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SaladAh, no worries, everyone.  Don’t get overwhelmed or weirded out by that long salad recipe title!  It’s PACKED with yummy goodness and if you’re the slightest bit skeptical about vegan recipes or wondering whether a salad can truly be a meal in itself…well, give this one a whirl and you’ll be convinced!  The mushrooms pack a good dose of protein, and the avocado provides healthy fats we all need (as do the walnuts).  Add in some buttery pears, dark leafy greens (I prefer to serve this over a bed of spinach leaves) and a vinaigrette so easy to prepare and you’ve got a fabulous meal (or two, if you’re cooking for one as I typically do!).  The mushroom and onion will keep in the marinade in a Tupperware in the fridge for a couple days.

This all comes together quickly – I promise!  First…the vinaigrette:


    • 1/4 C (60 ml) apple cider vinegar
    • 3 T (45 ml) flaxseed oil or extra virgin olive oil
    • 2 T (30 ml) balsamic vinegar
    • 2 T unsweetened applesauce
    • 1 T (15 ml) pure maple syrup
    • 1 1/2 tsp (7 ml) Dijon mustard
    • 1 clove garlic, minced
    • 1/4 tsp (1 ml) fine-grain sea salt, to taste
    • Freshly ground black pepper

Whisk all of your ingredients together in a small bowl and voila!  Or just plop them all in a mason jar, screw on the lid, and shake it up!  Super quick and easy.  [I didn’t have any applesauce on hand and it’s still awesome without it.]

Now…the Salad! Serves 2

  • 2 large Portobello mushrooms
  • 1/2 red onion, finely sliced
  • 1 batch of the vinaigrette (shown above)
  • 1 5 oz box (142 g) mixed greens (I prefer loose leaf spinach, but any greens will be just fine)
  • 2 ripe pears, peeled, cored and chopped
  • 2 avocados, pitted and chopped
  • 1/3 C (75 ml) walnuts, toasted

Gently rub the outside of the mushrooms with a damp towel to remove any debris.  Remove the stems by twisting the stem until it pops off; discard it or freeze for another use, such as stir-fry.  With a small spoon, scrape out and discard the black gills.

In a large bowl, combine the mushroom caps, onion and half of the balsamic vinaigrette.  Toss until fully coated.  Marinate the mushrooms and onion for 20-30 minutes, tossing every 5-10 minutes.

Heat a grill pan over medium-high heat.  Place the mushroom caps and the onion on the pan and grill for 3-5 minutes per side, until grill marks appear and the vegetables are tender.  Reduce the heat if necessary.  Remove the pan from the heat and set aside until the mushroom caps are cool enough to handle, then slice the mushroom caps into long strips.

For each salad, place a few handfuls of the mixed greens in a large bowl and top with half of the chopped pear, avocado, walnuts, and grilled mushrooms and onion.  Drizzle the salad with some of the remaining vinaigrette and enjoy!

This recipe is vegan, gluten-free, soy-free, refined sugar-free and grain-free.

Buon appetito!

From the Oh She Glows cookbook, by Angela Liddon