Caesar Salad Just Got An Upgrade
I have always been a lover of the classic Caesar salad but I have always believed it could be done better. Which I have confidently accomplished with this recipe by adding in a few more vegetables and vegan friendly ingredients. Like the roasted chickpeas and beets. Covered in a tahini base caesar dressing. Topped with extra veggies like cucumber and radish. And don’t forget the garlic sesame sourdough croutons. This salad quickly became the holy grail of salads for me with these tasty modification. Quite capable of changing your life. I made this salad this weekend at a retreat where people were there working though their trauma and healing. It got rave reviews from them. One person even said it changed their life. I hope it nourishes and helps change yours.
A Suitable Salad For Fire Season
This recipe is a light meal option most suitable for these hot days of summer. Proper nourishment during the fire season not only balances the heart but also the small intestines which have influence over our emotions. When our hearts are nourished so are our minds, offering us clarity with our intentions. Allowing our guts to properly digest our food because our heart and mind are clear and calm. While also helping to build our blood.
Red foods are important for heart health and can benefit those with anemia, palpitations, cold limbs, pale complexion and general weakness. When you see red foods think blood nourishment. Red foods are best for summer because they help nourish blood, improve circulation, and reinforce warmth. Naturally you can think of blood nourishment when you look at any foods that are naturally red to start to help you understand how food naturally functions by appearance.
Blood Deficiency According to TCM
Lack of blood nourishment is referred to as blood deficiency in Traditional Chinese Medicine. This can be very common for female bodies in their reproductive years. Signs and symptoms may include light headedness, brain fog, memory problems, mild anxiety, insomnia, weak nails, pale complexion, hair loss, premature greying, low energy, blurred vision, dry eyes, skin, hair, nervous tics/tremors, numbness, light or absent periods.
TCM blood deficiency refers to more than just iron deficiency. It is a lack of protein necessary to build blood. Lacking b-12, folic acid, and other essential blood building nutrients. When our body is not able to build enough blood then there will be malnourishment and circulation problems. The most common cause of blood deficiency is excessive bleeding, poor digestion, poor diet. Red foods like beets help remedy this problem and ignite the digestive fire.
Other foods that can be building blocks for proper digestion and blood building is dark green/purple leafy greens, legumes, seaweed, spirulina, sprouts, whole grains, goji berries, nettle, hawthorn berries, dang quai, dried apricots, blackberries, raspberries, dark grapes, and black strap molasses. As well as organic meat, eggs, bone broth and liver in moderation. Also look at supporting proper digestion and assimilation with warm foods and spices lie ginger, cumin, fennel, and cardamom.
Nutritional Benefits of Beets In The Summer
When I am cooking I approach food like it is medicine. Capable of healing through the unique energetics of each plant and through the energetics I put into the food as I am preparing it. Taking into consideration what is seasonally available and how each ingredient nourishes seasonal imbalances. Every season is associated with a certain body system and so is every food.
For example since beets are the color red they help nourish the blood which is associated with the heart and the fire element. Red beets are the perfect food for the summer time because they help our blood. They are sweet and help to strengthen the heart, sedates the spirit, improve circulation, purify blood, benefiting the liver, moistening the gut, and promotes menstruation.
Beets and carrots can be used to regulate hormones and menopause. Treating liver stagnancy and ailments. As well as constipation due to dry conditions and fluids. Helping with congestion and nervousness in the vasculature. Also the silicone content helps strengthen our bones and tendons.
What boosts the energetics of food even higher is growing what we can. I pulled these beets and the kale from my garden. Then gather the other veggies and sourdough bread from my farmers market. Using ingredients that are seasonally available.
For more information on foods that help nourish the fie element according to to the 5 element system of traditional Chinese medicine check out this fire element eating guide and find herbal teas and more that help nourish the fire element in the Farmacy here.
How To Prepare This Caesar Salad with Roasted Beets
- First roast the fully cooked chickpeas and chopped beets in a pan together. Season and toss in olive oil directly on the pan. Roast in the oven until lightly golden at 400 degrees for about 30 minutes.
- Prepare the fresh salad greens by first de-stemming the kale and roughly chopping it and the romaine lettuce. Add a salad blend for even more depth of nutrients and flavor. Use any kind of salad greens you like. Especially dark leafy greens like kale for extra blood building nutrients.
- Cut up any other additional vegetables you like cucumber or radish. Or anything else that you can easily find growing in your town or backyard.
- Then with the caesar dressing add the tahini, water, and seasoning to a plastic cup that you can mix with a immersion blender. This dressing can be as thick as you like just add more water depending on how you like it. I like to add a big spoonful to the salad and then mix it in using two standard forks or salad mixer.
- For the parmesan simply mix together the hemp seed blend. Add to the top with the sourdough croutons. I hope you enjoy it!
Vegan Caesar Salad with Roasted Beets
Caesar Salad Recipe
- 1 large can 28 oz of chickpeas
- 1 large beet
- 1/4 tsp of garlic powder
- 1/4 of onion powder
- 1/4 tsp of paprika
- 1/4 tsp of pepper
- 1/4 tsp of salt
- 1 bunch of kale
- 1 bunch of romaine
- 2 cups of mixed salad greens
- 1/2 cucumber
- 1 bunch of radish
- 1/4 cup of hemp seeds
- 1/4 cup of nutritional yeast
- 1 tbsp of garlic powder
- 1 tbsp of onion powder
- 1/4 tsp of salt
Vegan Caesar Dressing
- 1/2 cup of tahini
- 1/2 cup of water
- 3 cloves of garlic
- 1 tbsp of dijon mustard
- 1 tbsp of vegan Worcestershire
- 1 tsp of olive oil
- 1/2 tsp of garlic powder
- Add chickpeas and chopped beets onto a pan and roast at 400 for 30-40 minutes.
- De-stem and chop kale and romaine lettuce.
- Chop cucumber and radish.
- Mix together hemp seed parmesan ingredients.
- Add Caesar dressing ingredients in a mixing cup and use a immersion blender. Add more water if it is too thick.
George, Sarah J. “Nourishing the Blood with TCM and Whole Foods Acupuncture Launceston.” Sarah George Acupuncture and Natural Health, Sarah George Acupuncture and Natural Health, 13 Jan. 2018, sarahgeorgeacupuncture.com.au/2012/11/01/nourishing-the-blood-with-tcm-and-whole-foods/amp/.
Pitchford, Paul. Healing with Whole Foods: Asian Traditions and Modern Nutrition. North Atlantic Books, 2009.