Vegan Caesar Salad

"Secrets of Professional Vegan Cooking" with Edible Magazine

On February 3, 2016, the Natural Gourmet Institute presented a plant-based cooking demonstration at Brooklyn Brewery in partnership with Edible Magazine.

Chef Barbara Rich showcased a few of the unique vegan cooking techniques that were commonly used at NGI and are now used at the Natural Gourmet Center at ICE.

Here are three of the recipes she shared.


Vegan Caesar Salad

Yields 4-6 servings


For the dressing and salad:

  • 2 ounces firm tofu
  • 2 large cloves garlic, roughly chopped
  • 1/2 cup lemon juice (from approximately 2 lemons)
  • 1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon chickpea miso
  • 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
  • 1 teaspoon umeboshi paste
  • 1 sheet nori, crumbled
  • 3/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 head romaine lettuce, cut or torn into bite-sized pieces
  • Croutons, optional


  1. In a high-speed blender, combine the tofu, garlic, lemon, vinegar, miso, mustard, umeboshi and nori. Puree to combine.
  2. While the machine is running, slowly drizzle in olive oil. Puree until smooth.
  3. To serve, toss dressing with romaine and croutons, if using.

Vegan Pasta Carbonara
Yields 4-6 servings


  • 3/4 pound long whole wheat pasta (linguini, fettucine or spaghetti)
  • 1/2 pound shiitake mushrooms, stemmed, sliced 1/4-inch thick
  • 1/4 cup + a few teaspoons extra virgin olive oil, divided
  • Sea salt
  • 1 cup blanched almonds, soaked overnight
  • 1 1/2 cups boiling water
  • 1 cup almond meal (pulp from almond milk or blanched almond flour)
  • 1/3 cup organic canola or other neutral-tasting oil
  • 1/4 cup chickpea miso or more, to taste
  • Freshly cracked black pepper
  • 1 bunch scallions, thinly sliced on an angle


For the pasta:

  1. Cook pasta according to package directions. Drain and toss with a few teaspoons of olive oil to keep from sticking. Set aside. For the “cream sauce”: 1. Drain almonds and place into a high speed blender with boiling water. Puree until smooth. 2. Strain though a fine mesh sieve to remove almond meal; reserve this for the “parmesan”. 3. Place almond milk into a small pot over medium heat. Simmer until sauce is thickened, reduced, and has the consistency of heavy cream.

For the “parmesan”:

  1. Preheat oven to 225 F or as low as your oven will go.
  2. Toss almond meal with canola oil, miso and salt until thoroughly combined.
  3. Spread in a single layer on a non-stick baking sheet or Silpat sheet. Bake for 40 minutes or golden.
  4. Allow to cool, then crumble.

For the “bacon”:

  1. Preheat oven to 375 F.
  2. On a large-rimmed baking sheet, toss shiitakes with 1/4 cup olive oil and 1/2 teaspoon sea salt.
  3. Spread into a single layer and bake for 15-20 minutes. Bacon should be brown and crispy.

To assemble: Heat the almond cream in a large sauté pan and toss in the pasta to reheat. Fold in crispy mushrooms and “parmesan.” Generously garnish with black pepper and scallions.

Chocolate-Coconut Pudding with Cashew Whipped Cream


  • 3 cans full-fat coconut milk
  • 1/2 cup agar flakes
  • Pinch of sea salt
  • 1 cup maple crystals
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • 1 tablespoon kuzu
  • 2 cups dairy-free chocolate chips, melted
  • 1 cup raw cashews, soaked overnight
  • 1 cup filtered water
  • 1 tablespoon maple syrup
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • Pinch of sea salt
  • Cacao nibs


For the pudding:

  1. Combine coconut milk and agar in a pot and let sit 15 minutes.
  2. Add salt and simmer until agar is completely dissolved, about 15 minutes.
  3. Add maple crystals and vanilla extract; continue to cook.
  4. In a small bowl, dissolve kuzu in 2-3 tablespoons water. Add to the coconut mixture and continue to cook, stirring frequently, until mixture begins to thicken.
  5. Stir in melted chocolate.
  6. Pour into a shallow pan and allow mixture to cool completely, then place into the refrigerator to set overnight.
  7. Prior to serving, blend pudding in a food processor, then transfer to individual serving dishes.

For the cashew cream:

  1. Drain cashews and place into a high-speed blender with water, maple syrup, vanilla and salt. Puree until smooth.
  2. Pipe cream onto pudding and garnish with cacao nibs.

Learn more about vegan cooking in ICE's Health-Supportive Culinary Arts program.

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