Bump up the B12 – lemon kale caesar with salmon and capers

Vitamin B12 – it’s super hard to get into our diets but super important for both mom and baby. B12 is crucial for the nervous system to function properly and is an integral component to DNA synthesis. Added bonus, it can even help babies to sleep better outside the womb. Looking to boost that bump? Try this simple delicious egg-free lemon kale caesar.

Does your favorite caesar from your favorite restaurant use raw egg in their dressing? We’ve been there, and we hate having to say no to our faves. That’s why we created this lemon-y kale caesar w/fresh-caught salmon and a dairy-free, egg-free dressing that will knock your socks off. Even better, this salad is brimming with important micronutrients for a healthy pregnancy and baby, from over 400% of the RDA for Vitamin D, to 100% of your omega-3 and choline requirements, to 80% of your RDA for Vitamin B12.

B12 is a tricky one. It can only be found in animal products and yeast, and up to 40% of the population is believed to have low blood-serum levels. One of the richest sources of B12 is organ meats, which don’t grace the American palate too often, despite being delicious. This includes liver, on the pregnancy no-no list. Also on the pregnancy no-no list are tuna, shellfish, meat that’s undercooked, soft cheeses and non-runny eggs – all excellent sources of B12. So what’s a pregnant mama to do?

We love salmon, sardines sauteed up with some garlic lemon on crispy bread, and hard-boiled eggs. And vegetarians rejoice, we also love nutritional yeast – a great flavor-add for savory dishes and brewer’s yeast for baked goods.

Serves: 2


  • ¼ cup almonds, ground
  • 3 T. olive oil
  • 2 t. chickpea miso
  • 2 T. 1 t. nutritional yeast
  • 1 slice whole grain or gluten-free bread
  • ½ t. sea salt
  • ⅛ t. black pepper, fresh ground
  • 1 T. cod liver oil – can sub olive oil if this makes your tummy turn
  • 2 T. tahini
  • 1 lemon, juiced
  • ¼ t. probiotic powder (we like Primal Defense)
  • 2 4-oz. portions wild-caught or organic farmed salmon filets, bottom skin on
  • 6 cups kale, washed, dried and torn
  • 2 T. capers


  1. Preheat oven to 275° (250° if using a convection oven). Line cookie sheet with parchment paper
  2. Mix almonds, 1 t. olive oil, miso and 1 t. nutritional yeast in a small bowl. Spread thinly on one half of parchment
  3. Cut bread into small squares and toss with 2 t. olive oil and a pinch of salt pepper. Arrange on other half of parchment paper
  4. Bake for 15-25 minutes until “almond parm” and croutons are golden brown, checking frequently so as not to burn. Let cool completely
  5. Meanwhile, mix 1 T. olive oil, cod liver oil, remaining nutritional yeast, tahini, lemon juice, probiotic powder and a pinch of salt and pepper together until smooth and creamy. Add a little water if necessary, 1 t. at a time, to reach a pourable consistency
  6. Massage dressing into kale and set aside
  7. Season salmon with salt pepper on both sides
  8. Heat remaining olive oil in non-stick skillet over medium heat. Once hot, sear the salmon skin side first, about 3-4 minutes until skin releases. Flip salmon, sear an additional 3-4 minutes until desired doneness
  9. Serve on bed of massaged kale. Top with “almond parm”, croutons capers

Contributed by:
Ashly Yashchin, Founder of Barley Oats

Barley and Oats develops nutritionally optimized recipes to support fertility, pregnancy, and breastfeeding female health. The company was founded by Ashly Yashchin, a mother of one (and soon to be two!), who was inspired to start this service after coming across overwhelming research about the effect of food on female health. Barley and Oats is now in the process of partnering with top nutritionists, registered dietitians, hormone experts and chefs to develop a DIY protocol for women to get the nutrition they need, taste they crave, and convenience they deserve.

  • “The role of vitamin B12 in DNA modulation mechanisms”. Frontiers.org. Frontiers Media S.A. 2010. Web.
  • Elaine Rush, PHD. “The role of vitamin B12 in fetal growth and the programming of chronic disease”.
    Nutri-facts. Nutri-facts, January 2014. Web.
  • Judy McBride. “B12 deficiency may be more widespread than thought”. USDA.gov. United States Department of Agriculture. August, 2000. Web.

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