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‘Skinny’ Caesar Salad

As promised in the introduction to the interview with Skinny Bitch in the Kitch author Rory Freedman, here is a recipe I’ve tested from the book. I must admit that I chose the simple and classic Caesar salad because it’s usually a bit harder to impress with recipes that are fairly basic. It was my challenge to the authors to wow me—and they did.

The veganized Caesar contains homemade whole wheat croutons that are covered in herbes de Provence and is tossed in a good amount of Caesar dressing. Their recipe replaces traditionally used anchovies with umami-rich kelp to create the depth and savory elements that are often missing from vegan Caesar recipes. I definitely appreciate the effort to replace the animal products in recipes with a vegan equivalent, instead of just omitting them. Based on the success of this dressing recipe alone, I can’t wait to try more from the book.

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Caesar Salad With Homemade Herbed Croutons

3 slices vegan whole wheat bread, diced
2 Tbsp. refined coconut oil, melted, or safflower oil
1 tsp. herbes de Provence
1/2 tsp. fine sea salt
3 heads romaine lettuce, cut or torn into bite-sized pieces
1 1/2 cups Vegan Caesar Dressing, or to taste (see recipe below)

  • Preheat the oven to 350°F.
  • In a large bowl, combine the bread and oil. Stir in the herbes de Provence and salt. Spread the mixture onto a rimmed baking sheet and bake for 10 minutes. Remove from the oven and toss. Bake for 5 more minutes, or until browned. Cool the croutons thoroughly before using (or storing in an airtight container for up to one week).
  • In a large bowl, combine the romaine with the Vegan Caesar Dressing to taste. Toss in the croutons and serve.

Makes 6 entrée-size salads or 8 to 10 appetizer-size salads

Vegan Caesar Dressing

4 oz. silken tofu
6 Tbsp. lemon juice
3 cloves garlic
2 Tbsp. vegan Parmesan cheese
1/2 Tbsp. Dijon mustard
2 tsp. vegan Worcestershire sauce
1/2 tsp. fine sea salt
1/2 tsp. pepper
1/4 tsp. kelp powder (optional)
3/4 cup extra virgin olive oil

  • In a food processor, combine the tofu, lemon juice, garlic, “cheese,” mustard, Worcestershire sauce, salt, pepper, and kelp powder, if using, and process until smooth. With the motor running, slowly drizzle in the olive oil.
  • Use immediately, or cover and refrigerate for up to 1 week.

Makes 1 1/2 cups

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  • Lang says:

    Love your recipe…. also like food at Subway.

  • Julio Mendez says:

    Kudos to skinny bitch! This salad was really tasty. I shared it with my nieces(3 and 8 years old) and they loved it! Thanks so much for the great alternative.

  • Anonymous says:

    That looks like a nice salad (and so healthy!) but, alas, it just isn’t a Caesar.

    It got some things right such as the romaine lettuce, some things off such as the melted and refined coconut oil, and some things just wrong (kelp? tofu? herbes de Provence?).

    I can see leaving out the anchovies and the Parmesian and the egg and calling it a vegan version, but this, well, this is just a whole new creature, isn’t it?

    Personally, I would have called it something else. After all, it is better to be a first-rate you than a second-rate someone else.

    And this looks like it might just be a first-rate salad. Which is better than a second-rate Caesar any day.

    Cheers!

  • holler says:

    Looks real good! I have never used kelp powder before, even though we are surrounded by the stuff here in Scotland (that is the seaweed and not the powder!). Will have to look out for it!

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