A traditional salad with a new spin! Fresh spinach, red roasted peppers, avocado and scallion tossed with a warm sweet-sour Balsamic vinaigrette with soy bacon bits and topped with sautéed Portobello mushroom slices!

Makes 4 main dish salads


1/3 c. vegetable oil

1/3 c. Balsamic vinegar

1-1/2 T. soy bacon bits

3/4 t. salt

1 t. sesame oil (light not dark)

freshly ground black pepper

3 T. sugar

In small saucepan combine vegetable oil, vinegar, soy bacon bits, salt, sesame oil and several twists of the pepper mill. Heat on low heat till hot, then turn off heat till ready to use. The bacon bits need some time to soften up in the dressing, but they don’t need to be cooked beyond hot. Omit the sugar for now. If cooked with the dressing it will gum up like candy.

2 or 3 lg. Portobello mushroom caps, washed well to remove all dirt from the gills on the underside of the caps

2-3 T. margarine

salt and freshly ground black pepper

3/4 t. garlic powder

Cut each mushroom cap in half, then cut each half crosswise into 1/4 inch thick slices.

In large skillet, over medium heat, melt margarine. Add mushroom slices, stir to coat, salt and pepper to taste, then saute till tender, turning frequently. When done, turn off heat and add garlic powder. Toss to disperse evenly and till garlic dissolves. Do not over-cook the mushrooms, but be sure to cook throughout. Taste test; you will anyway, because they’re irresistible.

10 oz. package fresh spinach, washed and crisped (use the crinkly type spinach)

2-3 sweet yellow or red roasted peppers, cut into 1 x 1/4 inch strips

2 ripe Hass avocados, cut in half, pitted, peeled and cut into 1/4 inch thick slices

1/2 c. sliced green scallion

To assemble salad: In large bowl place spinach, roasted peppers, avocado and scallion. Toss gently.

Reheat the dressing. Remove from heat and add the sugar. Stir till sugar dissolves, then pour over salad. Toss and fold gently till all leaves are coated.

Spoon onto individual salad plates, then top each serving with several slices of Portobello mushroom and serve.

Notes: Steve says if he could only put one salad in this book, that’s the one he would choose. I’d have to agree. It truly is a great salad.

We use the crinkly type spinach because the leaves hold the dressing better than the flat spinach and it gives a more appealing appearance.

If you’d like to add a little more freshly ground black pepper onto each individual serving of salad, please do, but it isn’t going to improve the already perfect flavor!

Sometimes prior to sauteing Portobello mushroom caps, I drizzle a tablespoon of oil into the gills of each cap, wait till the mushroom absorbs the oil, and then cut them into slices.


Published by Sharon Lee Davies-Tight, artist, writer/author, animal-free chef, activist

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