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

Chai Tea Gingerbread

Chai Tea Gingerbread

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Chai Tea Gingerbread
Chai tea gingerbread infuses the sweet undertones of chai with a spicy ginger kick. Pureed dates create a candied, rich flavor and moist, soft texture—no sugar or oil is required in this gluten free vegan recipe. Each serving has 7 grams of fiber and 4 grams of protein, so this sweet bread doesn't even qualify as a dessert.
Course Dessert
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Servings
people
Ingredients
Course Dessert
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Servings
people
Ingredients
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Preheat with a baking stone if you have one. Line an 8x 4 in. bread pan with parchment paper (or use coconut oil to prevent sticking). Non-stick silicone baking molds are a great option too.
  2. Boil 2 cups of water and steep with two bags of your favorite chai tea. Pour off 3/4 cup and enjoy for yourself. Add 1 1/4 cups to the blender.
  3. Add pitted dates, vanilla and lemon juice to blender with the chai tea. Blend on high until creamy and smooth.
  4. Add remaining dry ingredient to a mixing bowl. Stir. Pour in the wet ingredients and mix until there are no lumps.
  5. Pour batter into bread pan. Bake for 30 minutes. Remove from hot pan immediately and allow bread to cool before cutting.
Recipe Notes

I love a spicy ginger kick. If you prefer to dial it back, reduce the amount of ginger by half and taste the batter. Adjust to preference.

Gluten Free baking can be unpredictable. I have found that preheating a stone in the oven and cooking on convection produces the most consistent results (no gooey middle). The hot stone ensures the bread cooks from all sides, not just top-down. If also cooking with convection, reduce heat by 25 degrees.

Apple Pie Spice: My favorite blend is from Fort Wayne's Fresco Spice Blends. They make cooking with seasonings a no-brainer. Their apple pie spice blend has cinnamon, nutmeg, allspice and cloves.

Want more of my gluten free, oil free and sugar free recipes?  


Chocolate Chip Cookies: Oil, sugar and gluten free

Chocolate Chip Cookies: Oil, sugar and gluten free

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Chocolate Chip Cookies: Oil, sugar and gluten free
This chocolate chip cookie recipe is sweet and moist—not crumbly and bland like many gluten free recipes. Yet, there is no added sugar or oil! The pureed dates and walnuts create a candied, rich flavor. And each serving has 8 grams of fiber and 9 grams of protein, so technically, they don't even qualify as a "dessert."
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Servings
servings
Ingredients
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Servings
servings
Ingredients
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Add all ingredients except the flour and chocolate chips to the blender. Blend until creamy and smooth.
  3. In a mixing bowl, combine puree with 3/4 cup almond flour and chocolate chips. I've tried this recipe with coconut and chickpea flours and they are good too. Batter should be fairly wet, so if substituting another flour, you may need to adjust the amount.
  4. If baking traditional cookies, scoop cookie dough onto a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Flatten a bit—these don't spread; if you bake balls, you get balls (and that is good too!) If baking in cast iron, ensure skillet is seasoned to avoid sticking. Rub skillet with a little coconut oil if in doubt.
  5. Bake for 10-12 minutes.
Recipe Notes

All chocolate chips are not created equal. Look for a high-cacao content. Kroger has organic chunks that are 72 percent cacao, with 2 grams of fiber and 1 gram of protein per tablespoon. This matters if you are watching your sugar.

If you like these, check out my fudge brownie recipe that also uses medjool dates and walnuts.

Fudge Brownies

Fudge Brownies

Fudge Brownies

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Fudge Brownies
These vegan and gluten free fudge brownies contain no added sugar or oil. And yet, they are rich, moist and decadent. Despite the appeal, each brownie has 8 grams of fiber and 5 grams of protein.
Course Dessert
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Servings
Ingredients
Course Dessert
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Servings
Ingredients
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line a small baking pan with parchment paper. I actually used a bread pan, as the square 8 in pan was too large for this recipe. Cut diagonally from the corners of the paper to allow it to lay flat inside the pan.
  2. Blend (or use a food processor) walnuts, water, dates and vanilla until smooth. Transfer to a mixing bowl. Add the remaining ingredients and use a spatula to blend thoroughly. Transfer to baking pan.
  3. Bake 8-10 minutes.
Recipe Notes

There is no added sugar in this recipe. I dashed some powdered sugar onto the top of these to make the picture look better. These are so rich and sweet, however. It's not necessary unless you want a better aesthetic.

Vegan French Onion Soup

Vegan French Onion Soup


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Vegan French Onion Soup

The vegan mozzarella cheese sauce and homemade croutons that top this French onion soup create a trifecta of flavor. It's as good as you want it to be. It's a bit labor intensive. And worth it. You can skip the homemade croutons if you have good bread.

Vegan French Onion Soup

Course Main Dish

Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 45 minutes

Servings


Ingredients
French onion soup

Vegan Mozzarella Cheese Sauce

Homemade croutons

Course Main Dish

Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 45 minutes

Servings


Ingredients
French onion soup

Vegan Mozzarella Cheese Sauce

Homemade croutons

Vegan French Onion Soup


Instructions
  1. Cut onions in half, then into thin slices. Place in a soup pot and caramelize on high for about 30 minutes, adding splashes of water as needed to avoid sticking. Onions are done when they are deep brown and stringy.

  2. Meanwhile, whisk the remaining ingredients into a large bowl. Set aside. Don't forget to stir the onions regularly!

  3. Place all of the ingredients for the vegan mozzarella cheese sauce into a high speed blender. Yes, there are a lot of them. And the end result is worth it. But don't worry if you are missing something. Use what you have, taste at the end, and adjust as needed.

  4. Don't forget to keep stirring the onions. Blend the vegan mozzarella cheese sauce ingredients for at least 10 minutes. At some point, you will see steam--that's the blender cooking for you! Keep blending until you hear the motor starting to work harder. The sauce is thickening. Give it a few more minutes.

  5. Once the onions are caramelized, pour the seasoned vegetable broth mixture into the pot. Bring to a boil, reduce heat to low and simmer for 15 minutes. Remove bay leaves.

  6. Unless you have awesome sourdough bread and prefer to serve thin slices topped with the cheese sauce in the soup, make the homemade croutons (What's another few minutes of effort?) Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Rip your favorite bread into small pieces and place in a bowl. Whisk together the rest of the ingredients and pour over the bread, stirring to thoroughly coat. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and bake croutons for 15 minutes, stirring periodically.

  7. Bon appetite! Serve soup in bowls and top with croutons and cheese sauce. If you want to get fancy, place under a broiler for a few minutes to get the cheese sauce bubbly and bread or croutons extra crispy.


Recipe Notes

As this recipe has a lot of ingredients and takes a lot of time, consider doubling it. Delicious leftovers are so convenient, and you can freeze it. The cheese sauce can be used in another meal (or eaten solo) . . .

Cashew Cream

Cashew Cream


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Cashew Cream
If you would have asked me when I first went vegan if there was any way to really compete with dairy versions of macaroni and cheese or fettucini alfredo, I would have honestly told you no. Giving up those foods is a small price to pay for the benefits of a plant-based diet, but buttery cheesy cream sauce has no vegan counterpart. Those words I am now happy to eat.
Course Sauce
Prep Time 5 minutes
Servings
Ingredients
Course Sauce
Prep Time 5 minutes
Servings
Ingredients
Instructions
  1. Mix in high-speed blender. Taste. If it's bland for your pallet, add more yeast flakes or another tsp. of ground mustard. Maybe more salt.
  2. Add cashew cream sauce to steamed veggies, pasta, bread or soup. My favorite treat is to use as a white cream sauce on pizza or as an alfredo sauce over spaghetti squash.
Recipe Notes

Read How and why to pre-soak your cashews . . . But, if you don't have time to soak, you can skip it. It doesn't noticeably affect the flavor. It's just better for you.

This recipe has evolved many times over, and there are lots of options and alternatives. Check out. Dairy Free Cream Cheese for Sauces, Dressings and Dips and, Dairy Free Alfredo Sauce.

Vegan Ranch Dressing

Vegan Ranch Dressing

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Vegan Ranch Dressing
Regardless of your desire to be vegan, or go completely dairy free, there is no room to argue that store bought dressings are nasty. It’s counterproductive to clean up your diet by incorporating more vegetables if you are just going to cover them with chemicals.
Vegan Ranch Dressing
Course Sauce
Prep Time 5 minutes
Servings
Ingredients
Vegan Ranch -- makes 1.5 cups
Bulk Ranch Seasoning Recipe--Ready when you need it!
  • 1 cup yeast flakes
  • 3 tbsp parsley
  • 4 tsp. each garlic powder, onion powder, dill weed
  • 2 tsp each ground mustard, celery salt, black pepper
Course Sauce
Prep Time 5 minutes
Servings
Ingredients
Vegan Ranch -- makes 1.5 cups
Bulk Ranch Seasoning Recipe--Ready when you need it!
  • 1 cup yeast flakes
  • 3 tbsp parsley
  • 4 tsp. each garlic powder, onion powder, dill weed
  • 2 tsp each ground mustard, celery salt, black pepper
Vegan Ranch Dressing
Instructions
  1. For a southwest ranch, add 2 tsp taco seasoning (or cumin/chili powder) and 1 tsp cilantro. Could also use curry!
  2. Mix all ingredients in you food processor, Vitamix or blender.
  3. Think ahead. If you like this recipe, prepare a batch of the bulk vegan ranch seasoning. Blend 1/2 cup of seasoning. with 3/4 cup soaked cashews, 3/4 cups water and 2 tsp apple cider vinegar or lemon juice.
Recipe Notes

Buy the cashews (and other nuts) in bulk, soak them overnight and store in freezer. Frozen nuts are no problem for the Vitamix and other high speed blenders, so no need to thaw. Read more about the importance of soaking nuts (and grains) . . .

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