I'm far from being a raw vegan, but for whatever reason, lately, I have been drawn to recipes, tips and tricks alike, used in this style of “un”cooking. I think my new-found affinity is two-fold, for starters, raw vegan recipes are usually very creative and two almost always beautiful. So while my belief in the ideal nutritional intake differs from that of a raw vegan, I appreciate the commitment it takes to eat healthy real food.
I recently stumbled on a recipe for a vegan dairy-free alternative to parmesan cheese that promised to be all that and a bag of kale chips. It sounded a little to good to be true, after all, it's just ground up cashews, garlic and salt. So, I went straight to Google to do some investigating. Seriously, how can that possibly taste like Parmesan cheese?
Lo and behold, I couldn't believe it, recipe after recipe, with slight variations, all with rave reviews, for this vegan parmesan cheese making secret.
I love, love, love Caesar salad, and my tried and true recipe uses “real parmesan cheese”, made with dairy. The same dairy that I confessed doesn't agree with me. I hadn't ventured into making a non-dairy Caesar dressing since going dairy-free, until today. And boy this did not disappoint.
Be sure to use an olive oil that you like the taste of, as that can make or break your salad dressing. Everyone has their own taste preference in a Caesar dressing, so don't be afraid to play with the ingredients a little.
Caesar Salad With Cashew “Parmesan” Cheese
- 2 Medium Garlic Cloves
- 1 tsp. Capers
- 1 oz. Lemon Juice, Fresh
- 1/2 tsp. Dijon Mustard
- 1 tsp. Coconut Aminos
- 1/2 tsp. Coarse Ground Black Pepper
- Squirt of Anchovy Paste (optional)
- 1/2 c. Extra Virgin Olive Oil
- 1 c. Raw Cashews
- 1 tsp. Celtic Sea Salt
- Romaine Lettuce Leaves
- In a food processor or high-powered blender, pulse cashews with salt and one garlic clove until it resembles parmesan cheese. Set aside.
- In a mixing bowl, using a garlic press, crush one clove of garlic along with the capers. To this add fresh squeezed lemon juice, coconut aminos, mustard, pepper and anchovy paste and whisk together.
- While whisking with one hand, slowly drizzle in the olive oil creating an emulsion.
- Once all oil has been incorporated, add 1/4 c. of the cashew “parmesan” cheese.
- Plate your salad, drizzle with dressing and top with more paremesan cheese.