Thursday, April 11, 2013

spinach salad with warm bacon dressing, blueberries, and shrimp recipe

somewhere toward the beginning of my cold-turkey transition from gluten-loving baker to gluten-free forever, i traveled to texas. in nowhere, texas dining options are limited for those with gluten problems. i did find a spinach and bacon salad on one outing with my mother and aunties and it was terrible. the dressing was sickeningly sweet, the hard-boiled eggs were sulfurous, and the spinach was wilted before the warm dressing ever hit it. fast-forward to today, when i got a big beautiful bundle of spinach in my CSA. you've seen piles and piles of southern style cooked greens on my blog, but i can't stand sauteed spinach. raw is great though, so i figured a salad was in my future. a typical spinach and bacon salad has hard-boiled eggs, button mushrooms, and red onions - plus of course the bacon and the warm, slightly sweet, dressing. i did not have mushrooms or onions, and did not want more eggs today (i had them for breakfast). sometimes they have strawberries. i also didn't have those, but i had blueberries.

this salad is so delicious, i'm still licking my chops and planning on making it again very soon.

spinach salad with warm bacon dressing, blueberries, and shrimp
what you need for two meal-sized salads (or one salad for someone very hungry!):
~five-six cups fresh spinach
4 slices bacon
8-10 shrimp, cooked (i tossed mine with lemon juice, olive oil, salt/pepper and tossed them on the grill til they were cooked through)
3/4 cup blueberries
3 tbls honey
1 tbls dijon mustard
1 tsp apple cider vinegar or white balsamic vinegar
salt and pepper to taste

thoroughly wash and dry your greens and set them aside. chop your bacon and cook it over medium heat til just crisp. remove the bacon from the grease and drain, reserving the grease in the pan. whisk honey, dijon mustard, and vinegar together in the pan, and add salt and pepper to taste. toss this simple, warm dressing with the greens. top with shrimp (i chopped my shrimp into bite-sized pieces), reserved bacon, and blueberries. that is all!

typical spinach and bacon salad has a pretty sweet dressing, and this is moderately sweet. it's a good starting place, and you can always add a touch more honey if you choose. if you hate sweet dressings, decrease honey and increase the vinegar a bit. you could always use strawberries, change up the protein (chicken? roasted shrimp?), or even add some parmesan cheese (mmmm!).

skyler's lunch was pretty tasty looking again today! (sorry for the crazy angle though - that's a weird one. i promise, the food isn't sliding off the counter.)
clockwise from grilled veggies: leftover fajita veggies and fajita steak with avocado dip; whole wheat fig bar; salsa; plain yogurt with lingonberry jam; toasted coconut date rolls; carrots, sugar snap peas, and radishes.

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