Do you remember the coconut bacon sprinkles from my Chia Hot Chocolate recipe? Here, they make a second savory appearance in a recreation of the classic wilted spinach salad, only it’s VEGAN!
by Tina Martini, The Medicine Chef
- 1 6 oz bag Spinach (This is enough for 4 appetizer salads or 2 entree salads)
- 1/2 Yellow Bell Pepper, cleaned and diced
- 1/2 Red Bell Pepper, cleaned and diced
- 1 cup Cremini mushrooms, cleaned and sliced—(for tips on how to clean mushrooms, here’s a great video)
- 1/4 Purple onion, sliced thin
- 1 Avocado, peeled and diced
- 3 Tbls Olive Oil plus 2 tsps for sautéing peppers, mushrooms and purple onion
- 3 tbls Seasoned Rice Vinegar
- 1 1/2 Tbls Honey
- 1 small Shallot, minced
- 2 tbls coconut bacon
- 1/2 tsp Dry Mustard
- 1 clove Garlic
- 3 Tbls Pine Nuts, toasted
- Salt and Pepper
- Strip large stems from spinach leaves by folding leaf in half with stem on the outside. Hold the leaf closed with one hand and pull the stem back with the other, removing stem completely.
- Arrange spinach on plates or a serving platter.
- In a large sauté pan, heat 2 teaspoons olive oil.
- Add diced bell peppers and sliced mushrooms and season with salt and pepper to taste.
- The mushrooms will start to release water. Continue to cook until all liquid is evaporated and veggies are caramelized.
- Remove from pan and set aside.
- Add remaining 3 tablespoons of olive oil to pan.
- Stir in minced shallot and sauté until soft and aromatic.
- Add garlic, cook one minute.
- Add sliced purple onion; cook 2-3 minutes to soften.
- Keep your whisk moving as you stir in rice vinegar, honey, coconut bacon and dry mustard. Whisk thoroughly and season to taste.
- Pour warm dressing over spinach.
- Arrange sautéed peppers and mushrooms over salad.
- Top with toasted pine nuts and avocado and coconut bacon.
Phyto Facts: This is a heart healthy salad, as well as a melanoma prevention salad. Spinach is very high in polyphenols. This is a group of phytonutrients, rather than a singular phytonutrient. These phytonutrients enhance our immune function and contain powerful anti-inflammatory and anti-oxidant properties. All of the ingredients in this recipe have protective properties for the heart, skin (sun damage) and eyesight. Caretenoids from the peppers, vitamin D from the mushrooms and the alpha lipoic acid in the avocado stabilizes blood sugar and improves cardiovascular function overall. Pine nuts are an excellent source of mono-unsaturated fat, which is known to decrease the levels of cholesterol in our blood stream, which in turn lowers our risk of heart attack and stroke. They also contain high amounts of vitamin E, vitamin K, copper, iron and manganese, which are all known to contribute to cardiovascular health. The quercitin and allium compounds stop environmental damage to our endothelial cells. This is important because our bodies have a limited number of these protective cells. The longer you keep your endothelial cells healthy, the longer you keep your heart in youthful condition. Lastly, this is a big serving of vitamin C, another micro nutrient that gives our immune system the gentle push it needs to stay alert.
|by Chef Tina Martini, “The Medicine Chef” @MedicineChef | Facebook
Chef Martini is an experienced, well-versed television personality with a successful and proven track record. She holds a doctorate from Bastyr University in Naturopathy and a Nutrition degree from San Diego State University. She mixes cooking with nutrition, fitness and wellness!