Spinach Salad with Hot "Bacon" Dressing

Happy Mushroom Monday!

This week's recipe is so perfect for these hot Summer days! Only a little cooking is involved, simple ingredients, and super easy to bring it all together for a healthy and delicious salad you can serve lunch or dinner! You're going to love my healthier vegan take on this restaurant classic!

This past week my parents came down from Iowa to camp! (Luckily our camping consists of a nice sized RV with A/C! ;) )  I spent time with my family enjoying the hot Texas Summer and some delicious food. During our many talks on recipes and ingredients, my dad asked me if I had ever made a vegetarian version of hot bacon dressing. I hadn’t but it totally intrigued me--so of course I had to try it out.

Typical hot bacon dressing consists of a lot of bacon, bacon fat, sugar, and more fat. My favorite plant based substitute for bacon? Mushrooms of course! Mushrooms marinated in soy sauce and liquid smoke make a deliciously awesome and healthy bacon alternative. This dressing is lower in fat than the traditional but high in flavor!

After lots of testing, I came up with a much healthier and vegan friendly dressing. I think you’ll love it! Feel free to substitute your favorite salad add-ins to please all the members of your family!

Let's get started!

Spinach Salad with Hot "Bacon" Dressing
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Spinach Salad with Hot "Bacon" Dressing Recipe

Spinach Salad with Hot "Bacon" Dressing

Serves 4

Ingredients:

For the caramelized onions:

  • 1 small yellow onion (halved and thinly sliced)
  • 1 Tablespoon olive oil
  • 1/4 teaspoon sea salt

For the mushroom bacon:

  • 1 large portobello mushroom cap (cleaned and diced)
  • 1 Tablespoon soy sauce
  • 1 teaspoon liquid smoke
  • 1/2 Tablespoon olive oil

For the dressing:

  • 2 Tablespoon vegan butter
  • 1 Tablespoon olive oil
  • 3 Tablespoon raw apple cider vinegar
  • 1/2 teaspoon dijon mustard
  • 2 teaspoon raw sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper

Instructions:

  1. For the caramelized onions, heat a pan over medium low heat. Add oil and onions and cook over low to medium heat for 10-15 minutes until caramelized. Set aside.
  2. Using the same pan, add the diced portobellos, soy, liquid smoke, and olive oil. Cook for 10-12 minutes over medium heat or until all liquid is absorbed and mushrooms are browning. Set aside.
  3. In a small saucepan combine butter, oil, apple cider vinegar, mustard, sugar, salt, and pepper. Stir until sugar is dissolved and the dressing is warmed.
  4. To hot dressing add the mushroom bacon and stir. 
  5. To serve, plate spinach, add caramelized onions, and drizzle dressing.
  6. Serve immediately.
Spinach Salad with Hot "Bacon" Dressing

What are some of your favorite warm weather recipes? Comment below and let me know how you and your family stay cool (and healthy!) during the Summer! <3

With Health and Happiness,

Nickole