I love this time of year when squash, apples and cranberries are abundant. So I wanted to share a couple colorful salads that are great this time of year and delicious enough to adorn your Thanksgiving table.
Bringing salads into the options at Thanksgiving benefit all who partake, because the phytonutrients will actually help the body handle the richness that comes from other traditional foods. Did you know there is a spike of heart attacks on Thanksgiving Day? Bringing in phytonutrients found in these two salads may help lower that risk. Eating colorful foods improve heart health. Each color imparts a specific phytonutrient and they work together for optimal body function.
The first salad is a mixture of roasted squash and cranberries tossed with shaved Brussel sprouts and kale and topped off with a tangy sweet mustard dressing.
The second is a raw salad combining nuts, cranberries, apples and fennel marinated in a sweet orange dressing.
Thanksgiving Squash Salad
- 1 pound Brussel sprouts
- 1 bunch lacinato kale
- 2 delicate squash
- 1 cup cranberries fresh or frozen
- 1 cup walnuts
- 1/4 cup maple syrup
- 1/4 cup apple juice or water
- 1 teaspoon Dijon
- 1/4 cup cider vinegar
- 1/2 tsp sea salt or Himalayan salt
- Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Wash and dry the squash. Cut lengthwise in half, clean out seeds and cut crosswise into 1/2 inch moons (the squash skin is edible). Toss with a little olive oil and then lay on a parchment lined sheet pan.
- Pour cranberries onto the sheet pan and spread out around the squash. Place in oven and roast for 20 minutes, check for doneness, cook a few minutes longer if needed.
- Prepare the vinaigrette: combine the maple syrup, apple juice, vinegar, Dijon and salt in a small bowl and whisk to mix well.
- Thinly slice the Brussel sprouts and kale, combine in a mixing bowl with 2 tablespoons of the vinaigrette and toss well or massage to coat the greens.
- When squash and berries are done cooking, toss squash, cranberries and walnuts with the shredded greens and top with more vinaigrette.
Cranberry Nut Holiday Salad
- 1 cup fresh cranberries
- 1 cup walnut halves
- 2 cups apples, diced
- 1 cup pecan halves
- 1 cup celery, sliced thin
- 1 fennel bulb, diced
- 2 green onions, sliced
- 1 tsp each marjoram, oregano, rosemary
- 1 lemon zest
- 1 lime zest
- 1 tsp sea salt
- 1/2 cup orange juice
- 1/4 cup maple syrup
- 1/4 cup olive oil
- In a food processor, combine the cranberries and walnuts and pulse together until chunky. Transfer to a large bowl.
- Chop the pecans and add to the bowl. Dice the apples, celery, fennel and onions nd add to the bowl.
- combine the herbs, zest, salt, juice, syrup and oil in a small bowl and whisk together to combine. Pour half of the dressing over the nut mixture and toss well to coat.
- Allow to marinate for at least two hours. Serve with remaining dressing if desires.