Spinach, Blueberry, Turkey Bacon Salad

This is a great full meal salad for any time of the year. The sweetness of the blueberries is a nice counterpoint to the turkey bacon and the hard-boiled eggs add a lot of richness as well as more protein. This combination of sweet, savory, crunchy, creamy and salty is a complete bite, so you don’t have to add any more ingredients to the salad. It really is simple and fast. The hard boiled eggs take the most time, but if boiled and cooled ahead of time this is a 5 minute meal. Any luncheon is complete with this salad and a glass of sparkling water, but on a hot summer day it makes a refreshing dinner. This recipe is for 8 oz. (8 cups) of spinach and serves 4. If you use the larger amount of spinach just double the rest of the ingredients, for really hungry people, or up to 8 servings.

Ingredients:

  • ½ lb. Turkey Bacon cooked and sliced into thin strips. – 150 calories
  • 4 hard-boiled eggs, sliced. – 273 calories
  • 8 oz. Organic Baby Spinach (16 oz. for large salad) – 55 calories
  • 1 small clamshell fresh blueberries. (11 oz. or a little less) – 190 calories
  • 2 Tbs. Extra Virgin Olive Oil – 240 calories
  • 2 Tbs. white Balsamic Vinegar – 30 calories
  • Freshly cracked Black Pepper
  • Mrs. Dash Garlic & Herb seasoning

Directions:

  • Cook Turkey Bacon until crisp and cut cross-ways into thin slices
  • Hard boil eggs and cool
  • Slice eggs into even and thin slices (an egg slicer is preferable if you have it)
  • Thoroughly wash and dry baby spinach and place in bowl
  • Evenly spread out all of the blueberries on top of the spinach.
  • Spread egg slices out evenly
  • Sprinkle Turkey Bacon (or substitute) as evenly as possible over the top.
  • Dress the salad with oil and and toss very lightly.
  • Sprinkle seasoning on top of dressed salad.
  • You do not need salt as the bacon (or bacon substitute) is providing that flavor.

If you want to be truly artistic with your salad you can compose the ingredients on a plate and then dress it before serving. It does make it harder for the dressing to be fully incorporated, but you sure can make a pretty salad. The splash of Mrs. Dash is not a mistake in this, or putting it on at the last minute. Freshly chopped garlic is just a bit much for the overall delicacy of this salad, but you do want the garlic flavor in there. Putting it on top makes it a little more flavor forward. I often substitute Garlic Infused Olive Oil if I really want to have fun. Don’t use a garlic olive oil unless you are sure that it is fresh (usually an artisan brand). Bulk oils from the grocery store are generally a little older than you want to use, and Olive Oil like anything else, has a shelf-life. An investment in a better quality oil is always in your best interests. Those of us who live in “foodie” heavens know where to find the good stuff. For those of you who aren’t sure about your local market’s freshness, look on-line. There are many wonderful olive oils that can be shipped quickly.

Macronutrients:

Per serving (2 cups or 1/4 whole salad) –  188 calories 

  • Fat  12.2 grams 
  • Carbohydrates 11.1 grams 
  • Protein 8.3 grams

Micronutrients:

  • Cholesterol –      146.3 g
  • Sodium –            222.2 mg
  • Dietary Fiber –      2.7 g
  • Sugar –                  8.1 g
  • Calcium –             65.1%
  • Iron –                     2.6%
  • Potassium –        393 mg
  • Vitamin A –        277.6%
  • Vitamin C –          24.2%

Vegan & Vegetarian Alternatives

This salad is wonderful without the eggs or the bacon, but you do want something of a crunch in there so there are plenty of Vegan and Vegetarian alternatives to add the crunch and creaminess.

Vegans may already know about “Vacon”, which is a vegan bacon made from roasted and flavored rice paper. I’ve seen several recipes on-line and it looks wonderful. Sunflower Seeds roasted in oil, smoked paprika and salt have the taste and crunch of bacon bits and are worth the effort. On a really hot day cucumber bits would do the trick.  And, you can easily replicate the creaminess the hard boiled eggs by adding medium soft tofu. Just cut it up in the size of a sliced egg.

Vegetarians have several choices for a bacon substitutes including vegetarian bacon from Morningstar Farms and Smart Bacon. If you are a vegetarian that eats eggs – don’t hesitate to add them.

ENJOY THIS WONDERFUL SALAD, WHETHER LUNCH OR DINNER!

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