Classic Caesar Salad with Homemade Croutons

It may sound odd to say that when I went vegan I missed salad because most non-vegans think that's all we crazy hippies eat, but Caesar dressing has three big plant based no no's: Egg, Dairy, and Fish (anchovies). So last night I set out to appease my salad craving. I scoured Pinterest and found a recipe by Oh She Glows that sounded great, and that I had all of the ingredients on hand for. I did make a few tweaks because I wanted to really punch up the flavor, so here is my version!

For the Croutons:

1 Cup cubed Italian bread

4 Tbsp oil

1 tsp garlic powder

1/2 tsp sea salt

1/2 tsp dried parsley

Toss the cubed bread in the oil and spices until the bread is evenly coated. Spread out on a baking sheet and bake in the oven at 350F for 15 minutes, flipping once in the middle.

Remove from oven and allow to cool.

For the Dressing:

1/2 Cup raw cashews, preferably soaked overnight

1/3 Cup water

3 Tbsp fresh lemon juice

2 Tbsp grape seed oil (or mild flavored oil of choice)

1 tsp vegan Worcestershire sauce

1 tsp whole grain Dijon mustard

2 tsp capers

2 cloves fresh garlic

1/2 tsp sea salt

1/4 tsp freshly cracked black pepper

Add all ingredients into a high powered blender and process on high until almost smooth, adding more water if needed. Taste and add more salt and pepper as desired. Set aside.

For The Salad:

2 heads worth of chopped romaine lettuce

(Or your favorite greens!)

In a large bowl toss greens with salad dressing, transfer to a bowl and top with croutons, capers and a lemon wedge. I added some left over grilled homemade seitan for a "chicken" Caesar salad, which was definitely a nice touch, but it's not 100% necessary. I do wish I'd had some Follow Your Heart Parmesan Cheese on hand, that would have really put it over the top.

Bon Appetit!

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