To be honest, I just wanted an excuse to make roasted spiced chickpeas. I’ve been seeing them everywhere in the supermarkets – all of a sudden, someone must have declared that crispy chickpeas are all the rage.
Let me tell you, I get it.
There’s something about a spicy, crunchy chickpea that’s inexplicably fascinating.
Before we get to this vegan caesar dressing, let’s talk about sweet potatoes. Sweet potato noodles aren’t just for pastas and noodle buns. These noodles can be used as a side dish, in a breakfast scramble or to simply fill out a salad, like with today’s recipe. Sweet potato noodles fill you up, they’re loaded with beneficial nutrients like Vitamin C. Plus, their inherent sweetness adds such depth of flavor.
The sweet potato noodles with the spicy chickpeas bring protein and texture to this salad and what better dressing than a vegan caesar to top off the fluffy, tough kale? I’ve been seeing vegan caesar dressing recipes all over the ‘net using avocado or cashews. I sprung for the cashews. The trick is to pre-soak the cashews so that they soften and are easier to blend (especially if you don’t have access to a quality, high-speed blender.)
I actually used my Nutri-Bullet to make this dressing and it worked like a charm! I soaked the cashews for 2 hours (you can soak them overnight for easier blending) – just placed them right in a bowl of water when I woke up and made my coffee.
This caesar dressing has the consistency of a traditional caesar dressing, without the thick mayonnaise aftertaste or the anchovies. If you’re not vegan and just dairy-free, you can add a little less than a teaspoon of minced anchovy filets for that classic caesar taste.
Also, if you’re not vegan, you can add some grilled chicken for extra protein and flavor. I love this salad as is – the warmth of the kale and sweet potato noodles is an idyllic combo for a crisp fall day.
I’ve just gotta get moving on that fall bucket list. I’m slacking! I feel like the weeks fly by (aren’t we all so busy?!) and then when the weekends come, I either have something to do or Lu has something to do or my friends have something to do, so I can’t ever tackle the bucket list.
Have you entered for your chance to win a copy of The Skinnytaste Cookbook? Thank you so much to Gina’s publisher (my same publisher – Clarkson Potter!!) for offering this giveaway to Inspiralized readers. To enter, use the widget below – giveaway ends Sunday, October 5. Good luck!