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Reddit user shows how they recreated an iconic Panera Bread menu item at home: 'It really does taste like it'

"I made copycat Panera Fuji Apple Salad … veganized!"

Panera Bread, salad vegan food

Photo Credit: u/Veggies4Lee / Reddit

There are a lot of pages online dedicated to recreating some of our favorite restaurant meals at home, but one Reddit user took it one step further, turning a chicken and cheese-based salad into a fully plant-based meal. 

Lee posted a photo in the r/VeganFoodPorn forum, saying, "I made copycat Panera Fuji Apple Salad veganized!!"

The Redditor whipped up a vegan version of Panera Bread's Fuji apple salad with lettuce, pecans, red and yellow cherry tomatoes, and bare Apple Chips. To top it off, she drizzled a homemade dressing inspired by a recipe from food blogger Whitney Bond. 

Lee transformed the salad, which usually features chicken and cheese along with a honey-based dressing, into a vegan concoction by swapping out the honey for maple syrup and forgoing the gorgonzola cheese. She also skipped the olive oil in the dressing recipe because she rarely eats oil. 

Swapping out animal-based meals for vegetarian or vegan ones can have a positive effect on your health. People who eat plant-based diets consume less fat. They also have a lower risk for chronic ailments like heart disease. While you don't have to commit to going fully vegan, many experts recommend trying meatless meals once or twice a week.

In addition, reducing or eliminating your meat consumption is one way you can go green. The meat industry is responsible for 14.5% of the planet's carbon pollution and also produces methane and nitrous oxide, two other planet-warming gases. 

Overall, 57% of all planet-warming gases come from breeding and rearing livestock and producing feed for them to eat. In contrast, only 29% of these air-polluting gases can be attributed to the production of plant-based foods.

One Redditor was excited to try Lee's salad hack at home.

"Omg this used to be my all-time favorite salad from Panera I swear I used to get it like 1x a week in college at least," they say, adding that they'd love to try it with a plant-based chicken. 

"I don't buy vegan chicken often but I'd want to complete my old favorite," another adds.

"This lady's dressing recipe tastes exactly like Panera's!!" the original poster replies. "I have a ginger grinder and I also ground up some fresh apples to make the juice and it really does taste like it. U will like it!!"

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