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  • Mary Kay

Spinach Bacon Tomato Cheese Salad - a base for a non-typical salad

I love the Spinach Salad we used to get in fancy restaurants, served in large wooden bowls. It was a full meal in itself. Fresh spinach layered with sliced hard boiled eggs, mushrooms, thin rings of raw onion, crispy chunks of bacon with a light bacon, vinegar and oil dressing drizzled on top. My husband even makes it from scratch at home for a light meal in the evening. It is delicious!

My recipe below is the already delicious spinach salad that got me going but this one yearns for more textures and flavors. You add what you like.

My salad begins with fresh green leafy spinach as a healthy base. It has more flavor than typical iceberg lettuce, and with much more nutritional value. Top it off with tomatoes, bacon, cheese and a few croutons with your favorite dressing and you have a meal in itself. Add broccoli for even more nutrition and crunch. Be sure to check out the options below for even more flavorful nibbles.

And, it’s easy. Pack it for lunch at work or fix it for lunch at home. It also makes a full but light meal for any evening.

This is a mixture of interesting textures and flavors that are delicious together. Of course, add other veggies for more flavors. But, this is altogether an entire meal in itself.


Gather up your Ingredients:

2 C Spinach, fresh, cleaned

2 Slices Bacon, sauteed, crispy

1/2 Tomato, sliced

3 Mushrooms, cleaned, sliced

1 Broccoli floret, cleaned, rough chopped

1 Slice onion, thin, separated into rings

Sprinkle of Parmesan cheese, grated or try thin sliced

2 T Shredded Cheddar cheese

6 Croutons, large

1 T French dressing

1 t Thousand Island dressing

Pepper to taste 

Mix it up for flavor and textures:

-Placing the spinach in the bottom of a large bowl. If the leaves of spinach are too large to make a regular bite, I like to cut them in half or quarters but I don’t do that until I am ready to eat. If you cut them up too soon, they get dark green, bruised and sometimes can get a little mushy.

-Gently layer the tomatoes, mushrooms, onions and broccoli on top of the spinach.

-Crisscross the bacon on top.

-Add the parmesan cheese and/other cheeses.

-Drizzle the dressings on and top with croutons.


Tasty Options:

-I love it when there’s something in the refrigerator or pantry that seems ready to add to a salad like this. It’s usually something that I would never have thought to go out and buy to put on it. The different flavors and textures really add to a successful salad.

-The other day, I spotted some leftover pasta with balsamic dressing in it looking kind of lonely in the refrigerator. It was leftover from last night’s feast of spaghetti. I thought, why not? Add a little to my spinach salad. Instead of the croutons, it brought an interesting and tasty flavor to my salad. (I didn’t have the guts to put any spaghetti sauce on my salad.)

-One day I had some day-old oil and vinegar cole slaw in the frig. Dropped a scoop on top of my salad – mmmm…mmm…mmm! It was delish!

-At Christmas time I had some mixed nuts in my cupboard – what a delicious addition to my spinach salad! Didn’t need a lot, just a small handful. Great textures! And, why not candied pecans? I’ll have to try that in the future.

-While making oatmeal cookies with dried cranberries and raisins, and was dreaming of a spinach salad for lunch, I thought…why not in my spinach salad! Yes! It was superb with dried cranberries and raisins!


Try something different with your next salad, whether it adds flavor, color or texture. You might just like it and make it again. However you finish off your salad design, enjoy the journey and the finished product and, “Bake your own Memories!”

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