Pass the Veggies Please – Turkey Day Survival Guide and a Recipe for Seasonal Chopped Kale Salad with Dijon Dressing!
Whether you do a big Thanksgiving or a low-key meal, Thanksgiving day is notorious for overeating and indulging. One of our daughters recently asked me if Thanksgiving dishes were good for you. That’s a loaded question and of course it depends on whether we’re talking about nutritional value alone and if we are also considering fat, calories, sugar, and caloric density. We can feel good about eating root vegetables, organic meats, whole grains, even Brussel sprouts and green beans on turkey day. However, even with whole foods and produce all over the table, traditional Thanksgiving dishes are certainly loaded with extra fat and sugar and therefore high caloric density.
That whipped mashed potato number you love? – loaded with cream and butter. Sweet potato casserole? – straight sugar mixed in and often marshmallows or crumble on top. Green bean casserole? – cream based soup plus fried onions. Don’t forget the infamous dessert table – only in recent years have there been gluten-free and reduced sugar options. Indulge on turkey day with mindful presence. Add simple, pure, fresh and raw dishes to traditional side dishes. Seasonal Chopped Kale Salad is fresh, raw, protein, vitamin, and fiber rich – it’s a good balance to all the other heavy foods. Indeed I am bringing pies and cookies to this Thursdays meal. I am also bringing a huge bowl of Seasonal Chopped Kale Salad!
I use a Kale Cranberry Pecan chopped salad kit (or 2 or 3 bags). Remove the little bags of nuts and cranberries – save the dried berries and nuts for California Cowboy Cookies recipe from last week ;). Toss the bag of creamy dijon dressing that comes in the kit in the trash – cream based salad dressings are not great for us – we can do better while preserving the taste.
Add in about a half a bag or so of pre-shredded carrots. Carrots are nice and naturally sweet. In the place of the cranberries slice up fresh grapes and add pomegranate arils (or blueberries!) I chop Pink Lady apples which I find to be perfectly sweet and tart. Sprinkle the apple chunks with lemon juice and add toss them into to the salad.
I found this goodie in my old Youtube channel: “How to Open a Pomegranate Under Water”
In the place of oily pecans add toasted, sliced almonds – almonds have less fat than pecans.
The dressing is simple – I make a mixture of spicy mustard, vinegar (apple or rice vinegar,) and a touch of honey or light agave syrup – no creams here!
This whole salad can be put together in about 10 minutes! Everyone loves it! It’s different with the crunchy, sweet fruit and the tartness of the dressing. Do you have room on your table for a little Chopped Seasonal Kale salad?
I’ll leave you with a health coach tip – don’t go to Thanksgiving dinner starving. Have 3 meals that day. Eat a healthy snack like fruit before the big meal. When you are not overly hungry you will be able to control portions those decadent side dishes and save a little room for dessert.
- 2 bags Kale Cranberry Pecan Chopped Salad Kit by Ready Pac Foods (remove pecan, dried berry, and dressing packs)
- ½ bag shredded carrots
- 2 cups red grapes sliced in half
- 2 Pink Lady apples, chopped into small chunks
- ½ fresh lemon
- ¾ cup toasted sliced almonds
- 3 Tablespoons spicy mustard
- 1 Tablespoon apple cider vinegar
- 1 Tablespoon light agave syrup or honey
- Remove pecans, dried cranberries, and salad dressing - will not be used
- Add shredded carrots to chopped kale
- Chop apples and squeeze lemon juice over chunks to preserve color
- Slice grapes in half
- Prepare pomegranate arils
- toast almond slices
- Mix salad dressing ingredients (spicy mustard, vinegar, agave/honey)
- Combine all ingredients and serve!
Lastly I have an art share. As you know from recent posts I have been loving sunflowers this season. I paid my folks a visit this afternoon and my artiste mom was in an art share mood. Amongst many paintings she shared with me today was a little collection of sunflowers in oil paint:
Once again, Happy Thanksgiving for reals friends!