15-20 minutes is all you need to convince everyone vegan food is the best food.
My dad’s family used to have giant Christmas dinners with his whole family. My grandma is 1 of 7 children, and they all have children, and they all have children and so on and so forth. It was always my favorite thing! So much food! One of my very favorite things though, was a salad my dad’s cousin always made. Spinach and bacon salad with a creamy French dressing! It had fresh spinach, crisp bacon, red onion, mushrooms, hard boiled egg, and French dressing. I have been day dreaming about this salad lately, so here we are. I made a substitute so good, I don’t think I will dream of the original ever again!
This vegan version of the spinach and bacon salad has coconut bacon which is incredibly easy and tastes so damn delicious! It is provides just the right crunch and saltiness this salad needs. Then I made a vegan version of the creamy French dressing, and I have gotta say, it is better than any bottled salad dressing I have tasted, and takes 2 seconds to whip up!
I thought this was the perfect time to share this recipe with you guys for several reasons, first, it is the best winter time salad. Second, it is perfect for any potluck or family holiday meal. It takes literally 15-20 minutes to make, then you can just leave the salad undressed until you get to where you are going, then pour on the salad dressing and boom. Get ready to impress everyone with how delicious this vegan spinach and bacon salad is!
My husband has a holiday potluck for all the teachers at his school, and he asked what I recommended that would hold well, and I said, “Two words, spinach and bacon”. It is the best. I remember watching my dad’s cousin toss the salad with the dressing once she arrived when I was a kid. I thought that was a brilliant idea.
This vegan spinach and bacon salad with creamy French dressing, is not just a salad, it’s the most delicious salad, and not at all boring.
Fresh spinach, coconut bacon, red onion, mushrooms and a quick and perfect creamy French dressing! The best salad of all time!
- 1 1/2 C. Coconut flakes, I used Let's Do Organic
- 1 Tbsp. Soy sauce or Tamari
- 1/2 Tbsp. Liquid smoke
- 1 Tbsp. Maple syrup
- 1/2 tsp. Smoked paprika(optional)
- 1/3 C. Organic Ketchup
- 1/4 C. Vegan mayo
- 1/4 C. Vegetable oil
- 3 Tbsp. Red wine vinegar
- 1/2 tsp. Soy sauce or tamari
- 2 Tbsp. Water
- 1/4 C. Onion, chopped
- 3 Tbsp. Cane sugar
- 1/2 tsp. Paprika
- 1/2 tsp. Garlic powder
- 1/2 tsp. Salt
- 6 oz. Fresh baby spinach
- 1/4 of a Red onion, chopped
- 8 oz. Mushrooms, sliced thin
Make the coconut bacon first, preheat the oven to 325 degrees.
In a mixing bowl, add the coconut flakes, then pour the soy sauce, liquid smoke, maple syrup and paprika on top. Then stir to coat the coconut completely. Now, spray a baking sheet with non stick spray, and spread the coconut evenly onto the pan in a single layer.
Bake at 325 degrees for 15-20 minutes, stirring half way through baking, until brown and crispy.
While the coconut is baking, make the dressing. Add all the French dressing ingredients to a blender. Blend until smooth scraping down the sides as needed. Taste and adjust seasoning. If it is a bit too thick for you, add another tablespoon or so of water. Set aside.
When the coconut bacon is done, add the spinach, coconut bacon, chopped red onion and sliced mushrooms to a serving bowl. If serving immediately, toss with the dressing. If taking to a potluck or party, leave the dressing in a separate container until ready to serve. Then dress just before serving. Enjoy!
The coconut bacon will burn easily if baked too long. Make sure to check it every few minutes.