This tasty sandwich-inspired recipe is a great way to get your salty bacon fix without going overboard.

By Jessica Cording, MS, RD, CDN
Updated: August 15, 2017

For bacon lovers, a life without your favorite breakfast meat sounds ridiculous. I get it! So, I support indulging in the foods you crave (yes!) in moderation (stay with me here). In addition to the World Health Organization classifying processed meat like bacon as a group 1 carcinogen (meaning that there is enough research to establish a connection between high intake and increased cancer risk), there's also the negative heart-health impact from the high dietary cholesterol and sodium to consider.

But I don't believe in trying to make do with less-satisfying substitutes, as I find that many people overeat substitutes in an attempt to hit that sweet spot. Plus, these substitutes often aren't even that much healthier. Turkey bacon is still processed and packed with sodium, which isn't doing your heart any favors.

This recipe is a delicious way to enjoy a serving of bacon in the context of a well-balanced salad that has all the flavors of the classic BLT sandwich, while also adding the creaminess of the avocado. The monounsaturated fat and potassium in the avocado are beneficial to your heart health. And cruciferous veggies like kale and cabbage have been noted for their cancer-fighting potential and heart-healthy fiber.

This salad is a great example of how combining foods you want to limit with ingredients that offer more health benefits is a smart and balanced way to enjoy what you crave. That can help you stay on track with your healthy eating for the long haul.

Kale Avocado BLT Salad

Serves 2

Ingredients

  • 4 slices bacon
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
  • 4 cups chopped kale
  • 1 cup shredded purple cabbage
  • 2 cups grape tomatoes, sliced
  • 1 small cucumber, sliced
  • 1 avocado, sliced
  • 8 oz cooked chicken, chopped

Directions

1. Cook bacon according to package directions. Set aside to cool.

2. Whisk together oil and vinegar. Massage kale with dressing until it begins to soften. Let sit for 5 minutes.

3. In a large bowl, toss massaged kale with remaining ingredients until well combined. Grab a fork and dig in.

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