There’s always someone on Thanksgiving that’s looking for something “healthy” to eat.  That person is most definitely NOT me.  The more glutinous my meal is that day the more I look forward to not eating for a week afterward.  But to appease the guests that didn’t wear stretchy pants to dinner I like to have something for them to enjoy.  And I can enjoy it the next day with my overloaded turkey sandwich.

This salad is incredible….and all the ingredients are in season so it’s easy to find everything you need at the grocery store or farmer’s market.  The dressing is light and tangy….and low-fat. So, you can eat it with your 10 pound meal and balance everything out.  Kale is negative calories, right?  Like celery. The more you eat the more you subtract from the calories you just consumed in that giant pile of stuffing and mashed potatoes.  I’m liking this theory.  Let’s go with it, shall we?

Harvest Chopped Salad with Creamy Cranberry Shallot Dressing

You can leave out anything you want…if you don’t like brussels sprouts you can ditch them and add that amount of chopped kale.  Don’t care of kale, you certainly can replace it with your choice of lettuce just don’t dress the salad until immediately before serving so it doesn’t wilt.  The kale actually tastes better if you dress the entire salad a few hours ahead of time.  Just store it in an airtight container in the refrigerator until ready to serve.

Don’t get me wrong, I do love a great salad and this has now made my list of favorites.  This is a great way to use up any leftover squash, greens and cranberry sauce too.  I will definitely be adapting this recipe several times after the holidays when we will all be ready for a much-needed cleanse!  Stay tuned!!!

Harvest Chopped Salad with Creamy Cranberry Shallot Dressing

Harvest Chopped Salad with Creamy Cranberry-Shallot Dressing

Serves 6-8

For the dressing:

4 tablespoons cranberry sauce (I used my Easy Cranberry Sauce, you can use your favorite.)

2 teaspoons Dijon Mustard (I used Maille)

1/3 cup plain 2% greek yogurt (I used Chobani)

2 tablespoons finely chopped shallots

2 tablespoon cider vinegar

1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil (I used California Olive Ranch)

salt and pepper

For the salad:

3 cups butternut squash, cut into bite sized pieces

2 tablespoons olive oil

salt and pepper

1 avocado, pitted and diced

1 apple, peeled, seeded and chopped

juice from 1 lemon

3 cups kale, stems removed and chopped into bite size pieces

1 1/2 cups shredded fresh brussel sprouts (uncooked)

1/2 cup pomegranate seeds

1 cup toasted pecans

Preheat oven to 325 degrees.  Toss the squash with the olive oil, salt and pepper and spread out on a baking sheet in a single layer.  Roast for approximately 20 minutes or until tender.  Set aside to cool.

In the bowl of a small food processor, add the cranberry sauce, mustard, yogurt, shallots, vinegar, and olive oil.  Process until smooth.  Season with salt and pepper to taste.  Set aside.

In a small bowl, gently toss the avocado and apple with the lemon juice.

In a large bowl, toss together the kale and brussel spouts.  Add the squash, avocado, apple, pomegranate seeds, pecans and dressing and lightly toss to combine.  Wrap tightly with plastic wrap or transfer to an airtight container to store in the refrigerator for at least 1 hour.  Can be made up to 1 day in advance.

Harvest Chopped Salad with Creamy Cranberry Shallot Dressing