The other night, after some friendly mild debauchery, I found myself quite hungry at 11pm. Luckily, there a health food grocery open til 11:30 in Venice… yaya! Am intentionally leaving the names of all establishments anonymous in these posts.
So there I was, at 11pm, perusing all the healthy options, sushi, soup, a fully loaded salad bar, ready-made food, wraps, sandwiches and more. A packaged Caesar salad caught my eye big time… yum! I love all the umami from the Parmesan cheese and anchovies and those buttery melt-in-your mouth croutons. SCORE! My mouth starting salivating…
Then I realized it said vegan Caesar Salad on it. Vegan?!?! When I think of Caesar I think of that egg yolk dressing, the anchovies, the parm…well at least a baguette is still vegan so we get the croutons… right?!?! Baguette IS vegan. And if they’re not made with any butter we still gots olive oil croutons and I know those can be delicious too!
Caesar salad to me is all about the dressing and croutons. Sorry romaine! So I’ll at least get one outta two I thought. Not that bad. And it sure looked really good! It had what looked like crispy garbanzo beans in it and croutons that looked perfectly toasty and crunchy. Caesar salad vegan style here I come… let’s do it!!!
I soooooo excitedly took my first bite… did I mention how hungry I was? Pretty yummy. Then went for the croutons. Wait….whaaaaaat???? What the huh?!?! What I thought was a perfectly toasted crouton was actually… ready for it? Tempeh! Totally and utterly flavorless tempeh.
For the record, a baguette is vegan! Croutons can be vegan. I double-checked the salad packaging. It did NOT say vegan AND gluten-free. Where my croutons on in my vegan Caesar salad?
If you don’t have croutons, don’t have Parmesan, and don’t have an egg-yolk/anchovy Caesar salad dressing….
I mean, I don’t want to be all judgmental and am def not the Caesar salad police.
Here is the definition of Caesar salad on the Merriam-Webster website: a tossed salad usually made of romaine, garlic, anchovies, and croutons and dressed with olive oil, coddled egg, lemon juice, and grated cheese. So if you’re missing the anchovies, croutons, coddled egg and grated cheese…. just sayin’…
Also for the record, the cashew dressing was loaded with umami and quite delicious. The garbanzo beans were more soggy and mushy than crispy.
I crisped up some prosciutto when I got home and added it to the vegan (and sin the closet glutenfree) salad… so I guess it wasn’t really vegan after all. But still was gluten-free…?
I’m loving how health food focused LA is… but sometimes it just goes too far… even for a healthy food lovin’ gal like me.
No thanks I don’t want a tempeh + soggy garbanzo bean salad under the pretense of being a Caesar. Though it’s till one of my all time favorite groceries in town!!!
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