This Spring Wedge Salad is bursting with fresh and flavorful ingredients like smoked apple bits, tomatoes, and a light and refreshing Vegan Ranch Dressing. Today’s post comes with a bonus too. I have some news about an exciting vegan recipe contest with some very cool prizes. Throw your hands in the air with me!
I’ll let you in on a little secret about me. I love salads. I could eat one every day…and I usually do!
Believe it or not, there are some salads that I gave up when I became vegan. I know what you must be thinking. That is some hardcore diet…when you can’t even eat a salad!
But before you get all crazy on me (thanks, Heart!), just take think about some of today’s salads. The base is all good, but the toppings don’t always weigh in on the healthy side.
Take for example your typical Wedge Salad. This one-time favorite found its way on my “forbidden” list because it usually includes blue cheese, bacon bits, and a dairy-based ranch type dressing.
It was easy to imagine this salad without the blue cheese. Pardon my bad French manners, but I never really liked blue cheese all that much anyway. I have a thing against mold I guess.
But no bacon? No ranch-type dressing? That means you’re left with just a hunk of iceberg left on the plate. What’s the point?
But recently I felt motivated to give this salad a makeover. It was a challenge.
Then again, lots of things can be challenging to me.
I wanted a healthy alternative to bacon, not just the processed version, bacon bits.
That’s when my secret ingredient came to mind.
Here’s a little something about me. I can’t keep a secret for too long. That’s why I wait until the last minute to by presents. Otherwise I just can’t stand the suspense of it all.
I feel the same way with you. I can’t keep my secret ingredient to myself, so I’ll just show you.
Yes, it was that simple. I chopped up an apple into bit-size pieces, sauteed them in a skillet with a little bit of maple syrup and smoke sauce, added a little salt and there you have it! Smoky Apple Bits.
The texture is not crispy like bacon, but I didn’t mind that at all. Maybe it was because the iceberg lettuce provided the crunch I was craving.
Or maybe it’s just because I was so in love with eating this Spring Wedge Salad. Yep, that was definitely it.
And now I have another “secret” I want to share with you. It’s not a secret really, but I’m so excited it feels like a secret! Pull over a chair and I’ll whisper the tantalizing news in your ear.
Earth Balance Recipe Contest
Earth Balance® is celebrating its second annual Spring to Life Recipe Contest featuring plant-based recipes. The competition began on April 9, but don’t you worry…it’s not too late to enter. Dust off your favorite recipes and spring into action by submitting your own. Earth Balance’s online community, Made Just Right, provides an easy platform to submit your recipes and to check out other tasty ones too.
Throughout the four weeks of the contest they’ll be picking two recipes per week for prizes such as a year’s supply of Earth Balance® products. Can you imagine! There’s even a grand prize that will include a glamorous trip to San Francisco.
You still have time to enter. This week they’re looking for your favorite entree recipes. Next week? Desserts. Heaven help us! To qualify, recipes must be plant-based, contain at least one Earth Balance® product, and feature one or more vegetable, fruit, whole grain, bean, nut or seeds. To learn more about the contest and how you can enter check out the Made Just Right page for more details.
Don’t ya just love contests with plant-based recipes? Me too!
Spring Wedge Salad
- 3/4 Cup Earth Balance Mindful Mayo
- 2 tablespoons Earth Balance Soymilk (make sure it’s plain…not vanilla flavored)
- 1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
- 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1 pinch sea salt
- 1 pinch freshly ground black pepper
- 1 head iceberg lettuce
- Smoky Apple Bits (recipe below)
- 1/2 cup sliced green onion
- 1/2 cup chopped sweet yellow peppers
- 8 cherry tomatoes, halved (or as many as you’d like)
- You’ll need to put on your dungarees to properly make this ranch dressing. OK. The dungarees are optional, but you will need a spoon. In a small bowl combine the mayo, soymilk, garlic powder, vinegar, salt, and pepper. Give it a good whisk or two to incorporate all the ingredients and place in the fridge. You know, so it can chill out awhile.
- Prepare your Smoky Apple Bits (see recipe below).
- Get out that head of iceberg lettuce and get it ready to become a salad by removing the core and cutting it into quarters.
- Arrange the quartered iceberg wedges on serving plates, drizzle them with that Delicious Vegan Ranch Dressing and top each each with the Smoky Apple Bits, sweet peppers, onions, and tomatoes halves.
Smoky Apple Bits
- 1 apple, cored and diced (I left the skin on…that’s the healthy part!)
- 1 – 2 tablespoons smoke sauce
- 1 tablespoon maple syrup
- 1 pinch sea salt
- In a skillet over medium heat, add the apple slices, smoke sauce, and maple syrup.
- Cook over medium heat until the liquid is incorporated into the apple.
- Sprinkle with a pinch of sea salt and then set aside to cool.
Serve this salad with a tall glass of iced tea out on your deck or patio…because that’s the best way to eat a Wedge Salad. Enjoy!