Considering my name spelled backwards is sallad, you would expect that I’d be a big fan of salads. And if you did, you would be right! The beauty of the salad is that you can throw basically whatever you want into a bowl, smother it in dressing, and call it by whatever name you like. What a miraculous concept.
I have adored caesar salad since I was a wee tyke. So, you can imagine how disappointed I was to find out it is typically one of the worst salads for you. I made it my mission to create a healthy version that you wouldn’t even know was vegan.
My first task was to create a caesar dressing. It had to be rich, creamy, loaded with lemon and garlic, and finger-lickin’-good.
Mission accomplished. This caesar dressing is not only heaps healthier than conventional and store-bought dressings, it packs an absolute pah-zow of flavaaa. I have even used it as a cracker spread and as a sauce on burgers. Siii mamiii.
The next task was to find a substitute for the saltiness that anchovies provide in traditional caesar salad. For this, I found capers worked perfectly. I use them in the dressing, and I also sprinkle them on top of the salad for sporadic bites of salty tartness. Yummaaa.
The last mission was to mix up the textures. Salads are so much more interesting when they’ve got a few different elements going on. So, I added some seasoned homemade croutons (you can find the recipe by clicking here and scrolling to the recipe section of the post), and also sprinkled some amazingly crunchy Garlic Roasted Chick Peas on top. Total texture swoon.
Of course, no kale caesar salad is complete without that cheesy flavour, so I dust a hefty amount of nutritional yeast on top. Voila. Salad perfection.
Since this salad uses kale instead of romaine lettuce, it provides so many more nutrients than conventional caesar salad. Let’s hear a quick word from our resident Holistic Nutritionist, Connie Oickle, about the nutrients found in kale:
Kale is one of the most nutrient-dense foods on the entire planet. It is absolutely bursting with vitamins, providing more than your daily requirements for A, C, and K in just two and a half ounces. Kale is also packed with powerful antioxidants, and can help lower bad cholesterol levels. It has compounds that prevent cancer, and it is also an excellent for maintaining eye health, thanks to its ample supplies of lutein and zeaxanthin.
This kale caesar salad makes an amazing side or pot luck dish, but Brandon and I have also been eating it a la carte lately as a totally satisfying meal. Loaded with healthy fats and protein, it gives us amazing staying power throughout the day, without feeling the slightest bit sluggish.
Shooo folks, let us bring on the kale! Hi Ho Caesah – Away!!!!
The Ultimate Kale Caesar Salad
This kale caesar salad has got it all - crisp kale, creamy dressing, homemade croutons, crunchy roasted chick peas, and topped with nutritional yeast and capers!
For the Caesar Dressing:
- 2 cups cashews soaked in hot water for at least 20 minutes to soften
- 6-8 cloves garlic peeled
- 2 tbsp lemon zest
- ¼ cup lemon juice
- 2 tbsp capers heaping
- 3 tbsp dijon mustard heaping
- ¾ cup olive oil
- 1/4 cup water
- ½ tsp sea salt
- 1 tsp black peppercorns
For the Caesar Dressing:
Combine all of the ingredients in a smaller high-speed blender, such as a ninja or magic bullet, and blend until it is smooth and creamy. Makes 3 cups.
- Store in a sealed glass jar in the fridge if not using immediately.
For the Kale Caesar Salad:
Tear the kale into bite-sized pieces off the stems into a large salad bowl. Compost the stems or save for smoothies.
Add about 1 cup of dressing to the kale. Use more or less depending on your preferences. Mix using your hands to work the dressing into all the crevices of the kale. If you are eating the salad within half an hour, take a couple minutes to “massage” the dressing into the kale. This will help break it down.
- Sprinkle on the capers, nutritional yeast, chick peas, and croutons.
Squeeze fresh lemon juice and crack some black pepper over the salad, and serve.
Salad should be consumed the same day of making for optimum texture, but leftovers can be eaten for up to 4 days after if stored in an air-tight container in the fridge. Croutons will not stay crunchy.
As always, nutritional information is a rough estimate. For a full explanation of nutritional analysis, please read our Disclaimer.
If you made this recipe, I would be so honoured if you could rate it, share it, and leave a comment. Also, don’t forget to take a photo, tag @thedeliciousmanifest on Instagram, and hashtag it #thedeliciousmanifest. Thank you so much!
For more lip smackin’ side dishes, check out my Thai Veggie Spring Rolls, Curried Quinoa Salad, and Smoky Garlic Cheese Sauce & Roasted Broccoli. All are incredibly delicious, and are guaranteed to wow every guest at your next dinner party!