari
  • 2 Tbsp dijon mustard
  • 1/2 lemon, juiced
  • 1 Tbsp olive oil (or flax oil)

For the Salad

4-6 cups greens of choice

 


Instructions

  1. Start with the tempeh. In a large pan, heat olive oil over medium heat. Add in tempeh cubes and lightly sauté until browned.
  2. Add in tamari and cook until it is fully absorbed.
  3. Remove from heat and set the tempeh aside on a plate.
  4. In the same pan the tempeh was cooking in, heat olive oil over medium heat. Add in garlic and oregano coat in oil.
  5. Toss in bread and mix thoroughly, until bread is lightly coated in herbed oil.
  6. Leave on low-medium heat, stirring and turning occasionally to avoid burning.
  7. Once evenly toasted, remove from heat.
  8. In a blender, blend the Caesar salad dressing until smooth.
  9. Putting it all together: Toss the greens and dressing together, then add the croutons and tempeh ‘bacon’. Taste and adjust seasoning if necessary.

 

  • Prep Time: 15
  • Cook Time: 20
  • Category: Side dish

Keywords: vegan Caesar, vegan Caesar salad, vegan Caesar recipe, salad, barbecue

When you are invited out to a BBQ – what is your go-to potluck offering for the feast?

13 responses to “Vegan Caesar Salad”

  1. Samantha Angela @ Bikini Birthday says:

    Where do you buy your tempeh from? I don’t know where to find the stuff.

  2. jamie says:

    I always bring either a big salad filled with lots of colorful veggies or a plate of veggies sticks with a healthy dip like hummus!!
    This recipe looks so tasty. Going to try it in tmrw!

  3. jamie says:

    Went out on my lunch break today to pick up the few ingredients i needed to make this for dinner.
    This recipe is amazing! It turned out so good. I used buckwheat bread to make the croutons. Made extra for tmrws lunch. I am already looking forward to lunch tmrw!
    Thank you for sharing!

    • https://secure.gravatar.com/avatar/599ccdf73b6d2f26a247dd52e9e5f8b8?s=51&d=blank&r=g Meghan Telpner says:

      Thank you for trying. Reading a recipe is only a small part of the process. Cooking it is more important!

  4. Erin says:

    Wow, that salad dressing has bite! I think my garlic cloves were extra strong. But, it’s really good!

  5. jenny eats nutella from a spoon says:

    this looks out of this world delicious. might have to follow recipe to a tee. and for a salad, too!

  6. Jesse K. Hendrix says:

    not a vegan either but I freakin’ love this dressing. Made it for the first time last year…hubbie loves it too! We get hankerings (that’s Southern US slang for cravings) for it often. Great tossed with raw dino kale ribbons and parm cheese…YUM!

  7. Love In The Kitchen (@meghantelpner) (@meghantelpner) (@meghantelpner) (@meghantelpner) says:

    Keep lovin’ on your caesar salad, but switch up the dressing http://t.co/NHmxnJ3i #recipe #vegan

  8. Sarah says:

    hello!
    what brand of nutritional yeast do you use Meghan?

    thanks!

    • https://secure.gravatar.com/avatar/599ccdf73b6d2f26a247dd52e9e5f8b8?s=51&d=blank&r=g Meghan Telpner says:

      I often use Bragg’s. I have another one and I can’t think of the name but it comes in a green bag with a picture of a farmer on it.

  9. Chris says:

    Hi – I love the vegan caesar salad dressing. How many servings are considered for a 1x recipe? Thank you!

    • https://secure.gravatar.com/avatar/599ccdf73b6d2f26a247dd52e9e5f8b8?s=51&d=blank&r=g Meghan Telpner says:

      The dressing makes about a little more than half a cup – it has a deep flavour so you can use it to taste. You may not need the whole amount.

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