A Walk in the Park & Vegan Caesar Dressing

by Valerie on February 20, 2011 · 3 comments

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Happy almost-Sunday.  I spent today decluttering the apartment with my husband – it was much needed and lately I have been wanting to focus on that more. I also went for a wonderful walk in Rock Creek Park with a friend.  I live so near Rock Creek Park but have never liked to walk there alone – so I was thrilled when my friend suggested it.  I walked up to Woodley Park to meet her, and then we walked through Rock Creek from Woodley back to Dupont, for a nice total of over 3 miles.

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I was also running late meeting her, so I booked it walking to Woodley, meaning I got my heart rate pumping, especially fighting against the 50+ mile gusts of wind we have had here today. The wind abated a bit by the end of our walk so we sat in Dupont Circle to enjoy some late afternoon sunshine and chatted until it was too cold to sit outside anymore.

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The walk made me feel good about my mind/body resolution – one thing I had forgotten to mention in this post is that I wanted my lifestyle to feel more active, which today was a good example of. Yes, I could have done 3 miles faster at the gym on the treadmill, but instead I got to enjoy some sun and a friend’s company.

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I also wanted to share a Vegan Caesar Dressing recipe with you.  Last weekend I was absolutely craving a caesar salad, which was completely weird considering I never really liked caesar dressing. It was always too heavy for me (in hindsight, I was probably reacting to whatever in the dressing I was intolerant to).  Still, somehow, last weekend I wanted a garlicky and savory caesar dressing and I wanted it ASAP. 

So I looked around the blogosphere, stopped by Meghan’s and Gena’s, and this is what I came up with based on the ingredients I had and the flavors I was craving.  It came out even better than I expected.  It was creamy, garlicky, rich, satisfying, perfect.  Be warned, this is a super garlicky savory dressing, so if reduce the garlic if you do not like strong raw garlic flavors.  You could definitely play around with substitutes for the various seeds and nuts.  See notes below for some substitutions.

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This is also my submission to No Croutons Required.  As you know from my past participation in this event, every month a different ingredient is chosen and participants must submit a vegetarian soup or salad.  While not an explicitly gluten-free event, most of the submissions are naturally gluten-free. I submitted a quinoa salad recipe in November, a noodle salad in October, and a carrot soup in August.  The event skipped recipes in December, and my submission for January was a non-traditional rice saladNo Croutons Required  always has a lovely round-up of salads and soups around a specific theme and is hosted this month by Jacqueline of Tinned TomatoesLisa of Lisa’s Kitchen  and Jacqueline of Tinned Tomatoes take turns hosting the event.  The main ingredient of No Croutons Required this month is creamy soup or creamy salad dressing and this dressing totally fits the theme.  This recipe is also both indulgent and gluten-free, so I am also submitting it to Amy’s Slightly Indulgent Tuesday. and The Gluten-Free Homemaker’s Gluten-Free Wednesday

Finally, this is a very thick dressing, and it thickens with time in the fridge.  I wanted to keep it this way, but I have included in the recipe how to make it a runnier dressing.  You can of course serve it with romaine, but I had it several times this week with kale (the romaine at the store was just sad) and that was great.  The dressing thickened up so I also used it as a dip as part of couple of lunchboxes

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Vegan Caesar Dressing (Gluten-free, Vegan, Low-Glycemic, Oil-Free, Soy-Free Option)

Makes about a cup.

  • 1/4 cup raw cashews, soaked for at least an hour.
  • 1/4 cup shelled hemp seeds (I only have ever seen shelled hemp seeds sold, but wanted to be clear)
  • 1/4 cup slivered almonds
  • 1/3 cup nutritional yeast
  • 1/4 cup and 2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juicce
  • 3 garlic cloves, coarsely chopped
  • 1/4 cup unsweetened almond milk (use 1/2 for a runnier dressing)
  • 1 Tbsp miso
  • Freshly ground black pepper

Place all ingredients in a high-speed blender and blend until smooth.  If you do not have a high-speed blender, I recommend a food processor, though I have made this recipe only in the Vita mix.

Note: for a soy-free option, use a non-soy-based miso.  Also feel free to substitute the hemp seeds or almonds with additional cashews.  Additionally, you might be able to make this dressing solely with the slivered almonds though it may not be quite as creamy.

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{ 3 comments… read them below or add one }

1 RenaissanceTrophyWife February 20, 2011 at 11:44 pm

Kudos to you for braving those winds! I agree, activity is so much more fulfilling when you can socialize with a friend instead of just going for the calorie burn.

I'm reading through your recipes and am trying to decide which to try first… all so tempting!

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2 Linda February 22, 2011 at 3:32 am

This dressing sounds good, Valerie. I'll have to look for hemp seeds, miso, and almond milk. The last time I bought almond milk they only had vanilla, and I'm regretting getting it. It's too sweet for a lot of things I would use it in.

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3 Melanie February 24, 2011 at 3:39 pm

this dressing sounds great! The miso is a great sub for the salty anchovy flavor. I'm loving your bento lunch box pic :)

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