Say hello to one of your new favorite salads, with all the right flavor and texture notes being hit! Roasted veggies and fresh kale are tossed with an avocado Caesar dressing, and then sprinkled with bright red cabbage shreds, sunflower seeds and tempeh bacon. This makes a great prep-ahead lunch, just keep the dressing air-tight and separate until serving.
While my favorite salad dressing is Caesar, I don’t have just one recipe for it. I like mixing things up, sometimes using capers if I have them or adding in some roasted garlic for some rich sweetness if I’ve planned ahead. I often use cashews to get the creaminess, but here avocado gets things luscious and silky smooth, and the dressing comes together in just a few minutes.
The first time I made this salad, my son wasn’t quite 2 years old and he wolfed down 2 big bowls of it. It was a winner! I couldn’t get enough of it either. This salad has roasted potatoes, broccoli and cauliflower in it. There’s something so delicious about the caramelized bits on the outside of roasted veggies. Please don’t tell me I’m the only one who can eat an entire head of cauliflower when it’s broken into bite sized pieces and roasted with oil and salt? It’s so addictive! And don’t get me started on how amazing potatoes are. I grew up in the potato capital of Canada and its spirit is in me to stay! Add some smokey maple tempeh crumbles in there with some crisp fresh red cabbage and sunflower seeds, and then bathe it all in a creamy , garlicky dressing and you have a salad that eats like a meal. Aside from the dressing, the additions to the salad really are just suggestions. Add whatever your favorite roasted veggies and seeds might be! Additional fresh veggies like sweet bell pepper and cucumber would also be yummy in here. I’d love to hear what you come up with!
Roasted Vegetable & Kale Salad with Vegan Avocado Caesar Dressing
For the Avocado Caesar Dressing:
- 1 large avocado (or 2 small) (about 1 cup mashed)
- 2-3 tbsp lemon juice
- 1-2 tsp vegan Worcestershire sauce
- 6 cloves garlic, peeled
- 4 tbsp vegan mayo
- 2-4 tbsp water
- Salt and black pepper to taste
For the Rest of the Salad:
- 2 medium potatoes, chopped into 1-inch pieces (with or without skins)
- 1 medium head cauliflower, cut into bite size pieces
- 1 broccoli crown, cut into bite size pieces
- 3 tbsp olive oil, divided
- 1 1/2 tsp salt, divided
- 1/2-1 cup red cabbage, shredded
- 1 bunch Russian kale, de-veined and broken into bite size pieces
- 1 pack tempeh bacon, crumbled
- 4 tbsp toasted sunflower seeds
For the Roasted Vegetables:
- Preheat the oven to 425°F. Prepare 2 large baking sheets with parchment paper. Place the potatoes and cauliflower on the baking sheet, drizzle with 2 tbsp of oil and a tsp of salt. Bake for 20-25 minutes, or until the potatoes are cooked through, tossing once or twice during roasting to ensure even cooking. On a second baking sheet, place the broccoli florets and drizzle with 1 tbsp oil. Roast for 10-15 minutes on a rack beneath the potatoes and cauliflower, tossing once during roasting. Remove from oven and let them come to room temperature.
For the Dressing:
- Combine all the ingredients in a food processor, starting with 1 tsp vegan Worcestershire sauce and 2 tbsp water. Blend until smooth. Add more of the vegan Worcestershire sauce to taste and lemon juice or water to the desired consistency (don't go too thin or the salad will be soggy, it's nice to be thick enough to coat your veggies.) Add salt and pepper to taste, blending after the additions.
- Place the kale and roasted vegetables in a large bowl and toss with the dressing. Top with the tempeh crumbles, cabbage shreds and sunflower seeds.