Caesar Salad lovers or not … this salad is for you!
Whether you are a traditional Caesar Salad lover or not, I’m sure you will agree that this Vegan Caesar Salad with Roasted Chickpea Croutons is “out of this world” delicious! It is packed with nutrition from the greens, and tons of flavor from the nuts, seeds and chickpeas. But, one of the key ingredients for flavor in this recipe comes from a vegan and vegetarian favorite – Nutritional Yeast.
What is Nutritional Yeast?
Nutritional yeast is a dehydrated yeast product. The yeast comes from the strain Soccharomyces cerevisiae, the same type of yeast that’s used to brew beer and bake bread. The yeast is harvested, washed, and then heated to dry which then makes it inactive. It is then crumbled into powder and then packaged for use.
What does Nutritional Yeast taste like and is it healthy for you?
Nutritional yeast has a rich, nutty flavor that mimics many taste aspects of cheese. Nutritional yeast is super nutritious. It is also one of the few plant sources of B12, which makes it a must have ingredient for vegans and vegetarians. Just one tablespoon delivers slightly more than the daily recommended amount for adults.
Note: Vitamin B12 is known to help with our nervous system, blood-cell formation, digestion, brain function and much more. It is also a water-soluble vitamin, which means we need to replenish it every single day, since it doesn’t get stored in our bodies like fat-soluble vitamins.
Where can I buy Nutritional Yeast?
There are many brands of Nutritional Yeast (Bob’s Red Mill, Bragg”s Premium, Simply Organic, Whole Foods), and they are readily available at most markets or to purchase on line.
How do I prepare Vegan Caesar Salad?
There are 4 components to making Vegan Caesar Salad with Roasted Croutons:
- Fresh Greens – Romaine Lettuce (or a mix with Lactino kale)
- Roasted Chickpea Croutons
- Caesar Dressing
- Nutty Parmesan Cheese
Roasted Chickpea Croutons – Season & roast in oven for up to 30 minutes
Caesar Salad Dressing – soak cashews overnight and blend all ingredientsPrint
Vegan Caesar Salad with Roasted Chickpea Croutons is a flavorful blend of nuts, beans and spices placed over romaine lettuce or a blend of greens.
1 large head of romaine lettuce (or 1 small head of romaine and 1 bunch of Lactino kale)
Roasted Chickpea Croutons:
1 container (13.4 ounce) or can of chickpeas
1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
½ teaspoon sea salt
½ teaspoon garlic powder
¼ teaspoon of cayenne pepper
¾ cup raw cashews, covered & soaked in water overnight
½ cup water
½ lemon juiced (approximately 1 ½ tablespoons)
½ tablespoon Dijon mustard
2 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil
2 garlic cloves
2 teaspoons capers
1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
½ teaspoon sea salt & pepper, or to taste
Nutty Parmesan Cheese:
⅓ cup raw cashews
2 tablespoons of sunflower seeds
1 garlic clove
1 tablespoons of nutritional yeast
1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
½ tablespoon garlic powder
sea salt to taste
- Place cashews (for dressing) in a bowl or measuring cup and soak in water overnight. Drain & rinse.
- Lettuce: Break each leaf apart by hand (or cut) into bite size pieces, setting a few whole leaves aside for plating purposes. Clean in a salad spinner or bowl of water. Dry thoroughly.
- Croutons: Preheat oven to 400°. Drain & rinse chickpeas. Place in a clean towel to dry. Remove the chickpeas from the towel and place on a parchment lined baking sheet. Pour olive oil over the chickpeas and move them around gently so they are coated evenly. Sprinkle the seasonings over the chickpeas and shift around again (I find it easiest to just rotate them around with my hands). Roast for approximately 30 minutes, until crispy golden brown, rotating after 15 minutes with a spoon or spatula.
- Dressing: Drain & rinse the cashews. Place all of the ingredients in a high speed blender and process until smooth & creamy. Add more water if necessary. You can also add nutritional yeast if you desire.
- Nutty Cheese: Place cashews & garlic in a food processor and blend until fully chopped. Add the remaining ingredients (except oil) and pulse until blended well. Add the oil and pulse a few more times.
- Plate greens (or in a large bowl). Top with chickpea croutons, nutty parmesan cheese and a drizzle of the vegan caesar dressing.
Keywords: vegan caesar salad dressing, roasted chickpea croutons, nutritional yeast recipe