Vegan Kale Caesar Salad

Terry Hope Romero offers a vegan makeover of the classic Caesar salad in her latest cookbook, Protein Ninja. Packed with kale, tomatoes, and onions, they're a delicious lunch or dinner option anytime. Top your vegan Caesar salad with coconut baconless bits for extra umami and finish with a vegan Caesar salad dressing.

1 lb Kale (ruffled, red, Lacinato, etc.)
4 cups Vegan croutons (preferably whole grain)
1/4 cup Nutritional yeast
Coconut baconless bits
Sliced Cherry tomatoes (optional)
Thinly sliced red onions (optional)
Thinly sliced strips of baked tofu (optional)

Soak cashews in hot water for 30 minutes (or overnight, refrigerated and covered), then pour into a blender. Alternatively if you have a high power blender (like Vitamix or Blendtec) no soaking required, just pulse the cashews into a fine powder, add the hot water, and pulse again until very smooth.

Add the remaining ingredients and pulse until smooth. Chill the dressing in a tightly covered container until ready to use, or at least 20 minutes for the flavors to blend.

Remove stems from kale. Wash, spin dry, and tear into bite sized pieces. In a mixing bowl toss together kale, croutons, and nutritional yeast. Make sure the kale is completely coated with dressing. Transfer to serving bowls and top with coconut baconless bits and optional garnishes if desired.