Half the family says chicken and the other half says, “No!” Here’s a delicious alternative that will please both vegans and the fussiest of carnivores: squash—crusted and baked to perfection—served with a vegan kale and romaine Caesar salad. Once they’ve tried it, it’ll be a go-to favourite for everyone on both sides of the food divide.
Top up salad with roasted chickpeas or croutons for added crunch, if you wish.
To make salad dressing, soak nuts, in enough cold water to cover, for 2 hours. Can be left to soak up to 8 hours, if you wish. Thoroughly rinse and drain. Place in high-speed blender with 1/4 cup (60 mL) cold water, oil, miso, lemon juice, Dijon, garlic, salt, and pepper. Whirl until very smooth and creamy. Refrigerate until ready to use. Can be refrigerated for a couple of days.
Preheat oven to 400 F (200 C). Line baking sheet with parchment paper and set aside.
Cut squash in half, lengthwise. Peel and scrape out seeds. Cut halves crosswise into 1 in (2.5 cm) wedges. Blot dry with paper towelling.
In small bowl, stir nut butter and olive oil together until smooth. Add a splash of water and stir in just until thin enough to smooth over slices of squash. Brush both sides of squash wedges with nut butter mixture.
In wide, shallow bowl, combine hemp hearts, ground almonds, nutritional yeast, cumin, salt, and cayenne. Stir to blend. Dip buttered squash wedges into crumbs to evenly coat, and arrange in single layer on prepared baking sheet. Bake in preheated oven for 35 to 45 minutes, or until squash is fork tender and coating begins to crisp. Remove and set aside.
In large bowl, place Romaine and kale. Drizzle with Caesar dressing. Toss to coat. Serve wedges of baked squash with Caesar salad on the side.
This recipe is part of the Centre Plate Stars collection.
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