Thursday, March 25, 2010

Spinach, White Bean, and 'Bacon' Salad with Maple-Mustard Dressing

When most people think of vegans, they think of salads. For that reason, on the rare occasion that I venture out to a restaurant, salad is generally all that they have to offer me. My boyfriend and I could only laugh recently, while ordering takeout, that a puny pile of lettuce is what a restaurant deemed suitable for a "salad."

What a shame! Because as you may have noticed on this blog, in nearly two years of recipes, I have only made 24 salads. And when I do, they are not a pitiful clump of lettuce leaves, as in the photo below, but are full of interesting dressings, beans, various vegetables, and vegan protein. Let this be a lesson to restaurants who still can't seem to figure out how to feed a vegan.

To make this hearty vegan salad, combine 1/4 cup maple syrup, 3 tablespoons cider vinegar, 1 tablespoon olive oil, 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard, 1/4 tsp. salt, and 1/4 tsp. black pepper in a microwave safe bowl. Microwave for 1 minute; set aside.

Drain and rinse one (15-ounce) can of Great Northern beans, and place in a microwave safe bowl; microwave for 1 minute and set aside.

In a large bowl, combine 1/2 cup thinly sliced green onions, 1/2 cup finely chopped red bell pepper, 5 cooked and crumbled vegan bacon slices (such as LightLife) and 2 (7-ounce) packages of fresh baby spinach. Pour the maple syrup dressing and the beans over the salad, and toss to combine.

You'll have 8 side salads of 1 and 3/4 cups and 130 calories each. Or, simply divide the salad in two for 2 entree portions. The salad is best served immediately so the spinach doesn't become soggy.

Note: to make the vegan bacon crisp and easy to crumble, cook for a few minutes longer than package directions - about 6 minutes total, turning halfway through.

canned Great Northern beans $1.33
red bell pepper $0.98
vegan bacon $3.39
fresh spinach $5.00

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The Vegan Pantry

  • Vegan yogurt - Whole Soy
  • Vegan milk - Silk
  • Vegan Feta - Sunergia
  • Vegan Cheese - Galaxy Foods
  • Vegan Eggs - Ener-G
  • Vegan Butter - Earth Balance