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Raw Vegan Caesar Salad w/ Crunchy Hemp Seeds + Lemon Zest

Raw Vegan Caesar Salad w/ Crunchy Hemp Seeds | Well and Full | #vegan #plantbased #recipe

Growing up, I was always very creative. Piano lessons notwithstanding, I was always crafting and painting and in general making huge messes (much to my mother’s chagrin). However, I never really saw food as a creative outlet. At the time my favorite foods were carrots and pretzels (and still are to some degree), and getting spontaneous in the kitchen was the last thing on my mind.

But I remember when I reached my culinary epiphany – strangely enough, it occurred when I saw the premiere of “Eddie’s Million Dollar Cook-off” on Disney Channel in 2003. For those of you who missed that gem of a movie, Eddie is a baseball player who secretly loves to cook. However, in true Disney Channel fashion, his parents and friends “don’t understand” his passion (read: cooking is for girls!!) and try to guilt him into staying with baseball. But Eddie is such a great cook that he qualifies for a million-dollar cook-off hosted by Bobby Flay, who actually makes a cameo in the movie. You’ll have to watch it to find out how it ends. Regardless, there’s plenty of creative culinary concoctions made in the movie, with a few classical techniques interspersed here and there.

Raw Vegan Caesar Salad w/ Crunchy Hemp Seeds | Well and Full | #vegan #plantbased #recipeRaw Vegan Caesar Salad w/ Crunchy Hemp Seeds | Well and Full | #vegan #plantbased #recipe

I remember that as soon as the movie ended, I ran into the kitchen and started throwing together all of the ingredients I could find. I don’t even remember what I made…. it was probably awful. (I was 11, remember). But I really credit that movie with the moment of my culinary awakening! And it was well-timed, because not long after I became vegetarian, and started cooking vegetarian meals for myself.

Raw Vegan Caesar Salad w/ Crunchy Hemp Seeds | Well and Full | #vegan #plantbased #recipeRaw Vegan Caesar Salad w/ Crunchy Hemp Seeds | Well and Full | #vegan #plantbased #recipe

I think it would be safe to say that cooking is my passion now. I mean, why else would I spend hours and hours on this blog? Sidebar – before starting W+F, I thought food blogging would be easy. I mean, how hard could it be? You cook stuff and take pictures of it, then write a blurb about it and post it. Easy. Except…. no.

First there’s actually conceptualizing a recipe. You want to have something that is your own unique style, but that is still useful to your readers, but hasn’t been done before by other bloggers (and do you KNOW how many other food bloggers there are?!). Then you actually have to make the recipe, taste it, and make sure it, you know, tastes good. Once you have a decent recipe, you have to cook it, wait for the right lighting conditions, the photograph it – which involves styling, props, and different angles. Then there’s the simple matter of meticulously editing each photo and making sure your white balance is okay (always a struggle over here). And then you have to write some words that go along with your recipe, which introduces the whole writer’s block phenomenon. Then you post your recipe and hope that someone reads it. Pheww! Blogging is fun.

But seriously, I love every single step of it. The point I’m trying to make is that there’s a lot more work that goes into food blogging than people think (myself included in my pre-blog days). I don’t do this for my health, you know? I do this because I have this insane and insatiable passion for food! AND I WANT TO SHARE IT WITH EVERYBODY!!

Raw Vegan Caesar Salad w/ Crunchy Hemp Seeds | Well and Full | #vegan #plantbased #recipeRaw Vegan Caesar Salad w/ Crunchy Hemp Seeds | Well and Full | #vegan #plantbased #recipe

Another aspect of my passion is showing how amazing and versatile plant-based ingredients can be. Something that’s continually floored me since going vegan are the incredible applications for which plants can be used. I mean, take just some simple cashews. With cashews, you can make luscious cheesecakes, mac & cheese, cashew butter, more cheesecakes, ICE CREAM, pink berry cashew creamnachos, more cashew cream, cashewgurtpizza, cream cheese….. the possibilities are endless! And this is just one little tree nut. Personally I think it’s fascinating how plants can be used in such interesting ways…. it makes me wonder how many other delicious uses are out there waiting to be discovered!

Cashews are also the star of this raw vegan caesar salad, creating the base for a creamy caesar dressing. To be honest with you all, I was very skeptical making this recipe. I thought to myself, there’s no WAY this will taste good. (Aren’t I so positive?!) So imagine my surprise when I dipped my finger into my blender and tasted a tangy, creamy, lemony caesar! Not wanting to mess with a good thing, I simply tossed some kale in the dressing and topped it with crunchy hemp seeds + lemon zest. Simple yet delicious. This raw vegan caesar salad is great on its own, but would also be fantastic as an appetizer for dinner (visions of quinoa fettuccine in arrabiatta sauce are dancing in my head…)! The salad is also completely raw, so it would work great as part of a detox or cleanse!

Raw Vegan Caesar Salad w/ Crunchy Hemp Seeds | Well and Full | #vegan #plantbased #recipeRaw Vegan Caesar Salad w/ Crunchy Hemp Seeds | Well and Full | #vegan #plantbased #recipe

Raw Vegan Caesar Salad w/ Crunchy Hemp Seeds + Lemon Zest
 
Prep time
Total time
 
This raw vegan caesar salad is delicious and cleansing, topped with a mouthwatering homemade raw caesar dressing, crunchy hemp seeds, and freshly grated lemon.
Serves: 2-4
Ingredients
Raw Caesar Dressing
  • Heaping ½ Cup Cashews, soaked
  • 2 Tbsp Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • 2 Tbsp Flax Oil (or sub more olive oil)
  • Juice from 1 Lemon
  • 2 Tbsp Raw Dijon Mustard
  • 1 Clove Garlic
  • ⅛ Tsp Salt
  • ⅛ Tsp Pepper
  • 2-3 Tbsp Water to thin
Raw Salad
  • Kale (or other hardy green)
  • Raw Hemp Seeds
  • Lemon Rind (use rind from lemon for dressing)
Instructions
Raw Caesar Dressing
  1. To prep the cashews, soak for at least two hours or overnight.
  2. When cashews are done soaking, combine with all other dressing ingredients in a high speed blender and blend until smooth. Add more water to thin, if needed.
Making the Salad
  1. The dressing recipe makes enough for two really big caesar salads, but everybody's tastes are different so it can vary from person to person.
  2. To make the salad, prepare your bowls of kale and mix with dressing. Note - combining kale + dressing by hand helps make the kale softer and easier to digest!
  3. Once you've found a kale:dressing ratio to your liking, garnish with raw hemp seeds and lemon zest.
  4. Enjoy!

Raw Vegan Caesar Salad w/ Crunchy Hemp Seeds | Well and Full | #vegan #plantbased #recipe

Song of the Day:

Riversong – Chris and Thomas

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18 Comments

  • Reply
    dixya | food, pleasure, and health
    August 20, 2015 at 4:16 pm

    im the same way when it comes to blogging,..i love food and have understood the power of it and want to share it with everyone..i have never tried making vegan caesar dressing, pinning it.

    • Reply
      Sarah
      August 20, 2015 at 7:00 pm

      Let me know how it comes out!! 😀

  • Reply
    Annie @ Natural Sweet Recipes
    August 20, 2015 at 5:11 pm

    Happened to stumble upon your site and so glad I did! You have a beautiful blog! I love your recipes. I have realized through blogging that there is truly no more creative outlet then blogging – from recipe development to photo editing to writing! Glad you are spending the time on such a beautiful project and sharing your creativity! I am looking forward to reading and (drooling!) over your posts.

    • Reply
      Sarah
      August 20, 2015 at 7:00 pm

      Thank you so much for stopping by, Annie!! 🙂

  • Reply
    Jessica DeMarra
    August 21, 2015 at 9:37 am

    Nothing has me eating a big bowl of raw kale quite like a great creamy dressing. I use to love Caesar salads when I ate meat and dairy but as it turns out, cashew dressing is totally comparable and tastes way fresher. Bring on the Caesars!!
    p.s. I think there is a furry friend in your photo trying to take a whiff of your kale!

    • Reply
      Sarah
      August 21, 2015 at 10:14 am

      Haha yes that’s my pup, Ivy! She’s my most enthusiastic recipe tester 😉

  • Reply
    Meg @ Noming thru Life
    August 21, 2015 at 8:09 pm

    I LOVE that Disney caused your foodie epiphany instead of a delicate princess who needs a prince to save her. Foodie epiphany is much better 😉 And this salad woowwwwweeeee! I can’t wait to have me some of this beautiful caesar salad!

    • Reply
      Sarah
      August 22, 2015 at 9:11 am

      Haha you know what that made me think of?? That song “Cinderella” by Play! I used to love them growing up. One of the original feminist pop songs 😀

  • Reply
    Maya | Spice + Sprout
    August 22, 2015 at 10:50 am

    This looks so great! I am always testing out new ways to eat kale (bcuz it’s so fast + yummy) and I am super stoked to try out this dressing. I was totally the same before I started blogging! But I find that the time it takes to create, test, make, photograph, style, edit, eat etc. is almost a meditative process. It is so nice to have that time to work slow and love your passion <3

    • Reply
      Sarah
      August 22, 2015 at 9:24 pm

      Yes!! I find it to be very meditative and calming as well. 🙂

  • Reply
    genevieve @ gratitude & greens
    August 22, 2015 at 5:22 pm

    I don’t remember when my culinary awakening was exactly- I watched a lot of cooking shows when I was a kid and I used to oggle over the cookbooks whenever I was in a bookshop. I begged and begged my parents until they finally bought me my first cookbooks: a Williams-Sonoma kids cookbook, a Betty Crocker kids cookbook, and then… Nigella Lawson, with all those kiddy cookbooks. I haven’t looked back since! I never enjoyed caesar salad that much growing up, but it’s become one of my favourite things in the past two years. This creamy cashew caesar dressing sounds absolutely delish! I think it might be time for a caesar salad 😉

    • Reply
      Sarah
      August 22, 2015 at 9:26 pm

      That’s so crazy that you remember your first cookbooks! Now that I think about it, I think my first cookbook was this kid’s book that involved making faces on plates with raw vegetables !! XD

  • Reply
    Alison @Food by Mars
    August 22, 2015 at 9:33 pm

    Stunning… I need to try that dressing, it sounds fabulous!

    • Reply
      Sarah
      August 22, 2015 at 9:38 pm

      Thanks girl 🙂 Hope you like it!

  • Reply
    Agata
    August 29, 2015 at 9:41 am

    I like this green such kale. I’m looking for a recipe with this. It’s very healthy. Yours looks nice. It must be tasty, I need o prepare it as soon as possible. It’s a great idea for lunch to work. Hmm, but I need to steam or boil a kale before… ?

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