What's the first thing that comes to mind when you think of salad? Probably a less-than filling array of wilted, yellowing iceberg lettuce, some unripe tomato slices and sprinkles of bright orange shredded cheese. Or, connotations of "eating weeds", as my father affectionately calls salads with strange lettuces, sprouts, and other exotic greens. I'd say salad has a bit of an image problem to overcome.
There have been jokes about Elaine's Big Salad from Seinfeld and Eddie Murphy's jabs at salad eatin' b#@!*%! in his Raw stand-up comedy routine, but salads can be a deliciously filling meal. Cool, crisp greens are a perfect foil to the summer heat. You can go hearty or healthy, depending upon what you add in to the mix - there really are no rules. I've made everything from quinoa salad, spinach salad with strawberries and poppy seed dressing, mexican salad with black beans and avocado, to a yummy salad with leftover barbecue pork ribs.
This gluten free and dairy free salad gives you a taste of tropical with macadamia nuts, coconut, and pineapple...and it's got bacon in it to boot. If you've been following my blog, you know we love bacon in this house.
Tropical Salad with Pineapple, Macadamia Nuts, and Coconut (adapted from AllRecipes)
8 slices bacon, cooked and crumbled
16 ounces mixed greens (romaine, baby spinach, spring greens)
1 14 oz. can pineapple, chunks (reserve juice for dressing)
1 red pepper, cut into thin slices
1/2 cup macadamia nuts, chopped
4 green onions, chopped
1/4 cup flaked coconut, toasted (Angel flake coconut is gluten free)
1/4 cup pineapple juice
1/4 cup water
1/2 cup olive oil
1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
1/4 cup sugar
1/2 tsp ground ginger
1 clove garlic, minced
salt and pepper to taste
In a large bowl, toss together greens, pineapple, nuts, red pepper, onions, and bacon. Toast coconut flakes. In a container with a lid, combine all the dressing ingredients and shake vigorously. Pour dressing over salad to coat and serve immediately.
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