Kale is one of the healthiest vegetables we can eat as it's in the cruciferous vegetable family, which is packed with health benefits. This Purple Kale Caesar salad is an easy and flavorful way to eat it.
It's filled with everything you'd want from a nourishing meal; plant protein, healthy fats, and gluten-free grains. It doesn't have to be purple kale, any kind of kale will work.
The dairy-free Caesar dressing is what makes this salad SO delicious, and has been a key to getting my husband to eat more kale!
I made it for dinner one night, and my husband loved it so much he took the leftovers for lunch the next day. He came home and said he thought the leftovers were actually better than the night before. He requested I make it again soon, so I knew I had to put this on the blog.
I've talked before about how to make Kale taste good, and this caesar dressing does just that. It’s thick and creamy, and when you massage the kale with it, it wilts and softens to one tasty salad.
I put the tofu on top, and that sure didn’t disappoint either. This is an OG recipe on the blog, and still to this day the only way I bake tofu. Soy gets a bad rap and a lot of people worry about eating it, but a little soy is good for us. This scientific study shows how it's good for our bones and how it can help prevent breast cancer.
If you really don't want to make the tofu, add some garbanzo beans or other beans you fancy. I like to roast the garbanzo beans beforehand in the oven for about 20 minutes. It gives the salad a nice crunch.
I find that kale is easier to eat when it's chopped really finely. One of my time savers in the kitchen is putting greens like kale in the food processor to let it do the chopping for me.
Other toppings like onions, peppers or carrots can be added in to this salad. I added in some quinoa, so with that, plus tofu, this salad is packed with protein. It also makes it hearty, keeping you full for a while.
It's one salad that does make delicious leftovers because the longer the dressing sits on the kale the more the flavors are infused. It's still good to eat the same day it's made, I just suggest letting the dressing and kale marinate together a little bit before eating, even if it's just 10 minutes.
It will store in the refrigerator for 3 – 5 days. I tend to eat it closer to the 3 day mark.
Press tofu for 20 minutes to get out the extra water. If you have the extra firm tofu that's not in water you can skip this step.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line baking sheet with parchment paper.
Once you've pressed the tofu, cut it into small squares.
Mix Tamari, Balsamic Vinegar, Garlic Powder, Oregano and Turmeric in a bowl.
Dunk tofu in marinade making sure all sides are coated and place on parchment paper.
Bake for 20 minutes and then flip tofu. Bake for another 20 minutes on the other side.
Let cool before serving. If you have any leftovers, keep it in an air tight container in fridge for 3-5 days.
Dairy-Free Caesar Dressing
If you do not have a high speed blender, the cashews will need to be soaked in warm water for 1-2 hours.
Put all the ingredients in the blender and blend until smooth and creamy. Be sure to taste with a piece of lettuce or other veggie. Adjust seasonings to your liking.
TIP: If you're using the seaweed sheets, start with half a sheet. Taste and then add more. Same goes with the garlic. Start with 4 and add more if you prefer. I like a lot of garlic so I used 6. Store in the fridge for 5-7 days.
Bring 1 cup of water to boil with 1/2 cup quinoa.
Once it boils, bring it to a simmer. Cover pot and let it simmer for 12-15 minutes, until all the water is soaked up. Fluff quinoa with a fork and set aside.
Chop kale really fine. I like to use my food processor to chop it. See how here.
Place kale in a big bowl and pour half the Caesar dressing on it. Massage it into the kale really well with your hands. The kale should become soft and wilted. If you need more dressing add it. You can also save the rest of the dressing to put on top of individual salads after it's divided.
TIP: If you allow the dressing and kale to "marinate" for a while it helps the flavors absorb into the kale even more. It's not necessary, but allowing 30 minutes or until the next day makes a difference.
The quinoa and tofu can be mixed in or added on top of each serving. I like to divide the kale between bowls then add toppings individually. This salad will last in the fridge from 3 to 5 days.