Spinach Salad with Warm Bacon Dressing

This is a classic American salad and a real favorite of mine. We took the classic Fannie Farmer cookbook recipe (reprinted in Saveur here) and updated it a little. This is an easy, delicious gluten-free meal.

Spinach Salad with Warm Bacon Dressing

(serves 2)

2 cloves garlic, peeled and minced

2 tsp. sugar

2 tbsp. plain yogurt

1 tsp. rice wine vinegar

7 tbsp. fresh lemon juice

Salt and freshly ground black pepper

6 strips bacon (thick slices are best)

1 bag of baby spinach, stemmed, washed, and dried

6–8 medium white mushrooms, sliced, with stems cut off

1 medium shallot, peeled and thinly sliced

2⁄3 cup vegetable oil

2 poached eggs*

1/4 cup banana chips

1. Combine garlic, sugar, yogurt, vinegar, lemon juice, and salt and pepper to taste in a small bowl and let rest for 30 minutes.

2. Meanwhile, separate strips of bacon, then lay the bacon in a large skillet in a single layer. Cook over medium heat, turning occasionally, until browned and crisp, 10–15 minutes. Transfer bacon to paper towels to let drain. Pour off all but 2 tbsp. of the bacon grease and set skillet aside.

3. Put spinach, mushrooms, and shallots into a large salad bowl and set aside. Return skillet with rendered bacon grease to medium heat. Stir in oil and lemon–garlic mixture and heat until hot. Pour hot dressing over spinach salad and toss well. Coarsely crumble as much of the cooked bacon as you like and add it to the salad, saving any remaining bacon for another use. Top with banana chips and poached eggs.

*Poaching eggs is tricky. You should get the hang of it after a few tries, but if you really get discouraged, you can always go the classic route and chop up a few hard-boiled eggs. I recommend doing everything Alton Brown says, especially the bit about using fresh eggs. The texture, firmness and taste of farmer’s market eggs really can’t be beat.

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Cashew Banana Muffins

This is a wonderful, quick and simple recipe that was sent to me a few years ago by a very nice woman from the message boards at Celiac.com (I’ve made a few small alterations).  These are gluten-free and dairy-free, delicious, and an easy, nutritious breakfast.  They’re a great way for Crohn’s patients to get low-impact protein.  If you’re not into cashews, by the way, you can use peanut butter, almond butter or any other nut butter.

Gluten-Free Cashew Banana Muffins

8 oz cashew butter

2 bananas

4 eggs

1 teas. baking soda

pinch salt

1 teas. vanilla

1 tbsp cinnamon

1 tbsp flaxseeds (optional)

1-2 Tbs softened butter or oil (so the muffins will come out of the
paper cups)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Blend all ingredients in a food processor until they make a smooth batter.  Pour into a muffin pan (either lined with muffin cups or well greased).  Bake at 350 degrees for *about* 15 minutes or until top is slightly firm.  (To test whether they are done, insert a toothpick into the center of a muffin.   If it comes out clean, they’re done.)  These freeze really well and you can take a couple out in the morning for lunch or the previous night for breakfast the next day.  They’re particularly good toasted and buttered, or with yogurt. Makes about 12 muffins.

By the way… technically, these aren’t muffins at all, but soufflés.  I won’t tell if you won’t.

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