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Spinach, Bacon and Sweet Potato Salad

January 6, 2011

One of the main reasons I started SteakInThePan was to experiment with more recipes. I cook almost everyday, but I am constantly cooking the same things. I love exploring new recipes and I constantly bookmark recipes to try, but for some reason I don’t cook new things as much as I always plan to. Hopefully with SteakInThePan I will feel more compelled to experiment more.

Recently, I bought Mark Bittman’s book, Food Matters, A Guide to Conscious Eating. Bittman is a gourmand journalist and the author of a handful of cookbooks. Food Matters explores reasonable healthy eating in a world that is fast splitting between pricey uber organics and the cheap super processed foods. Many new ‘healthy’ dietary suggestions put red alerts on all items containing additives such as high fructose corn syrup and stress only buying local produce. Bittman’s mantra is simply to eat consciously: consuming more vegetables and fruit, slightly less meat and attempting (but not stressing entirely) to avoid processed foods. If you do this, the idea is that you can pretty much eat whatever you want. This is a little more reasonable than constantly checking labels and spending huge amounts of money on organic produce. Plus, it makes sense.

Another reason I like Bittman is that he is a runner, and he writes often for Runner’s World Magazine. Due to this, many of his recipes are geared towards runners and or people who are physically active. Thus, the meals typically include a conscious breakdown of carbs to protein. Awesome.

So when I opened Food Matters, the first thing I did was flip through the recipes.

I love sweet potatoes and I happened to have all of the other ingredients except for the greens, so I decided to make the:

Spinach, Bacon and Sweet Potato Salad:

2 sweet potatoes, peeled, cut into pieces
(I used 3)

1/4 cup olive oil
(I probably didn’t use quite this much, but I used a little of the bacon grease)

Salt and freshly ground black pepper

2 thick slices of bacon
(I used 3)

1 red bell pepper, cored and chopped

1 small red onion, halved and thinly sliced
(I used a medium onion)

1 tablespoon fresh ginger, peeled and minced
 (don’t skimp on this)

1 teaspoon ground cumin

Juice from 1 orange

1 pound fresh spinach

(I ended up with a mix of 1/2lbs butter and red lettuce &1/2 lbs spinach)


Preheat the oven to 400°F. Put potatoes on a baking sheet, drizzle with two tablespoons of the oil, sprinkle with salt and pepper; toss to coat. Roast, turning occasionally, until crisp and brown outside and tender inside, about 30 minutes. While potatoes cook, put bacon in a stainless steel or other nonreactive skillet and turn heat to medium. Cook, turning once or twice, until crisp. Drain on paper towels and pour off fat (I probably poured off ½ of it), leaving darkened bits in the pan. Put pan back on medium heat; add remaining oil to the pan. When hot, add bell pepper, onion, and ginger to the pan. Cook, stirring once or twice until just softened, about five minutes; stir in cumin and bacon (broken into pieces). Stir in orange juice and turn off heat. (The recipe can be made up to an hour or so ahead to this point. Gently warm dressing again before proceeding.)

Put spinach (and greens) in a bowl large enough to comfortably toss the salad. Add the potatoes and warm dressing. Toss to combine.

Serves four.

Calories: 280, Carbs: 28 G, Protein: 7 G

*I added some Parmesan cheese and a couple splashes of balsamic vinegar when I plated it.

GREAT recipe. If you want something more substantial than a salad, I think the onion, bell pepper and bacon dressing plus the sweet potatoes could easily be  served over rice [versus mixed with spinach/greens] and I think I will try that next time. The bacon, cumin and orange create a unique but really tasty flavor that would be great with fish. I especially enjoyed this recipe for it’s freshness combined with the heartiness of the bacon and sweet potatoes.


2 Comments leave one →
  1. January 19, 2011 1:47 am

    I know exactly what you mean about bookmarking recipes and then not trying to make them. I actually had this recipe already bookmarked too, haha 🙂 Your good experience with it is extra incentive to make it. Thanks for sharing.

  2. January 19, 2011 1:53 am

    for sure! it is definitely a great salad, glad i could be the incentive! thanks!

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