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Grilled Romaine + Vegan Caesar dressing + chickpeas + avocado

Posted Sep 02 2014 5:22pm

caesar
Regular Caesar salad dressing can be chock-full of saturated fats, but not this vegan dressing! I adapted the recipe from one I saw on Eat Life Whole , and made this a serious dinner salad. I added depth to the regular old romaine lettuce by grilling it (LOVE), added some chickpeas for protein and heft, and avocado, because I pretty much put avocado in lots of things. The only thing not vegan about this is the cheese I topped it off with, but you can do without it if you like (it’s just that, for me, when it comes to cheese, it’s gotta be the real thing!)

Grilled Romaine + Vegan Caesar salad dressing + chickpeas + avocado
serves 2 (large salads) or 4 (side salads)

for romaine lettuce:
1 head romaine lettuce, cut in half lengthwise (be careful not to slice off the bottom of the lettuce or the leaves may all fall apart!)
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
freshly ground black pepper

for dressing:
1/3 cup fresh lime juice
1/3 cup white wine vinegar
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
1 1/2 tablespoons dijon mustard
2 tablespoons ground flaxseeds
1/2 cup raw walnuts (soaked in water for 10 minutes), along with 1 tablespoon of the soaking water
2 large cloves garlic
freshly cracked black pepper

to assemble:
romaine lettuce
dressing
diced avocado
1/2 cup cooked, drained chickpeas
croutons or grilled bread (optional)
Parmesan cheese (optional; leave out if vegan)

Preparation:

Prepare a grill and set the heat to medium. Rub olive oil over all sides of the romaine, and sprinkle with salt and peppper. Grill the romaine until lightly charred; a few minutes on each side.

For the dressing, place all ingredients in a blender or food processor, and blend until smooth.

To assemble, place a romaine half, cut side up, on a large plate. Sprinkle chickpeas over the lettuce, and spoon the Caesar dressing over it. Add diced avocado, croutons or grilled bread, and sprinkle Parmesan cheese, if desired.

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