There’s nothing like a fresh, green Paleo Salad to wake me up in the morning. A good serving of greens, some quality meat, and some quality fat. It’s all it takes to bring the sunshine in the windows, even when it’s a cloudy day. Despite that here in the New York area, the day didn’t start with bright sun shining in my window. Sometimes I wonder when the weather forecast says “Partly Cloudy” if they’re, just maybe, cheating a little on the safe side… Anyway, I digress. Breakfast this morning started with coffee, as it does most mornings. Then the almost thrice daily question: “Babe, what do you want for breakfast?” And, again, the almost thrice daily response: “I don’t know. What do we have?” Eggs? No. Steak? No. Bacon Salad? Yes. So, there we have it. This morning’s breakfast… And now to it: I start out by cutting up the bacon in to smaller than 1 in pieces – but not finely chopped to bacon bits. We like the bacon: the flavor, the texture. It’s too good to hide it in among other flavors. If I keep the pieces larger, the bacon will stand out, like it should. As for cooking the bacon: I’ve found that the bacon will get cooked evenly through, while still retaining it’s chewiness, if you cook it on slightly below medium heat with the lid on. This way you can ignore it while you’re doing other things, and only stir every few minutes, while, again, trusting that it will cook through evenly and still be chewy. And who doesn’t like their bacon chewy? Once the bacon is cut up and in the pan, I can lay out all of the other ingredients.
What you’ll need:
- 1 lb Bacon, chopped or crumbled
- Salad (I prefer a “spring mix” for the colors)
- 4 oz Crimini Mushrooms (aka “Baby Bella”)
- Clover sprouts
- 3 sprigs fresh Mint
- 1 cup Green Onions, chopped (chives will work too)
- 1 large Avocado (or 2 small), chopped
- Extra Virgin Olive Oil
Prep and Cook time: 15 minutes
I’m not sure if you’ve all noticed yet, but the Avocado is missing from the above picture. Don’t worry, though, we remembered it, and added it later. You’ll get a couple of really nice pictures of it. Also, the bacon is missing, because it’s cooking. And while we love bacon, and cooked meat is the most appetizing thing we can think of, cooking bacon is not impressively photogenic. At least, not like the cooked bacon you’ll see! So, above we have the ingredients of this morning’s Bacon Avocado Salad: Some delicious organic Spring Mix leafy salad greens, some organic Crimini mushrooms also known as “Baby Bella”, clover sprouts, mint, green onions, olive oil, and the missing stars of the show Bacon and Avocado. I imagine I don’t have to tell you all how to assemble a salad, so to save you some time, I’ll do it anyway! Enjoy! With the Salad cut up, I check on the bacon, stirring it, and then I add the mushrooms next. I usually do the mushrooms first, after the salad.
Check on the bacon again, and stir if it’s necessary. Then prepare the next ingredient, which in this case is the sprouts. Check the bacon again. I like to add the bacon, if it’s ready, right on top of the mushrooms. The wonderful thing about either Crimini or Button mushrooms is that they have a very mild flavor, and are great at soaking in other flavors that are applied directly to them. So not only being nutritious in their own right, if I put the bacon in on top of the mushrooms, then the mushrooms have all that much more time to soak in the flavor of the bacon, effectively adding extra bacon flavoring to the salad. It’s a great way to extend the flavor! So, if the bacon is ready, I add the bacon. The sprouts can be added after.
See the delicious looking bacon on the mushrooms? It’s great like that. Ok, skipping ahead a bit, add the sprouts you prepared while waiting for the bacon. Then pull out the Avocado, the other star of this morrning’s breakfast show! I absolutely love Avocado (enough to capitalize the name) so I bring it in to my cooking whenever possible. It turns out that I don’t love the flavor cooked, so I’ll often have it in raw form in my meals where it fits, but in other meals it’s just out of place. But not in this salad.
Wow, look at that Avocado! Trust me when I say: It is every bit as good as it looks. I slice it once around the outside, and remove the pit. Then I cut it in quarters and pull off the peel. Then I cut the peeled quarter the long way, effectively making 8ths, before cutting it up in to smaller pieces. Then adding it to the salad. Again, skipping ahead: I cut the mint up small, much smaller than the salad leaves. It’s meant to be a little extra flavor, but it’s not in there for the greenery. And lastly, the green onion. Again, this is there for flavor, so add a small amount, just enough to show up on the palate, but not enough to overpower the stars: Bacon and Avocado. The mint and green onion are there as supporting actors, so to speak, and need to ensure that they are supportive, but neither silent nor overpowering. See the finished product before the olive oil and mixing:
Next, of course, the olive oil is added. Now the mixing… I like to mix my salads by hand. I mean that literally. So I wash my hands thoroughly again (you wash before starting, right?) to make sure that they are nice and clean, and then dig in. It makes me feel closer to the food in a way. Anyway, I wash, mix, and then wash again. And here’s the finished product:
Doesn’t that look delightful?