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Summer Berry and “Bacon” Salad

in Other, Salads

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I think that we have all established that when we think of Summer and food, we often think of things like barbecuing, fresh sweet corn, and juicy watermelon.  But let us not forget about another delicious Summertime food: fresh berries!  In my area, the grocery stores and Farmer’s Markets are delivering deliciously fresh, juicy, and sweet berries, including my favorites: strawberries, blueberries, blackberries and raspberries.  Since I have been buying a lot more of these delicious snacking foods (sometimes a bit more than I can even eat ;)), I have also been trying to incorporate them into my breakfasts, lunches, and dinners.

I loving fixing up and eating big salads during the Summer months, especially when it is a bit too hot outside to cook.  Over the past year, I have gotten used to prepping veggie-filled salads and have forgotten about the many possibilities for incorporating fruit into salads.  Last weekend I decided that needed to change.  And what better time to make the change than when berries are in their peak season?  This was my first attempt at a “fruitified” (since I always say veggiefied ;)) salad.  And I must say, it turned out even more delicious than I had anticipated.  Oh, and I almost forgot to say that this salad also includes “bacon.”  Are you sold yet?

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Summer Berry and “Bacon” Salad

Servings: 1

Ingredients

olive oil cooking spray
1/2 cup sliced baby bella mushrooms
fine sea salt
black pepper
garlic powder
onion powder
3 pieces vegetarian or vegan “bacon,” crumbled (I used MorningStar Farms) (or real bacon if you are not a vegetarian)
half of a 10 oz bag of your favorite salad mix*
1/3 cup fresh strawberries, sliced
1/3 cup fresh blueberries
2-3 TB strawberry balsamic dressing*

*To save on time, I used this salad mix (from Wal-Mart, of all places), which was a baby kale blend:

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…and this salad dressing:

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Directions

1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.  Line a baking sheet with foil and spray with olive oil cooking spray.  Place sliced mushrooms onto the baking sheet, spray with olive oil cooking spray, and sprinkle with seasonings.  Roast the mushrooms for approximately 15 to 20 minutes, flipping halfway through.

2. While the mushrooms are roasting, cook the “bacon” according to the package directions.

3. Compile the salad in the following order: salad mix, mushrooms, berries, bacon, and dressing.  Simplicity at its finest.

4. Eat!

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My first experience with making a “fruitified” salad was a success.  I found the baby kale salad mix to be surprisingly fresh and delicious, and I was loving the balance between the sweet berries and the salty “bacon.”

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This salad proves that prepping Summertime food without the use of the stove top or oven does not have to be boring.  In fact, it can be quite fancy.  “Bacon” is fancy, right? 😉

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{ 56 comments… add one }
  • Caitlyn July 19, 2013, 7:39 am
    um whoa. this sounds AMAZING! bacon is totally fancy. :)
  • The Cookie ChRUNicles July 19, 2013, 8:07 am
    I love my berries. I swear I have a summer fruit addiction that will bankrupt me at some point! I must always have blueberries and strawberries in the house and if I can get the blackberries on sale, those too. I then fill in for my raspberry fix at Red Mango where I load up on all of the berries in my parfait.
    • cleaneatingveggiegirl July 19, 2013, 3:18 pm
      I have a major berry obsession, too, and it of course lasts year round...even when a container of strawberries is like $4.00!! :(
      • The Cookie ChRUNicles July 19, 2013, 4:51 pm
        Me too. Berries all year round - always starberries and blueberries no matter the steep price.
  • Her Happy Balance July 19, 2013, 8:22 am
    I actually had my first salad with berries on it last weekend. It also had some gorgonzola or bleu cheese on it which paired nicely. Is there vegan bleu cheese? I think it could be a great addition! Have a greta weekend, Hannah!
    • cleaneatingveggiegirl July 19, 2013, 3:18 pm
      I am not sure...but they pretty much have vegan substitutions for just about everything so I bet that there is!
  • Catherine @ foodiecology July 19, 2013, 8:25 am
    Yum! I've been consuming fresh berries like crazy recently. Summer salads similar to this are one of my favorite ways to eat them; just the other night I had almost the same salad (added beets & boiled egg, though) & remarked that fruit + greens is one of my favorite combinations. You know, I generally avoid Wal-Mart, but this is the 2nd thing (the other was cubed & bagged butternut squash, I think) that's made me curious about their produce section. Might check it out.
  • Christine @ Gotta Eat Green July 19, 2013, 8:29 am
    I love adding berries to my salads! It is so refreshing.. especially when I have some avocado in there too. Mmm strawberry balsamic sounds delicious! I'll have to try to track that one down.
  • Alex@Veggin' Out July 19, 2013, 8:38 am
    I love that you roasted the mushrooms! And free berries definitely = summer. I've been eating at least a bowl of them everyday :)
  • Eating 4 Balance July 19, 2013, 8:41 am
    Your salad sounds delicious. I always thought that people who put fruit on their salads were weird. In my mind salad = vegetables. Haha. But then I tried putting a sliced pear, and then grapes on my salads and was amazed at how much better they tasted!
    • cleaneatingveggiegirl July 19, 2013, 3:21 pm
      I know, right? Next time I want to try adding a granny smith apple to my salad. I am thinking that would be tasty!
  • Sarah July 19, 2013, 8:50 am
    i love fruit on salads! makes a meal salad (or side salad) sooo much better! :) what did you think of that dressing? it sounds interesting. lately i've just been using a little evoo, balsamic, lemon juice, & pepper but i do like having a good storebought kind too.
    • cleaneatingveggiegirl July 19, 2013, 3:22 pm
      The dressing was good. I don't LOVE using store bought dressings, but that day I was feeling lazy. I really need to start making my own more often.
  • MegBek July 19, 2013, 9:23 am
    That is a super summery salad! Berries are on super sale right now in GA too so I've been going crazy with berries... They're so good, my fave being raspberries! I want to try baby kale... ALMOST FORGOT TO TELL YOU! I roasted radishes per your recipe on Wednesday and friggin LOVED them. New roasted staple, FOR SURE, along with my classic Brussels. Awesome.
  • dixya| food, pleasure, and health July 19, 2013, 9:33 am
    stawberries and balsamic are meant for each other :)
  • Erin July 19, 2013, 9:57 am
    This sounds soooo good right now!! I am craving a good salad!
  • Em @ Love A Latte July 19, 2013, 10:06 am
    I would eat that salad everyday for lunch! It looks PERFECT! I love fruit in my salad and oddly I've had vegan bacon, but never in a salad - great idea :)
    • cleaneatingveggiegirl July 19, 2013, 3:26 pm
      You should definitely try it! I think that vegan bacon is meant to be added to just about everything ;).
  • Lisa July 19, 2013, 10:36 am
    I've been SO in love with berry salads this Summer. I must make this! It sounds super delicious. Berries on salads are so amazing.
  • Julia July 19, 2013, 10:36 am
    Yuuuum, I LOVE strawberry balsamic!! This is so fresh, pretty and delicious!
  • Kelly @ hidden fruits and veggies July 19, 2013, 11:19 am
    That sounds amazing! I've never tried that dressing, but it's definitely something I would love. I think a little feta (or even tofu feta) would make this salad even more tasty.
  • ashley July 19, 2013, 11:28 am
    I love adding fruit to my salads....especially in the summer! And bacon makes everything better, of course :)
  • Katie @ Daily Cup of Kate July 19, 2013, 1:17 pm
    Our neighbors just brought over some fresh raspberries which would be perfect on this salad!
  • Dana @ Conscious Kitchen Blog July 19, 2013, 2:47 pm
    This sounds delicious! I can never resist a good salad with fruit in it. My parents' house has raspberry bushes in the backyard and growing up I always loved picking them over the summer. You just can't beat fresh berries!
  • Nicole @ FruitnFitness July 19, 2013, 3:34 pm
    Oh bacon and strawberries sound like a great salad topping combination! I love strawberries on salads in the summer.
  • Brittany July 19, 2013, 6:56 pm
    I loveee big salads and BIG sandwiches right now. This would be delicious in sandwich form too!! Although the berries might not stay well...maybe as a smooshed jam like consistency? HA!
    • cleaneatingveggiegirl July 19, 2013, 9:30 pm
      It would be SO good in a sandwich form. That makes me think of my sweet and savory waffles where I combine runny fried eggs, "bacon" and jam! YUM!
  • Jan @ Sprouts n Squats July 20, 2013, 1:36 am
    Yum that looks delicious!! I wish we had that strawberry balsamic dressing here it looks delicious and like it would go so well with this salad :)
  • Khushboo Thadani (@KhushbooThadani) July 20, 2013, 5:35 am
    I can't get enough of berries in my salad lately...especially as they are SO in season now :)
  • Brittany @ Freckled Nettles July 20, 2013, 9:11 am
    Berry and "bacon?" A girl after my heart! I love, love, love sweet and salty combos! Bacon is certainly fancy when you dress it up :) Happy weekend, love!!
  • Katherine July 20, 2013, 1:17 pm
    This seriously looks perfect! I'm loving berries!
  • Kim @ Hungry Healthy Girl July 20, 2013, 7:29 pm
    I have definitely not forgotten about the berries! I have strawberries, raspberries, blueberries and blackberries in my fridge right now. ;) I love fruit in my salad and that's a great idea adding the "bacon".
    • cleaneatingveggiegirl July 20, 2013, 8:03 pm
      Yes, my fridge is stocked up with all of the Summertime fruits, too! My Whole Foods had organic strawberries on sale yesterday for 1.99. I was just a little bit excited about it! ;)
  • Sabrina @ Nutritiously Sweet July 21, 2013, 8:15 am
    Berries and salad are pretty good together! Why don't I do it more often? I have to find that salad mix! Baby Kale sounds like it would taste less bitter...
    • cleaneatingveggiegirl July 21, 2013, 11:57 am
      I really liked the salad mix. If you don't like the bitterness of kale then I think you would like it too. I almost did not even realize that it was kale.
  • Kelly @ Vegan Iowan July 22, 2013, 3:53 pm
    The dressing looks interesting! I've always been a little weirded out by the thought of berries and greens together, but you've got me convinced to give it a shot.

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