Thursday, January 15, 2009

Vegan Caesar Saladus Maximus

Hooray! It's Lunch Day!

Before we move from snacks to lunches, I have a confession to make: I forgot to post my second snack offering yesterday. Why? Well, I was doing CPR on baby seals of-course. Don't believe me. Okay, ya got me! The truth is, I got too wrapped up in watching 4 hours of American Idol. It's one of our guilty pleasures. If I get the second snack posted later, I'll probably back-date it but I'll let y'all know.

K .... on with lunch!

This oil-free version of a vegan Caesar salad is awesome. We can’t get enough of it. The recipe has been adapted from Vegetarian Times Low-Fat and Fast in which they recommend feeding 6 people with it. Pfft. They clearly didn’t intend for it to be a complete meal. Anyhow, I’ve switched a couple things up and made it into a massive salad (hence the name) with a kick-ass calorie and fat count. Here’s how we are doin’ in our house.

Vegan Caesar Saladus Maximus
Serves: 2
  • 3 tablespoons organic Dijon mustard
  • 3 tablespoons nutritional yeast
  • 2 tablespoons almond meal*
  • 3 cloves garlic, rough chopped
  • ¼ cup water (plus more if needed)
  • 3 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 2 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 1 large head of romaine lettuce, cleaned and chopped or torn into pieces
  • croutons (optional – see below)
  1. Throw the mustard, yeast, almond meal, garlic, water, lemon juice and soy sauce into a food processor or blender and process ‘til smooth. Add additional water if desired.
  2. Drizzle onto prepared lettuce, add croutons if desired, and nosh.
I’ve been preparing the lettuce and making the dressing at night and storing it all in the fridge ‘til the next day. That way, it’s ready for The Husband to grab in the midst of the morning mad-dash out the door.

* Almond meal can be purchased at Trader Joe’s, in or in the bulk bin section of your local health food store, or in the baking section of a well-stocked market.

Per serving (without croutons):
  • 181 cal, 56 cal from fat, 6g fat, 1g sat fat, 0g trans fat, 0mg cholesterol, 1291mg sodium, 22g total carbs, 11g dietary fiber, 5g sugars, 15g protein
  • eGL: 7
  • Weight Watcher points: 3
The Husband and I have been eating this salad at lunch for days now. We both like a substantial lunch and we agree that this salad fits the bill. It takes a long time to eat, which makes you feel like you’re really getting’ to stuff yourself, and keeps you going through the afternoon. It also gives you some pretty gnarly garlic breath. You’ve been warned.

On the topic of garlic, let it be known that we love it. When cooking, I almost always double the amount of garlic called for in recipes. The first time I made this salad, I threw in an extra clove of garlic and it was a decision I regretted later. So, if you’re a garlic lover like me, try this one as written before you start tossing in extra garlic. Whoa, I’m fanning my mouth just thinking about it.

If you want to add croutons to this salad, as is traditional with Caesar salads, have at it. Use your favorite recipe or store-bought croutons. If you’re trying to keep an eye on calories in fat, you may want to try what we’ve been doing.

Low-Fat Easy Croutons
Serves: 2
  • 2 slices whole wheat bread
  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.
  2. Cube your bread and spread it out onto an aluminum foil-covered 1/4 – sheet pan for easy clean up. Toast them dry, shaking the pan and/or tossing them once or twice, in the your oven for anywhere from 5-10 minutes, depending on how crispy and brown you like your croutons. Keep an eye on them; they burn fast.
These croutons really don’t add any additional flavor, but they do provide a lovely crunch. If you want to add some flavor, once they’re cut, lightly spray them with some non-stick oil (olive or canola) and season them however you like before baking. If you’re tracking your fat and calories, just see your package of bread for nutritional information. One piece of bread per ½ head of romaine seems to be a good ratio.


jessy said...

ooooh, oooooh! i haven't had a caesar salad in forever and yours looks awesome, Marni! i loooove big salads that keep you full - and especially garlicky ones! mmmmmm, garlic! thanks for the tip on the garlic - we double our garlic as well, but when we make this we'll be sure to follow your recipe as is! :)

hooray for indulging in some relax'n time with your favorite show! noth'n wrong with that!

Jeni Treehugger said...

Mmmmmm now you're talking! Caesur Salad ROCKS!!
I LOVE it. I'm also a Garlic junkie and I double the amount of Garlic in everything I cook too - I just love it and Mr treehugger does too. And Garlic breath doesn't bother me one bit - there's worse things I've smelt on people's breath than Garlic!!