Thursday, December 18, 2014

My Favorite Winter Salad - Orange and Pomegranate Green Salad

Holiday Parties.....

Not only are they a great way to catch up with friends and family, get dressed up in something sparkly and have a super fun time but they are typically teeming with yummy treats and festive cocktails. AND they seem to fall one after another.

So what's a girl who is trying to stay on track with her health to do?

Bring a killer dish that allows you to help out your hostess AND have a healthy option to load up your plate.

I made this salad as a side for Thanksgiving dinner this year and am looking forward to making it over Christmas as well. There is something about the combination of the sweetness of the pomegranates, the creaminess of the blue cheese, and the tartness of the oranges that combine with the crunch of the romaine that make me really happy. This is one of the best salads I've had in a while. AND it is full of antioxidants and vitamin C--and at this time of year who couldn't use a immune system bump this time of year?

Pomegranates are packed with some crazy healthy benefits (and they are one of my favorite things to eat this time of year too!)

Health Benefits of the Pomegranate
  • Most powerful anti-oxidant of all fruits
  • Potent anti-cancer and immune supporting effects
  • Inhibits abnormal platelet aggregation that could cause heart attacks, strokes and embolic disease
  • Lowers cholesterol and other cardiac risk factors
  • Lowers blood pressure
  • Shown to promote reversal of atherosclerotic plaque in human studies
  • May have benefits to relieve or protect against depression and osteoporosis

Oranges too have been touted as having a huge benefit to the immune system. Feel al cold coming on? Better take your vitamin C. I remember as a kid my dad forcing me to take extra vitamin C tablets. Especially in the winter. Because it would help me not to get sick.

But oranges have more to them that just a concentrated dose of vitamin C. They are a good source of fiber, potassium, which is good for your heart, beta-carotene which is awesome for your skin and are rich in carotenoid compounds which are converted to vitamin A and help prevent macular degeneration. (And since macular degeneration runs in my family...I was super excited to learn about this benefit. Oranges aren't my favorite but I may be adding them to my plate a little bit more often now!)  To learn more about oranges and your health click here and here

On top of this salad being loaded with some killer health benefits.... it is really pretty. The red and the green are super festive and bright. It looks great in the bowl and tastes pretty amazing too.

So here is what I did:


1 head of romaine lettuce--chopped
2 cups of leafy lettuce*
Seeds of 1 pomegranate--about 2 cups
4 large oranges--chopped, peels removed
1/2 of 1 a large red onion--chopped
Crumbled blue cheese


1/3 cup orange juice
2/3 cup red wine vinegar*
4 TBS  olive oil
zest of one orange
1 TBS honey
1 TBS Dijon Mustard
1 clove garlic - minced
salt and pepper to taste

In a large bowl combine romaine, leaf lettuce, pomegranate seeds, oranges and red onion. Mix well.

In a shaker cup or blender combine the dressing ingredients. Shake or blend until mixed. (I had better luck and flavor using an immersion blender to make the dressing. I also tend to like my dressing more on the acidic side so I always cut back on the oil. If the ratio isn't' right for you add a little more oil to the mix.)

*I used a power greens mix but you could use arugula, baby kale, or another kind of baby lettuce

** The second time I made this I used a pomegranate balsamic vinegar and wow was it amazing. So if you have a balsamic or a flavored vinegar that would work well with the orange juice feel free to sub it in!

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