spinach salad w/skinny bacon dressing.

hello, rainy monday!  i’m so happy to see you!

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and it’s the first day of summer vacation too!  YIPPEEEE!  my schedule is greatly reduced, and i get my hub back.  it’s absolutely heaven.

i’m so glad to have more time to BLOG!!!  I’ve missed it so much.  every day i don’t try and post a new recipe, i feel a little sad.  like i haven’t connected with you lovely readers.  time to catch up!

to celebrate our first day of summer, we walked to our brand new, kansas city streetcar early this morning and took it to the river market district for coffee.  then we took it to union station and had breakfast at harvey’s.  huevos rancheros?  why yes, i believe i will!

we walked back home and the thundershowers started 5 minutes after we got inside.  perfect!  i love warm and sun, but when you’re really, really tired, nothing beats a rainy day, right?

so for lunch, i decided to try a new creation – a healthier take on spinach salad with warm bacon dressing.

BACON?

BACON!!!

i read somewhere that if you use meat like a condiment, you can still enjoy the flavor, and keep things light and veggie-filled.  i love that idea.

the warm bacon dressing usually has 2 or 3 tablespoons of bacon grease, which the thought of that much grease makes me shudder a little.  mine has about a teaspoon.  there’s also sugar.  mine has just a teaspoon.  the rest is just mustard, vinegar and olive oil.  And it is oh, so TASTY.

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here’s how to do it:

  • make the bacon in the microwave with one of those bacon dishes.  that’s the best way to get a nice, crunchy bacon, and not smell/grease up your house.  since i never clean, it’s important to me that i never really mess things up either.  ha ha ha
  • take a tablespoon of that bacon grease (or less) and pour into a frying pan.  add a little olive oil if you need.  throw thinly sliced red or yellow onion into the pan and cook until the onions are caramelized and brown.  add some salt along the way.

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  • meanwhile, in a bowl, drop in a tablespoon (or more) stone ground mustard, a couple tablespoons red wine vinegar, the juice of a lemon, 1 teaspoon sugar, kosher salt and lots of fresh cracked black pepper.  whisk in some olive oil ~ about 2-3 tablespoons.
  • when the onions are brown, add them to the dressing, and pour out the rest of the grease.  the bacon grease flavoring the onions is plenty, and probably equals about only a teaspoon.

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  • while you have that dirty, but flavorful pan in your hand, pour about 3 tablespoons water in there and drop in some chopped broccoli, just to soften it a bit.  it’ll only take a minute.  drain and add to your salad.
  • so here’s your lineup:  you’ve got fresh baby spinach, chopped broccoli, some raw nuts of your choice (i love walnuts), fresh goat cheese, and your oniony dressing mixture.  toss a little of the dressing with the spinach and broccoli in a bowl, until you have the right consistency, and every morsel gets perfectly covered.  plate it up.  add the nuts, chopped bacon and cheese to the top, and add fresh cracked black pepper.  it’s a masterpiece!

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this dressing reminds me of that thing they call “onion jam” at some of the more hipster-fabulous (overpriced) restaurants out there right now.  it’s rich and oniony, and works beautifully as a hearty dressing.  i only used half of the dressing for our big lunch salads, and the rest is saved for my lunch today.

this is great way to get your spinach in!

aaaaand, this post is a little late.  i wrote this yesterday and man was i feeling great.  today, i have a terrible cold and am barely hanging on emotionally.  oh well.  enjoy this post i wrote when i was young and productive!

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