Kale Caesar Salad

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Serves 2

Vegan, GF-option

Okay, if I told you guys there was one recipe you just have to try from my blog. It would be this one! 

I have been totally obsessed with vegan Caesar salads since visiting LA last October. Basically every healthy cafe is repping a 'kale caesar' on the menu... and they're flipping delicious. I was so inspired that I knew I had to come home and get my lab coat on and get experimenting in the kitchen to recreate something that I can share with you guys. AND I THINK I'VE NAILED IT! ...or not, I mean you guys can be the judge of that. 

This salad is totally 'wholesome' yet super super indulgent - if you can use that word to describe a salad? well, I'm doing it, because thats what it is. All the good stuff- Kale, croutons, avocado, creamy sauce and BACON!!!! yes thats what you just read, vegan bacon - no pigs harmed in the making ;) it's just so delicious, you'll feel a bit naughty BUT at the same time its still a salad filled with greens annddd all home made- no nasties, low sugar, healthy fats, nothing deep fried, and whole plant protein. 

Anyway, I'm going to wrap up my spiel about how good this salad is and just let you guys decide for yourselves. Scroll for the recipe and extra photos... 



1 small bunch of kale, chopped roughly

1/2 red onion, finely sliced

2 slice rye sourdough bread, cut into cubes (optional: GF bread)

1 tsp olive oil

1 garlic clove, minced 

1 head of cos lettuce, chopped roughly

100g tempeh, cut into 3mm thick strips (if you cant access tempeh or don't like it, try using a can of chickpeas instead) 

1 tsp coconut oil

1/2 avocado, sliced

Caesar Dressing

1/2 cup raw cashews (for nut free recipe try 1/2 cup chickpeas or sunflower seeds) 

1/4 cup water

juice of 1 lemon

3 tsp olive oil

1 tsp dijon mustard

2 garlic cloves

1 tbsp capers

1/4 tsp salt (add extra if it suits your taste preference) 

pinch of black pepper

Coconut Bacon

1/2 cup coconut flakes

1 tsp coconut oil

1 tsp liquid smoke

2 tsp coconut aminos

1/2 tsp paprika

1/2 tsp coconut sugar

pinch of sea salt


How to make

  1. Begin by making the coconut bacon. Pre-heat the oven to 150 degrees fan forced.
  2. Add all of the coconut bacon ingredients to a bowl and mix well.
  3. Transfer the ingredients to a lined baking tray and bake in the oven for 15 minutes or until crunchy and golden. Set aside to cool. You can pre-make a bigger batch of this and store in a jar in the fridge for up to a week. 
  4. Next make your caesar dressing. Add all of the ingredients to a blender and blend on high for 3 minutes, or until silky smooth.
  5. Pour dressing into a container/bowl and place in the fridge to cool while you prepare the salad. You can also pre-make a bigger batch of this if you would like to prep a few extra servings of this salad throughout the week. 
  6. To make the salad, prep the veggies as per the ingredients list and switch the oven to 175 degrees Celsius fan forced.
  7. Add the chopped kale, lettuce, and onion to a large salad bowl, spoon over half of the dressing and toss all ingredients together. Keep the other half of the dressing in a serving bowl and add if needed. 
  8. Place the cut up bread into a small baking tray, drizzle the olive oil over the bread and sprinkle the crushed garlic over. Toss together and then place in the oven to bake for approximately 5 minutes or until crunchy (like a crouton). Remove from the oven and set aside. 
  9. Heat a pan to medium heat. Add the coconut oil and the tempeh to the pan. Lightly fry on each side so that its golden. Transfer to salad bowl. 
  10. Sprinkle the coconut bacon into the salad bowl and toss everything together. Serve into bowls, top with sliced avocado and a sprinkle of the rye croutons. 


I hope you all love this recipe as much as I do! It's been fun getting back in the kitchen and creating new recipes for you all.

If you haven't already checked out my e-book and cookbook then head to the cookbooks section of my website, I have two books (an ebook and a paperback), each filled with heaps of plant based recipes just like this one. 

Love Elsa,



Elsa’s Wholesome Life
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