The Ultimate Protein Packed Vegan Caesar Salad! This is the salad to answer “where do you get your protein from!?” Well, how about a salad!? A vegan caesar salad with crispy tempeh bacon bits, crispy garlic chickpeas, vegan nut parmesan and the most amazing, briny vegan caesar dressing. 19-28g of protein per serving!
Tempeh Bacon Bits:
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 8 ounces tempeh, crumbled or finely chopped
- 1 tablespoon soy sauce
- 1 tablespoon pure maple syrup
- 2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
- 1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes
- 1 (15 ounce) can chickpeas, drained and rinsed
- 1 teaspoon olive oil
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
Briny Caesar Dressing:
- 1/2 cup raw cashews, soaked for at least 3 hours (see notes)
- 1/4–1/3 cup water
- 1 tablespoon capers
- 1 tablespoon caper brine
- 2 tablespoons nutritional yeast
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
- 1 teaspoon dijon mustard
- 1 clove garlic
- 1 teaspoon vegan worchestire sauce (optional, but gives great flavor)
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
- 1 bunch curly or Tuscan kale, shredded/chopped
- 1 head romaine lettuce, shredded/chopped
- 1/2 cup homemade vegan parmesan cheese
- Make the tempeh: Heat the olive oil in a medium skillet over medium heat. Add the tempeh and cook for 5-6 minutes, until tempeh is golden brown and lightly crispy. Whisk together the soy sauce, maple syrup, balsamic, cumin and red pepper flakes, then add to the skillet. Cook, until tempeh becomes crispy and browned, another ~5 minutes. Stir often so the tempeh doesn’t burn.
- Make the chickpeas: Remove the tempeh from the skillet, set aside, and wipe out the skillet. Heat the skillet back over medium heat. Toss the chickpeas with the oil, salt, garlic and cayenne pepper and add to the skillet. Cook, tossing often, until chickpeas are crispy, about 8-10 minutes.
- Make the dressing: Place everything into a blender and puree until very creamy and cashews are no longer grainy, scraping down the sides as needed. If the dressing becomes too thick, then add in a little more water. Taste for seasoning, adding more salt/pepper as needed.
- Assemble the salad! Place the kale, lettuce, tempeh, chickpeas, parmesan in a large bowl. Add in 1/2 of the dressing and toss to combine until well coated. Continue to add more dressing, as desired. Enjoy! So, so good.
- No time to soak cashews? No problem. Use this hack: place raw cashews in a container and cover with boiling water. Let sit for 30 minutes, then drain.
Keywords: vegan, salad, caesar salad, chickpeas, protein, tempeh, dressing