Saturday, April 17, 2010

Double Whammy

I'm blogging to you now from
Brockville, Ontario, my new home base for the next 6 months. In case you were wondering why I dropped the ball again and missed yet another week of my salad challenge, I will use the excuses of moving to a new city, and starting a new job (which means adjusting to a new sleep schedule). So this post will be a 2 for 1 deal of salad fabulousness.

Earlier this week I decided to try my hand at veganizing the Caesar salad. Perhaps one of the most popular salads around, and decidedly not vegan, this dressing traditionally contains egg, anchovies, and parmesan cheese. Needless to say, making this salad animal-product free is no easy task. I started by searching what else was out there on the internet. I came across several variations, but the one I decided to go with was found on Recipezaar. I chose this recipe since conveniently the recipes on this site are rated by those who have tried them, and this one was given a nearly perfect score.

Vegan Caesar I: Julius

Greenery of choice (romaine is traditional, but all I had was spinach)
Veggie Bacon - fried and crumbled

This salad was definitely tasty, and the dressing had some zing (and Caesar style garlic breath) but I'm going to have to classify this as a food fail because it really tasted nothing like a real Caesar salad. It didn't even look like Caesar dressing on account of the soy sauce. On the up side, it tasted really good on roasted potatoes!

Tonight's salad was anything but traditional. I'm not sure why, but I started thinking of how I could incorporate chocolate into a salad. I remembered that Susan over at FatFree Vegan Kitchen has made balsamic chocolate cookies before. She explained that balsamic vinegar actually enhances chocolate flavour, and so I figured that a chocolate balsamic vinaigrette would have to be delicious. When I was in the grocery store I spotted raspberry flavoured balsamic vinegar, and I was sold. I'm sure that you could make this recipe with regular balsamic vinegar, but I highly recommend this raspberry flavoured vinegar if you can find it.

Strawberry Salad with Chocolate Vinaigrette
Serves 1

4 or 5 strawberries, sliced
2 tbsp sliced almonds
greenery (I recommend baby spinach)

1 tsp cocoa
1 tsp raspberry balsamic vinegar
1 tsp olive oil
1 tsp honey/agave nectar

This salad was seriously decadent. Seriously. Go out and make it.

Salad Challenge Countdown
Salads made: 15 Salads left: 37


  1. Do you eat honey? I got reamed out once at a health food store in Ottawa for claiming to be vegan and eating honey. Just curious. =)

    Also, that chocolate and strawberry salad looks DELICIOUS! I am going out grocery shopping soon, and I will see if I can find the raspberry balsamic vinegar.

  2. Yes, I do eat honey. As an ecologist and entomologist, the no-honey debate just seems absurd to me. It doesn't factor into any of the reasons why I am a vegan, and so I eat it. I know there are some really hardcore vegans out there, and I have no respect for people who put other people down for not being as hardcore as they are.

    I try to promote doing as much as you can. If you only eat vegan one day a week, I say it's better than none, you know? Creating an "all or nothing" mentality will only prevent people from trying to eat a more plant based diet. When I talk to people who want to go vegan but say "I can't give up cheese", I tell them, so go vegan, but eat cheese once a week as a reward. I think there needs to be more flexibility in the labels we put on diets.

  3. I totally agree. We eat veg probably 1/2 the time now. I just find I need animal products while I'm pregnant/breastfeeding. Although we do buy local, natural meats and organic dairy & eggs.

    Also, I am making the chocolate strawberry salad tonight! Judith is very excited, I hope this will get her to eat spinach! She's basically 90% vegetarian, so I need her to get some more iron...