A Delish Spinach Salad With Crispy Shiitake Mushrooms

These ‘shrooms are like low-cal bacon bits.

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Wanna make your salads way more interesting? When you’re bored with your go-to mixed greens or caesar salad, experimenting with new flavors and textures could make you actually crave your greens.

In this episode of Eating by Heart, chef Colombe Jacobsen shows how to make a simple spinach salad recipe that creates unique flavors without the extra salt, sugar, and fat. Bonus: The ingredients list is insanely short.

The secret to this unique salad is the shiitake mushrooms. By roasting them in the oven, this low-cal ingredient turns crispy, salty, and meaty. In fact, vegetarians and vegans lovingly refer to this as shiitake bacon, and trendy restaurants from New York City to Los Angeles are garnishing their dishes with it.

Another trick to making this salad more heart healthy is making a healthy homemade vinaigrette to drizzle on it. All vinaigrettes contain three essential components: an acid, and emulsifier, and an oil (see here for more details on making vinaigrettes at home). This vinaigrette uses sherry vinegar, dijon mustard, and olive oil, respectively.

Finally, this salad includes pine nuts, a common Italian ingredient used in pesto sauce and pignoli cookies. This heart-healthy nut is packed with good fats, protein, iron, and vitamins E and K. However, pine nuts are one of the more expensive nuts, so you could try pepitas or almonds if you want to save a few dollars.