Oct 3, 2012

applebee's make over

Applebee's is another of those casual-dining chain restaurants. Very much like Chili's, T.G.I.F and The Cheesecake Factory. Applebee's was among my first make overs in my first year of MoFo. That time I recreated their Oriental Chicken Salad and Ribs. This time around I took up the challenge of Grilled Shrimp 'n Spinach Salad. This salad tosses shrimp, peppers, onions and spinach in a hot bacon vinaigrette. 

Bacon and shrimp are the problem children here. I could have replaced the shrimp with tofu or seitan (more cost effective), but I decided on hearts of palm. I marinated the palm with a little dulse, a seaweed, and used Bac'uns for the bacon. Typically tvp doesn't stand up to cooking in liquid because it looses the crunch, but because this was a hot dressing, I cooked the Bac'uns in the oil before adding the vinegar. This worked out perfectly.

After the hearts of palm marinated, I sauteed them to a golden brown.

Disclaimer. The result was not shrimp. But it was delicious. The palm was a bit vinegary because it is pickled and the dressing was smoky and the bac'un in it crispy. The almonds add another crunch to the dish and the veggies are just right. Nothing is overwhelming and there is a hint of the taste of the sea. 

Applebee's charges $10.99 for a serving.

Cost Breakdown

spinach: $3

hearts of palm: $8
tomato, pepper, onion: $3
almonds, dulse: $1
spices, oil, vinegar, Bac'uns: $2
mustard, smoke, sugar: $1
Total for 4 servings:

Their charge per Serving: $10.99
Make-Over cost per Serving: $4.50



  1. This looks GREAT. Wish I had some right now! I have never tried hearts of palm, but I think I might check them out now!

    Vegan Fazool Blog
    MoFo Theme: Homesteading it in October!

  2. Hearts of palm! I love them and have never grilled them. This is a must try. Oooh hot dressing. Smokin recipe!

  3. Oh yum! That's so creative and I love the flavor combinations.

  4. I really like that you did a cost break down. Throws the "vegan is expensive" myth right out the window. :)

  5. What a fantastic and creative twist. Hearts of Palm, who would have thought it? Well, you of course!
    Am going to make this for a mid week pick me up lunch.

  6. Could not wait, had to try it, and wow, is this salad awesome!
    Made it last night, and it held up great.
    This is going on the weekly salad rotation for sure.

    1. So cool! I love it, too, so I am so glad it worked for you :))


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