Creamy Vegan Caesar Salad | Vegan It! With Lauren Toyota

Chatelaine and Lauren Toyota have teamed up to put a vegan spin on the comfort foods you know and love. On this episode: a rich, tangy and smoky (yet meatless!) Caesar salad.

Watch more in our Vegan It with Lauren Toyota series:

To see more of Lauren’s delicious vegan recipes, visit her hotforfood YouTube Channel:

Order Lauren’s Vegan Comfort Classics cookbook here:


Recipe: Classic Caesar Salad with Tofu Bacon Bits
MAKES 4 servings
PREP TIME: 40 minutes
COOK TIME: 1 hour 20 minutes
Caesar Dressing (makes 2 cups)


1 bulb of garlic
1 tablespoon olive oil
pinch sea salt
3/4 cup raw cashews (soaked for 3 hrs)
3/4 cup water
1 pitted medjool date
3 tablespoons lemon juice
1 teaspoon lemon zest
3 1/2 tablespoons nutritional yeast
1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
1/2 teaspoon dijon mustard
1 teaspoon sea salt
1 teaspoon ground pepper

Pre-heat your oven to 400F.
To prepare the bulb of garlic for roasting, peel the outer layers of the garlic bulb leaving a thin layer still in tact and cut the top of the bulb off (approx. 1/4 inch from the top) so the cloves are visible. Coat the top with 1 tbsp of olive oil and a pinch of sea salt and then bake at 400°F for 35 mins or until the cloves are browned and soft to touch.
Remove the roasted cloves of garlic from the bulb and place in a vitamix or high powered blender. Drain the soaked cashews and rinse with more water until it runs clear. Place the cashews and the remaining in the blender and mix on high until smooth.
Refrigerate while you prepare the rest of the salad components.
Tofu Bacon Bits


¼ cup low-sodium tamari or soy sauce
2 tablespoons maple syrup
1 tablespoon liquid smoke
1 teaspoon smoked paprika
1 (about 14 oz/390 g) brick firm or extra- firm tofu (about 2 cups crumbled)

Preheat the oven to 425°F.
Combine the marinade together in a bowl and crumble tofu into small pieces into it. Stir to combine well. The tofu should absorb all of the liquid. Let it sit for 15 minutes.
Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and spread the crumbles in an even layer. Bake for 25 to 30 minutes, flipping the tofu halfway through the bake time. The tofu should be much darker when it’s done. It might not be crispy right out of the oven, but it will get firmer as it cools.
Store in an airtight container in the fridge, and use immediately for a recipe or consume within 10 days.
Garlic Croutons


3 cups cubed bread (Italian or sourdough loaf or baguette)
¼ cup olive oil
1 tablespoon garlic salt
½ teaspoon ground pepper

Preheat oven to 350 F.
Place cubed bread on a large baking sheet and toss with olive oil, garlic salt, and ground pepper. Spread out in an even layer with pieces spaced slightly apart.
Bake for 10 to 15 minutes until golden brown and quite crunchy.
Vegan Parm (makes ¾ cup)

2⁄3 cup raw cashews
1⁄4 cup nutritional yeast
1 teaspoon sea salt
While croutons are baking you can make the parmesan by combine all the ingredients together in a food processor and process until a fine crumb or meal is formed.
Store in a jar or container in the fridge for up to 3 weeks.


6 cups roughly chopped romaine hearts
¼ cup capers, drained
ground pepper, to taste
extra lemon wedges, as garnish

Toss romaine with 1 cup dressing until well coated.
Then add in capers, tofu bacon, ¼ cup parm, and add ground pepper to taste and toss to combine.
Top with croutons, more tofu bacon, more parm, and lemon wedges. Serve immediately.
Only dress the amount of lettuce you will consume right away, otherwise it will get soggy. You’ll have leftover dressing and vegan parmesan you can use for other recipes. The dressing also makes a great veggie dip.



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