Salad Challenge: Spinach Salad with Tomato Vinaigrette

This weeks’ salad challenge posts: Introduction, Sweet + Creamy Broccoli Salad, and Green Goddessphere at Sea

We’re halfway done the challenge and there’s so much veggie love going on, it’s great!

How are your salads coming along? Have you discovered any new and exciting ways to spice up your veggies?

All this salad talk has inspired me to try out some fun, new salad ingredients myself:

  • Lightly steamed kale: kick up your green consumption. It’s virtually tasteless and easy to add.
  • Roasted sesame seeds: adds a bit more calcium to every bite!
  • Chia seeds: boosts fiber content. Add 1 teaspoon chia seeds to 2 tablespoon of dressing and let it sit for 20 minutes. It creates a gel that you can just pour over your salad like dressing and is barely noticeable.

I was really surprised by the chia seeds and regret not figuring this out sooner!

Remember how I said that Tuesday’s broccoli salad would be my favorite recipe this week?

Maybe I lied a bit.

In my defense, this is a greens-based salad, so completely different than a dense broccoli salad. They’re in separate categories, really.

Tomato Vinaigrette

Vegan, Gluten free, Dairy free, Refined sugar-free, Yeast free, Corn free, Grain free

This recipe is a family favorite. My Auntie Trish shared it with the family when we were kids and it quickly became the go to dressing for all of our family functions. The original called for ketchup, white and brown sugar, canola oil and Worcestershire sauce so I decided to clean it up a bit while still trying to maintain it’s delicious flavor. Mission accomplished!

Yield: 1 1/3 cup

Servings: 8

Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/4 cup coconut sugar
  • 1/3 cup tomato paste
  • 1/3 cup apple cider vinegar + 1-2 tablespoon
  • 2 tablespoon water
  • 1 clove garlic, minced or 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon herbamare
  • Fresh ground pepper, to taste

Directions

  1. Combine all ingredients but extra vinegar in a small saucepan. Heat on medium heat until it;s brought to a simmer, stirring occasionally.
  2. Reduce heat to low and allow to simmer for 5 minutes.
  3. Remove from heat and stir in additional apple cider vinegar for some extra kick!
  4. Place in the fridge for at least 1 hour to chill.

View nutrition facts

Spinach Salad with Tomato Vinaigrette

Gluten free, Dairy free, Refined sugar-free, Yeast free, Corn free, Grain free

Spinach, bacon and tomatoes. A match in heaven if you ask me! This salad is sweet, savory, with just a perfect lightness to it!

Yield: ~ 8 cups

Servings: 8

Ingredients

  • 8 cups baby spinach leaves
  • 4 eggs, hard boiled
  • 6 slices beef bacon *see note
  • 2 cups sliced mushrooms *see note
  • 1/2 red onion, thinly sliced
  • batch of tomato vinaigrette (recipe above)

Directions

  1. Hard boil the eggs using this handy-dandy guide on the perfect hard boiled egg.
  2. Cook the bacon as per package instructions – about 2 minutes per side on medium heat. Remove from pan, place on a paper towel lined plate and pat the excess fat off. Cut into pieces and set aside.
  3. In large bowl, combine remaining ingredients. Drizzle with enough dressing to coat; toss gently and serve immediately.
  4. Leftover dressing can be stored covered in the refrigerator for 3-4 days. If you have leftovers of the salad with the dressing on, the spinach will become wilted overnight, but it’s still tasty! I like adding the wilted salad to a lunch wrap with chicken or chickpeas!
  5. Alternatively, portion out vegetable ingredients without dressing if you plan on storing the leftovers for future meals.

note1: I purchase beef bacon at our local butcher but haven’t found it in any grocery stores yet. Pork or turkey bacon would also work. Watch the ingredients in turkey bacon. I find that many brands use a lot of fillers and artificial ingredients.

note2: I used cremini mushrooms because I find them to be meatier than white mushrooms.

View nutrition facts

I figured we were about due for another installment of Kevin’s primal journey, so I leave you in his capable hands! Have a fantastic Thursday, all :)

Today’s primal Kevin update: I was finding switching to the paleo eating style really challenging and overwhelming (read: I like my bread and beer), so Leanne suggested I start with primal breakfast. Once we had that nailed, we moved on to snacks which I guess I could talk about next time Leanne lets me take over her blog.

My proudest moment so far: when I figured out how to make breakfast for myself that doesn’t come from a box.

I know, groundbreaking. I used to begin each day with two store bought buttermilk waffles with syrup. Now, I make a microwave omelet. I don’t like cooking or spending time in the kitchen, so this works for me. I’m sure you could make it on the stove, but that’s too much work for me.

Here’s how I did it (with a bit of help from Leanne cracking the egg for me).

Start with 1/2 green pepper and dice small. Put it in a microwave safe bowl.

Add 1 egg, 1/4 cup egg white, and 1 teaspoon extra virgin olive oil and stir to mix.

Place 2-3 strips of bacon on a microwave safe plate that’s been lined with paper towel. Cover the bacon with extra paper towel and cook in the microwave for 3 minutes. It should come out all crispy, just like bacon bits. Break apart into small pieces.

Add the bacon bits to the egg mixture and stir until everything is mixed together.

Place in the microwave for 2 minutes. Serve with veggies and maybe some extra bacon :D

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