Friday, June 24, 2011

Vegan Caesar Salad

I rocked Ann Gentry's Vegan Caesar Salad with Blackened Tempeh today. Of course I made a few tweaks to the recipe to make it a bit more healthy. I am going to share my version with you. I have to say that I love Ann Gentry and her restaurant Real Food Daily in Santa Monica, Ca. and have had the good fortune to meet her briefly at a talk she gave. I support her recipes and her beliefs about food in general but I did have to make a few changes namely in the oils and use of aluminum foil from the recipe in the book. I have to make tweaks to pretty much all recipes, "healthy" or not so much in order for them to be up to my standard of being servable to someone with a chronic illness. That being said, here is an awesome recipe that is easy, fast and filling.

2 hearts of Romaine lettuce
torn, chopped or kitchen scissored (my option)

2 ounces of extra firm tofu
1/3 cup fresh squeezed lemon juice (1 large lemon)
1/4 cup Vegan Mayonnaise (I like Veganaise grapeseed version)
3 cloves garlic (I used 4. I always add more garlic to recipes)
2 tsp. capers without the juice
2 tsp. white miso(I like Westbrae Natural brand)
1 1/2 tsp. nutritional yeast
1/2 tsp sea salt ( I ground in celtic sea salt to taste)
1/4 tsp. freshly ground black pepper
1/2 of an 8 inch sheet of Nori cut into shreds (I used 1 individual packet of spicy nori strips that are cut and individually packaged for snacking by Sound Sea Vegetables)
1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil

Place all of these ingredients in a food processor on pulse until creamy and nori is diced into small bits. Transfer to a container, cover and refrigerate.

4 cups of a good quality, healthy sprouted grain bread (Ezekiel, Alvarado Street or Manna brands are great options) cut into squares
1 tsp. dried basil
1 tsp. dried rosemary
1/4 tsp. dried dill
1/8 tsp. freshly ground black pepper
3 tbs. melted coconut oil

Preheat your oven to 375 and stir the bread cubes, herbs and spice in a bowl. Drizzle the coconut oil over this and toss to coat. Spread the bread cubes on a baking sheet lined with natural parchment paper and bake for about 20 minutes until golden brown. You might need to turn them.

Blackened Tempah
1/3 cup Coconut oil
1/3 cup brown rice syrup
1/4 cup tamari or shoyu
1 tsp. dried thyme
1 tsp. frshly ground black pepper
3/4 tsp. ground cumin
1/2 tsp. garlic powder
1/2 tsp. onion powder
12 ounces of tempeh
2 tbs. brown rice flour
1/2 tsp. cayenne pepper

In a small pan or large dish that can be covered combine the coconut oil, tamari, brown rice syrup. 1 tsp. oregano, 1/2 tsp. thyme, 1/2 tsp. black pepper, 1/2 tsp, ground cumin, 1/4 tsp, cayenne pepper, garlic & onion powders. Whisk it all together. Add the tempeh and coat all sides. Cover and let marinate in the refrigerator over night. You might need to turn it a few times.
Preheat your oven to 375. Line a baking sheet with natural parchment paper. Combine the flour, 1 tsp. oregano, 1/2 tsp. thyme, 1/2 tsp. black pepper, 1/4 tsp. cumin and cayenne pepper.
Take the tempeh out of the marinade allowing it to drip away. Cut tempeh into small strips. Roll the strips in the flour mixture and place on the backing sheet. Bake them for about 25 minutes or until the coating has browned.

Combine the blackened tempeh, romaine lettuce, croutons and dressing...enjoy!

In her book Ann Gentry suggests making this into a simple wrap with tortillas. That would be yummy but don't choose white flour tortillas.
One thing I have heard her talk about is that it does not matter if you are preparing a meal for yourself or for others we should treat the meal for ourselves as well as we would treat the meal we prepare for others. I think this is an awesome point that will aid us all in enjoying and respecting our food and ourselves.

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