Bacon Kale Salad

Quite often, when people find out I am vegan, they have some sort of response that involves bacon. Even though I get tired of hearing this, I get it. Bacon is good. But, when you really think about it, it’s not necessarily the pig portion of the bacon that makes it good. It’s the wonderful mix of spices and texture that give it it’s appeal. Without the flavorings, it would just be a piece of pig fat and I am doubtful that many people (although there may be some…) are craving that. Fortunately, the flavoring is easy enough to replicate, and it’s accessible to have those components of bacon, without harming any of our animal friends.

I have experimented with creating this version of bacon with shiitake mushrooms, but, when I am feeling lazy, I buy this brand. It has the texture and seasonings I love and adds a nice, smokey component to meals.

I used this bacon in a kale salad for dinner, last week.

I started off by removing 2 bunches of kale from their stems.

15407255965_b26a600367_o I lightly steamed the kale for about two minutes, just to give it a nice, bright color, but not wilt it down.

I also sautéed:

  • 1 can of chickpeas
  • 1 tablespoon of coconut oil
  • 1 teaspoon of cumin
  • 1 teaspoon of chili powder
  • garlic salt to taste

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I made a quick dressing of the following ingredients, whisked together:

  • 2 tablespoons of tahini
  • 1 tablespoon of Bragg’s Amino Acids
  • Juice of 1 lemon

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I massaged the dressing into the kale, then topped

  •  chickpea mixture
  • diced strips of 4 pieces of tempeh bacon
  • 1 tablespoon of hemp seeds
  • 1 tablespoon of nutritional yeast
  • 1 diced avocado

This salad was amazing! It had a balance of vibrant and smoky notes. The bacon flavor was very prevalent and the smokiness was heightened by the chickpea mixture. The avocado and dressing added a nice, fatty, creamy texture, and the kale kept it all feeling healthy and fresh. The salad is packed with calcium and healthy fats.

This is how vegans still enjoy their bacon.

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