janet @ the taste space

Eccentric Caesar Salad & Straight From the Earth Review+Giveaway

In Book Review, Favourites, Mains (Vegetarian), Salads on May 22, 2014 at 6:18 AM

Eccentric Caesar Salad

This post is a twofer.

First of all, I have a gift for all of you! A free Beyond Meat product – click here for your coupon.

I don’t tend to get too excited about mock meats (it is a bit processed for my liking), but was really curious after it was selected as the “real chicken” on the Today’s Show. Some things are easier to find in the United States, so with a coupon for a free product (see above), how could we refuse? Beyond Meat isn’t new, but it was new to me and definitely uncannily similar to chicken, complete with the grill marks. You buy it frozen and just need to defrost it prior to serving. Thus, it was super easy to make and great source of protein.

Eccentric Caesar Salad + Straight From the Earth review +giveaway

Now for the book review, as advertised, with an eccentric Caesar salad. Eccentric because it is no standard Caesar. I mean, it is a vegan version of a decidedly un-vegan salad but the twist comes from the nutritional yeast and curry powder in the dressing and the mishmash of additional ingredients. The cashew-based dressing was simply delicious, aka awesome sauce. Paired with the fresh lettuce, buttery avocado, briny capers and hemp seeds, it was a superfood-packed salad. (And by superfoods, I mean super tasting foods!) Instead of the herby croutons, I wanted this to be a complete meal and thus added the chicken-less strips overtop. The strips look a bit too perfectly rectangular but they tasted great.

Eccentric Caesar Salad + Straight From the Earth review +giveaway

The recipe comes from Straight from the Earth, by mother and daughter team Myra and Marea Goodman of Earthbound Farm fame. Neither one is vegan but have created a gorgeous cookbook filled with tantalizing recipes. There is something for everyone between the two cooks. I found myself naturally gravitating to Marea’s recipes, who learned her vegan culinary tricks while living and cooking for fellow vegans in a co-op while at college. Her mother’s tastes are more classical. As an example, Marea has a recipe for chipotle-lime Brazil nuts and Myra has a recipe for double-roasted maple-spiced hazelnuts. OK, OK, both sound delicious. Lots of delicious recipes, including a nut-free crispy baked kale chips with nutritional yeast and shiitake mushroom, water chestnut and tofu lettuce cups.

Eccentric Caesar Salad + Straight From the Earth review +giveaway

Thankfully, the publisher allowed me to share the recipe and giveaway the cookbook to a reader living in the continental United States. To be entered in the random draw for the cookbook, please leave a comment below telling me what you think of mock meats. The winner will be selected at random on June 8, 2014. Good luck!

Other recipes from Straight from the Earth spotted elsewhere:

Raspberry Salad with Baby Greens and Raspberry-Golden Balsamic Vinaigrette

Wheat Berry, Baby Kale, Grape and Orange Salad

Heart of Palm, Grapefruit and Avocado Salad

Cabbage and Carrot Crunch Salad with Agave-Dijon Vinaigrette

Thai Fresh Spring Rolls with Peanut Dipping Sauce

Teriyaki Tofu Broccolette on Wild Rice

Barley, Quinoa, and Cannellini Bean Loaf (or Burgers)

Squash with Crispy Maple Pumpkin Seeds

Whole Wheat Biscuits

Blackberry Bran Muffins

Sesame, Orange, and Hazelnut Cookies

Banana Coconut Cake

Note: I was given a copy of the cookbook from the publisher.  I was under no obligation to share a review. The opinions expressed are entirely my own.

PS. I am sharing this with Souper Sundays.

PPS. Stayed tuned because tomorrow I have another giveaway!

Eccentric Caesar Salad
From Straight from the Earth: Irresistible Vegan Recipes for Everyone

Caesar Dressing
Note: This recipe makes extra dressing that you can store in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 1 week.

1/2 cup/70 g raw cashews
3 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
3 tbsp fresh lemon juice
3 tbsp nutritional yeast
1 tbsp Dijon mustard
1 large garlic clove
3/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp curry powder
Freshly ground black pepper

2 large heads romaine lettuce, chopped or torn into bite-size pieces
2 cups/120 g Quick Garlic Croutons (we substituted Beyond Meat grilled chicken-free strips)
1 ripe avocado, medium dice
1/2 cup/65 g hemp seeds
1/3 cup/55 g capers

1. To make the dressing: Combine the cashews, oil, lemon juice, yeast, mustard, garlic, salt, curry powder, and pepper in a food processor and add ¼ cup plus 3 tbsp/75 ml warm water. Process until the mixture is very smooth, 2 to 3 minutes, scraping down the sides of the bowl once or twice.

2. To make the salad: Toss the romaine with 1/2 cup/120 ml of the dressing. Add more to taste if desired. Divide the lettuce among six plates, and top each with some of the croutons, avocado, hemp seeds, and capers. Serve immediately.

Serves 6 4.

Excerpted from Straight from the Earth: Irresistible Vegan Recipes for Everyone by Myra Goodman and Marea Goodman, Chronicle Books, March 2014.

  1. I had never heard of this book before but it sounds great! I’d love to win it. And actually I have not tried Beyond Meat either yet… I never liked actual chicken that much so I didn’t want to risk wasting my money, but I will definitely use this coupon!!

  2. Not a big fan of fake meat but I think I’ll give beyond meat products a try.

  3. I love this kind of salad! So simple but tasty!!!

  4. Sounds like a fascinating cookbook; thanks for doing the giveaway.
    I’ve never tried the mock meats; my choice has been to stay far away, rather than perhaps awaken old food habits that should never come again.

  5. Ive never purchased or prepared mock meats at home, but I have tried a mock chicken at my local Whole Foods Buffet. It was interesting but a slightly weird texture! I have a friend who recently purchased Straight from the Earth and let me take a peek at it! Needless to say it was immediately added to my wish list! Thanks for sharing this delicious looking recipe (and coupon)!

  6. I use meat substitutes occasionally, mostly when I need a quick easy meal. I haven’t tried Beyond Meat because it is EXPENSIVE! Thanks so much for the coupon, now I can give it a try.

  7. Personally I prefer unprocessed foods, but mock meats are a fun occasional junk food that we enjoy. I also think they are a wonderful transition food for people who are new vegetarians/vegans.

  8. There are many mock meats that I really enjoy, but the ones that get to close to “real” freak me out, I can’t do ’em!

  9. I think mock meats have their place but I am trying to phase out the processed food from my diet.

  10. We do use mock meats here in our home and some are really delicious!

  11. I have enjoyed most of the mock meats that I’ve tried. I did not care for the the hamburgers or hot dogs in cans.

  12. I usually prefer more natural mock meats like tempeh tofu or Seitan but I think beyond meat is great for special treats or for mixed veggie/omni crowds! I sent this post to my family encouraging them to use the coupon and try it out!

  13. Some are better than others. Gardein is the shiz.

  14. I really enjoy mock meats

  15. […] Straight from the Earth Cookbook at The Taste Space – Open to US – Ends June 8 […]

  16. I like some but others not so much.

  17. i love mock meat in asian dishes, saucy and spicy 😉

  18. […] And when I said I would be sharing another giveaway with you yesterday, I meant tomorrow. So stay tuned! […]

  19. I am not sure I fancy anything tasting too much like chicken but I do like the sound of a good caesar salad – and the book sounds quite interesting

  20. Ive tried BeyondBeef, SoyCurls and VegPlus mock meats, thought they were pretty tasty.

  21. Depends on the mock meat — soy curls are a pretty go-to ingredient here.

  22. I initially got into veganism for health reasons. I follow a whole-food plant-based diet and eat very little to no processed foods, so as far as mock meats go, I am not a fan. I can see a good use for them; for instance someone trying to transition from animal products to veganism. It can be very hard, and in this case I would much rather someone eat some mock meats than to add to animal cruelty. For long term use, though, mock meats are full of crazy ingredients that are no healthier than the things they “mock”.

  23. I’m torn about mock meats, mostly because they are heavily glutened and chock full of junk!

  24. I think mock meats are a nice option for a treat every now and then

  25. Some brands are okay but they are all processed foods so if you want to eat whole foods you should stay away from eating too much fake meat BUT they are better for the environment, etc than real meat.

  26. I have never tasted a good one.

  27. I can’t have many of them due to the gluten, but I do like Beyond Meat.

  28. I love trying new vegan Caesar salad dressing so I must try this one–I love the idea of the curry in it. I have tried them with nutritional yeast but not one with curry yet. 😉 This salad wonderful and so complete with the mock-chicken strips (another thing to try). Thanks for sharing it with Souper Sundays this week.

  29. I tend to stay away from the processed mock meat, especially if they are made with isolated soy protein. Not healthy. I do like meaty texture, though. I have this great recipe for vegan meatloaf that uses whole plant foods…I love it so much!

  30. I’m mixed on faux meats–I’ve had some really great ones, and also some pretty terrible ones (I’m looking at you, Lightlife hot dogs). Overally they’re usually pretty decent if you take them for what they are, and not comparing them directly to regular meat.

  31. […] aka all the faux meats at Trader Joe’s. Even though I don’t normally eat them, my positive experience with Beyond Meat told me to branch out a bit and try them while I still […]

  32. […] Caesar dressing, although I didn’t think it was that similar to Caesar dressing (I luuuuv this non-standard one, though). Together it was a nice salad infused with fall […]

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