Vegan Cesar Salad Recipe with Homemade Croutons

Hey Everyone!

I made this amazing Vegan Cesar Salad, it’s creamy, it’s delicious, it’s flavorful and healthy! I’m a firm believer in making my own croutons and I love mixing it up! I mix dark rye breads with sourdough and white bread for variety. You can cut these up into squares and toss them in Olive Oil, Garlic, Thyme, Salt and Pepper for additional flavour. I strongly suggest this step! After this, you pop them on a baking sheet and stick them into the oven at 300°F (bake), keep an eye on them and if you like them more crispy, just broil them for a little afterwards!

In the pictures below, I only had the one type of bread so you’ll see that in the photos, although ALL CROUTONS ARE DELICIOUS!

my-vegan-cesar-salad

My Dairy-Free Cesar Salad using Daiya Cesar Dressing and Cheese

INGREDIENTS

Prep: 5-10 Mins  |  Cook: 5 Mins |  Serving: 1-4

Croutons:
Bread (French Bread works really well)
Virgin Olive Oil
Garlic (1-3 cloves depending on size)
Thyme (dried)
Salt
Pepper

Salad:

Romaine Hearts (or any type of lettuce you prefer, this one I found works best!)
Dairy-Free Cesar Dressing (I used DAIYA’s Creamy Cesar Dressing)
Vegan Cheese (I used DAIYA’s Monterey Jack Cheese and grated it fine)
Salt
Pepper
Lemon Juice (freshly squeezed)

Link for Vegan Cesar Dressing: Click to View
Link for Vegan Cheese:
Click to View

 

This seriously made me crave one…So even though this is a blog and you can’t tell that I was gone for about 15 minutes…Totally just made myself and my boyfriend this Salad 🙂

INSTRUCTIONS

Step 1: Cut the bread (I used french bread or baguette) into desired sized squares and place in medium to large mixing bowl.

French Bread

French Bread

Step 2: Pour desired amount of Virgin Olive Oil and shake up with mixing bowl or mix with your hands. I used about 2 tablespoons, this all depends on how many croutons you’re making. You want them to just be lightly coated for the spices to stick.

Step 3: Once all bread is tossed in the Olive Oil, add your seasoning/spices. A bit of garlic (I used 2 large cloves), a bit of Thyme (1-2 teaspoons), some salt and some pepper. Bake at 300°F for 5 minutes or until crispy, golden brown.

DON’T FORGET TO WATCH YOUR CROUTONS!

seasoned-croutons

Seasoned Croutons. Source: Cassidy on Flickr

Step 4: Cut your romaine lettuce into strips, place in desired bowl. Add Vegan Cesar Dressing and Mix.

Step 5: Add your freshly baked croutons and mix ensuring to coat each crispy piece of bread with creamy cesar dressing. Once that is complete you can add a teaspoon or two of olive oil if desired.

Step 6: Grate your vegan cheese finely, top it off with vegan cheese, salt, pepper and freshly squeezed lemon juice, mix and you’re good to go!

You can get as fancy or as simple with this salad as you like. Adding nuts or seeds could be good, adding some cherry tomatoes or even some kale!

All footage/images in this blog are used legally for educational purposes and are protected by the Copyright Act of Canada (sections 29, 29.1 or 29.2)

5 Reasons to Go Vegan

Hey Everyone!

I found some great and inspirational videos on veganism. I thought I would share these with you if you are looking into becoming vegan, don’t know where to start, don’t know the benefits or you simply have some general questions surrounding veganism, how to transition, or how to make utterly-delicious-cheesy-dishes without hurting animals, the environment or anything else for that matter. Did I just use the word “utter” in a vegan blog?…yes…yes I did…ANY WHO!!

(I’ll get to the videos in a second)

What do vegans eat? Where do you get your protein? What are some meat and dairy alternatives? What are some cheap meal options?
But what about cheese, pizza, or cheesecake?

 

Image result for koala

You mean there’s vegan cheese?

Surprisingly enough, I receive a lot of questions some of which made me realize that not everybody knows what the term vegan actually is or means. For example, on my partner’s Birthday, I went to a near-by Sobey’s to purchase a few things, as I approached the bakery, I spoke with a younger girl that worked there and I had asked if they had any vegan options for cakes available. She had given me a deer-in-headlights stare and simply asked “what kind of vegan?”.

“What kind of vegan?”

As we talked more she had mentioned to me she wasn’t aware the vegans do not consume dairy. she had gotten veganism mixed up with vegetarianism. As I explained politely what vegans consume, her exact reply was “oh, that’s difficult!”.

And that’s kind of what this blog is about. It is about setting your mind-set and being one with yourself and your beliefs. It isn’t hard if it’s what you believe is right.

I am by no means pushing anyone to convert to veganism, this is simply educational and if anyone has any questions on what I have written, the videos or where to get more information, don’t hesitate to ask 🙂 I’m available on social media in the links below, or you can comment your questions below.

The first video I would like to share has been posted by Ralph Smart, some of you may know him as Infinite Waters Diving Deep on most of his social media platforms/channels. Including this video, all of his videos are amazing, inspirational, educational and positive. The reason I am sharing this video first is because it’s the video that changed my life. It’s the reason I wish I had changed my diet and life habits sooner, it’s the reason I am vegan today.

Just to clear up a few things before getting into the videos on myself being vegan. Currently I consume a vegan diet and avoid purchasing products that have been tested on animals or have animal bi-products…etc However i’m still learning, i’m still human, so let’s keep any judgments aside 🙂 that would be greatly appreciated. For example, due to certain circumstances I am unable to purchase new items to compensate for the ones I already have, I avoid wearing them unless it’s an absolute must and I am working my way to a completely vegan lifestyle when the funds become available to do so. I have now been eating vegan since October 2016.

Video #1
10 Reasons to Go Vegan By:
 Infinite Waters (Diving Deep)

 

The second video I’d like to share was posted by Mayim Bialik. Some of you may know her from Blossom, and some of you may know her from The Big Bang Theory. I am sharing this video because it demonstrates and shows facts about the meat and dairy industries in a non-graphical point of view – verbally. Basically, there are no scary pictures of what they do to the chickens, cows, pigs or horses.

This is also sharing a different perspective on how food gets to our plates and that nowadays a lot of kids are taught the words “Beef, Pork, Bacon, Striploin, Poultry”…etc without them actually knowing this is a part of an animal such as cow, pig or chicken.

Us as a society have become used to the fact that food gets on our plate and we don’t actually think about how, we just go with it. However, taking a deeper look into the industries and understanding them really shows us how many of us are ignorant or in-denial beings- myself included before learning about veganism and becoming one.

She also touches on the subject of most food producers and how they are producing the most (ex: chickens) for the least amount of money, which in the end makes them the most profit.

Video #2
Why I’m a Vegan By:
 Mayim Bialik

 

From what vegans eat to what we vegans wear. Video number three is all about going vegan and how to achieve it! The video has been posted by Koi Fresco and he has a great explanation on veganism. He also talks about how vegans get their protein, where vegans get take-out, going to restaurants as a vegan and basically an overall beginner’s guide to veganism. He’s a great inspiration and a great person to follow/subscribe for more information on other subjects such as spirituality, chakras, auras, personal topics (depression, anxiety..etc) and more!

Video #3
How to Go Vegan Today! (A Beginner’s Guide to Veganism) By:
Koi Fresco

 

One of my favourite YouTube channels and inspirations is Monami Frost. She’s tattooed, she’s a model, she’s an inspiration, AND SHE’S VEGAN! And so is her FAMILY! A lot of her videos show why veganism is important to her and her family as well as what she eats in a day. Check out her food vlogs for more information on vegan food ideas and inspirations. One of my favourite videos outlines how much of an impact the dairy industry has on young children and their health, is going in at number five.

Video #4
NO FRONT TEETH FOR 4 YEARS By:
Monami Frost

 

This is a video I haven’t watched fully however it has really great points on veganism.  This video has been created by the Animal Rights Foundation of Florida. He shares some great points on current eating habits, culture, hypocrisy and animal rights in general.

Video #5
101 – Reasons to Go Vegan – Presentation By:
TheVeganAtheist

BONUS Video #6
VEGAN ALTERNATIVES: Meat, Dairy, Eggs & Honey + MORE By:
Vegan Family TV

 

That’s all of the videos I have for today, I am thinking of starting my own channel to share thoughts about spirituality, veganism, Reiki, chakras, crystals, how-to videos and more. Let me know if you guys would be interested in that! I’ve never done something like this before so it would good to get some insight 🙂

 

All footage/images in this blog are used legally for educational purposes and are protected by the Copyright Act of Canada (sections 29, 29.1 or 29.2)

2017

Good Afternoon Everyone! Well in Alberta it’s afternoon… 🙂   Sorry I haven’t written in a while. 2016 is now over and i’m on a new path for 2017. Some of my goals include writing A LOT more for you guys, creating more, sharing more, possibly having workshops, how-to videos or podcasts.

today-is-beautiful

2016 was the year of transformation, a whole lot of learning about myself, learning who I am and how I can create the best year (2017) possible for myself, my family, everyone around me and everyone supporting me – like you guys! Just for future reference, when I refer to my family I am referring to my amazing partner and our new joy…Cosmo.

Cosmo is one of the main reasons I haven’t written in a while, the other reason is that my heart wasn’t in it. I had so much going on (it felt like) that writing seemed unmanageable. With saying that, I want to put my heart and soul in every piece of content I put out for you guys. If it has been written when I was feeling unmotivated or zoned out ( which was most of 2016 ), the content isn’t WHO I AM, therefore it was never posted. I want to put the real me on every page, I want to share my goals, my travels, my interests, my loves and passions.

For those of you whom follow me on Instagram, Facebook, Tumblr or Twitter, know that we have a new and beautiful life to take care of, go on adventures with, hike, camp, swim and simply enjoy life with. His name is Cosmo! The name “Cosmo” has been given to our little pup and taken from the word “Cosmos” meaning universe.

“The cosmos is the sum total of everything — pretty big. It’s hard to wrap your mind around the cosmos, as it extends far beyond the Milky Way, or far-off galaxies, or even our own universe.”

Synonyms: Creation, Existence, Universe, World

If you haven’t had the pleasure of seeing our little one, check out some of the photos below. He is currently 14.5 weeks, which is almost 4 years old in people years! 🙂

our-new-puppy-cosmo

Cosmo @ 6 Weeks – When we first met

our-new-puppy-cosmo-the-ausky

Cosmo at 8 1/2 weeks

Cosmo is truly filled with magic. He makes life incredible. He has shown us that the little things matter most, that cuddles are needed, that true happiness comes from within ourselves as well as a few life lessons along the way. He truly is special. ❤

I would like to share some amazing news with you all, again if you follow me on social media, you may already know this. On October 12th, 2016 I decided that I need to be a better me, I decided that I needed to contribute to the Earth, the environment, the animals and to peace on Earth by going vegan. That’s right! As of October 12th, I have been eating vegan and feeling absolutely amazing.

And that’s kind of what this blog is about! This blog isn’t going to be about animal cruelty, the meat or dairy industries, the earth, the environment or veganism as a whole. This blog is simply about my journey, the foods I have been eating and how and why I transitioned to veganism.

~ // The Food \\ ~
The food makes me feel amazing. I am filled with more life, energy and happiness than ever before. I truly enjoy consuming vegan eats and finding alternatives for dairy and meat products. A long time ago (before being aware, open-minded and awake) if anyone ever asked me to go vegan I would probably say NO WAY! However, learning more about the amazing causes, the amazing recipes, the “culture” and the food I am able to cook at home has completely changed my mind, my life, my soul and how I feel on a day-to-day basis.

One of my original concerns (living in Calgary – Beef Central) was finding vegan restaurants or restaurants serving vegan options. To my surprise, it isn’t too difficult! I downloaded the “HappyCow” app and went from there! It’s extremely user-friendly, and has great options for restaurants in your area. You can even filter your results by viewing Vegan, Vegetarian, Veg-Options and Stores+More. It’s available for both Android and iOS, Just visit the Google Play or Apple Store to download. This is what the app looks like:

Source: HappyCow.net

Source: HappyCow.net

 

The other part about vegan food I really appreciate is that (when made right) it packs-a-punch of flavour! I have learned how to work with more spices than ever before. I have also learned how to make my own sauces and where to purchase them if need be – EVEN CREAMY ONES! What? Creamy sauces without dairy? You must be crazy….Nope! i’m not! and the amazing part about this is that they taste better than the ones with dairy! One of my favourite brands that carry a lot of “deliciously dairy-free” options is Daiya Foods. They have an A-M-A-Z-I-N-G selection of cheeses, yogurts, pizzas, dressings, Cheezecake (cheese cake), Cheezy Mac (mac and cheese) and more!

my-vegan-cesar-salad

Vegan Cesar Salad using Daiya Cesar Dressing and Cheese

dairy-free-yogurt-by-daiya-foods

Daiya Dairy-Free Yogurt

If you have any questions about where to get any of these products, or where to find great vegan recipes, don’t hesitate to ask! I have also linked the products/services to their website where you can find a lot more information about them!

~ // Health \\ ~
I feel a lot more focused, clear-headed and healthier! My skin looks a lot better, I feel a lot better and i’m finding my body recognizing this amazing change. I rarely get stomach aches, cramps or bloating. There hasn’t been a time I felt sick or nauseous from eating vegan food. I feel a lot more motivated to workout, do yoga, meditate, work on my shop and go out! It has been a life-changing experience and how I feel MATTERS TO ME.

~ // Milk \\ ~
For those of you whom know me quite closely know that I used to consume insane amounts of dairy milk when I was younger. I found that I had a lot of acne, I wasn’t feeling too good and constantly felt like I was on over-drive. Even before going vegan I switched to non-dairy milk 3 years ago or so. What are some great non-dairy milk alternatives? There are actually quite a few dairy-free milk options out there, to name a few: Almond Milk, Rice Milk, Soy Milk and Coconut Milk.

cruelty-free-milk

My favourite brand of Almond Milk (And YES! THEY ALL TASTE DIFFERENT!) is called Almond Fresh. I personally buy their Original and Unsweetened Almond-based milks. Feel free to visit their website for more information: http://drinksofresh.ca/

Disclaimer: I am by no means promoting or advertising for Almond Fresh. This is just my experience with trying out a lot of the brands to find the one that works for me.

~ // Cooking \\ ~
Finally, Cooking! Cooking has become so much more fun! I am creating and making foods that are healthy. I am working with so many flavours, spices, vegetables and sauces that it makes me feel whole. My soul feels complete eating a plant-based diet. Cooking has also become a lot more fun recently over the Christmas holidays! I made an all-vegan Christmas dinner with Gravy and Shepard’s Pie!

~ // Questions \\ ~
So I decided I would answer some questions you guys may have about my diet, how to maintain it, where I purchase my groceries…etc

Where do you shop for groceries? My partner and I shop locally at Planet Organic. They have locations in Calgary (AB), Edmonton (AB), Victoria (BC), and Mississauga (ON). We have been eating organic for a while now and it has been life-changing. Planet Organic has a lot of really great vegan options including cosmetics, hair products, supplements and other beauty products. You can also purchase vegan/dairy-free options at Community Natural Foods, Superstore , CO-OP and Save-on-Foods. We don’t typically shop anywhere else other than the places listed above.

What are some vegan brands you can recommend? Below is a list of SOME of the brands I recommend. The list is quite long so i’ll add the ones I can remember 🙂

Food
Coconut Bliss (ice-cream)
Daiya Foods (cheeses, sauces, cakes, pizzas, yogurts, cream cheese, mac and cheese)
Earth Balance (butter-style spreads, nut-butters, dressings, crackers, snacks, mac and cheese)
Gardein (meat alternatives include burgers, chicken strips, fish fingers, roast, crab cakes…etc)
Nature’s Path (cereals, granola bars, waffles, granola, oatmeal)
So Delicious (milk, ice cream, yogurt)
Silver Hills Bakery (bread, bagels, buns)
Vega (protein powders, protein bars)

Beauty
Andalou Naturals (body and skin-care products)
Jane Iredale (beauty products)
LUSH (masks, scrubs, shampoos, make-up, soaps…etc) please note that lush also carries vegetarian products, so look on the label to ensure they’re vegan.

Pacifica (make-up, skin care, body products)
Sukin Organics (shampoo, conditioner, lotions, moisturizers..etc)


Those are just some of the vegan beauty products I have tried, take a look at this list of “22 Completely Vegan Beauty and Body Products Brands“.

If you would like a more in-depth list of cruelty-free Brands take a look here: Cruelty-Free Brands

How did you transition to veganism? This may require an additional blog, however the short story is that I transitioned from being pescatarian. Reason for transitioning is through exploring veganism and gaining knowledge of why it is important and how I am contributing to protecting the animals, the earth, the environment..etc. Transitioning wasn’t hard for me, a great inspiration is Ralph Smart, also known as Infinite Waters. You can find him on youtube and instagram spreading knowledge, awareness and spiritual education.

I’ll be posting more about my journey, my recipes and my lifestyle. Stay Tuned, thanks for reading.

Love & Light
Wishing everyone an incredible start to their New Year!

 

All footage/images in this blog are used legally for educational purposes and are protected by the Copyright Act of Canada (sections 29, 29.1 or 29.2)