Good morning to you! I hope you had a great weekend.
Vida Vegan Con:
I’m buzzing around getting ready to leave town for the upcoming vegan blogging conference, Vida Vegan Con. I had so much fun at the first round back in 2011 and I can’t WAIT for this year’s event. You can read about the trip I took to the Bob’s Red Mill factory here, plus another post I wrote about my experiences and the fellow vegans I met here. While I’ll be traveling starting on Wednesday through early next week, my hope is to keep blogging on my regular Monday/Wednesday/Friday schedule, with lots of updates from my adventures. For candid pictures taken from the road, be sure to follow me on Instagram here.
Vegan Caesar Salad Dressing:
Who doesn’t love a good Caesar salad? I know that before I went vegan, this was my standard go-to salad that I would order at restaurants or buy in a bottle and serve at home. There is just something special about the salty, creamy dressing served on crisp, crunchy romaine.
Thanks to my husband who has been bugging me to make a healthy, vegan version of a Caesar dressing for longer than I am willing to admit (sorry, honey), I finally started experimenting this weekend to make my own. I turned to the blogosphere for inspiration, plus Dr. Fuhrman’s recipe collection as a starting point. I noticed that most vegan versions use cashews as the base, so that is how I started. The cashews lend creaminess, for sure, but I balanced them out with hemp seeds on my second go-around, to take advantage of the omega-3s.
Dijon mustard is also a common ingredient, although I used stone-ground mustard combined with mellow white miso for the distinctive salty flavor that really defines a Caesar dressing (probably due to the anchovies used in the traditional version). As you know, I normally don’t use ingredients that contain a lot of sodium like mustards or miso, but in this case, I think it is necessary. I also used dates to balance the savory and nutritional yeast for an added element:
I just blended all the ingredients together in my Vitamix and it was ready to serve on fresh romaine. Why, oh why, did I wait so long to make this dressing?
Vegan Caesar Dressing
1/3 cup unsalted cashews
1/4 cup hemp seeds
1 tablespoon stone ground mustard
1 teaspoon white miso
2 tablespoons nutritional yeast
1 clove garlic
1 tablespoon no-salt seasoning
4 medjool dates, pitted
1 cup unsweetened soy milk
1/4 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice
2 tablespoons white balsamic vinegar
1. Combine cashews, hemp seeds, mustard, miso, nutritional yeast, garlic, no-salt seasoning, dates, soy milk, lemon juice, and white balsamic vinegar in a high-speed blender and process until smooth.
2. Serve this dressing over fresh romaine for a vegan version of a Caesar salad.
I love this dressing so much that I’m putting it on everything I can find, including my Vegetable Quinoa Salad (see the recipe here):
The dressing recipe is also available in a handy-dandy mobile version on my app, Vegan Delish (get it here!). Just look in the “New Recipes” category for it and plenty of other easy, healthy recipes that are all gluten-free and made using little to no oil, salt, or added sugars.
Intermittent Fasting Update:
Thanks for your comments on the post I wrote about intermittent fasting last week (you can see it here). I forgot to mention in that post that there is a great video that was aired on PBS earlier this year on the topic. You can watch that video here, it is super interesting. My first week using the Fast-5 approach was overall really great, although I’m still making adjustments to how it works for me. Namely, I am needing to be more careful about not doing “compensatory eating” which means filling up before the fast starts to alleviate anxiety about the fasting phase. So far, though, I am really loving getting back in touch with my hunger and noticing how intertwined my emotions are with my desire to eat.
Random Weekend Pictures:
Before I go, I thought I’d share some pictures I took this weekend. I made a green smoothie yesterday and was taking a picture when someone got very interested in the fresh mint on top (mint and catnip are in the same family, apparently):
On Friday, we had an unexpected cool spell in Southern California which allowed for a late season hike:
I went walking yesterday morning around the neighborhood and spotted this beautiful hibiscus that made me feel like summer is right around the corner:
That being said, I’m busting out my warm sweaters and coat for my trip to Portland; Wednesday’s high is only in the 50′s. Brrr! See you back here then.