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Vegan BLT salad with crispy coconut "bacon," tangy lemon pepper dressing, grilled peaches, and avocado - The First Mess
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Vegan BLT Salad with Coconut Bacon, Grilled Peaches & Tangy Lemon Pepper Dressing

This vegan BLT salad is fully loaded with smoky and crispy coconut "bacon", tangy and creamy lemon pepper dressing, grilled peaches, ripe tomatoes and mellow avocado. Perfect main course salad!
Cuisine American
Diet Gluten Free, Vegan, Vegetarian
Keyword arugula, avocado, cashews, coconut, coconut aminos, lemon, lemon pepper seasoning, lettuce, maple syrup, peaches, smoked paprika, smoked salt, tamari, tomatoes
Prep Time 25 minutes
Cook Time 25 minutes
Total Time 50 minutes
Servings 4

Equipment

Ingredients

Coconut Bacon

  • 4 cups large flake coconut
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons + 2 teaspoons pure maple syrup
  • 1 tablespoon gluten-free tamari OR 2 teaspoons coconut aminos
  • 2 teaspoons smoked paprika
  • 2 teaspoons smoked salt
  • ground black pepper, to taste

Tangy Lemon Pepper Dressing (makes extra)

  • cup raw cashews, soaked for at least 4 hours and drained
  • cup water
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon pure maple syrup
  • 1 teaspoon lemon pepper seasoning
  • sea salt, to taste

Salad

  • 2 just-ripe peaches, halved
  • olive oil, for grilling
  • 4 servings chopped or baby greens of choice (I used arugula and red leaf lettuce)
  • sliced tomatoes
  • 1 ripe avocado, peeled, pitted & sliced

Instructions

  • Make the coconut bacon: preheat the oven to 300°F. Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper.
  • Measure the coconut flakes out onto the parchment-lined baking sheet. In a small bowl, whisk together the olive oil, maple syrup, tamari, smoked paprika, smoked salt, and pepper. Pour the mixture over the coconut on the baking sheet. Massage the oil and spice mixture into the coconut, trying to coat every piece as evenly as possible. Spread the coconut out into a single layer.
  • Slide the baking sheet into the oven. Bake for 25 minutes, lightly stirring the coconut up at the halfway point. The coconut bacon should be deep brown and lightly crisp on the edges. It will crisp completely as it cools.
  • Make the dressing: in an upright blender, combine the cashews, water, lemon juice, maple syrup, lemon pepper seasoning, and salt. Blend on high until completely smooth. It should be the consistency of half & half cream. Transfer dressing t a sealable jar and store in the refrigerator until ready to use.
  • Set a grill or grill pan to high heat. Lightly brush the peach halves with olive oil and set them, face down, on the grill. Once char marks appear and the skin is peeling away from the peach, remove from the grill.
  • Portion greens into 4 serving bowls. Arrange tomatoes, avocado, and grilled peaches over the greens. Drizzle the salads with the tangy lemon pepper dressing and top with plenty of coconut bacon and freshly ground black pepper. Serve the vegan BLT salad immediately.

Notes

  • You'll need the large flake coconut for the bacon here; rather than the fine shreds. It gets super crisp, almost like a chip and it tends to look more bacon-like. For leftover coconut bacon, cool it completely and store in a sealed jar/reusable container at room temperature. It should keep crisp for about a week.
  • The tangy lemon pepper dressing is also excellent simply drizzled over sliced summer tomatoes with some chopped herbs and extra black pepper.