How to Make Sweetgreen’s Kale Caesar Salad at Home and Vegan
Sweetgreen is every salad lover's happy place: The fast-casual salad bar offers so many fresh options including leafy greens, vegetables, fruits, nuts and seeds, proteins, and dressings that it's easy to become a regular. Sweetgreen makes healthy eating so convenient and tastes delicious, but expenses can add up over time, especially if find yourself wandering in the restaurant chain on your lunch break more than three times a week, so we created an easy solution.
We asked our in-house recipe developer, JD Raymundo, to make Sweetgreen's most popular salad recipes even healthier with a plant-based twist so you can make them at home and eat healthy, save money, and love it.
So, without further ado we introduce the first salad on your at-home Sweetgreen menu, Vegan Kale Caesar, which is traditionally made with non-vegan ingredients like roasted chicken, shaved parmesan, parmesan crisps, and dairy-based Caesar dressing.
JD whipped together a vegan version without compromising taste and made the dressing from scratch using cashews as the base. In addition, he swapped chicken for roasted tofu, a plant-based protein that mimics the texture of animal-based protein. The rest of the recipe is simple, just a bed of kale and romaine lettuce and toppings including sliced grape tomatoes and vegan parmesan.
Make this salad for yourself, a loved one, or triple the ingredients and save the rest in the fridge as a healthy lunch for the week. Stay tuned next week for your next Sweetgreen salad made completely vegan and you'll be closer to opening up an at-home vegan version of the salad bar we all love.
Vegan Kale Caesar
Vegan Caesar Dressing
- 1 Cup Cashews, soaked
- ¾ Cup Water
- 2 Cloves Garlic
- 2 Tbsp Lemon Juice
- 1 Tbsp Capers
- 1 Tbsp Capers Brine
- 1 Tsp Dijon Mustard
- 1 Block Extra Firm Tofu
- 1 Tbsp Olive Oil
- 1 Tbsp Soy Sauce
- 2 Tbsp Maple Syrup
- 1 Tsp Garlic Powder
- 1 Tsp Onion Powder
- ½ Tsp Liquid Smoke
- ¼ Tsp Salt
- ¼ Tsp Black Pepper
Kale Caesar Salad
- 1 Bunch of Kale, destemmed
- 2 Cups Romaine Lettuce, chopped
- 1 Cup Grape Tomatoes, sliced in half
- 1 Juice from Lime
- Vegan Parmesan (optional)
- Preheat your oven to 400F and line a baking tray with parchment paper. Prepare your Caesar dressing by draining your soaked cashews, add your cashews, and the rest of the caesar dressing ingredients to a blender. Blend until smooth. Set aside.
- Make your roasted tofu, by draining and pressing your tofu for 30 minutes. While your tofu is pressing, make your marinade by adding your soy sauce, maple syrup, garlic powder, onion powder, liquid smoke, salt, and black pepper to a small bowl. Mix until combined.
- Cut your tofu into rectangles, and add them into a shallow dish with your marinade. Marinade your tofu for 15 minutes. If you want you can prep this the day before and marinade it overnight.
- Add your tofu to the baking pan. Brush a bit of extra marinade on top and bake in the oven for 20 minutes. Flip your tofu over, and brush extra marinade on top again. Bake for 20 more minutes. Remove from the oven and let it cool for 5-10 minutes before cutting them into thick slices.
- Assemble your salad, by adding your kale, romaine lettuce, grape tomatoes, and your dressing. Toss until combined. Add your tofu and enjoy!
Calories 676 | Total Fat 47.1g | Saturated Fat 8.5g | Sodium 937mg | Total Carbohydrate 45.8g | Dietary Fiber 3.9g | Total Sugars 18.1g | Protein 20.1g | Calcium 274mg | Iron 11mg | Potassium 426mg