Holiday Caesar Salad with Hemp Seed Dressing & Protein Croutons (vegan, gluten-free)
This festive caesar salad is far from ordinary. It's packed with superfoods (i.e., kale, hemp seeds, hemp oil, and pomegranate seeds), holiday flare, and a variety of textures to keep you and your guests coming back bite after bite.
Servings: 8 -10 as a small side salad
For the Protein Croutons
- 2 cups water
- 1 cup chickpea flour
- 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
- 1/4 cup Manitoba Harvest Hemp Hearts
- 1 tablespoon chopped fresh rosemary
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- sea salt
For the Hemp Seed Dressing
- 1/2 cup Manitoba Harvest Hemp Hearts
- 1/4 cup water
- 3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
- 2 tablespoons Manitoba Harvest Hemp Oil
- 2 tablespoons nutritional yeast
- 1 1/2 tablespoons white wine vinegar
- 2 garlic cloves
- 3/4 teaspoon dijon mustard
- 1/4 teaspoon sea salt
- Freshly ground black pepper, to taste
For the Salad
- 1 head romaine, chopped
- 1 bunch of lacinato or curly kale, stemmed and chopped
- 1 1/2 cups pomegranate seeds
- 2 tablespoons Manitoba Harvest Hemp Hearts
To Make the Protein Croutons
Bring the water to a boil in a medium sauce pan.
Slowly pour in the chickpea flour while whisking continuously. Whisk in the garlic powder and sea salt, turn off heat, and whisk another minute or until smooth.
Stir in the hemp hearts and chopped rosemary.
Line a small (9x13) baking pan with parchment paper. Pour the mixture into the pan and use a spatula to spread it evenly across the pan. To make it easier to smooth out, spray both sides of a spatula with cooking spray or olive oil, and gently smooth out the batter.
Cover and refrigerate for at least one hour.
Preheat oven to 425F.
Lift the parchment paper out of the pan, and slice the chickpea batter into equally-sized croutons. Spread the croutons out over a pan that has been lined with parchment paper. Drizzle them with olive oil, sprinkle with sea salt, and toss to coat.
Bake for 25-35 minutes, stirring every 10 minutes until crispy and golden.
To Make the Dressing
Add the hemp hearts, water, lemon juice, hemp oil, nutritional yeast, white wine vinegar, garlic, dijon, sea salt, and black pepper to a high-powered blender. Blend on high for 1-2 minutes or until completely smooth. Refrigerate until ready to use.
To Assemble the Salad
Add the romaine and kale to a large bowl, pour the dressing over top, and toss to coat. Top the salad with as many croutons as desired, pomegranate seeds, and hemp hearts.