Vegan Gluten-Free Caesar Salad with Dijon Miso Glazed Tempeh and Polenta Croutons

super strength health caesar salad (vegan gluten free)

Well. If that title isn’t a mouthful I don’t know what is.

Did you know that there is an entire magazine dedicated to vegan women and weight lifting? YEAH. There seriously is and it’s called Definition for Ladies. I am very into the whole idea of this magazine’s existence (because community, DUH) and I was super excited to hear that they were hosting a summer salad recipe contest.

I have been thinking hard about salad and what I might like to share with my readers and the readers of Definition. I wanted something classic, vegan (of course), and something I could make gluten-free that usually wasn’t. I wanted it to be super crisp, flavorful, and to contain protein. I wanted one salad to be adequate for a meal, because I am not really a side salad type of babe.

The salad I came up seems kind of labor intensive. You have to do a few things the night before to get maximum flavor- (soaking and marinating)- but I promise you, it’s not super hard and it’s worth it. This salad is a perfect balance of flavors, kept me full for many hours, and would be awesome at a party. The dressing is a dead ringer for a standard Caeser delight, without all the fishy crap. The cornmeal croutons and almonds have perfect crunch.



Vegan Gluten-Free Caesar Salad with Dijon Miso Glazed Tempeh and Polenta Croutons
Recipe type: Salad
Cuisine: Vegan, Gluten-free
Prep time:
Cook time:
Total time:
Serves: 4
  • 6 cups Romaine Lettuce
  • 2 T capers
  • ¼ cup raw almonds
  • ¼ large white onion, sliced thin
  • 1 medium carrot, sliced thin
  • ½ english cucumber, sliced thin
  • white wine vinegar
  • 1 block tempeh
  • ½ Tablespoon miso
  • ½ cup hot water
  • 1 Tablespoon dijon mustard
  • ½ Tablespoon maple syrup
  • 1 cup cashews
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 Medjool date
  • 2 Tablespoons nutritional yeast
  • 2 Tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon garlic salt
  • 1 tsp miso
  • 1 tsp kelp granules
  • ½ cup cornmeal or polenta
  • 1.5 cups water
  • ½ teaspoon garlic salt
  • 2 Tablespoons nutritional yeast
  • ½ teaspoon dried sage
  • ½ teaspoon dried thyme
  • Black pepper to taste
  1. The night before you plan to serve your salad soak 1 cup of cashews in water.
  2. Submerge cucumber, carrots and onions in jars filled with white wine vinegar. You do not need to seal the jars, as these are just quick pickles.
  3. Cut tempeh block into ¼'s. slice the ¼'s in half width wise, then slice it diagonal lengthwise to make into triangles. Set aside.
  4. Boil ½ cup water, pour it on top of ½ Tablespoon miso to dissolve.
  5. Add all marinade ingredients (dijon mustard, maple syrup, miso broth) and tempeh to a tupperware with a snap-on lid if possible. Put the lid on, and shake vigorously
  6. Put all of the above in the fridge overnight.
  7. Day of salad serving! Preheat your oven to 450°F.
  8. Chop romaine into bite sized pieces and put in bowls. Sprinkle with almonds, capers, and quick pickles. The quick pickles should be quite vinegar-y so start small and add more if that's your thing!
  9. Take soaked cashews and drain them. Add nuts, water, medjool date, nutritional yeast, lemon juice, garlic salt, and miso to the blender with a cup of water and blend until smooth.
  10. Crouton time!
  11. Whisk cornmeal, water, and salt together in a medium saucepan, and place over medium to medium-high heat.
  12. Bring to a boil, then cook, stirring almost constantly, for 15-20 minutes, or until the polenta is thick and sticky.
  13. Stir in the nutritional yeast and spices
  14. Remove the polenta from the pot and place onto plastic wrap or in a baking dish sprayed with olive oil or cooking spray.
  15. Shape into a rectangle, about ½ in. thick, wrap in plastic wrap, and place in the refrigerator until cooled.
  16. Cut the polenta into ½ in. cubes, and place in a single layer, not touching, on a baking sheet coated with olive oil or cooking spray. Spray some more olive oil or cooking spray over the cubes. You want your baking tray to be very lubed up or the croutons will stick.
  17. Bake for 25-30 minutes, turning every 8-10 minutes, until browned and crispy.
  18. Set aside to cool
  19. Take your tempeh out of the marinade and throw onto a lightly oiled grill. I used a stove-top cast iron pan, but if you don't have that, probably any pan will be fine. I just like grill marks.
  20. Cook on each side for about 5 minutes, until the tempeh gets slightly browned and crispy on the outside.
  21. Add tempeh, croutons and dressing to salad bowls.
  22. Garnish with fresh black pepper to taste and enjoy!





This is an official entry to the Definition Magazine Summer Salad Redux Recipe Contest. Hope you enjoy!