Thanksgiving is a day full of delicious and comforting foods steeped in family tradition… that also happen to be starchy, full of fat, and leave you feeling like a beached whale. In order to combat the calorie-bomb of a meal to come I decided to prepare a salad full of Autumn’s greatest offerings.
Salads as a starter are great for a few reasons: they are full of delicious fruits and vegetables packed with vitamins and antioxidants and they also help curb your hunger so you do not overindulge later in the meal.
This salad happens to be a little heavy on the fat due to the added walnuts and feta but don’t let that turn you away from this delicious dish. Walnuts are full of healthy polyunsaturated fats, specifically omega-3s that fight inflammation and bad cholesterol. The majority of us do not get enough omega-3 in our diet unless we are consuming a regular diet of fish so don’t be scared of a few walnuts tossed into a salad! As for the feta you can reduce the amount added, however it is already a fairly low fat cheese and adds a great creaminess to the salad.
The original recipe calls for the dressing to be mixed in with the salad, however I chose to leave it on the side to give others the control over how much to add. For the purposes of the nutrient analysis I included 1 T of dressing per serving.
Apple and cranberry chopped salad
Recipe adapted from: Espresso and Cream
- 6 cups chopped romaine lettuce
- 2 medium apples, diced
- 1 cup dried cranberries
- 1 cup walnut pieces
- 4 oz feta cheese
- 3/4 cup Poppy Seed dressing
Wash romain lettuce and apples and allow to dry. In a large bowl, mix together cranberries, walnuts and feta cheese. Chop lettuce and apples into bite size pieces and add to bowl. Toss together until well mixed. At this point you may add the dressing and coat the salad completely, however do so immediately before service so salad does not get soggy. I chose to leave the dressing on the side and allowed others to add their desired amount. Serves 6.
Nutrition: Calories 284.3; Total fat 18.7g; Saturated fat 4.2g; Cholesterol 16.8mg; Sodium 233mg; Carbohydrates 28.2g; Fiber 4.6g; Protein 6.8g