5-MINUTE (VEGAN) CAESAR WEDGE SALAD by Lindsey | Dolly and Oatmeal

if you’re coming off the long weekend, and this week still seems daunting (even on a thursday), then i’m with you! the long weekend was a great respite from the daily grind, but amesy got pretty sick with croup and that was enough to tip the weekend from relaxing, to tense. thankfully he made a quick recovery, but we were all left a little shaken when it was all said and done. but frank and i took the time we had staying put at home to knock some things off of our getting-ready-for-baby list (this week marks 1 month until little man’s due date!!!) instead of procrastinating like we usually do!

we also did a lot of cooking at home. frank typically mans the grill, while i throw a salad together, roast some veggies in the oven or thread said veggies on a skewer for frank to cook. either way, i usually prepare about 2 sides on a good night. one of them being a salad. at 35 1/2 weeks pregnant though even standing for more than 15 minutes without a break has been a lot for me. late afternoons are not the time when i feel most productive so i’ve been inventive in the shortcut department. enter: the wedge salad!

so long as you have this vegan caesar dressing prepped ahead of time, this salad takes all of about 5 minutes to put together. essentially, you cut, wash, and pat dry your romaine wedges (although, you could even do that ahead of time if needed), drizzle over a good amount of your vegan caesar dressing, season with salt and pepper, sprinkle with toasted bread cubes, or croutons (store bought or homemade), and you’re good to go with an impressive, but simple salad. this is also a great option to go to when you’re serving a crowd or throwing a small dinner party, and preparing multiple sides, a main, but also want a presentable time-saving salad - the wedge is where it’s at.

i hope you enjoy this little back pocket recipe as much as i do. also hoping it brings you a sense of ease if you’re needing one!


5-minute (vegan) caesar wedge salad | gf

| serves 6 |


  1. plate the lettuce wedges on a large plate or platter arranging every other one in opposite direction (as pictured). drizzle the wedges with the caesar dressing and drizzle with olive oil.

  2. sprinkle the croutons evenly over top the wedges, then use a microplane, or the small holes on a cheese grater to shave the walnuts, then sprinkle over top the wedges as well. season with salt and pepper, and serve with leftover dressing on the side.


  • 3 heads romaine lettuce, washed, dried, and cut in half lengthwise

  • 1 serving vegan caesar dressing

  • extra virgin olive oil, for drizzling

  • 1 cup gluten free croutons (homemade or bought)

  • 3 tablespoons walnuts

  • salt & fresh pepper, to taste

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vegan caesar pasta salad

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AVOCADO-KALE PESTO PASTA (VEGAN) by Lindsey | Dolly and Oatmeal

i used to love making dinner on a whim. looking inside my refrigerator for something that inspired me to make meal. i wish that were the case these days, sadly it’s not. if i’m honest, sometimes i mourn the simpler days where life wasn’t constantly feeling like a hustle, but i know that things will inevitably shift, and that perhaps i may look back on this period in some nostalgic way. i have a feeling a lot of you can relate. whether that’s because you have a family, a demanding job, or just don’t find cooking all that fun.

this is why this dinner recipe comes in clutch! i’ve made it countless times now, and i love its heartiness, you may be asking: what’s the difference between this pesto pasta versus any other pesto pasta. my resounding answer is: AVOCADO! i don’t know about you, but every time i eat pasta for dinner, i end up grabbing a snack about an hour later. i’ve been adding more healthy fats, protein, and fiber to my meals to help keep my blood sugar in check, and ever since doing so, i’m less likely to be likely to noshing on something i’m not even hungry for.

so let’s talk avocado-pesto. there’s an entire avocado mushed up in this recipe which adds richness, and also a good amount of healthy fat. you may be curious if this is just mushed up avocado flavored with basil, or if it even resembles pesto. in the traditional sense, no, this is not your grandmother’s pesto (but we’re rolling with the times, and building off classics to make new classics - amiright!?). we add a cup each of basil and kale, they’re blended up with toasted pine nuts, garlic, lemon juice, and olive oil. we reserve some pasta water to thin it out a bit, which dilutes it a bit, but not too much that it doesn’t perfectly cover every strand of fettuccine. true love in the form of green pesto pasta sauce! i really hope you get the chance to make this one :)

big love! xo

avocado-kale pesto pasta | v & gf

there are so many ways to go about making pesto. if kale isn’t your thing or don’t have it on hand, add spinach, arugula, or more basil. you could even swap the toasted pine nuts for walnuts. there are a variety of ways you could go about making this pesto - just don’t skip the avo!

print the recipe!

| serves 2-4 |


  • 1 ripe avocado

  • 1 cup fresh basil leaves, packed

  • 1 cup torn kale (from about 3 big leaves), packed

  • 1/4 cup toasted pine nuts

  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice

  • 2 cloves garlic

  • 1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil

  • salt & pepper

pesto pasta

  • 1/2 cup avocado-kale pesto

  • 1/4 cup pasta cooking water

  • 1 package gluten-free pasta of choice (i personally love capello’s fettuccine)

  • 1/4 cup baby arugula

  • handful toasted pine nuts


  1. in a food processor fitted with a metal “s'“ blade, combine the avocado, basil, kale, pine nuts, lemon juice, and 2 garlic cloves. cover with the fitted lid, and blend; with the processor on, drizzle in the olive oil until incorporated. stop the machine and scrape down the sides, add salt and pepper to taste and blend again until smooth and creamy. taste and add more salt, pepper, and/or lemon juice if necessary.

  2. cook pasta according to the instructions on the box until al dente (don’t forget to skim 1/4 cup of pasta water from the pot before you drain the pasta). drain the pasta and run it under cool water. while the pasta is draining, whisk together the 1/2 cup of pesto with the 1/4 cup of pasta water in a serving bowl until combined. add the pasta and toss until completely covered in the pesto.

  3. taste and add more salt if necessary, top with arugula, and pine nuts, then serve while hot. (store leftover pesto in a lidded container in the fridge for up to 4 days.)

more pasta recipes:

vegan caesar pasta salad

vegan caesar pasta salad

crusty baked .vegan alfredo w/ caramelized shallots & kale

crusty baked .vegan alfredo w/ caramelized shallots & kale

creamy garlicky pasta w/ charred broccoli & figs

creamy garlicky pasta w/ charred broccoli & figs

Lunch Hacks: Cauliflower, Kalamata Dip & A Quick Pulled Salmon Salad by Lindsey | Dolly and Oatmeal

i'm going to be super honest here.  i'm not the greatest when it comes to preparing lunch.  for some reason, even before anesy was in the picture, i couldn't be bothered to put much thought into it.  please tell me i'm not the only one!?  

a few days out of the work i basically eat 2 eggs, 1/2 avocado, maybe in a salad, but mostly on a piece of toasty bread.  the weekdays are pretty scheduled, so i roughly know how much time i have between amesy's naps to get work done, and eat lunch.  so preparing a lunch that requires more brain power than boiling eggs, toasting bread, and mashing an avocado can simply be too overwhelming.  but since moving to LA, the amount of wholesome, prepared food that's available is kind of crazy.  so, my lunch hack has been to pick up some prepared items a couple times a week to give myself a break.  so i'll pick up a few pieces of wild salmon for amesy and i (he loves it mashed in avocado 👍🏼).  i usually throw mine over greens, with some other veg, and whatever hummus or dip i have in my fridge, and always serve it with some crackers (because crunch is key!).  

another thing that's key is dip!  i've talked all about my fondness of it before, but it's really the thing that makes lunch feel fun for me.  and since i have such a lack of love for lunch, it's the one thing i look forward to eating midday.  i'm a little meticulous (or maybe just crazy) when it comes to actually eating this salad/dip, and have somewhat of a sequence in eating it.  i usually add half of it to the salad to mix around with the salmon and veg, and the other half i save until the end just to enjoy with my crackers.  i was loving simple mills sprouted crackers even before i started limiting the amount of grains i eat, but now that i am, they've been coming in clutch!  their ingredients are as simple and straightforward as ingredients lists come, made with a sprouted seed mix, with some tapioca, and cassava flour, as well as a few other basic components.  you can learn more about how simple mills is making our back-to-school/back-to-work lives easier here ;) 

do you have any lunch hacks? i'm considering starting a monthly, lunch series to help push myself out of this lunch rut, anyone with me!? ;)  let me know if you're into it in the comments, or shoot me an email.  i'm all ears!  

big hugs! xo

this post was created in partnership with simple mills.  all thoughts and opinions, as always, are my own.  thank you so much for supporting the sponsors that help keep dolly and oatmeal running!

cauliflower, kalamata dip

you can mix your lunch items around depending on your diet.  i usually aim to have a good portion of protein and healthy fats, some leafy greens, and always something a little crunchy, like crackers :)

| makes a little over 1 cup and about 5 servings |

  • 1 cup cauliflower florets
  • 1 15 ounce can cannellini beans (preferably non-bpa), drained and rinsed
  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil, plus more for topping
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
  • 1 tablespoon fresh oregano leaves
  • 1 garlic clove, roughly chopped
  • 1/4 cup pitted kalamata olives
  • sea salt and freshly ground pepper
  • herbs, for garnish

pulled salmon salad

  • 1/4 cup cauli white bean dip
  • 5-10 Simple Mills Sprouted Seed Everything crackers
  • bibb lettuce
  • 1 piece prepared wild salmon
  • thinly sliced radish
  • cucumber spears
  • microgreens
  • juice from half of a small lemon
  • extra virgin olive oil
  • sea salt & fresh ground pepper


  1. bring a lidded pot with about 2 inches of water to a boil.  place the florets into a steamer basket, and place into the pot.  cover and turn heat to medium.  steam for until the cauliflower is tender, about 10-12 minutes.  remove it from the heat and let cool.
  2. add the cauliflower, beans, olive oil, lemon juice, oregano, and garlic to a food processor fitted with a metal "s" blade, and blend until smooth.  add the olives and pulse until the olives are broken down into small flecks.  season with salt and pepper.  place the dip in a lidded container and store in the refrigerator until you're ready to use it. 
  3. to prepare your lunch, tear the lettuce with your hands and place in a large bowl.  pull the salmon from the skin into bite-size pieces an place in the bowl as well.  to your salad add sliced radish, cucumber, and microgreens.  finish it off with a generous squeeze of lemon juice, and a drizzle of olive oil.  season with salt and pepper.  give it all a toss and serve it with your dip and crackers.

similar recipes:

hickory smoked salmon skewers

hickory smoked salmon skewers

fattoush dip

fattoush dip

sunshine mung bean spread

sunshine mung bean spread