Vegetarian Tequila Berry Salad

by Kelly on August 12, 2009

P1012700Time for yet another summery recipe.  Today I had a wild craving for a mayonnaise-based salad.  Some might say that calling this a summer food is a stretch, but in my mind a picnic or BBQ just isn’t complete without some variation on the mayonnaise-based salad.  And because I’m not a big meat eater I’m often the incredibly unhealthy girl that makes a meal out of macaroni or potato salad, corn on the cob, and some equally carbolicious item.  I love a good steak every once and awhile, but it’s no match for my favorite condiment.

Today I decided to do a variation on a favorite salad my parents made when we were growing up: Tequila Berry Salad.  The name is a bit misleading as it contains neither tequila nor berries, but my understanding is that it got its name from the restaurant that served it.  The original (at least the one we make in my family) is comprised of cauliflower, iceberg lettuce, bacon, and Parmesan cheese in a mayo-based dressing.  However, I decided to switch it up by lightening the dressing, adding in tomato for flavor and color, and also substituted smokey tempeh strips for the bacon.  The lightened dressing is my go-to base dressing for lighter salads.  It replaces most of the mayonnaise with low fat plain yogurt and includes mustard powder, champagne vinegar, and honey for flavor.  You can feel free to substitute white wine vinegar, but you’ll lose a little of the zinginess and subtle flavor it offers.  If you’re all about the meat you can also keep the original bacon, but I found that when cooked till crisp and crumbled the tempeh was a nice stand in and added the right amount of smokiness.

Vegetarian Tequila Berry Salad
Serves 6-8 as a side
Ingredients:
-1/2 head iceberg lettuce, shredded
-1/2 head cauliflower, finely chopped
-1 large heirloom tomato, diced
-1 package smokey tempeh strips, pan fried until crisp and then crumbled
-2/3 cup Parmesan cheese
Dressing:
-6 oz. plain low fat yogurt (one small container)
-1/4 cup low fat mayonnaise
-2 teaspoons champagne vinegar
-1/2 teaspoon mustard powder
-1 tablespoon honey
-Salt & pepper to taste
Method:
Combine salad ingredients in a bowl and toss well. In a separate bowl, mix all salad dressing ingredients together until well combined. Toss salad in dressing right before you are ready to serve.
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{ 6 comments… read them below or add one }

sherri August 12, 2009 at 11:34 am

This sounds amazingly delicious. No picture needed.

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Guava August 12, 2009 at 2:52 pm

oh man… I think that would be great alongside some tequila and berry fruit salad!!!

oh.. wait.. was that not part of the recommendation??? :)
looks so good… yay for VEGAN APRONS RECIPES… HuzZaH!!

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Carolyn Jung August 12, 2009 at 9:06 pm

Hah! At first, I thought, “Oh, she’s being good by making it meatless. But then, she’s substituting booze instead!! ” ;)

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Hannah August 12, 2009 at 10:29 pm

Mm, wonderful! And I bet it would be every bit as good sans parmesan to make it vegan, too. :)

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Natasha - 5 Star Foodie August 13, 2009 at 12:06 pm

I also love mayonnaise-based salads! My husband is not a big fan so I often just make them for myself only. Looking forward to trying your delicious recipe!

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ttfn300 August 14, 2009 at 11:45 am

haha, i did expect tequila! and maybe wheat berries :) Sounds great though!

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