Sweetgreen is every salad lover’s happy place – the Quick Casual Salad Bar offers so many fresh options including leafy greens, veggies, fruits, nuts and seeds, protein, and dressings that it’s easy to become a regular. Sweetgreen makes healthy eating so convenient and it tastes delicious, but the expenses can add up over time, especially if you find yourself wandering 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 them.
So without further ado, we’re introducing the first salad on your Sweetgreen at-home menu, Vegan Kale Caesar, which is traditionally made with non-vegan ingredients like rotisserie chicken, shaved Parmesan, Parmesan fries, and dairy-based Caesar dressing.
JD put together a vegan version without compromising flavor and made the dressing from scratch using cashew nuts as the base. Plus, he swapped the 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 dressings including sliced grape tomatoes and vegan Parmesan.
Make this salad for yourself, a loved one, or triple the ingredients and store the rest in the fridge as a healthy lunch for the week. Stay tuned next week for her next Sweetgreen salad made entirely vegan and she’ll be closer to opening a home-vegan version of the salad bar we all love.
Vegan Kale Caesar
Vegan Caesar Dressing
- 1 cup cashews, soaked
- ¾ Cup of water
- 2 cloves of garlic
- 2 tablespoons lemon juice
- 1 tablespoon capers
- 1 tablespoon caper brine
- 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
- 1 block of extra firm tofu
- 1 tablespoon of olive oil
- 1 tablespoon soy sauce
- 2 tablespoons maple syrup
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1 teaspoon onion powder
- ½ teaspoon liquid smoke
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- ¼ teaspoon black pepper
kale caesar salad
- 1 bunch kale, de-stemmed
- 2 cups of romaine lettuce, chopped
- 1 cup grape tomatoes, halved
- 1 lime juice
- Vegan Parmesan (optional)
- Preheat your oven to 400F and line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Make 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, draining and pressing your tofu for 30 minutes. While pressing the tofu, 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 just combined.
- Cut the tofu into rectangles and add them in a shallow dish with your marinade. Marinate your tofu for 15 minutes. If you like, you can make this the day before and marinate it overnight.
- Add your tofu to the baking sheet. Spread some extra marinade on top and bake in the oven for 20 minutes. Flip the tofu over and spread the additional marinade on top again. Bake for 20 more minutes. Remove from the oven and allow to cool for 5-10 minutes before cutting into thick slices.
- Assemble your salad, adding your kale, romaine lettuce, grape tomatoes, and your dressing. Stir until just combined. Add your tofu and enjoy!
Calories 676 | Total fat 47.1 g | Saturated Fat 8.5g | Sodium 937mg | Total carbohydrates 45.8 g | Dietary fiber 3.9 g | Total sugars 18.1 g | Protein 20.1 g | Calcium 274 mg | Iron 11 mg | Potassium 426 mg