With an avocado yogurt dressing …
This salad was SO GOOD! Salty, crispy, hearty, and satisfying. It made the perfect lunch three days in a row and I couldn’t have been more excited.
But first, happy Friday!! I had the entire week off for the 4th of July holiday, and it was a dream. I visited my parent’s lakehouse in Port Austin (well technically Grindstone) Michigan. They just renovated and it’s beyond gorgeous. The most exciting thing was to be back at my childhood summer cottage, version 2.0. With the same breathtaking views of the lake and super slow pace of life. Lots of family came up and we spent the time swimming, playing games, doing puzzles, seeing fireworks, and just relaxing. Plus a boat ride to Turnip Rock, which is apparently a tourist destination now based on the swarms of kayakers, so if you’re in or around Michigan it’s worth checking out! I’m not heading back until tomorrow, but I wanted to share a recipe before the weekend in case anyone is headed to another barbecue, or wants to meal prep a little for the week ahead!
The salad came into my head sounding delicious and I couldn’t get it out. Since I don’t eat a lot of meat, I knew I wanted to use my coconut bacon recipe (which is insanely delicious by the way – if you haven’t tried coconut bacon, try it) and fresh farmer’s market tomatoes. The kale happened because that’s the green that I had on hand, but lettuce would be just as delicious so use what you have. The garlic butter croutons were a no brainer and complemented the bacon perfectly as a crispy, salty topping.
The dressing that tied it all together was inspired by a “green goddess” dressing I had at our local fast-casual salad place. It was so creamy and good, and a combination of ripe avocado, plain yogurt, parsley, apple cider vinegar, and spices yielded just that – a smooth, zippy combination of flavors that tied everything together delightfully.
If you don’t like kale or haven’t tried it – here are some tips to get rid of the bitterness and tough texture:
- Wash, dry, and remove kale from stems (like so)
- Chop into bite sized pieces and throw into a large bowl
- Add in 1-2 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil and sprinkle with salt
- Now use your hands to massage the olive oil and salt into the kale. You will see the leaves start to appear glossy, and in time get softer. Do this for a few minutes and set in the fridge while preparing the rest of the ingredients
These steps help make the kale softer and work out the bitterness before adding any other toppings.
The next step is to prepare the bacon. Combine 1 cup of large coconut flakes with maple syrup and tamari in a bowl. Bake for 10 minutes until golden brown and crisped nicely. Watch carefully so they don’t burn!
For the croutons, I sliced up day old bread (I used this) and melted butter to coat it all. Sprinkle with garlic salt and bake the croutons for 10 more minutes once the coconut flakes are finished.
Meanwhile, chop up a pint of cherry tomatoes and mix up the dressing in the small bowl – mashing the avocado and mixing it with yogurt. Then stirring in the ACV, parsley, garlic, onion powder, and paprika until well combined.
Final step is mix it all up! I find it easiest to use my hands again to really get everything coated with the dressing, but salad tongs would work too. Oh, and dress it immediately before serving if it’s for a crowd so it’s fresh, but leftovers taste delicious, if a bit less crisp. Enjoy!
- 1 bunch of kale or lettuce
- 1 batch coconut bacon
- 1 pint cherry tomatoes, sliced
- 4 slices day-old bread, toasted
- 1 Tbsp vegan butter
- 1 tsp garlic
- 1 tsp sea salt
- 1 small ripe avocado
- ¼ cup plain vegan yogurt
- 1 Tbsp parsley, chopped
- 1 clove garlic, minced
- 1 Tbsp apple cider vinegar
- 1 tsp paprika
- 1 tsp onion powder
- Salt and pepper, to taste
- Preheat oven to 350F.
- Prepare kale as described above by massing with olive oil and salt and refrigerate until ready.
- Prepare coconut bacon and bake 10 minutes. Remove from oven and set aside.
- Slice day old bread into cubes. Melt butter and coat bread with butter, sprinkle with garlic and salt and combine well. Bake for 10 minutes.
- Top kale (or lettuce) with cherry tomatoes, coconut bacon, and croutons, Mix together.
- In a small bowl mash the avocado, and add yogurt, parsley, garlic, vinegar, paprika, onion, and salt and pepper. Stir until well combined. Taste and adjust as desired.
- Pour dressing over salad and mix well - serve immediately.