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Vegan Caesar salad for a substantial serving of greens on Meatless Monday

Vegan Caesar salad for a substantial serving of greens on Meatless Monday

No one's saying you have to go meatless just because it's Monday -- but as incentive to join the growing movement, every week we're offering an animal-free recipe.

Caesar salad is a popular way to get your fix of leafy greens, and no wonder: The roughage is deliciously crisp, creamy, garlicky and briny. Unfortunately for vegetarians and vegans, that brine comes from anchovies more often than not -- so here's a version that'll make a decent dinner for three or four hungry adults that requires no heating of ingredients whatsoever. (No dairy, either!)

Vegan Caesar salad for a substantial serving of greens on Meatless Monday

You will need:

2-3 large (or 3-4 small) heads romaine lettuce

2 cups spring mix (optional; we like a little variety in our salad)

Heaping 1/3 cup almonds

4 cloves garlic, peeled and crushed

3/4 pound (12 oz.) soft silken tofu

1/4 cup olive oil

1 lemon

1 heaping tablespoon capers

4 teaspoons caper brine

1 teaspoon sugar

1/2 teaspoon mustard powder

Sea salt

Fresh-cracked black pepper

Croutons or baked sugar snap peas

You can make your own croutons with stale bread, olive oil and roasted garlic, but in the interests of not turning the oven on, we went with the baked snap peas instead for a healthy dose of crunch.

Vegan Caesar salad for a substantial serving of greens on Meatless Monday

1. Chop the almonds into crumbs in a small food processor.

Vegan Caesar salad for a substantial serving of greens on Meatless Monday

Place the chopped almonds in an airtight container (four-cup capacity or so) to store the dressing.

Vegan Caesar salad for a substantial serving of greens on Meatless Monday

2. Put the garlic (peeled and crushed), the tofu and the olive oil in the food processor.

Vegan Caesar salad for a substantial serving of greens on Meatless Monday

Mix until creamy.

Vegan Caesar salad for a substantial serving of greens on Meatless Monday

Add the capers, the juice from the lemon, the caper brine, the sugar, the mustard powder and a few dashes of sea salt.

Vegan Caesar salad for a substantial serving of greens on Meatless Monday

Process until thoroughly blended.

Vegan Caesar salad for a substantial serving of greens on Meatless Monday

Scrape the dressing into the airtight container and mix in with the chopped almonds already in the container. Seal and chill in the refrigerator for thirty minutes minimum (an hour to ninety minutes is perfect if you can wait that long).

Vegan Caesar salad for a substantial serving of greens on Meatless Monday

3. When you're ready to eat, wash the romaine lettuce heads (wash from the top and fan the lettuce leaves open as you do to thoroughly rinse the heads) and chop off the bottoms.

Vegan Caesar salad for a substantial serving of greens on Meatless Monday

Chop the heads widthwise into strips, which will give you perfect strips of romaine.

Vegan Caesar salad for a substantial serving of greens on Meatless Monday

Use a large bowl to mix the salad with the dressing; measure about three cups of chopped romaine and add a handful of spring mix into the bowl for each person.

Vegan Caesar salad for a substantial serving of greens on Meatless Monday

Add dressing to each diner's taste.

Vegan Caesar salad for a substantial serving of greens on Meatless Monday

Toss until the salad is thoroughly coated.

Vegan Caesar salad for a substantial serving of greens on Meatless Monday

Divide salads equally on plates and top with croutons or baked snap peas -- anything that'll add a little crunch.

If you feel like firing up the grill, this salad goes beautifully with grilled tofu, but it's a satisfying main dish or side dish without it, too!