| Vegan + Nut Free + Gluten Free + Paleo + Organic |

 

 

Crispy tofu croutons are now a thing and this vegan kale caesar recipe is a match made in heaven.

 

I’ve been working a lot with creating recipes that are nut free because as much as I love nuts I feel like sometimes I over-do it with the nuts. My milks are made out of nuts, I use nut butter daily, and almost every flour I use for baking and cooking is made from nuts. So I’ve been prioritizing where nuts are necessary and where they can be replaced, and in recipes like this, they can easily be replaced!

 

 

This vegan kale caesar dressing is made with sunflower seeds because they’re super easy to find, they’re healthy, and they’re less expensive than nuts. It’s important to buy organic sunflower seeds because sunflower products can be high in omega-6’s which are inflammatory to the body, so you want to make sure you’re balancing them out with omega 3’s and also being mindful about your intake. With that being said, buying organic, unsalted sunflower seeds can be a great source of fiber, protein, healthy fat, and vitamins and minerals like vitamin E and magnesium. There are a multitude of health benefits associated with sunflower seeds and they are a great addition to a healthy diet.

 

 

What I love most about this recipe is that the dressing has the flavor and consistency of real caesar dressing without any fishy taste (from anchovy paste), and it can easily be used as a dip as well! I used to love caesar dressing as a kid and I would dip fries in it, veggies, and even chips and pizza.

 

Caesar salads get a bad rap sometimes because out of all the salads on a menu, caesar salads are usually the “least nutritious”. Although this is true for most caesar salads, especially in chain restaurants or fast food places, caesar salads can be made healthy very easily. The reason why caesar salads are seen as the least nutritious is because caesar dressing is creamy and thick, which traditionally means high in fat, calories, and loaded with added sugars and thickeners that leave most of us feeling sick and uncomfortable. Also, caesar salads are topped with usually way more than one portion of cheese and highly processed croutons. So yes, it’s probably best not to order a caesar salad on a traditional restaurants menu if you’re trying to eat healthy. Now, can we please talk about these crispy tofu croutons?!

 

 

These crispy tofu croutons are revolutionary and such a game changer as a salad topper. Honestly, I’ve always been a crouton lover. I love a good crunch and there’s something just so yummy about a crispy crouton in a good salad. Croutons are usually fried in refined oils and are made from refined carbs, so I’m just used to staying away from them for the most part. I usually stay away from any thing that is labeled “crispy” because those are usually the foods that upset my stomach and make me feel not well. When I came up with this idea to make TOFU croutons, I was pretty, pretty impressed with myself. Like whaaaat, this is pure genius! They’re baked, crispy, flavorful, and are a protein packed alternative to croutons!

 

So now that you know caesar salads do not need to be banned from your diet because alternatives like this recipe make it that much more enjoyable to eat, do yourself a favor and enjoy the heck out of this meal. I have a feeling this will become a staple in your house because of how easy and simple it is, and delicious too!

 

 

PS – I like to use dinosaur kale for this recipe because it’s the easiest to prepare and has no stems. See recipe instructions for more details. If you’re using curly kale, make sure to de-stem it before so you have just the leafy pieces in the salad.

 

Ingredients

Organic Extra Firm Tofu

Coconut Aminos

Garlic Powder

Arrowroot Flour

Organic Sunflower Seeds (no shell)

Lemon

Dijon Mustard

Salt

 

 

Happy Cooking!

ashley signature

 

 

 

Print Recipe
vegan kale caesar with crispy tofu croutons
Servings
Ingredients
Caesar Dressing
Servings
Ingredients
Caesar Dressing
Instructions
Tofu
  1. Remove tofu from package and empty out all of the liquid. Wrap tofu in paper towels and place a heavy plate on top. Let tofu drain for 10-15 minutes.
  2. Line a baking tray with parchment paper. It is better to use parchment paper than aluminum foil to make sure the tofu doesn't stick.
  3. Preheat oven to 400*
  4. When tofu is drained, cut tofu into cubes and toss in a mixing bowl with coconut aminos, garlic powder and arrowroot. Let tofu marinate for 10 minutes.
  5. Bake for 30-40 mins flipping half way, until tofu is crispy.
Dressing
  1. Add sunflower seeds to a pot of water and heat on the stove until the water comes to a rolling boil.
  2. Strain sunflower seeds and add them to your blender with the rest of the dressing ingredients.
  3. Blend until creamy.
Kale
  1. Using dinosaur kale (the best for this salad), wash and cut into thin slices.
  2. Pour dressing on to kale and massage into the greens with your hands. It's important to massage the greens with your hands because this breaks down the kale and makes it easier to digest.
  3. Once kale is coated and well mixed, top with tofu and enjoy!
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