Some time ago I came across a pamphlet at an outdoor flea market titled, “Eat More Vegetables” issued by the Extension Service of Massachusetts State College in 1933. I was intrigued. What were they saying about vegetables in 1933?
The first sentence of the pamphlet could apply today: “We are fast becoming a nation of eaters of greens.”
Wow! My suspicions are confirmed. For decades now we have been trying to eat more greens. My guess is that we know we need to eat more greens, we truly want to eat more greens, but deep down, many of us suspect that we’re still not eating enough.
The pamphlet presents a brief outline of the history of salad eating, mentioning early Romans, Greeks and Persians. It also quotes a certain Gerard of England in 1597: “Lettuce maketh a pleasant sallade, being eaten rawe with vinegar, oil, and a little salt.”
The recipe below for a Vegan Caesar Salad Dressing is a leap from Gerard’s recipe of 1597. It’s a leap, too, from my mother’s recipe for Caesar dressing from the 1980s, called “Caesar–1, 2, 3” (one raw egg, two tablespoons of lemon juice, three tablespoons of olive oil). But if there’s any dressing that could prompt me to do my part in becoming a nation of eaters of greens, this is it. The secret to this dressing is the ingenious replacements for what I think of as the “yucky” things often found in a Caesar dressing. Instead of a raw egg, the tofu gives it body. Capers give the salad the saltiness of anchovies. The nutritional yeast imparts a cheesy flavor instead of Parmesan, making the salad much lighter and less fatty.
Want to find out more? This coming weekend marks the 148th year of the Guilford Fair, beginning on Friday, Sept. 15. In keeping with the Guilford parade theme of “Commit to Be Fit,” on Saturday, Sept.16, the Shoreline Vegans will be hosting the film Vegucated, at 4 pm at the Shoreline Unitarian Universalist Society, 297 Boston Post Road in Madison. Part sociological experiment, part documentary comedy, Vegucated follows three meat- and cheese-loving New Yorkers who agree to adopt a vegan diet for six weeks. Vegan refreshments will be served. Conversation will follow the film.
Visit the CT Shoreline Vegans website: www.ctshorelinevegans.com/ or Facebook page for details.
Lynne Charles of Madison is a member of the CT Shoreline Vegans.
¼ cup of tofu
4 tablespoons of olive oil
3 tablespoons of fresh squeezed lemon juice (or a little less, to taste)
2 tablespoons nutritional yeast (available at health food stores)
2 tablespoons capers, drained
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
1 garlic clove put through
garlic press (or minced)
Splash or two of tamari, or
Braggs liquid aminos
2 to 3 hearts of romaine
Put ingredients in a food-processor and process until smooth. Toss with 2 or more chopped hearts of romaine lettuce. (Romaine usually comes in package of 3). Taste, and adjust for sour and saltiness.
This makes a large salad—a full meal for two, or generous servings for four.