Bacon is a great way to get people to try new things, and in a salad you can use bacon sparingly for flavor versus as a main dish on a plate. When I eat bacon, I always get nitrate-free bacon. Black Forest bacon would be a good one for this dish.
For this post, I tried out Tempeh Smoky Maple Bacon to make my salad vegan. I had seen the GMO-free tempeh bacon for awhile now at Whole Foods, and was curious. I've never had vegan bacon before, and I was pretty impressed with this bacon. It's definitely worth a try if you want to go all veg on this salad.
Instead of lettuce, I used chopped arugula because it's a funner green so technically, I should call this a BAT Pink Beans Salad, but that sounded too weird, and everyone knows what BLT means. The word arugula does have the letter L in it, so it's not a total stretch....Okay, maybe a little.
I've been expanding my bean horizon, and found in the bulk food section at Whole Foods Pink Beans also known by the Spanish name habichuelas rosadas. I love the pink color of these beans! Taste-wise, the pink beans taste like a smoother, sweeter Pinto bean.
For the tomato, I found these really cute baby heirloom tomatoes at Trader Joe's. I loved the variety in colors. You can use regular cherry tomatoes, but for some fun variety, go to TJ's and try the heirlooms.
This salad is really easy to make and bonus, it's gluten-free! If you don't have Pink Beans, you could use Kidney, Pinto, or Red Beans in its place.
Ingredients (serves 4):
- 2 cups cooked Pink Beans*
- 3 pieces of cooked Tempeh Smoky Maple Bacon, or two strips cooked bacon cut into bits.
- 1/2 cup chopped arugula (Feel free to add more arugula to green up the salad!)
- 12 mini heirloom tomatoes, or cherry tomatoes cut in halves.
- 1/4 cup chopped onion
- 1/3 cup of your favorite vinaigrette. To stay with the pink theme, and go a little more on the sweet side, I used Brianna's Blush Wine vinaigrette.
*I soaked the beans overnight, and then boiled them in water with a pinch of salt for about 45 minutes on medium heat.
In a mixing bowl, combine the cooked pink beans, bacon, onion, arugula, and vinaigrette and mix well together.
Fold in the tomatoes last because it's the most delicate of the ingredients, and mix everything together one more time.