Today I bring you a super simple, nifty recipe for vegan parmesan cheese! Thanks to the wonders of cashews, hemp seeds and nutritional yeast, all you vegans – and non vegans alike – can enjoy the favorite caesar salad topper with all the textures and flavors of the real deal.
But before you try my vegan parmesan …. are ya’ll ready for a crud tone of SALAD FUN?
Salads. They’re fun, are they not? Not only can you get half a days worth of greeny nutrients in one sitting, you can also a) clean out your fridge by using up random annoying leftovers b) experience multiple tastes and textures in one and c) discover new fant-asmic taste combinations you wouldn’t have otherwise thought of. All by throwing a bunch of things together in one bowl. Or in my case… tupperware.
So what makes a good salad? For me, texture is a big component. There should always be something starchy (some type of potato, squash or rice) something firm and “meaty” (chicken, sausage, firm tofu, chickpeas ), something salty (feta or goat or vegan parmesan cheese), and at least two other contrastingly flavorful vegetables. Nuts are nice for crunch, and avocado is always a welcome addition. I love adding fruit (dried or fresh) for a burst of sweetness. And then the dressing. The dressing must be chosen with care to complement, but not overwhelm, the other flavors. A salad with heavier ingredients such as sweet potato and chicken pairs well with a creamy, thick dressing – such as with a miso or tahini base – while lighter salads containing more delicate ingredients such as carrots and lentils may pair better with a simple balsamic vinaigrette.
So, seeing how I have a thing for salads, and seeing how I eat 8/10 of my meals out of tupperware containers, I mostly just wanted to pay homage to some of my favorite salad concoctions that I’ve recently packed and brought with me to school/work/rehearsal/you-name-it. I’ve also included links to some of my favorite go-to salad dressings at the end. So for all you salad lovers, I hope you get some new ideas for your next tupperware lunch!
Spinach / feta / chickpeas / beets / avocado / superfood rosemary salad topping / balsamic vinaigrette
Spinach / grated carrot / roasted potatoes / lentils / smoked tofu / smokey maple miso vinaigrette
Spinach / italian sausage / goat cheese / acorn squash / grated carrot / balsamic vinaigrette
Kale massaged in olive oil, apple cider vinegar, cumin and chili powder / roasted butternut squash / sautéed tomatoes and black beans / avocado
Spinach / Lentil raisin salad dip
Spinach / avoado / goat cheese / quinoa sautéed with zucchini, red onion and balsamic vinegar
Massaged kale / sweet potato / chicken / peas / honey mustard dressing
Massaged kale / roasted potatoes / corn / italian sausage – based on Alexi’s potato rosemary salad and vinaigrette
Massaged kale / sauerkraut / smoked tofu / peas / edamame / sweet potato / BBQ ranch dressing
Spinach / tuna salad / sweet potato / peas / green and white onion / lemon dijon vinaigrette
Mixed greens / roasted sweet potato / chick peas / roasted beets / peas / sauerkraut / honey mustard dressing
Mixed greens / scrambled curried tofu / roasted beets / kimchi / cabbage / pickled onion / carrot ginger vinaigrette
Kale and spinach / roasted sweet potato / cherry tomatoes / lentils / mixed nuts / vegan caesar dressing
Ice berg lettuce and spinach / carrot ribbons / apple / tuna salad with mayo and greek yogurt
Spinach / curried chickpeas in tahini curry marinade / cucumber / red pepper
Spinach / sweet potato / chickpeas / feta cheese / nut, seed and raisin trail mix
Spinach / butternut squash / slow cooker artichoke chicken
Kale / steamed kabocha / white beans / avocado / miso vinaigrette
Kale / roasted sweet potato / roasted turmeric chick peas / vegan parmesan / vegan caesar dressing
Which brings me to my new favorite little recipe!
I’ve been loving the texture of this vegan parmesan on all my salads lately. It adds a hearty flavor and meaty crunch. Its crazy packed with nutritional goodness – thanks to the use of them glorious hemp seeds and nutritional yeast – and takes a mere 5 minutes to prepare.
Some of my go-to vinaigrettes from other bloggers’ salad creations – which have been much of my inspiration – include:
This Lemon dijon vinaigrette for every-day use
My standard balsamic vinaigrette along with a recipe I’ve made a number of times
My own super sweet and tangy miso vinaigrette
My favorite quick and easy BBQ vinaigrette trick
Heather’s orange vinaigrette is one of my new favorites
For a simple honey mustard dressing I simply combine 1 tsp honey mustard + 2 tsp apple cider vinegar + 2 tsp almond milk + 1/2 tsp lemon juice
Linking up with Annemarie, Esther and Farrah for Foodie Friday!
What are your “must haves” when making a salad?
Favorite salad ingredient?