Vegan Kale Caesar Salad

Vegan Kale Caesar Salad

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Vegan Kale Caesar Salad
This Vegan Kale Caesar Salad is superior in every way to the traditional romaine-plus-dairy version. The hummus-based cream includes capers and garlic to establish a brine, earthy undertone. Tenderized kale and red cabbage are soft and easy to chew. Bread crumbs create a sticky texture that mimic the alternative. It's delicious a #WholeFoodPlantBased meal.
Cuisine American
Prep Time 15 minutes
Servings
people
Ingredients
Caesar Salad
Caesar Dressing
Cuisine American
Prep Time 15 minutes
Servings
people
Ingredients
Caesar Salad
Caesar Dressing
Instructions
  1. Remove stems and chop kale. Chop red cabbage. Place in a large salad bowl. These hearty veggies are much more palatable once they are softened (easier to chew). Spritz with lemon juice and a pinch of sea salt. Coat your finger tips with a bit of olive oil. Massage kale and cabbage thoroughly. Set aside. In a few minutes, you will notice a big difference. By the way, if you prefer to avoid the oil, the lemon juice and salt will tenderize the kale, but not to the same extent. It's up to you.
  2. Combine the Caesar dressing ingredients in a blender or food processor. Puree until creamy and smooth. Taste. Decide if you want to add another date, more capers or salt, or the yogurt/mayo. Add more water if it's too thick.
  3. Add the rest of the salad ingredients (and any other vegetables you might like) to the softened kale and cabbage. I don't prefer the large croutons typical of caesar salad. I save the ends of my homemade sourdough bread in the fridge, and throw them in the blender with a bit of seasoning (onion powder, garlic salt, balsamic vinegar, maybe some Italian seasoning. The bread crumbs coat the greens, which creates an authentic Caesar texture.
  4. Toss the dressing into the salad. Serve as a side, a full meal, or top with a protein. See my favorites below.
Recipe Notes

If you don't have store-bought hummus, or prefer to avoid it, here's the perfect recipe from The Simple Veganista.

Peruse my favorite protein options:

Lentil Fritters


Eggplant Spaghetti Balls


Baked Garlic Tofu

Vegan Fried Rice

Vegan Fried Rice

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Vegan Fried Rice
The tofu scramble gives authentic texture to vegan fried rice, and downright surpasses the flavor of an egg. This basic recipe makes a nice alternative to steamed rice, or turn it into a main meal by adding your favorite proteins and vegetables.
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Servings
people
Ingredients
Tofu Scramble
Fried Rice
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Servings
people
Ingredients
Tofu Scramble
Fried Rice
Instructions
Tofu Scramble
  1. Drain the tofu. Crumble into the skillet. Stir in the remaining ingredients. Heat for 5-7 minutes, stirring frequently.
Fried Rice
  1. Stir-fry 2 cups cooked rice in 1 Tbsp. of sesame oil and minced garlic. If you are avoiding oil, use a bit of soy sauce or coconut aminos. Cook until rice is steamy and a bit crunchy.
  2. Add the peas, carrots and soy sauce. Cook until heated through and remove from heat. Stir in the tofu scramble, green onions and cilantro.
Recipe Notes

Authentic fried rice calls for previously cooked rice—at least a day old. This keeps the dish from getting mushy. I've found reasonable success with a texamati whole grain blend cooked al dente. The whole grains of wild and brown rice are heartier.

Feel free to swap in other vegetables or even leave them out. I make this as a meal, so I like it hearty. When I've made this before, I've also used shredded cabbage, onion, spinach and even a can of lentils. All good!  If you do add raw veggies that require cook time, saute them with the rice.

Simple Spicy Red Beans: Comfort Food

Simple Spicy Red Beans: Comfort Food

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Simple Spicy Red Beans: Comfort Food
Simple Spicy Red Beans are the ultimate comfort food. Use canned beans for a meal done in minutes, or start from scratch with dried beans. Eat these as a stand-alone meal, serve over greens and/or rice, add veggies and roll into a wrap, or top with guacamole and salsa and turn it into a dip. Make a big batch and eat all week.
Prep Time 2 minutes
Cook Time 5 minutes
Servings
servings
Ingredients
Quick and Easy Version
Old School & Bulk Version
Prep Time 2 minutes
Cook Time 5 minutes
Servings
servings
Ingredients
Quick and Easy Version
Old School & Bulk Version
Instructions
Quick and Easy Version
  1. Add all ingredients to a sauce pan and heat to a simmer. Remove from heat and serve. Yep. It's that easy. Eat as a stand-alone meal, or serve with rice, in a burrito, or add to salads.
Old School & Bulk Version
  1. Place dried beans in a bowl and cover with water. Soak for 12-24 hours. Drain and rinse.
  2. In a stock pot, cover beans with with water and bring to a boil. Cover and reduce to a simmer. Cooking time will vary based on the age of the bean. My soaked kidney beans from the grocery normally take about 1.5 hours, but fresher beans will cook faster. Add salt when they are about 3/4 done (chewable, but not yet tender)—this will infuse them with flavor without toughening the skin. You can retain the liquid as it's delicious unless you prefer to drain some or all of it off.
  3. Add the remaining ingredients once the beans are about done. Remove from heat and serve. Store excess in freezer (or enjoy leftovers all week).
Recipe Notes

Read why soaking beans is important. Also, when you cook beans, you can add a bay leaf and/or piece of kombu to add flavor, minerals and digestibility. If you are looking for more anti-inflammatory ingredients, add some turmeric too!

Chili Garlic Bok Choy & Noodles

Chili Garlic Bok Choy & Noodles

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Chili Garlic Bok Choy & Noodles
Chili Garlic Sauce is a less-intense cousin to sriracha. With the heat dialed down, the flavor pops to perfection! The sauce is rich and layered with a kick that isn't obnoxiously spicy.
Course Main Dish
Cuisine Asian
Cook Time 20 minutes
Servings
people
Ingredients
Course Main Dish
Cuisine Asian
Cook Time 20 minutes
Servings
people
Ingredients
Instructions
  1. Start water for the pasta. Cook according to package directions. Drain and rinse in cold water.
  2. While pasta is cooking, whisk together tamari, tahini, rice vinegar, sesame oil, chili garlic sauce and sriracha in a small bowl. Set aside.
  3. In a skillet, heat 1 Tbsp. of sesame oil, a few squirts of tamari and a pinch of red pepper flakes. Add bok choy and stir to coat each piece. Flip often, and cook until greens are soft (3-5 minutes). Remove from the skillet.
  4. Add garlic and onion whites to the skillet and saute about 30 seconds. Add the bean sprouts and edamame and cover with the sauce. Heat briefly and then remove from heat. Stir in the noodles. Top with onion greens and cilantro. Serve with bok choy.
Recipe Notes

You can also add fresh ginger to the sauce and garnish with crushed peanuts. The chili garlic sauce for this recipe is divine. If you like tofu, double the sauce recipe and use half as a marinade. Chop tofu into small squares, coat with marinade and bake on parchment paper at 350 degrees for about 40 minutes, stirring occasionally.

Caribbean Beans and Rice

Caribbean Beans and Rice


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Caribbean Beans and Rice

This hearty staple of beans and rice turns Caribbean with the addition of coconut milk and lime juice. Whole food plant based eating tastes so good!

Course Main Dish

Prep Time 10
Cook Time 20

Servings


Ingredients

Course Main Dish

Prep Time 10
Cook Time 20

Servings


Ingredients


Instructions
  1. In medium sauce pan, whisk bouillon into water and bring to a boil. Add rice. Cover and simmer for 15-20 minutes. Fluff with a fork.

  2. In large skillet, saute garlic, onion and jalapeño in diced tomatoes. Once onion is soft, whisk in the coconut milk and beans. Add cumin, chili powder, turmeric, coriander and squeeze in the juice from one lime. Simmer for a few minutes. Add salt and pepper to taste.

  3. Remove from heat. Add the rice to the skillet. Garnish with cilantro and green onion.


Recipe Notes

If you have a favorite Caribbean spice blend, forgo my recipe and use your own favorite seasonings. Beans and rice can handle a lot flavor, so don't be afraid to add extra. My measurements are approximate, and in the end, I always add extra dashes of everything from onion and garlic powder, to paprika, thyme, oregano and even curry. Add some hot sauce if you like it spicy! You can't go wrong here! 

Make this your kids favorite filling meal by wrapping in a whole grain tortilla shell and topping with avocado and salsa.

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