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Since I’m the “weird eater” in the family, I am usually the one who gets asked to bring a salad. Which I don’t mind at all! I like to remind people that salad doesn’t have to be boring or predictable.

Poor maligned salad often gets relegated to the forgotten sad side dish category. And that’s tragic! A beautiful salad can be so much more!

kale pomegranates OJ cilantro sunflower seeds

The key is to use a variety of colors and textures, and to dress it with enough fat and acid to make it shine.

Since pomegranates are in season, I wanted to feature them in this salad. The addition of fruit brightens any salad, and both pomegranate arils and green apple slices add a tart crunch here.

roasted squash

There’s no shame in using pre-washed salad mixes. In this salad, I made use of Trader Joe’s Cruciferous Crunch—a blend of kale, Brussels sprouts, broccoli, and red and green cabbage. Delicious and full of phytonutrients that lower estrogen levels and fight cancer. Good deal for $2.99 a bag! I also threw in a half a bunch of cilantro, but you can skip it if you’re not a fan.

I whisked together a simple salad dressing of orange juice, olive oil, and honey, inspired by a recipe I’d made in the store earlier in the week.

For a toasty crunch, I added roasted sunflower seeds and pumpkin seeds—sources of healthy fats to counterbalance all those unhealthy fats from the pie I’d be eating later….

squash quinoa cranberries hazelnuts parsley

I combined all of the ingredients in a large bowl and tossed with the dressing. Letting it refrigerate in the dressing overnight helped soften the greens, but they were hardy enough that they didn’t wilt.

It made a gorgeous and eye-catching addition to our holiday table, and I hope it does yours, too!


quinoa pilaf

Festive Winter Salad with Citrus Vinaigrette

Prep Time10 minutes
Servings: 8
Calories: 165kcal


  • 2 granny smith apples
  • 1 tbsp lemon juice
  • 1/2 cup orange juice
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 1 tbsp honey
  • 1 bag Trader Joe's Cruciferous Crunch
  • 1 cup pomegranate arils
  • 1/4 cup toasted sunflower seeds
  • 1/4 cup toasted pumpkin seeds
  • 1/2 cup cilantro
  • salt and pepper, to taste


  • Thinly slice the green apples and submerge in a bowl of water with the lemon juice for 5 minutes to prevent browning.
  • In a small bowl, combine the orange juice, olive oil, honey, and salt and pepper, to taste.
  • In a large bowl, combine the greens, pomegranate, sunflower seeds, pumpkin seeds, apples, and cilantro.
  • Pour the dressing over and toss well. Refrigerate until serving.


Calories: 165kcal | Carbohydrates: 18g | Protein: 3g | Fat: 10g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Sodium: 33mg | Potassium: 170mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 11g | Vitamin A: 123IU | Vitamin C: 13mg | Calcium: 10mg | Iron: 1mg

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