VEGAN CESAR SALAD

I’m so excited today, to be taking part in #MorePlantMondays! If you didn’t know, More Plants Monday was created by the owner + founder of Kokomo; a plant-focused vegan cafe in Vancouver, which has now expanded into 3 storefront location and a cult-like following.

Since there has been such an interest around my lunch lately – the vegan cesar salad I make, to be exact – I thought it would probably be the most appropriate thing for me to share with you today. You can join the #MorePlantMondays movement by signing up here.

To be clear, I am not a ‘vegan’. I do eat fish, chicken and meat but we like to minimize our meat consumption in our household and do what we can, when we can, to include more plants into our diet. If there’s one thing to note about me (& my husband, if were getting real specific) it’s that I’m not into eating boring food or following any sort of “diet” culture. We love to enjoy delicious meals and if they are nutritious and healthy, then that’s an added bonus.

HOW I GET MORE PLANTS DAILY:

+ Morning smoothies: we start each day by having (my husband make us LOL) a green smoothie. I find it to be the easiest and quickest way to incorporate more of the good stuff into our diet. We include things like tons of spinach, a frozen banana, chia seeds, hemp seeds, oats, peanut or almond butter, oat milk, frozen berries and a plant-based protein powder.

+ Plant-based lunch: I don’t like to eat a heavy lunch, so I tend to opt for fresh salads if I’m not grazing all afternoon (on things like hummus on seed crackers, fruit, veggie plates, nuts + seeds or sweet potato fries).

+ Always add a green: whatever we’re making for dinner, I try to see where we can more greens to our plates – whether thats making a healthy vegan mac + cheese (with kale), having a side salad or doing a garlic mashed sweet potato. The more colorful our plates, the better.

Overall, I’d say we subscribe to a 80/20 approach to eating. We eat pretty clean and healthy throughout the week, but we definitely like to indulge on the weekends.

THE PROS TO EATING MORE PLANTS:

+ boosts your immune system
+ helps reduce inflammation
+ helps to maintain a healthy body weight
+ lowers risk of cancer or other ailments
+ better for the environment

TIPS ON HOW I’VE LEARNED TO LIKE IT:

Over the years, I’ve definitely adjusted my eating to accommodate more whole, nutrient-dense foods into my diet. BUT, as I noted above, I’m not into eating bland, boring food – which I think is often what we associate when we think of the terms, ‘vegan’ or ‘plant-based’. Doing this, has honestly been relatively easy! It’s just been about finding a balance and what works for us.

I think the biggest thing for us has been to find foods we like and figure out a healthier version. Two perfect examples, would be making sweet potato fries with a vegan dip or swapping regular mac + cheese for a vegan butternut squash mac + cheese with kale. Even with my vegan cesar salad – instead of a regular cesar, where typically the dressing is a little more fatty, I opt to make my clean dressing and if I’m needing a protein, I love adding crispy tenders and tossing them in buffalo sauce! This is sooo good as a wrap, as well. It’s really just about finding the foods you naturally gravitate towards and making them healthier by adding in more plants.

Anyways, today I’ve teamed up with Kokomo for #MorePlantsMonday to give my audience a chance to win X2 $25 gift cards to try Kokomo out, if you haven’t already! I’d recommend getting their Hemp Cesar Salad and the Coastal Bowl – both drool-worthy! Head to my IG to enter & I’ll leave you with my vegan cesar salad recipe below:

VEGAN CESAR SALAD

Salad dressing:

+ 1 scoop hummus
+ 1/2 juice of fresh lemon
+ pressed garlic clove
+ chopped capers, to taste (I like lots so the dressing is salty)
+ crushed salt & pepper
+ hemp seeds
+ olive oil
+ could add a touch of dijon, but I find these days I don’t even need it.

Directions:

I like to chop my romaine finely in strips – just my preference! and place into a metal bowl to get crisp in the fridge, while I make my dressing. Even on busy work days, this dressing takes only 5 mins to prep from start to finish, but it’s also great to make ahead and store in the fridge.

Once I’m ready to eat, I add my salad dressing & mix evenly, then I like to top my salad with extra hemp seeds, some nutritional yeast and black pepper to taste. It’s lemony, salty and SO dang delicious. I honestly keep coming back for more. If I’m feeling like it needs an extra crunch, I’ll also add some alfalfa sprouts and/or some seed crackers on top (instead of croutons).

Enjoy!

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