Vegan Caesar Salad

Vegan Caesar Salad Recipe


I almost spit out my cappuccino the other day when my dad told me he was reading The China Study. I think he even said the V-word. Vegan. I'm not sure why I was so surprised, the number of people wanting to explore a (more) plant-centric and less meat-focused diet/lifestyle is expanding and many people are looking for inspiration. Enter Isa Chandra Moskowitz and Terry Hope Romero (of public access television's Post Punk Kitchen) with their recently released, and much acclaimed, vegan cookbook - Veganomicon. I'm featuring their Vegan Ceasar Salad recipe today for a few reasons. First, it's a fantastic recipe from a fantastic volume of recipes - a whopping 250 of them. Second, I'd like to point you to a handful of books and studies that make compelling arguments for incorporating more vegan-centric meals into your life. Vegan in this context simply means free of animal products - eggs, meat, milk, cheese, and the like.

There's a growing chorus of accomplished scientists, researchers, and writers documenting the toll our diet (processed, meat-centric) is having on our personal health and the well-being of our environment. There's been something in the air for a while, but as I mentioned before, I knew something was really starting to shift when my dad told me he was reading The China Study. "I'm totally into it," he said. The way the research was presented and explained in the book made sense to him. It should be noted, my dad is a strict meat and potatoes guy. The China Study surveyed death rates for twelve different kinds of cancer in more than 2400 Chinese counties - the most comprehensive study of nutrition in relation to health ever conducted. Read it for yourself, but I assure you - the book puts forth a compelling argument for shift toward a diet that emphasizes vegan meals.

Vegan Caesar Salad Recipe

I also stumbled upon John Robins latest book, Healthy at 100 (recently out in paperback), and a big portion of the book is dedicated to understanding four unique cultures who produce some of the worlds healthiest and longest-living people. The communities are sprinkled around the globe yet one of the things they all have in common is a primarily vegan diet, meaning 90%+ calories coming from plant-based sources in those communities.

We've seen Dr. Ornish offer up the veg-centric Spectrum. And in a stroke of irony, the Minimalist delivered a thousand pages of vegetarian recipes while Michael Pollan offered up seven simple words - Eat food. Not too much. Mostly plants.

So Isa and Terry's book comes at a time of increased awareness, and whether you're a carnivore looking to eat more non-meat meals, or vegetarian, or vegan, or maybe you have an allergy to dairy/eggs - many people will be able to find culinary inspiration in Veganomicon. The recipes are approachable and a good percentage of them have tight, unintimidating ingredient lists. There are plenty of twists on classics, like enchiladas, sloppy joes, baked beans, po' boys, and lasagne. Another thing I love is that they cook from a minimally processed palette of ingredients - this isn't one of those vegan books that calls for a bunch of processed fake meat products. The book incorporates helpful icons alongside each recipe noting recipes that are soy-free, low fat or reduced fat, gluten free, doable in under 45 minutes, and supermarket friendly. The index in the back also breaks the recipes out into these categories which is helpful. The book is two-color with a 16-page color photo insert.

Vegan Caesar Salad Recipe

And onto the Caesar Salad - which was great. I made it for lunch today and ended up topping it with a few heart slices of hickory smoked tofu. Don't get too hung up on the name - whether or not it is an "actual" Caesar salad shouldn't send you into a tail-spin. Naming the recipe this way helps people understand what general realm of salad we are talking about. Use the best, freshest lettuce you can get your hands on to really make this salad shine. And keep in mind, you will have plenty of the creamy, anchovy-free lemony-caper dressing leftover - I'm going to drizzle it over some grilled kabobs this evening. The only remotely time consuming aspect of this recipe was making your own croutons. If you really need to shave of some time, pick up a bag of good quality croutons and use those. I've also found that tearing your bread into bite-sized pieces instead of diligently cutting it into perfectly uniform petite cubes is much more efficient (and oddly satisfying) if you want to D.I.Y. and still save time.

A few lInks:

- Directory of vegan recipes on 101 Cookbooks.

- More recipes to test-drive from Veganomicon.

- Watch episodes of Post Punk Kitchen via Google Video

- Photos tagged Veganomicon on Flickr.

- Portland-based Jess (of Get Sconed!) was one of Veganomicons all-star recipe testers - you can see some of her photos here.

Before I log off, I recognize that many of my readers aren't vegan (or even vegetarian for that matter). And many who are. I want this site to be a place where there is room for everyone and their ideas. Figuring out where you stand in relation to food politics and personal nutrition is an individual journey, please respect each other. Whether or not you believe a strict vegan diet is right for you or others, I think we can all agree that getting more real, plant-based food on our plates is a good thing. A book like Veganomicon is a great source of inspiration on this front (whether you are a hardcore vegan or not).

 
 
 
 

Vegan Caesar Salad Recipe

HS notes: If you don't have time to roast the garlic for the croutons, you can use raw - the flavor will be more pronounced, with less depth and mellowness. Feel free to use your favorite multi-grain bread for the croutons. If a salad like this is going to be a main meal for me, I make it topped with something like smoked tofu, something with some protein (for staying power) but use your imagination. If your dressing is too thick just thin it with a bit of warm water.

Caesar dressing:
1/3 cup slivered or sliced almonds
3-4 cloves garlic, peeled and crushed
3/4 cup silken tofu
1/4 cup olive oil
3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1 heaping tablespoon capers
4 teaspoons caper brine
1 teaspoon sugar
1/2 teaspoon mustard powder
Salt

Croutons:
1/4 cup olive oil
4 cloves roasted garlic
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
1 medium size loaf French or Italian bread (little less than 1 pound), stale and torn or sliced into bite-sized pieces
1/4 teaspoon salt

Salad:
1 large head romaing lettuce, chopped
Freshly cracked black pepper
Handful or two of spinach and/or arugula, torn into bite-sized pieces (optional)

Prepare the dressing: Pulse the sliced almonds in a food processor or blender until crumbly. Empty the ground almonds into an airtight container that you'll be using to store the finished dressing. Blend the garlic, tofu, and oil in the food processor or belnder until creamy. Add the lemon juice, capers, caper brine, sugar, and mustard powder, and pulse until blended. Adjust the salt and lemon juice to taste. Put into the container with the ground almonds and whisk to combine. Cover and allow the dressing to chill in the refrigerator for a minimum of 30 minutes, optimally 1 to 1 1/2 hours.

While the dressing is chilling, prepare the croutons: Preheat the oven to 400F. Combine the olive oil, roasted garlic, and lemon juice in a large bowl. With a fork or immersion blender, mash orblend the mixture until creamy. Add the torn bread and toss to coat each piece with the oil mixture. Spread onto a rimmed baking sheet, sprinkle with salt, if desired, and bake for 12 to 14 minutes until golden brown. Toss the croutons twice during the baking process. Remove from the oven and cool the croutons on the baking sheet.

To assemble the salad, place in a large bowl 2 to 3 cups of lettuce/greens per individual serving (amount depending on whether it's a side or an entree). Ladle on 1/3 cup of the dressing (or more or less to taste), and use kitchen tongs to toss the greens and coat them with dressing. Add the warm croutons, toss again, and transfer to a serving dish. Sprinkle with a little freshly cracked pepper. If not serving right away, warm croutons in 300F oven for 5 to 8 minutes before adding to the salad.

Serves 4 to 6 as a side, 2 to 3 as a main.

from Veganomicon by Isa Chandra Moskowitz and Terry Hope Romero (Marlowe & Company, 2007) - reprinted with permission.

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Your Comments


sam
January 10, 2008

Heidi. have I ever told you how much you rock? I love your "before i log off" paragraph. Well said! Now - when you are you going to bring your dad to the Ferry building for a glass of champagne?

 

Mrs. Mordecai
January 10, 2008

I read your blog for many months before I realized you were vegetarian and so were your recipes. It's not all about who claims what label; it's about really good and healthy recipes, and that's what you deliver. Thank you.

 

courtney
January 10, 2008

YUM--thanks for the inspiration, sis!

 

ksulis
January 10, 2008

This looks like a great recipe. I heard the ladies from Post Punk Kitchen on the radio and their new book sounded great - thanks for the preview. I have been using the non-egg but with anchovy recipe for Ceasar's Salad from Cooks Illustrated for awhile now and I love it but I am looking forward to this new recipe. And I do love the idea of *tearing* the croutons instead of cutting!

 

msassi
January 10, 2008

I just don't think I can embrace Caesar salad without anchovies or parmesan...

 

(another) Heidi
January 10, 2008

Fabulous article; thank you. I've not heard of the China Study before.

Another delicious vegan caesar is in the RFD cookbook - can't wait to try this version for comparison.

 

Kirsten
January 10, 2008

I've been a long time reader of your blog - I love it.

I'm not vegan - but I did pick up veganomicon last week and I LOVE it. The recipes are amazing.

Definitely worth looking into.

 

Jen
January 10, 2008

I think veganism gets a bad rep because many people's first forays into the way of eating are trying dishes that impersonate their familiar meat-based favorites. Foods that try to be anything other than themselves (meat substitutes, etc.) I nearly always find disappointing. I mean, I like mushroom gluten as much as the next person, but it is simply different than beef, and I like them for different reasons. Eating mushroom gluten but expecting beef (for example) can lead to a person feeling like they're depriving themself, and consequently they become less receptive to enjoying all the other delicious and unique vegan dishes out there.

I'm looking forward to receiving my copy of Veganomicon (ordered after hearing the NPR bit), and I hope that it contains recipes that simply celebrate being themselves. Also, that's something I love about your website--your recipes that are gluten-free, vegan, etc. do so by highlighting delicious combinations of ingredients rather than by trying to imitate something else.

 

Karen
January 10, 2008

Right on. I will take another look at this book.

While I can't imagine that I would ever limit myself to a vegan diet - I love to eat sides of pig and juicy burgers now and then - we always make room for weekly vegetarian meals at our house.

We can all do the planet a huge favor if even the most dedicated carnivores among us go all-out veggie for at least one meal a week.

 

Patti
January 10, 2008

Was pleasantly surprised to find this recipe in my reader.

I've been a vegetarian for 32 years. In 2001, I was on a vegan diet for 9 months - felt and looked the best I ever did in my life. But I found that it was a very limiting lifestyle - recipe and meal planning, shopping - I just didn't want to "think" so much about what I eating and meals just didn't excite me.

But, lately I've been giving serious thought to eating vegan again and this time being more creative w/meals. I just remember how great I felt and looked - the change from vegetarian to vegan made a significant difference.

More vegan recipes, please.....great blog! Thanks!

 

Joyce
January 10, 2008

Just heard about this book on NPR. Thanks for sharing this super sounding salad —particularly the excellent dressing.
Looking forward to tasting it soon!

And thanks for pointing out the China Study to your readers and also M. Pollan's great advice:
Eat food, not too much, mostly plants!
AMEN.

 

UCD
January 10, 2008

Your Vegan and Vegetarian recipes are excellent but they are too elaborate. Can you feature some that are not so elaborate? Thanks.

 

anne
January 10, 2008

I hate to point out typos, but this one made me laugh. I "pout" into my blender all the time!

 

Emma Nowell
January 10, 2008

Nice pictures! The greens are so vibrant. Great post as well, nicely written... I defintely see a trend of pushing even the most devout meat and potato eaters to eat vegetarian at least once a week. I have been on all sides, meat eater, vegetarian, and vegan and I love all the food and love vegetarian food and vegan food (if cooked well and seasoned properly) but i also like dairy and meat... but I do know how much better I feel when I'm eating more whole grains and veggies (thus making less room for meat and dairy in the diet) so I guess I'm a meat eater with vegetarian tendencies

 

Pritya
January 10, 2008

Dear Heidi,
A heart-warming post. I am truly delighted to see a write-up about vegetarianism /Veganism books accompanied by a fabulous recipe. The salad looks simply irresistible, will be trying it out soon.
Pratibha at Pritya.

 

Laurie Gauguin
January 10, 2008

My first professional cooking job was creating lowfat vegan recipe for a cooking school run by a doctor who ate an extremely strict diet, a la John McDougall (a notch more extreme than Dean Ornish).

I thought the diet was crazy but, as I started eating the foods I cooked for the recipes I was developing, I realized I felt incredibly energetic and mentally focused.

I am not a vegan, but cooking wholegrain vegan meals gave me new insight into vegetarian power foods. Now I always cook with vegetables and whole grains as the focus of my meals. I'm truly grateful for being exposed to the vegan philosophy.

 

Pookha
January 10, 2008

Wow! The recipe sounds scrumptious--I can hardly wait to try it (anything with caper juice can't be bad).

I, too, like Sam, liked your "before I log off". (A certain amount of people don't have a sense of humor--a popular game amongst vegans is "I'm a better vegan than you." )

I went vegan for the health benefits. But I've been an unabashed foodie in the past, so I cover the spectrum.

My only "beef" with Veganomicon is it's name: I have visions of Howard Phillips Lovecraft recast in cauliflower. What would Cthulu think?

 

amber
January 10, 2008

Writer Philip Day's ("Health Wars") take on meat-centric diets isn't exactly for the faint-hearted, but is interesting to read:

Here is an exmaple of one of his articles:
http://campaignfortruth.com/Eclub/241005/CTM%20-%20meating%20the%20main%20problem.htm

Not being a scientist or nutritionist myself, I tend to take everything I read with a tiny grain of salt, but I think it's important to consider diet and ways of improving it, to be as informed as possible, and to explore a variety of foods.

 

Karolina
January 10, 2008

Wonderful recipe!!! I'm not vegan and not even 100 % vegetarian as I eat fish, but I like healthy food and I love your blog full of woderful healthy recipes!!!

 

Dee
January 10, 2008

I must personally question the China Study based upon my personal belief that diet is not the single contributing factor to health. There is environment, genetics, personal lifestyle, all of which play a role.

More pressing is China's record on transparency, that it doesn't exist. While I haven't read the China Study, I will be looking into it to see what evidence they have and how they've used it.

One increasingly popular notion to better health, more energy and longevity of life is caloric restriction, and if I remember correctly, advocates vegetarian if not vegan dietary habits.

All that aside, the recipe looks fantastic. I am a rather light ovo-laco vegetarian, but my husband refuses to give up his meat a few nights a week. Minimally, he gets it (purchased and prepared of course) from me, in the form of bio meats, where I can be assured that they're free of chemicals and/or hormones, have led a relatively decent life and are slaughtered humanely, as if that's possible.

 

susam
January 10, 2008

Wondering how best to poach an egg?

This is fabulous:
http://www.b3ta.com/features/howtopoachanegg/

 

Paul Van Voorst
January 11, 2008

This is something that I think my sister in law (soon to be) might enjoy.

 

marci
January 11, 2008

I wonder how soaked cashews would work in place of the silken tofu. Tofu is too processed for my liking...just a thought.
Love the site & the philosophy- keep it up!

 

Deb Schiff
January 11, 2008

Heidi, first and foremost, I really enjoy reading your blog entries and seeing your gorgeous photos. You do such a nice job with all of it. Second, my heart skipped a beat when I saw that you had featured Isa and Terry's newest book, Veganomicon. Like Vegan with a Vengeance and Vegan Cupcakes Take over the World, Veganomicon really goes a long way toward showing that anyone can cook healthy, tasty and inexpensive dishes in a short amount of time. I haven't been vegan in quite a while, but I probably eat vegan-ly about 3-4 days a week just because there are so many yummy options -- even more now from Veganomicon and your great blog. If you haven't seen their other books, I highly recommend them. There are more to come as well! Looking forward to your next post.

 

Michelle
January 11, 2008

I'd love to see more vegan recipes! I'm trying to be vegetarian on principle, but many vegetarian options have cheese. Being lactose-intolerant, vegan seems the way to go! http://doesabodygood.blogspot.com/search/label/vegan

 

Romina
January 11, 2008

I am overjoyed every time I see a vegan recipe! Thank you. =)

 

Julie O'Hara
January 11, 2008

Great post! You wrote really sensibly and even-handedly about food politics and nutrition--topics that are really personal and emotional to people. I'm a Pollan-style eater, but I do enjoy the occasional vegan recipe.
Julie

 

katy
January 11, 2008

I've been a vegetarian for thirteen years, and for a long part of that time I didn't eat dairy products really at all (i never called myself a vegan though because i still had leather shoes, etc). but people always used to ask me whether i was getting enough calcium, and my response was that in cultures where people get their calcium from plant sources, there are MUCH lower rates of osteoperosis than in america. i think there's a lot that we don't know about how the body absorbs nutrients from plant sources, as opposed to animal sources. lovely recipe, i don't think i could give up dairy products again, i love ice cream and eggs too much, but everything in moderation, i guess.

 

Mansi
January 11, 2008

I've been a vegetarian all my life, but don' know if being vegan is aa really healthy option...most part of our calcium and protein comes from the dairy, right? plants and legumes have proteins and fiber, but definitely low in calcium..

neways, that's a great-looking salad, and vegan or not, I'll have it:)

 

gigi
January 11, 2008

I'm not vegetarian by any stretch of the imagination, though I have scaled way back on my meat consumption, mostly through cooking for my semi-vegetarian boyfriend. For Christmas I asked for (and received) both Super Natural Cooking and Veganomicon. :)

 

Babeth
January 11, 2008

Thanks for this goldmine of info about vegan. You made me curious about this book.

 

amy
January 11, 2008

i'm flexitarian, and that cookbook is next on my amazon wish list!

 

Yamp
January 11, 2008

Hello!

I'm a regular visitor on this site, and I really enjoy reading your blog. When I saw this gorgeous picture of srumptious salad, I was thrilled. Vegan caesar salad? Why not. I'm neither vegetarian nor vegan, but I don't mind experimenting in every realm, and I do enjoy eating a vegetarian meal now and then. [I'm in the "everything in moderation" club, I focus on eating healty food, try to buy local-bio-small-scale-production food].

So I read on, but then twitched at the word "capers". I really, really, really don't like capers. "No problem, I told myself, I'll leave them out, it shouldn't be a problem". That's when I got to the "caper brine" part. Now that seems a little bit more problematic. If I don't put brine in, won't that dressing be awfully thick, not quite salty enough?

Any suggestions for what I could use instead of caper brine? Green olive brine, maybe? Feta brine (but that would ruin the vegan part)? Plain water with a bit of salt?

Help!

 

Nori
January 11, 2008

Heidi, yay for vegan recipes! Thanks so much for posting one explicitly labeled as such. I'm totally going to make this salad this weekend, and now I'm coveting Veganomicon, too ... Hmm, maybe I should even crack "How To Cook Everything Vegetarian" before I let myself buy another cookbook as recommended by your blog, though! :-)

 

VeggieGirl
January 11, 2008

looks FABULOUS - I own Veganomicon, and can definitely verify that it is a worthwhile cookbook.

 

Hillary
January 11, 2008

Thank you for sharing this recipe! Caesar salad is not something I can live without !

 

Micah Rose
January 11, 2008

Where can one buy mustard powder? Just wondering:)

 

Johanna
January 11, 2008

thanks for an interesting post and an interesting recipe - I am a vegetarian who loves cheese and yoghurt but doesn't like eggs and milk much, so I find vegan recipes really good for me.

I also wanted to say thank you for your post in September last year about the sundried tomato and cheese muffins - I tried the recipe last weekend and they were fantastic - the first thing I've been able to bake that my gluten free niece will eat! I also was inspired by your love for Rose Elliot to buy one of her cookbooks (the zodiac cookbook) in a second hand shop because it made me check on the web and find it was out of print - so I wont take her second hand books for granted so much when I see them (although I have quite a few already that I love).

 

sometime-vegan
January 11, 2008

A open question to you and your blog users:
how might one replace butter with a non-animal product in baked goods like the scones you featured recently, in which the fatty substance has to be "cut" into the dough?
Thank you for your wonderful recipes and informative posts.

 

joeswife
January 11, 2008

just curious. im new to eating, or Living Well, by eating more fruits and veges and way less red meat. Loving everything so far. When you talk about adding 'silken tofu' to the Ceasar Salad what do you mean? I've see two different types, Japenese and Chinese. One is hard and the other, i think, is more....soft? Which do you use and in what atmosphere?
thanks i need all kinds of advice but this is a good start.
thanks again.

 

JenniferS
January 11, 2008

Michael Pollan's follow up book to the insightful Omnivore's Dilemma just came out and is called In Defense of Food. I'm plowing through that one and incoporating many of his ideas about food into the diet's of our young family, without sacrificing flavor or heartiness!
Love the blog Heidi! Keep up your great work - so inspiring w/ great photos!

 

mallory
January 11, 2008

i'm so glad you featured this book, i have it and love it. i've made the salad before, it was fantastic. sometime-vegan, there are non-hydrogenated vegan butter substitutes like earth balance available if you have access to a good health food store or co-op. my favorite for baking is earth balance buttery sticks, because sticks are much easier to measure than the kind that comes in the tubs. i've never seen it unsalted, though, so you have to adjust recipes accordingly.

 

Courtney
January 12, 2008

Just made this salad for dinner (with salmon crusted in your dukkah, not very vegan but very delicious) and it was AMAZING. The raw garlic in the dressing was quite spicy, which I like, but might be too strong for some tastes. Made croutons with cinnamon raisin bread because that's what we had on hand, but it gave a lovely sweet element to the mix, and I tossed in dried goji berries for color. With the dressing and the dukkah-crusted salmon I think this is one of the best meals I've ever made, and so healthy! Thanks Heidi :-) Caesar salad isn't necessarily about anchovies and parmesan, it's about a flavor that has depth beyond just "salty" and this achieves that end with the capers. Lovely! Can't wait to make again.

 

YOYO Cooking
January 12, 2008

YUM!

 

Isa
January 12, 2008

Thanks for featuring our Caesar, Heidi! (Well, it's terry's Caesar, but whatever.) I love that you included this:

"Don't get too hung up on the name - whether or not it is an "actual" Caesar salad shouldn't send you into a tail-spin. Naming the recipe this way helps people understand what general realm of salad we are talking about."

You nailed it. Thanks again.
ox Isa

 

Elizabeth
January 12, 2008

Since there is a reference to Michael Pollan here, I just want to add that in his latest book, IN DEFENSE OF FOOD, the journalist cites critiques of THE CHINA STUDY in forwarding his own skeptical argument about the ways that studies draw connections between nutrition, health and diet.

 

Michelle
January 12, 2008

We are 5 months into the vegetarian switch, and I'm always thrilled to find another blog to provide inspiration and ideas. We are moving toward vegan, but haven't made it there completely. However, I also like to fix just good, honest food instead of rlying on faux meats and reproductions of my former "loves." I'll be back to visit--often.

 

lucy
January 12, 2008

This dressing is absolutely delicious! I have admired your website for a while with its beautiful photos, but I have never posted...until now. The dressing is fantastic. Thank you for it!

I'll add that I inadvertently backed into a near-vegan diet several months ago when I had some weight to lose, and I will never go back. I was amazed at the changes in my energy, sleep, mood and appearance produced by eating mostly vegetables, fruits, non-meat protein, and whole grains.

 

one food guy
January 13, 2008

This is a great sounding caesar. Lately I've been thinking about what it would be like to be vegan, or at last vegetarian. My thoughts stemmed from the recent announcement that the FDA is considering approving meat and dairy from cloned animals. The thought of that is somewhat frightening considering there is no long term data available on how cloned meat or dairy will affect the long term physiology of the human body, regardless of the present day safety the FDA is claiming.

 

melissa a.
January 13, 2008

I'm vegetarian. I read this blog and the PPk and have all cookbooks by all respective authors.

Your commonality is you all provide us with amazing recipes we all can make. No elitism. No high horse. Just great food for everyone.

Thanks to you, Heidi, Terry and Isa for helping me eat so very well, and in doing so improving my quality of life.

 

BeckyAndTheBeanstock
January 13, 2008

I could live on Caesar salad. Well, I could live on salads, but Caesar is one of my favorite, and i'm forever on the quest to figure out just how to make it. I also dabble in veganism (though technically I'm pescetarian) so I really can't wait to give this a try.

Also, Heidi, I do really think your approach - that is, posting fantastic and gorgeous recipes for the food you eat, without delivering a sermon -- is really inviting. It introduces folks to the idea of vegetarianism without making anybody feel preached to, and that makes people receptive.

 

Jessica "Su Good Sweets"
January 13, 2008

The China Study is a great book. I read it based on a recommendation from lagustasluscious.com. It convinced me to eat a plant-based diet for over a year now.

 

Anonymous
January 13, 2008

Yes, indeed! You are absolutely right in that we are not eating enough vegetables. There are many people who have some serious obstacles to cooking, not just lack of time or deficits in organizational skills. We are not modeling healthy cooking behaviors for our children and this is vital.We really need to examine WHY we are so willing to order in and buy prepared foods.
Thanks,
Alma@takebackthekitchen

 

Josh
January 13, 2008

As nice as this recipe looks, to me it shouldn't be called Caesar.

Caesar to me is full of bacon, egg and cheese and topped with a creamy cesar sauce.

This recipe is just lettuce and some croutons and thus hardly fits the definition of a Caesar salad.

 

Spike
January 13, 2008

Thanks for this one - my boyfriend is vegan and I've been going vegetarian for awhile now. The discovery of anchovies in Caesar dressing was pretty sad for me :) I can't wait to make this one! And by the way, most really delicious Caesars I've had haven't had any egg (except perhaps in the dressing), and certainly no bacon. So this fits squarely in the Caesar category.

 

Anonymous
January 14, 2008

goooooooooooooood...

 

Elena
January 14, 2008

First of all, I'd like to say that, while i'm not a vegetarian, i LOVE vegetables in any form, and today's Caesar's vegan salad sounds scrumptious.
However, after reading your comments about 'The China study', 'i'd like to add that i have a son who has been studying kung fu in Si Ping, Northen China, since last March, and according to him, the food there is, surprisingly, very unhealthy. We live in Spain, where the diet is totally different, and before he left for China he was all for everything Chinese. A couple of months after he arrived in China, he asked me to send him recipes that he could cook at the academy's student's kitchen, because the Chinese -at least in that area- deepfry absolutely everything, and fresh veggies are hard to find on your table! Also, there is no question of a meat-free diet in a country which is poor beyond belief, and they try to get their vitamins from anything they can. He also commented on the fact that the fairly omnipresent lack of hygiene (personal, general) is the result of basic products like hot water or soap, detergent, etc. being very expensive and out of reach for the average person.
I just thought i'd mention this bit of first-hand information, so that we don't think there is anything 'miraculous' happening in China, and that 'we are doing everything wrong' while 'they are doing everything right' kind of thing...!
As usual, i think balance is probably the key to a healthy diet.

 

rosie
January 14, 2008

the post punk kitchen is a trusty favorite of mine. the recipes are always really good. i suggest the french lentil soup. the addition of tarragon is beyond tasty.

 

Joselle Palacios
January 14, 2008

Thanks so much for highlighting Veganomicon. I've been flipping through it almost everyday since I received it as a Christmas gift.

Not only are the recipes delicious and well-organized, Isa and Terry have also created a great primer to cooking in general. Although I know my way around a kitchen, I learned a few things about what tools are best and preparing certain dried beans and vegetables.

 

Enrico
January 14, 2008

Shouldn't you also give up drinking cappuccino?
There's milk in it...
Best ...;-)
Enrico

 

Jay
January 14, 2008

Sacrilege,
The three basics of a Caesar are: anchovies, raw egg & Parmesan. None of those are in here, so it's not a Caesar. Period. Please change the name.

 

lisalou
January 14, 2008

Actually anchovies were never a part of the original Caesar salad. Although I love them in one.

I have to admit though I've always loved that I had to discover through reading the recipes, etc that you were a vegetarian. Rather than pushing it on the reader, I always thought the blog did a good job of just showing and giving recipes for food that is really amazing first and then oh yeah by the way it's vegetarian.

I've never been able to understand why vegans especially would want a dish that mimics in name if not also taste something that is not vegan. Soy cheese, soy and other meat substitutes, veganaise, etc., etc. I can't imagine what processing needs to go into making the stuff. It just leaves me feeling that veganism is a political movement and not something that is actually about the food and thus they have to sort of apologize. "Save animals eat this reasonable facsimile (not!) of a dish you love that won't hurt animals." And I really don't mean to pick on Isa her blog actually tries to prove otherwise.

 

aubade
January 14, 2008

If people don't understand why vegans eat things that mimic non-vegan foods, I have to say I don't understand why omnivores use spices at all. Why not just eat the meat plain? I mean if you like meat so much, why do you have to marinate it or have it with sauce at all?

Of course,this is a ridiculous argument. People like certain tastes, textures, and variety. Vegans are no different. Just because they choose to eschew animal products for environmental, health, or spiritual reasons doesn't necessarily mean they never liked the way a non-vegan food tasted.

 

lisalou
January 14, 2008

It's not really the same thing. Adding flavor isn't the same as presenting a faux meat product or dish. A better comparison would be making meat dishes taste like vegetables and a product called bacomato or something b/c I don't want to eat vegetables.

If animal products are so horrible for the environment, spirituality, etc, etc, why would you want a product called tofurkey which mimics a product you eschew? To me personally it just makes vegan cuisine seem like it's supposed to be a pale shadow of omnivore cuisine. I know vegan and vegetarian cuisine has more merit than that. Just my opinion, I didn't really mean to start a debate.

 

Jacques Desjardins
January 14, 2008

Lisalou,

Re: Anchovies

I stand corrected. Somewhat......

Excerpts from Wikipedia:
Contrary to popular belief, the original Caesar's salad recipe did not contain pieces of anchovy; the slight anchovy flavor comes from the Worcestershire sauce. Cardini was opposed to using anchovies in his salad.[8]
The Cardini family trademarked the original recipe in 1948, and more than a dozen of bottled Cardini's dressing varieties are available today.
Yogurt is sometimes substituted for the eggs to maintain a creamy texture. However, purists disdain these alternatives which do not use raw eggs, as "not being true Caesar's salads".

(8) ^ "My father always used Lea and Perrins Worcestershire sauce, and anchovies are one of its ingredients. [...] He meant this to be a subtle salad, and anchovies can be overwhelming." (Above quoted 1987 interview with Rosa Cardini)

 

Catherine
January 14, 2008

While I applaud those who make conscious efforts to eat local and organic, there is a valid argument for meat-eaters, some of whom (like myself) must needs do for strictly medical reasons.

I wouldn't like to think I'm being unethical in my food choices, nor am I ruining myself physically or spiritually for consuming animal products, but rather, am consciously choosing food that nourishes me on every level.

This looks like a lovely recipe. Yum!

 

Jigi
January 14, 2008

Heidi,
an 1/8 teaspoon of fresh horseraddish adds a wonderful interesting taste...

 

Janine "Rustic Kitchen"
January 14, 2008

Heidi, thanks for the gentle reminder of how important mindful eating is. So often we go through life without understanding the impact of our food choices: on our health, on the environment, and on other living things. As I learn more about how most animals are raised, slaughtered and brought to market I feel more strongly than ever that we as consumers must demand better. Demand better, and eat more plants.

 

aubade
January 14, 2008

Well Lisalou, I already answered your question of why a vegan might want a tofurkey- because even though they have some reason for no longer eating meat, maybe they used to like the taste, texture, or even the familiarity.

As far as adding flavor to meat, my point was simply that the taste of animal products are disguised and played with in a million different ways by omnivores. They do it for a whole host of reasons- which often go beyond taste, to culture, convience, etc. Reasons which will also still apply to a vegan diet.

If vegans can replace familiar recipies with healthier, less cruel & equally tasty options that sounds like a perfect winner to me!

 

Stephanie
January 14, 2008

Haven't tried the vegan Caesar recipe yet, but just as a general note, I have found that capers can often take the place of anchovies for flavor in a recipe (such as on a pizza): they have a similar salty tang. Useful if you haven't got any of the little fishies on hand (or you know someone who can't or won't eat them).

 

gnewvegan
January 14, 2008

Before I was vegan I really enjoyed caesar salad. This looks very worth trying. Your statements are well said. I also started a blog as I became vegan. I am still new, only a few months into it. I wanted a site where people can go and learn about being vegan, with no questions as to why. To show that it can be done.. And that vegan eating is not boring.. :)

http://invitationfrom-gnewvegan.blogspot.com

 

Courtney
January 14, 2008

I have to admit that I disagree with the naming of veg and vegan products to evoke thoughts of meat. Alternative diets are obviously healthy but can be delicious too, so people who commit themselves should be proud to declare that they're using, for example, tofu as a meat substitute without trying to pretend it's something else. Tofurkey? Come on. Besides, do these fake meat products REALLY ever have the right texture or flavor to match the meat they're replacing? Own it tofu, embrace who you are!

When it comes to certain things though, the name is more of a guide, like vegetarian burgers or sausages: there are so many takes on these items (beef, pork, chicken, seafood and countless flavors mixed into those), so to me the name just suggests a shape or an idea of a DISH, not an ingredient. But fishless fish cakes? Vegan chicken fingers? Why not just have veggie patties or tofu nuggets? I think it gets creepy!

Here I think Caeser is a great description of this dish, as it properly identifies the idea the recipe creater was going for. And I really wonder if the difference would be noticed if you served this to someone without telling them it was vegan...has anyone tried?

I'd also like to say that while it's important for people to be open-minded about alternative diets, it would be nice for vegans and vegetarians to respect those who do eat meat. I enjoy meat, poultry, and fish (in balance with plants!) for the flavor as well as for the nutritional elements. There are a lot of animal products out there that offer excellent nutritional value, and I don't like being called cruel because of my diet decisions. Respect!

 

karen
January 14, 2008

I am sort of like the opposite of a vegan and in truth, I would rather eat meat almost all the time :) Still, I am looking forward to trying this recipe because, you know, I totally love it when vegan/veg stuff tastes amazing, since it's generally much more healthy than a butter-slathered steak, and if it's Heidi-approved it's probably delicious!

And to sometimes-vegan who asked about the butter substitute- uh, you can use crisco... it's vegetable based... but not the healthiest thing out there. Kind of a conundrum there!