Quinoa BLT Salad with Shiitake Bacon

Author - Gena Hamshaw
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 2 hours 30 minutes
Total Time: 2 hours 40 minutes
Yeilds: 4 -6 servings

Ingredients

For the shiitake bacon:

  • 10 ounces about 4 cups de-stemmed and sliced shiitake mushrooms
  • 2 1/2 tablespoons low-sodium tamari
  • 3 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons maple syrup
  • 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground chili powder

For the dressing:

  • 1/2 Hass avocado about 1/4-1/3 cup avocado, tightly packed
  • 3/4 cup water
  • 2 teaspoons apple cider vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 1 small clove garlic roughly chopped
  • 1/2 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1 teaspoon dried dill or two tablespoons freshly chopped dill
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt more to taste
  • 1/8 teaspoon black pepper

For the salad:

  • 4 ripe tomatoes*
  • 1 cup quinoa dry
  • 4-5 heaping cups mesclun or baby arugula
  • 1/2 Hass avocado chopped (use the half that's remaining from making the dressing!)

Instructions

  • Begin by making the shiitake bacon. Whisk together the tamari, vinegar, syrup, olive oil, paprika, and chili. Transfer to a rectangular, airtight container and add the mushroom slices. Marinate them for at least 1 hour, or up to 8 (overnight).
  • Preheat your oven to 250° F and transfer the mushrooms to a baking sheet lined with foil. Bake for 1 1/2 to 2 hours, or until the pieces are shrunken and chewy, stirring them once halfway through cooking. Once the mushrooms are ready, they can be stored in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 7 days or used right away in the salad.
  • Rinse the quinoa through a fine sieve. Transfer it, along with 2 cups water, to a saucepan. Bring to a boil, reduce the heat to low, and cover. Simmer the quinoa, covered, for 15 minutes. Fluff the quinoa with a fork, re-cover, and allow it to steam for 5-10 minutes.
  • Blend all of the dressing ingredients together. Adjust seasoning to taste.
  • To prepare the salad, toss the greens, cooked quinoa, shiitake bacon, and avocado together. Roughly chop and add the tomatoes. Add dressing to taste and mix everything well. Serve.

Notes

*If you like (and have time) you can also oven quarter and then roast the tomatoes at 400F for 30 minutes, or until they're browning at the edges and very tender.