Paleo Vegan Caesar Salad
Even if this wasn’t a paleo vegan Caesar salad, you would still love it more than any other Caesar!
This Caesar salad is better than any Caesar salad you have ever had. Yup. I said it. It’s BETTER. And, it has no dairy. And the croutons are grain-free. And instead of Romaine lettuce, it’s got shaved brussels sprouts and kale. And, I’ll say it again… IT’S BETTER THAN ALL THE OTHER CAESAR SALADS YOU HAVE BEEN EATING! You should believe me (I mean, I almost never write in all caps…)
I wish I could take all of the credit for this awesome dressing, but the credit goes to Angela at Oh She Glows. She’s amazing and she created the original version of this dressing. Check out her blog if you want a real treat.
When I made this Caesar for friends, I didn’t tell anyone it was paleo or vegan. And I’m not kidding, not one person knew, and a few asked for the recipe. My daughter is a huge Caesar fan — she knows what’s in this recipe (and what’s not) — and this Caesar is her favorite.
The dressing is whipped up in your blender. You can use whatever greens float your boat. You can use whatever croutons you like, but I encourage you to buy some grain-free bread (I actually used grain-free bagels), cube it up, toss it with a little oil, sea salt, black pepper, and garlic powder and toast them in the oven, because, OMG, it’s just amazing (especially with bagel slices). If you are not a strict grain-free eater, go buy some everything bagels and slice those up — that would be awesome!
And, if you take my recommendation and use kale and brussels sprouts, this salad will make for great leftovers in the fridge, because these greens are hearty enough to sit in the dressing without wilting…
You should also try my Vegan Caprese Salad With Hearts of Palm!
Aside from being the best tasting Caesar salad ever, this paleo vegan Caesar salad is also a great healing salad:
Kale is everywhere these days. It is extremely nutritious, and because it to so popular you can find it already washed and prepared in lots of markets. My cheat for this recipe was that I bought this kale already shredded and washed at the market. If you are using a whole bunch of kale, make sure you clean the leaves thoroughly and remove the center thick stems if they bother you (I don’t like to eat these think stems when they are raw). This dark leafy green is a great source of fiber and calcium. It’s also rich in many minerals, including magnesium, iron and potassium. One serving contains 200% of the daily requirements of Vitamin C and 180% of Vitamin A.
Brussels sprouts are from the same cruciferous vegetable family as cabbage, broccoli and kale. They are rich in protein, fiber, antioxidants, vitamins and minerals. They are touted for their aid in weight loss because they have so much fiber and so few calories. Research has shown that these sprouts contain colon-cancer fighting substances and vitamins to protect against Alzheimer’s. Traditionally, they are known as more of a winter vegetable, but many markets now carry them year-round, which makes me happy because I like to eat them year-round!
Cashews are really a multi-tasking nut. I use them all the time so I say it all the time: Cashews have a lower fat content than most other nuts. Most of the fat in cashews is unsaturated and is made up of oleic acid; this is the same acid that is found in olive oil, making these nuts a heart-healty choice. The cashews give this dressing a velvety, creamy texture.
Capers, although small in size, are a big source of anti-oxidants, and they actually can make you feel better emotionally because they activate the “happiness” center of your brain.
Garlic is amazing in its antiviral and antibacterial capabilities. Garlic is actually a Chinese herb (Da Suan). It’s used to kill toxins and parasites and also to reduce swelling in the body. It’s what I call a great “A” herb: anesthetic, antibacterial, anti fungal, antioxidant, antiviral, etc….
- For dressing:
- ½ cup raw cashews
- ½ cup water
- 2 Tbs extra-virgin olive oil
- juice of ½ a lemon
- ½ tsp garlic powder
- 1 garlic clove
- 1 tsp liquid aminos
- 2 tsp capers
- sea salt to taste
- black pepper to taste
- few drops of hot sauce (or to taste)
- 1 tsp coconut sugar
- For salad:
- one head of kale, sliced into ribbons
- about 1 lb. Brussels sprouts, thinly sliced
- a big handful of vegan Parmesan cheese (or Parmesan of your choice)
- For the croutons:
- 1 or 2 bagels (I used grain-free ones), cut into small chunks
- 2 tsp extra-virgin olive oil
- sea salt and black pepper
- 1 tsp garlic powder
- Preheat the oven to 375 °F.
- Toss the crouton ingredients together in a medium bowl.
- Spread them out on a baking sheet and bake until slightly golden and crisp (mine took about 13 minutes).
- Place all of the dressing ingredients into a blender and whiz it up until really smooth (I used my Vitamix, so it was pretty fast)
- In a large bowl, toss together kale and Brussels sprouts.
- Sprinkle in the Parmesan and toss.
- Add the dressing and toss well.
- Sprinkle the croutons onto the salad and gently toss again.