Warm Spinach Salad

Warm spinach salad

Prep Time: about 15 minutes
Makes about 4 servings

This recipes breathes new vegan life into an old classic salad. When I was growing up, my mom used to make a Warm Spinach Salad with bacon and hard boiled egg in it. I got a craving for shitake bacon the other day, and it reminded me of her old Warm Spinach Salad. It was a popular side dish in the 70s. So, I decided to veganize the old classic and make it a new classic.

In this revised version of the old recipe, I replaced the bacon with shitake bacon, removed the eggs and added garbanzo beans and instead of using bacon grease to create the dressing, as the old fashioned version of the recipe dictates, I replaced it with a little bit of coconut oil for the texture of the bacon grease save the bacon! I love veganizing old favorite recipes! That is part of what makes cooking exciting for me. You can reinvent recipes. Make the old new. And, gain better health in the process. When we eat more whole foods and minimize foods that are processed, we are doing our bodies good. Your health will reward you in the long run!

In this version of the old classic Warm Spinach Salad, you are getting the super food green, spinach, the protein in garbanzo beans and the bacony flavor by creating “bacon” using shitake mushrooms. This Warm Spinach Salad took care of my craving and left me to enjoy the finished product, a light, flavorful side dish.

There are several steps needed to create this salad, but each step is quick and easy. The most time consuming element of this recipe is making the shitake bacon. The shitakes need to roast in the oven for about 35-40 until they are a little crispy but not burnt. The flavor is fantastic. You can play around with how much liquid smoke you add to the shitake bacon. I don’t like mine too strong in smoky flavor, so I only used a couple of teaspoons. For a smokier version, try adding a little bit more, if you like.

Ingredients Needed for Warm Spinach Salad

ingredients for warm spinach salad
Shitake bacon

Salad
1 small carton of Baby Spinach, rinsed and set aside in a collander to drain
1 cup garbanzo beans
6 large white mushrooms, sliced
1/2 red pepper, sliced and cut into small pieces
1/3 cup red onion, very thinly sliced
1 shitake bacon recipe (below)

Warm Dressing
4 tablespoons white wine vinegar
2 tablespoon maple syrup
2 teaspoon Dijon mustard
Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
2 TBS coconut oil

Shitake Bacon
One package of Shitake Mushrooms
1 teaspoon maple or agave syrup
1 TBS olive oil
1/4 teaspoon cumin
A dash of cayenne
1 teaspoon liquid smoke
1 teaspoon Tamari
Sea salt and Ground black pepper to taste
1/4 teaspoon garlic powder

How to Prepare Warm Spinach Salad

Preheat oven to 350 degreesRinse the baby spinach and set aside in a strainer while you prepare the shitake bacon

Shitake Bacon Preparation

To prepare the shitake bacon, mix all ingredients for bacon together in a small bowl and pour over the shitake mushrooms.
Combine in a medium bowl and mix until all the shitake mushrooms are coated with the marinade.
Bake the seasoned shitake mushrooms in the preheated oven for about 35 minutes.
Check to see that they have become a little crispy, but not burnt.
Remove from oven and set aside while you prep the salad

Salad Preparation

Arrange the spinach, white mushroom slices, red onion, red pepper pieces and garbanzo beans in a large bowl.

Prepare the warm dressing by placing all dressing ingredients in a small pan and mixing together briefly until heated and the coconut oil is melted and smooth.

Pour the dressing over the salad, add the shitake bacon and toss all to coat.

Serve immediately.

Enjoy!

For more healthy, plant based, gluten free recipes, check out our recipes page on HealthTastesGood.com

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