This salad was inspired by a dish at a local restaurant where my girlfriends and I meet for lunch once a month. With buttery pear slices, grilled marinated red onion, Portobello mushrooms, toasted walnuts, and creamy avocado, it’s a delicious mix of my favourite flavors and textures, and it’s filling, too. Each Portobello mushroom packs in around 6 to 8 grams protein, so add one or two and you have yourself a protein-packed salad that will go the distance.
- 1/4 cup (60 ml) apple cider vinegar
- 3 tbsp (45 ml) flax seed oil or extra virgin olive oil
- 2 tbsp (30 ml) balsamic vinegar
- 2 tbsp (30 ml) unsweetened applesauce
- 1 tbsp (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 or to taste
- freshly ground black pepper
- In a small bowl, whisk together all of the ingredients or simply combine them in a jar, screw on the lid, and shake. This dressing will keep in an airtight container in the fridge for at least two weeks.
- 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 a 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 and toss until fully coated. Marinate the mushrooms and onion for 20 to 30 minutes, tossing every 5 to 10 minutes.
- Heat and grill pan over medium-high heat. Place the mushroom caps and onion on the pan and grill for 3 to 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 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 balsamic vinaigrette and enjoy!
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