Wednesday, April 4, 2012

A Healthier Caesar Salad (But Still Just as Tasty) with Vegan Caesar Dressing

I could never be one of those healthy lifestyle bloggers who documents what they eat every day. Mainly because it would bore everyone to tears (although come to think about it variations on the daily bowl of oatmeal many of them eat isn't exactly thrilling either). ;-) I tend to eat the same thing over and over, for days, even weeks at a time. Part of it is that whatever I make, I am the one who gets to (has to?) eat it (it's lucky I like leftovers), which usually means at least a few days of the same dish. The bigger factor is that I get temporarily obsessed with different foods and crave them for say a week or two, or more. I was going through a sweet potato topped with steamed spinach and salsa kick a while back and I ate them almost every other night. Then I went through a baked potato with olive oil, black pepper, truffle salt and steamed spinach, which lasted a couple of weeks. Last week I bought a bag of romaine hearts at Costco and now I am in the midst of a vegan Caesar salad obsession. Up to now, this dressing from Post Post Kitchen has been topping my greens and it is a winner. But I thought it was time to give another recipe a try.

This version comes from the Chloe's Kitchen: 125 Easy, Delicious Recipes for Making the Food You Love the Vegan Way by Chloe Coscarelli (the cookbook from which this tasty Baked Macaroni and Cheese came from). It's a simpler, nut-free dressing--easy to whip up from pantry items. There was a recipe for Maple-Wheat Croutons that went along with the salad dressing recipe but I had some leftover crusty garlic bread I wanted to use, so I cut a thick slice up into pieces and toasted them in a pan on the stove with about a teaspoon of olive oil. I did leave in the capers that Chloe had in her salad because any chance I get to add capers to something, I take it.

Caesar Dressing
From Chloe 's Kitchen, Chloe Coscarelli
(Makes about 3/4 cup dressing)

1/4 cup soft tofu
1/4 cup olive oil
2 cloves garlic
2 Tbsp lemon juice
1 Tbsp white or apple cider vinegar
1 Tbsp Dijon mustard
1 Tbsp white miso paste
1 tsp sea salt (I used 1/4 tsp)
1/2 tsp freshly ground black pepper

Place all ingredients in blender and process until smooth. Taste for seasoning.

Notes/Results: Full of flavor, light on the fat and cholesterol. This dressing is creamier than it looks on the salad--I don't think my romaine was quite dry enough when I dressed the salad and took pictures. Whoops... Also, I don't like to be "drowning" in dressing so I used 2 tablespoons of this dressing (about 76 calories) for small head (about 4 oz) of chopped romaine. The flavor is very good--garlicky and tangy. I do think the slivered almonds in Post Punk Kitchen's dressing give it more of a Parmesan-cheesy texture and vibe which is nice, but this one is still satisfying and I love the capers. Homemade croutons are my usual topping, although sometimes I get wacky and cook up a few of these Gardein Seven Grain Crispy Tenders and have a "chicken" Caesar. So, if unlike me you are not eating mostly meat and dairy free, why would you bother to try a vegan Caesar salad dressing?! It's about half the calories and fat from the average Caesar dressing with no cholesterol and it tastes really good. And, if you are eating these for lunch or dinner until either your craving, or your jumbo pack of romaine runs out, you can't argue with that! ;-)

Do you go through food obsessions? What do you obsess about?


  1. That's exactly why I could never be one of those health food bloggers! So many leftovers get eaten that everyone would be bored to tears.  I haven't eaten caesar salad in ages because of the calorie count on the dressing.  So glad I can let it into my life again!

  2. Mmm...those croutons alone are calling my name!  I love a caesar salad - and this one sounds like it'd be fantastic.  I go through obsessions, as well...and usually it's just "regular" stuff that's not even blog-worthy.  Although it's often certains cheeses or breads, too. Currently, I must have 2 slices of whole wheat bread with salted butter and honey for breakfast. Daily. ;)

  3. When I saw vegan caesar salad dressing I couldn't even imagine what would go into it! But this sounds really delicious.

  4.  It really is delicious--not exactly a traditional Caesar, but the flavor profile is right there, so a great easy swap-out. ;-)

  5.  Most of my obsessions are not blog-worthy either--like the potato phases but they make me happy. It does seem like they are often comfort food. Your salted butter and honey bread sounds like a breakfast I could obsess about. ;-)

  6.  This is a good way to do it! It's a pretty guilt-free Caesar... ;-)

  7. There is no possible way I could or would blog what I eat every day.   I would be too embarrassed.  Then I would have to confess that I ate almost an entire bag of jelly beans at work on Thursday.   (That is a hypothetical, right?)  

  8. I made this tonight and it is absolutely delicious! Thanks for the recipe. I love your blog.


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