Ordering a traditional Caesar salad at a restaurant can be as unhealthy as ordering a plate of fries!
Yes there are greens (bonus points for the veggies), but they are usually covered in a unhealthy, inflammatory dressing that is pretty high in cholesterol. Sigh.
However a good creamy Caesar is something I love. Even I feel like there are only so many oil and vinegar salads one person can consume!
Enter the popular plant based kale Caesar. This has definitely become a common item in healthy cookbooks and on plant based restaurant menus. I've tried and loved many different recipes, the issue being they were complicated or time consuming. And as you know I like to keep healthy eating simple and easy.
The creamy base of this recipe is made from soaked cashews, but you can "quick soak" them (thank you 'Oh She Glows'). This means you cover them in boiling water for about 20 - 30 minutes, drain and rinse and boom they are ready to blend with some water for a plant based, healthy creamy sauce! The hemp seeds are full of magnesium and heart healthy fats and the nutritional yeast has lots of energizing B vitamins.
And that folks is how we take an artery clogging traditional Caesar dressing and make it a heart healthy, anti-inflammatory and vitamin rich!
The rest of the dressing is a one blender wonder and it is hearty enough that you can eat the leftovers for lunch tomorrow. I like to top it with some avocado and Crispy Roasted Chickpeas for a complete meal.
This delicious salad can easily become a meal by adding roasted chickpeas, avocado and seeds.
The kale is hearty and therefore this salad can be made the night before, refrigerated and enjoyed the next day for a quick lunch or dinner.
The dressing can also be made ahead of time and kept in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 3 days. I will often double it and use it another day as a sauce on top of roasted veggies or in a grain or power bowl.
Quickly soak the cashews by placing them in a bowl and covering them with boiling water. Let them soak for 20 - 30 minutes, then drain and rinse. I usually do this while I'm washing and chopping the kale.
In a high speed blender or food processor combine the cashews, water, hemp seeds, olive oil, apple cider vinegar, garlic powder, dijon and salt and pepper. Blend on high until it is a creamy sauce. If you are finding it too thick to blend add a small splash of water but be careful as you don't want it to get too watery.
Place the kale in a very large bowl and add all the dressing and toss well. It may take some time as the dressing is a thicker consistency and you want to have all the kale leaves coated well. Sprinkle the nutritional yeast on top and toss the salad again to combine. Serve immediately.