Roasted Chickpea Caesar Salad, vegan and gluten-free, yet so close in flavor to the real deal. With a homemade caesar salad dressing and roasted spicy chickpeas, it is a delicious, healthy and nutritious lunch idea.
From January to April I am usually back in Rome, working. Not this year, when I asked for an additional leave to stay with my husband and concentrate on the blog. I did not choose the right winter to stay, though, while last year it seemed they had a balmy winter in Canada, this year it is nothing but brutal.
I have to confess, many are the days I miss my city, my family, and my friends. I miss getting dressed, in the morning, with proper clothes to go to work, and not hanging out -day after day- in my yoga pants and top. Since other than working at home, I mostly go out to attend a yoga or jazzercise class, this is my go-to everyday attire. Even when we go out Loreto and I, (and we do have our movie nights, concerts, restaurants, or Saturday breakfast out), I am always cold therefore I am so bundled up in warm, comfy clothes, plus down jacket, scarf, hat, mittens, and snow boots that you could hardly say it's me hiding in there, lol. I also miss walking. In Rome, I am used to walking a lot, mainly downtown, when going to work or just for fun. There are days when with my friends we arrange to meet downtown after work, to stroll in the beautiful alleys and squares, endlessly chatting and laughing, then rest for a gelato, even in the winter. It is never too cold, in Rome, to stop you from walking or having a gelato.
When I am back at work, I am a regular salad-for-lunch kind of person. My friend and ex-co-worker Paola one year for my birthday gave me a beautiful portable salad container, with separate compartments for the add-ons and an inbuilt dressing container, that is ideal for my lunch at work. It would be perfect to pack this Roasted Chickpea Caesar Salad: the romaine lettuce in the bowl, the chickpeas and nutritional yeast in the compartments and the caesar salad dressing in the dressing container. But these days I am working from home, from my home in Edmonton, Canada, and it has its advantages, principally I do not have to leave the house at the wee hours of the morning and I can make, photographs, and enjoy this salad in the tranquillity of our home. In a real plate!
Roasted Chickpea Caesar Salad, vegan and gluten-free, packed with flavors and with a high nutritional value. I found the recipe on the "Oh She Glows Every Day" cookbook, and I fell in love with the combination of flavors and textures. It just requires a bit of your time but it will reward you at every bite. I soaked the cashews overnight, then made the dressing in the morning blending in a food processor the cashews with the rest of the dressing ingredients. Pretty easy, and pretty delicious dressing. I made it while I was roasting the chickpeas in the oven, and then it's only a matter of assembling everything in a big serving dish. I was risking of not having any chickpeas to add to the salad because I was nibbling on them and couldn't stop. Mine did not turn out crunchy, though, but the flavor was so good, spicy, and salty. If you have a vegan cheese to sprinkle on top of the salad, use it, we did not have any so we thought to use a dusting of nutritional yeast. It just hit the spot, with its cheesy like taste. The dressing, with the capers, mustard, Worcestershire sauce provided that unmistakable Caesar salad flavor.
To my friends, whom I miss dearly and that are already counting the days till the summer when they'll see me again.
Happy lunch time!
Song of the day: "Wherever I go", One Republic.Print
For the dressing:
- ½ cup raw cashews
- ¼ cup water
- 2 Tbsp e.v.o.oil
- 1 Tbsp freshly squeezed lemon juice
- 1 ½ tsp mustard
- 1 clove garlic
- ¼ tsp garlic powder
- 1 ½ tsp Worcestershire sauce
- 2 ½ tsp capers
- ½ tsp freshly ground black pepper
- ½ tsp fine sea salt
For the Chickpeas:
- 1 small can chickpeas, drained and rinsed
- 1 tsp e.v.o.oil
- ½ tsp garlic powder
- ½ tsp fine sea salt
- ⅛ to ¼ tsp cayenne pepper
- Romaine lettuce (1 head)
- 2 tsp nutritional yeast
- Place the cashews in a small bowl and add water to cover. Soak from 1 to 2 hours or overnight (I chose overnight).
- Drain and rinse the cashews, then place them in a blender and add the remaining dressing ingredients, except the salt.
- Blend on high, scraping the sides if necessary and adding a splash water if needed, until smooth.
- Taste, add salt and adjust seasoning. Set aside.
- Preheat the oven to 400° F (200° C) and line a large baking sheet with parchment paper.
- Place the chickpeas in a towel and rub dry, then place them in a bowl. Drizzle the e.v.o. oil, sprinkle the garlic powder, salt and cayenne and coat the chickpeas.
- Spread them out on the baking sheet and roast for 15 minutes, then gently roll them around on the baking sheet and roast for additional 15-20 minutes, or until golden brown.
- Remove from the oven and let cool for about 10 minutes.
- Wash, drain and chop the romaine lettuce and place it in a big serving dish.
- Add the dressing and toss until fully coated.
- Place the roasted chickpeas on top and sprinkle the nutritional yeast.
- Serve immediately.
The total time does not include the soaking overnight of the cashews.
- Serving Size: 4-5 servings
More healthy and delicious salad ideas:
RADICCHIO AND WILD GREENS SALAD WITH ASIAGO, MACADAMIA NUTS AND CRANBERRIES