Vegan Kale Caesar Salad


Fresh, progressive, and enticing were the first words that came to mind when I picked up my copy of The Perfect Blend by Tess Masters. The entire cookbook is gluten-free and vegan, but a quick flip through the pages will banish any lingering feelings of living without. The hefty stock is packed with nutritious information, fulfilling healthy recipes, and vibrant photography that nearly overloads the senses. As an example, just look at this Kale Caesar.

Vegan Kale Caesar Salad Recipe with Creamy Dairy-Free Dressing, Seed Cheeze and Tempeh Croutons

But The Perfect Blend isn’t your ordinary compilation of smoothies, meals, and desserts.

The Perfect Blend by Tess MastersAs you might expect, every recipe uses the blender in some way. From sauces to soups and cheezes to cheezecakes, Tess finds no shortage of ways to put that small appliance to work. And her recipes are always innovative and enlightening. However, it’s the layout that really proves her trend-setting abilities.

The chapters in The Perfect Blend are organized by health goals. They include: energy, immunity, detox, protein, weight loss, anti-inflammatory, fabulous fats, low carb, alkaline forming, probiotic promoting, well combined, and feed the soul.

Despite it’s very indulgent, rich vibe, this sample recipe for vegan Kale Caesar salad hails from the very first chapter for energy.

Special Diet Notes: Kale Caesar Salad

By ingredients, this recipe is dairy-free / non-dairy, egg-free, gluten-free, peanut-free, vegan, plant-based, and vegetarian.

5.0 from 1 reviews
Vegan Kale Caesar Salad
Prep time
Cook time
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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
Vegan Kale Caesar Salad Recipe with Creamy Dairy-Free Dressing, Seed Cheeze and Tempeh Croutons

About Author

Alisa is the founder of, Food Editor for Allergic Living magazine, and author of the best-selling dairy-free book, Go Dairy Free: The Guide and Cookbook for Milk Allergies, Lactose Intolerance, and Casein-Free Living, and the new cookbook, Eat Dairy Free: Your Essential Cookbook for Everyday Meals, Snacks, and Sweets. Alisa is also a professional recipe creator and product ambassador for the natural food industry.


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  3. My girls got hooked on Caesar Salad last year or the one before but don’t have it much anymore after my oldest cut out dairy. I just ran to the kitchen to see if I had the stuff to make it, using homemade sourdough croutons since I know I don’t have tempeh. We have everything for the dressing except capers. Guess I will have to add them to the shopping list.

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