How to make healthy choices every day

Vegan Caesar Salad – Hold the Anchovies

Holy cow, it’s September.
This means that my honeymoon is almost over (sad face), summer is coming to a close (really big sad face), but harvest season is in full swing and autumn goodies are on their way! This is my consolation.

While we still have some lovely local lettuces in store however, I thought that this recipe by my friend and health crusader, Meghan Telpner, was the perfect way to use up what’s left of the summer’s greens. Her creation is a ceasar salad that is ridiculously scrumptious and completely vegan, meaning that it’s a much waist-friendlier version of your indulgent classic…

Contrary to popular belief, I am not a strict vegan. As my friend Elana, who was once macrobiotic and is now indulging in raw cheeses and fish says, “labels are for tin cans”. I agree. But I have my limits when it comes to eating foods that once had eyes.

My mom happens to make the very best caesar salad that there ever was. That there ever was until I developed my vegan version. I have no problem eating my mom’s awesome salad, but I do have a hard time taking those little squigley fish out of the can and putting them into a blender. I needed and alternative that I could take with me to people’s homes when they invited me for summer BBQs.

See, I am not a vegan, but I also prefer not to eat food that comes off a BBQ (that’s a whole lotta heat going on). Since I rarely, if ever have the appetite for actual meat type foods, any wee bit of an appetite that I may have gets absolutely squashed, squelched and eliminated whenever I see a BBQ grill loaded down with a zoos-worth of animals, and animal assemblages (read- mixed meat burgers, hot dogs and sausages).

As per my pot-luck rule, I like to bring a dish that could serve as my whole meal, and given that I have now gone through 21 of my 24 packs of tempeh, I am a whizz with this probiotic rich, protein dense, healthfully fermented, great meat sub, delicious food. You name it, I can make it with tempeh!

I figured that I could make tempeh to to do a great impersonation of bacon, make croutons out of some sprouted whole grain bread, mix-master up a dressing that had that little bit of tang, that little bit of creamy, and that little bit of salty, well my BBQ hostesses with the mostesses, I had a winner!

Blow those horns of victory because I do! I do have a winner and here she be- the bestest, lightest, canned-fish free, Vegan Caesar Salad. She truly is a BBQ’s best girlfriend and will totally hold her own against any sausage fest, and will surely humiliate the mayo-clad potato salad.

Tempeh Bits
1 block of tempeh, chopped into 1/4 inch cubes
3 Tbs tamari
3 Tbs olive oil

* Heat olive oil over medium heat
* Add in tempeh cubes and lightly sautee until browned
* Add in tamari and cook until fully absorbed.
* Remove from heat and set aside

3-4 pieces of stale bread, or ends (I used Ezekial sprouted grain bread), cut into 1/2 inch squares
2 cloves garlic, minced or chopped finely
1 Tbs dry or 2-3 Tbs fresh oregano, chopped
2 Tbs olive oil

* Heat olive oil over medium heat
* Add in garlic and oregano coat in oil
* Toss in bread and mix throughly until bread is lightly coated in herbed oil
* Leave on low-medium heat, stirring and turning occasionally to avoid burning
* Once evenly toasted, remove from heat and set aside.

Vegan Caesar Dressing
2 Tbs almonds (ground) or almond butter
2 cloves garlic
3 Tbs nutritional yeast
2 Tbs tamari
1 lemon, juiced
3 Tbs dijon mustard
1/3 cup water
1 Tbs olive oil (or flax oil)

* Blend
* Pour over salad

Now go on and tantalize the BBQ meat eaters with this treat and leave out the word vegan. BBQ meat eaters think vegans are hippies. Yep. Generalizing.

Meghan Telpner, Certified Nutritionist and Chief Love Maker of her blog Making Love In The Kitchen, delivers a refreshingly realistic approach to nutrition and healthy living. Based in Toronto, Meghan is the director of The Love In The Kitchen Academy cooking school as well as Nourish Your Soul Holidays, leading healthy living retreats world-wide. With humour and passion, Meghan inspires people to take a look at their lives and to start living their dreams now. Her enthusiasm, charisma, positive energy and dynamism are truly motivating and inspiring.

Thanks Meghan!
I hope you all enjoy the dish and I will be back to post my own recipes very soon!

Copyright 2012 My New Roots at

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