Skinny Fall Harvest Salad

Healthy Thanksgiving Salad

Need a dish to bring to a fall party?  What about the perfect healthy Thanksgiving starter? Perpending over the cost of nutrisystem vs jenny craig supplements when you can make stuff of same caloric value at home? Or a make ahead salad that you can package up and bring for lunch everyday this week? I gat’chu.

This salad is so simple and straightforward to make that I initially felt a wee bit embarrassed to bring it along to a yom kippur dinner party (I added pomegranates & honey to keep it festive!).  Everyone typically expects me to show up with something more dazzling than lettuce.. but I can’t even tell you what a hit it was!  Since then, there hasn’t been a dinner party (or weekday for that matter) that I haven’t whipped up some variation of this complex flavored specialty.  Below, I give you a recipe for the base followed by some suggestions for substitutions or add-ins.  Enjoy 🙂

*This recipe serves a crowd of 8-10, but can be easily adjusted for less servings.

Skinnnnnay Fall Harvest Salad ya’all! 

Ingredients 

– 1 Box Quinoa & Long Grain Rice Blend. I buy the rosemary flavor from Lundberg

-1 Large plastic box of organic Arugula 

-4 ounces of a firm cheese, chopped.  {Can be whatever cheese is on sale that you like.  The one featured in the picture was an herb rolled asiago I got at Whole Foods, but I change it up every time!}

-1/2 red onion, chopped

-1/3 cup sweet roasted pumpkin seeds.  {Can be subbed for trail mix with craisins, glazed walnuts, honey roasted almonds, or any other variation of a sweetened nut.}

-1 red apple, chopped  {or pear}

– 1 garlic clove, minced

-1/2 lemon, squeezed

-4 tbsp olive oil, divided

-4 tbsp balsamic vinegar 

salt & pepper to taste

Optional Add-In:  1/3 cup pomegranate seeds

Directions

1. Cook quinoa & rice blend according to package. Stir in minced garlic clove  and 2 tbsp of olive oil immediately after removing from heat.  Add salt & pepper to taste.  Cover and refrigerate until cooled.

2. Toss arugula in remaining 2 tbsp olive oil, 4 tbsp balsamic vinegar and the juice from 1/2 lemon.

3. Arrange the remaining ingredients into quadrants around the middle (see picture).  Finish with fresh cracked pepper and serve!

*In this version, I made a smaller batch and used a gruyere cheese and cranberry trail mix without the peanuts! This photo was taken before I added the quinoa blend!

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