When my husband and I were first married we had a weekly date night and would often go out for dinner and then see a movie. One of our favorite restaurants was The Capital Grill and I always looked forward to their amazing spinach salad. The salad featured fresh shredded cheese, diced egg, toasted almonds, cranberries and bacon pieces topped with a sweet and sour dressing. I must have gone through about 15 attempts trying to perfect a recreation of that dressing since it’s the key to that delicious salad. Since I wasn’t including bacon in my version I decided to incorporate it into my dressing so that I still get that great smoky taste. I added a bit of egg to my salad but for a vegan option simply omit.
For the dressing:
- 1/2 cup canola or other neutral flavored oil
- 2-3 tbsp coconut nectar
- 2 tbsp apple cider vinegar
- 1 1/2 tbsp white wine vinegar
- 1/2 cup diced sweet onion (if sweet onion is not available use a yellow onion)
- 1 tbsp Dijon
- 1 tbsp freshly squeezed lemon juice
- 1 tbsp dehydrated onion
- dash of liquid smoke
- sea salt to taste
For the salad:
- 5 cups spinach
- 1/2 cup shredded cheddar cheese (Daiya shreds work as a great vegan option)
- 1/2 cup toasted slivered almonds
- 1/2 cup dried cranberries
- 2 hard boiled eggs, peeled and diced
1. Add the ingredients for the dressing to a blender and process until smooth, making sure there are no chunks of onion left.
2. In a large bowl add the spinach, cheese, almonds, cranberries and egg. Drizzle with dressing and toss.
3. Serve immediately and enjoy!
Makes 2-3 servings.
Store leftover dressing in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 1 week.