Loaded Caesar Salad

After a bit lot of holiday indulgences, we have both been craving green things. Veggies. Salads. Mmmm. I was looking to make a caesar salad, but we tend to find them a little light for supper fare and prefer them for lunches. I thought maybe I could load the salad up though! The fun thing about this salad, is you can really make it your own. Put your favourite veggies in it. Another option is to make it raw. It’s pretty versatile. There are a few steps involved, but I had this on the table in about 35 minutes.

Loaded Caesar Salad (makes 2 good-sized salads)

1/2 of a bunch of romaine lettuce, washed & torn into bite-sized pieces

1/2 of a bunch of kale, washed & torn into bite-sized pieces

1 cup of sliced mushrooms

1 large carrot, peeled & julienned

1 tomato, chopped

a few marinated artichoke hearts, chopped

Tempeh Bacon

1/3 of a package of 8 oz tempeh, chopped into bite-sized pieces

1 tbsp of maple syrup

1 tbsp of coconut aminos (or soy sauce)

a few dashes of liquid smoke (not a necessity, but enhances that smoky-flavour)

*See instructions below

Dressing

1/2 cup of cashews, soaked 4-8 hours, the longer the creamier the dressing will be

2 tbsp of artichoke marinade

2 tbsp of water

the juice of half a lemon

1 tbsp of hemp seeds

2 tbsp of nutritional yeast

2 tbsp of plain, unsweetened coconut yogurt

Blend all ingredients until creamy & smooth.

Homemade Croutons

2 slices of gluten-free bread, chopped into bite-sized pieces

2 tbsp of olive oil

a pinch of sea salt (I have herbed sea salt, if you don’t – feel free to add some other spices)

Pour the olive oil on the chopped bread and add the salt. Stir it up until well combined and throw it in the toaster oven for about 5 minutes. I like mine a little soft, if you prefer yours crispy, leave them in longer.

As for the actual salad, I preheated a wok on the stove to medium heat and added a little coconut oil. Terry finds raw kale hard to digest, so I sautéed it a bit. After setting the cooked kale aside, I added the tempeh (my wok didn’t need extra oil), the maple syrup, coconut aminos & liquid smoke. Cook for a few minutes. I cook mine until it starts turning golden brown. After setting aside the cooked “bacon”, I added a teeny amount more of coconut oil and sautéed the mushrooms until cooked.

Massage the dressing into the lettuce (I only ended up using half of the dressing – the rest can be used to dip in crackers or for another salad). I layered the carrot, tomato, artichoke hearts, mushrooms, tempeh bacon & croutons. I threw some coconut bacon on top we had. It was dee-licious!

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