Caesar Salad with Chicken, Croutons, & "Parmesan"

See *notes for substitutions and time-savers



1 bunch kale, de-stemmed and sliced thinly

1/2 pound Brussel sprouts, ends removed and sliced thinly

1 pound chicken, cut into bite-sized pieces 

fresh lemon, olive oil, salt, & pepper for prep

Caesar Dressing

1/2 cup sunflower seeds, soaked 2 hours and rinsed

4 cloves garlic, peeled

3 tablespoons lemon juice

3 tablespoons olive oil

2 teaspoons tahini

2 teaspoons nutritional yeast

1 teaspoon Dijon mustard

1 teaspoon Bragg's liquid aminos

1 teaspoon maple syrup

1/2 teaspoon fish sauce

salt and pepper to taste

1/4-1/2 cup water


2 slices gluten-free bread

oil spray (I used avocado oil spray)

garlic powder

salt and pepper


1/4 cup cashews

1 tablespoon sesame seeds

2 teaspoons nutritional yeast

1 teaspoon lemon zest

salt and pepper




Clean and prepare the kale and Brussel sprouts, place in a large bowl, then squeeze some lemon juice over the greens. Sprinkle some salt as well, then massage into the greens and set aside while you prepare the other ingredients.

Drain the sunflower seeds then place all dressing ingredients into a high-speed blender. Start with 1/4 cup water, and puree on high until dressing is creamy, adding more water as needed to get desired thickness. Taste and adjust seasoning. Pour 2/3 of the dressing over the greens and massage into them until evenly coating the greens. Place the greens and the extra dressing into the refrigerator while continuing to prepare the "parmesan," croutons, and chicken.

Place all parmesan ingredients into a small food processor then run until mixture is broken down into Parmesan-size crumbles. Set aside.

Pre-heat oven to 375 or use an air crisper (I used the Ninja Foodi). Slice bread into even cubes and place on cookie sheet or into basket of crisper. Spray with oil spray then sprinkle with garlic, salt, and pepper. Toss cubes and repeat until all sides of bread cubes are coated. Toast in oven 15-20 minutes, tossing half-way though, until croutons are golden brown and crispy. Alternatively, air crisp on 375 for 7-10 minutes, tossing half way through, until croutons are golden brown and crispy.


While croutons are cooking, heat a skillet over medium high heat, add olive oil than chicken. Sprinkle chicken with salt, pepper, and garlic powder, then sauté until cooked through, stirring frequently to ensure chicken is browned on all sides. 


When chicken and croutons are ready, divide greens on plates, top with "parmesan," additional dressing, chicken, and croutons. Enjoy!


1 - Feel free to use just kale, or substitute shredded cabbage for the Brussel sprouts

2 - You could probably sub cashews or even hemp seeds for sunflower seeds

3 - If you are missing some of the seasonings for the dressing, you can always omit

4 - To save time, use store-bought dressing and croutons, and omit the "Parmesan"