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This Vegan Kale Caesar Salad is sure to make its way into your weekly menu rotation. This is my go to on most days (honestly speaking… sometimes 3 times a week or more) and I’ve never thought to share it because it was always such a lazy go to for me. Recently though, I found some really lush kale, make an appearance again at the farmer’s market and I knew I needed to share the recipe. Aside from being delicious and easy, this meal is a nutrient powerhouse. It’s packed with plant protein, healthy fats, and tons of flavour, making it a great I-don’t-know-what-to-eat meal. The best part is, the recipe comes together SO quickly!
Making dressings at home can seem intimidating and inconvenient, especially with all the ready-made dressings at the grocery store but I promise it’s worth it and really easy. In addition to being able to control the ingredients in your dressing, you can also control the consistency and really tailor the flavours to your heart’s content. Personally, I like to remove processed oils and refined sugars from my dressings and the thing is, when you homemake your dressing you can make it juuust right because let’s be real, everyone likes their dressing a little different.
By the way, did I mention putting together the dressing alone takes less than 5 minutes? You can make a large batch in advance to last you the week, too!
This Vegan Kale Caesar Salad is made with a handful of simple ingredients like kale, tahini, garlic, nutritional yeast, chickpeas, and spices. If you’re feeling adventurous, or not a fan of kale, swap the greens for a green of your choice, and sub for any plant protein you’d like. I recommend this crunchy tempeh tender recipe!
This recipe is vegan, gluten-free, oil free, nut free and soy free.
Dinosaur kale is a great vehicle for scooping up and carrying the dressing in its ridges, but curly kale also works beautifully!
Kale → is rich in nutrients and surprisingly high in protein. Yup! That’s right, kale is protein rich and it’s also high in fiber, folate, iron and vitamins A, K and C, just to name a few.
Tahini → adds the creaminess to this dressing, and is a great source of healthy fats that is essential for helping your body absorb all the nutrients from our salad ingredients. It’s also quite high in protein too, as well as copper, phosphorus and selenium.
Nutritional Yeast → is commonly used to mimic a cheesy and savoury flavour in vegan cooking. And guess what? It’s also high in protein, packing 8 grams of protein in in just 2 tablespoons.
secrets to success
Massage your kale. I know it sounds silly when people tell you to massage your kale, but believe me, it makes a huge difference. It not only softens your kale, making it less bitter, and easier to digest, but also distributes your delicious caesar dressing evenly. Kale is a tougher green, so don’t skip this step.
If you want to meal prep this dressing, feel free to double, triple, or quadruple the recipe but don’t dress the salad. Store the salad greens and the dressing separately, so you can toss right before eating. This will keep your greens fresh!
If you try this recipe out, tag me on Instagram @veggiekins so I can see your delicious re-creations and for a chance to be featured! As always, I love when you share your reviews in the comments below, and if you make any fun substitutions, let me know how it worked out below too!
A whole food plant based take on the classic caesar dressing, using creamy tahini as the base, topped with crispy chickpeas. Healthy, nutritious and delicious vegan and gluten free salad. Also oil-free!
1/4 cup water (adjust to suit how thick or thin you like your dressing)
2 tablespoons nutritional yeast
2–3 teaspoons of lemon juice
1–2 teaspoons garlic powder
1/2 teaspoon dijon mustard
1/2 teaspoon white miso paste (optional! but adds great savoury flavour)
salt/black pepper to taste
1 15-oz can of chickpeas, rinsed and drained
2 teaspoons lemon juice
2 tsp nutritional yeast
1 clove of garlic finely minced or 1 teaspoon garlic powder
1 tsp onion powder
pinch of smoked paprika
pinch of salt
optional additions to really caesar it up: top with some vegan parmesan, capers, red onion, or dulse flakes to mimic anchovy
Preheat oven to 400F and start preparing your chickpeas.
Toss chickpeas in a bowl along with lemon juice and seasonings to coat. Feel free to play with seasonings of your choice here, and you can use olive oil if you prefer for extra crisp!
Spread coated chickpeas on a lined baking sheet and bake in the oven for about 30-35 minutes, until golden brown, checking in every 15 minuets or so and tossing. If you prefer it crispier, feel free to cook until desired crunch level is reached! You can also use an airfryer and cook at 395F for about 10-12 minutes.
Wash your kale stalks and pat dry with a kitchen towel. Remove the tough stem at the base by cutting about 2 inches off the bottom of stalks (or as needed) and then continue to make cuts perpendicular to the kale stalk, cutting 1/2 inch strips. If using curly kale, de-stem your kale to remove the tough stalk in the center.
In a bowl, combine all the dressing ingredients and whisk together until smooth, adding additional water if you’d like to thin out, and any additional seasoning to taste.
Pour dressing on top of the chopped kale and massage for about 2-3 minutes with your hands. This step is really important! It will soften and break down the kale and coat the kale in the dressing evenly.
Plate your kale and top with chickpeas, extra lemon and black pepper.
Keywords: kale caesar salad, tahini caesar, vegan caesar, salad, gluten free vegan, oil free vegan
Hi there, I’m Remy! Welcome to Veggiekins Blog, home to nourishing vegan + gluten-free recipes and tips to live your best balanced and holistic life. I’m a human on a mission to empower you to be well and be kind to your mind, body and soul with the healing power of plants.
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