Vegan Kale Caesar Salad
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
This energizing green spin on a classic crowd-pleaser is rich, creamy, and every bit as delicious as its conventional counterpart. Shredding the kale is key to nipping any bitterness in the bud. Loaded with a variety of healthy carbohydrate and protein sources, rather than the usual cashews in a vegan caesar, this is a light but satisfying meal. Hail to the kale!
Serves: Serves 8 as a starter, 6 as a main; dressing makes 2 cups (480ml), seed cheeze makes ½ cup, plus 2 tablespoons (75g)
tempeh croutons
  • 2 tablespoons coconut oil (in liquid form), plus more as needed
  • 8 ounces (227g) tempeh, cut into very thin slices
seed cheeze
  • ½ cup (130g) hulled raw sesame seeds
  • 3 tablespoons nutritional yeast, plus more to taste
  • ½ teaspoon garlic powder, plus more to taste
  • ¼ teaspoon natural salt, plus more to taste
  • ½ cup (120ml) filtered water
  • ½ cup (120ml) extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1⁄4 cup (60ml) fresh lemon juice, plus more to taste
  • 1⁄4 cup (40g) raw pine nuts, soaked
  • 1⁄4 cup (40g) raw sunflower seeds, soaked
  • 1½ tablespoons white miso paste
  • 1 tablespoon capers, drained
  • 1½ teaspoons gluten-free vegan Worcestershire sauce
  • 1½ teaspoons Dijon mustard
  • 2 teaspoons minced garlic (about 2 cloves)
  • ½ teaspoon natural salt, plus more to taste
  • ⅛ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 10 cups (500g) romaine hearts cut into ribbons (about 5 hearts)
  • 5 cups (150g) lacinato kale cut into ribbons (1 large bunch, stalks removed)
  • 2 cups (320g) shelled raw edamame
optional boosters
  1. To make the croutons, heat the coconut oil in a very large skillet over medium heat and add the tempeh pieces, arranging them in one layer without crowding. You may have to do this in two batches. Fry, until golden brown, about 2 minutes. Turn the pieces over and brown the other side, about 2 minutes. Remove from the pan and drain on paper towels, blotting with additional paper towels. Crumble into small pieces.
  2. To make the seed cheeze, throw the seed cheeze ingredients into a food processor and process until the seeds have broken up and the texture resembles Parmesan cheese. Tweak the nutritional yeast, garlic powder, and salt to taste.
  3. To make the dressing, throw all of the dressing ingredients into your blender and blast on high for about 1 minute, until smooth and creamy. Tweak the lemon juice and salt to taste.
  4. In a large salad bowl, mix together the romaine lettuce, kale, edamame, the brussels sprout and watermelon seed boosters, and the dressing. Toss in the croutons and three-quarters of the seed cheeze. Sprinkle with the remaining seed cheeze and top with slices of avocado.
Reprinted with permission from The Perfect Blend, copyright 2016 Tess Masters. Published by Ten Speed Press, an imprint of Penguin Random House LLC. Photography copyright 2016 by Anson Smart.
Nutrition Information
Calories: 456 Fat: 37 g Carbohydrates: 19.8 g Sugar: 3.3 g Sodium: 408 mg Fiber: 8.4 g Protein: 19.3 g
Recipe by Go Dairy Free at