Reducing your meat intake can be good for your pocketbook, the environment and your health. Try introducing meatless meals into your weekly repertoire, such as this delicious, and easy, salad from Maureen Cubbon, director of Bestlife Wellness & Culinary, and co-founder of wholesome meal kit provider, Zest.

VEGAN CAESAR WITH MOROCCAN-ROASTED CAULIFLOWER & CHICKPEA CROUTONS

INGREDIENTS

  • Vegan parmesan
  • Romaine lettuce
  • 16 ounces cauliflower florets
  • Lemon
  • Salt and pepper

CROUTONS:

  • 14-ounce can organic chickpeas, drained and rinsed
  • 1 teaspoon extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon fine grain sea salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/8 to 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper (optional)

CAESAR DRESSING:

  • 1/2 cup raw cashews, soaked overnight
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 1/2 tablespoon Dijon mustard
  • 1 small garlic clove
  • 1/2 tablespoon vegan Worcestershire sauce
  • 2 teaspoons capers
  • 1/2 teaspoon fine grain sea salt and pepper, or to taste

MOROCCAN SPICE BLEND:

  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 3/4 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground coriander
  • 1/2 teaspoon cayenne
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground allspice
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves

METHOD:

Step 1: Soak cashews in a bowl of water overnight, or for at least a few hours. Drain and rinse.

Step 2: Roast chickpea croutons and cauliflower.

Preheat oven to 400 F. Drain and rinse chickpeas. Place onto large, rimmed baking sheet. Drizzle on oil and roll around to coat. Sprinkle on the garlic powder, salt, and optional cayenne. Toss to coat. Roast for 20 minutes at 400 F, then gently roll the chickpeas around in the baking sheet. Roast for another 10 to 20 minutes, until lightly golden. They will firm up as they cool.

Spread cauliflower florets on another baking sheet. Add a drizzle of olive oil, a generous pinch of salt and Moroccan spice blend. Toss together well and spread out evenly. Roast at the same time as the chickpeas, about 15 minutes or until tender.

Step 3: Prepare the dressing.

Add the cashews and all other dressing ingredients (except salt) into a high-speed blender, and blend on high until the dressing is very smooth. You can add a splash of water if necessary, to get it blending. Add salt to taste and adjust other seasonings, if desired. Set aside.

Step 4: Make salad.

Cut romaine into bite-size pieces in a large bowl. Grate parmesan if needed. Cut lemon into wedges. Add desired amount of dressing, cauliflower, half the parmesan cheese and toss together well. Divide into bowls and top with chickpea croutons, remaining parmesan and serve with a slice of lemon. Enjoy!

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