Running On Om

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Caesar Salad Celebration

As a little girl, I would often steal my mother’s croutons since I considered them to be the best part of her caesar salad. After being diagnosed with celiac disease and transitioning to a plant-based diet, I no longer reached for the croutons and wondered whether I could remake a caesar salad that I could eat. Lottie Bildirici, my friend, ROO interviewee #115, chef, and health coach recently published a plant-based caesar salad dressing. Lottie’s dressing inspired me to recreate the other essentials of a caesar salad, including the cheese and croutons. For additional substance, I have added roasted sweet potato and granny apple slices to my caesar salad celebration!


Yields 5-6 small bowls (ROO tip: prepare and store salad fixings separately so that you can eat throughout the week)


  • 1 bunch lacinato kale, destemmed and chopped
  • 1  head read leaf lettuce, chopped


Cashew Cheese:

  • 1/2 cup raw cashews
  • 1 tablespoon raw sesame seeds
  • 2 tablespoons hemp hearts
  • 1 tablespoon nutritional yeast
  • 1 tablespoon coconut oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic flakes
  • Fine grain sea salt, to taste

Roasted Chickpea Croutons:

  • 1 (15-oz) can chickpeas
  • 1 teaspoon coconut oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon fine grain sea salt
  • Garlic flakes, to taste
  • Cayenne pepper, to taste

Additional add-ons:

  • Roasted sweet potato bites
  • Granny smith apple slices


1. Prepare the roasted chickpea croutons:

  • Preheat oven to 400F. Drain and rinse chickpeas. Place chickpeas in a small towel and dry off.  Place onto large rimmed baking sheet. Drizzle on coconut oil and mix to coat. Sprinkle on the garlic flakes, cayenne pepper, and salt and mix to coat. Roast for 20 minutes at 400F, then roll the chickpeas around in the baking sheet, and roast for another 15 minutes, until lightly golden. Expect them to firm up as they cool.

2. Prepare the lettuce:

  • De-stem the kale and then finely chop the leaves. Wash and dry in a salad spinner. Place into extra large bowl. Finely chop the read leaf lettuce. Rinse and then spin dry. Place into bowl along with kale and set aside.

3. Prepare the dressing:

4. Prepare the cashew cheese:

  • Add cashews into a food processor and process until finely chopped. Mix in the rest of the ingredients and process until the mixture is combined.

5. Assemble: 

  • Add dressing onto lettuce and mix until fully coated. Now sprinkle on the roasted chickpea croutons and the cashew cheese. Add additional add-ons, such as sweet potato and granny apple slices. Celebrate this delicious, gluten-friendly, plant-based caesar salad!

* Cashew cheese and chickpea croutons adapted from Oh She Glows’ Crowd-Pleasing Vegan Caesar Salad

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ROO #116: Lottie Bildirici on Inspiring Others to Eat Plant-Based

IMG_1869Lottie Bildirici is the creator of Running On Veggies, health coach, plant-based chef, and runner.

In this episode, Lottie shares the story of how she began her journey into wellness and the process of developing her own food philosophy. She reflects on why she began her well-known Instagram account, @runningonveggies, and the impact it has had on her life. Lottie discusses her work as a recipe developer with Candle Cafe and her recent collaboration with professional runner Kara Goucher. She offers nutrition advice for runners. Lottie explains how her studies in advertising, marketing, and with the Institute of Integrative Nutrition inform her work as a blogger and health coach. Lastly, she provides insight on overcoming injury and previews races and dreams for 2015 and beyond.

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Lottie’s Sites:

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ROO Video: Super Mom

Some people dream of meeting superwoman, but I know a super mom. Amory Rowe is one of the most accomplished, hardworking, loving, and strong woman that I know. I feel honored to call her a mentor, friend, and running partner. She recently won her first race as a Masters’ athlete and this short film provides a snapshot into race day and her super mom and running powers.

Music: “Celtic Heart” by Todd Boston

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ROO #115: Mike Burnstein on How Janji Running Apparel Gives Back

10364149_288261698041203_2977171392156778771_nMike Burnstein is the cofounder of Janji Running Apparel and runner.

In this episode, Mike Burnstein tells the story of his running background from his freshman year in high school to becoming a numerous time All-American at Washington University in St. Louis.  Mike explains how he co-founded Janji in college and the mission behind the company. He reflects on his role in Janji’s growth and the biggest challenge they have faced as a small business. Mike recounts his experiences running the Boston Marathon in 2013 and 2014. Lastly, Mike previews whats ahead for Janji.

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Janji’s Sites:

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ROO #114: Kara Goucher on The Importance of Being Yourself as a Runner

KaraGoucher_Skechers ImageKara Goucher is a professional runner for the Oiselle team, Olympian, and mother.

In this episode, Kara Goucher, tells the story of how she began running, from her first race at six years old with her grandfather to discovering cross country in seventh grade. Kara discusses the challenges of navigating puberty as an adolescent female runner. She provides insight on the importance of individualized training in her progression as a professional. Kara reflects on joining the Oiselle Team and the incredible support the Oiselle community has given her. She recounts the 2014 NYC Marathon and how she overcame the mental challenges she faced during the race. Kara gives advice for mother runners on balancing training with motherhood. She explains how she has transformed her nutrition with plant powered recipes. Lastly, Kara honors numerous female running mentors and previews whats ahead for 2015.

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Kara’s Sites:

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ROO Video: Lokrum Island Trail Run

This past summer, I had the privilege of spending three weeks in Dubrovnik, Croatia with my maternal grandparents who are from and live there. From the window of my bedroom, I would look out at the Adriatic Sea with Lokrum Island in the foreground. I took my first GoPro excursion on Lokrum, recording the ferry ride and trail run around the island. In my efforts to wish away winter, I decided to revisit my Lokrum footage and share my adventure with all of you.

Music by Lord Huron, “Time to Run”


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