In recent years, the USDA replaced the very well-known “food guide pyramid” with the almost-insulting, super simple “plate method”. In brief, half of your (9 inch) plate should be filled with fruits and vegetables, 1/4 of the plate should be filled with lean protein, and the remaining 1/4 of the plate with a starch/carbohydrate.
At first, I think a lot of dietitians were in shock over the major change. But then, it became well-accepted and easily adopted. For so long, my message to patients has simply been “eat more fruits and vegetables”.
However, that’s generally easier said than done. For a lot of reasons.
During holiday time, it’s the perfect opportunity to adopt the “plate method” of eating. Yet, when stuffing and buttery mashed potatoes are passed around the table, willpower weakens and we cave.
“It’s only once a year…” we justify.
Guys, I’m right there with you. Of all the dishes on the holiday table, let’s ditch the something green. Green bean casserole? Bleck. Brussels sprouts? I’ll eat those on Monday. SALAD? Puh-lease. I’m reserving stomach capacity for my FAVORITES. Potatoespotatoespotates!
But then, there’s those salads that are balanced with just enough goodies and good-for-you goodness that you’re happy to fill half (or at least a quarter!) of your plate with the vitamin rich, lower-calorie fruits and vegetable options. On my husband’s side, they always serve up this salad with apple and cashews – it’s HEAVENLY. It reminds me of this salad.
This salad, it embraces winter and the holidays…and health. It’s packed with color, nutrients, and over 18 grams of fiber! It utilizes unique flavors and textures such as tart and seedy pomegranate arils with the tangy smoothness of goat cheese and the creamy, slightly tart dressing. It’s perfect. It leaves you wanting more.
It fills your ENTIRE plate, but that’s okay, too. In fact, you’ll probably be wanting seconds!
- 3 small heads romaine lettuce
- 2 apples, cored and chopped
- 2 pears, chopped
- 1 red bell pepper, chopped
- ¼ red onion, diced
- ⅔ cup roasted and salted pepitas
- ⅔ cup roasted and salted pistachios
- 1 pomegranate, arils removed
- 5 oz goat cheese, crumbled
- 1 (5.3 oz) Pomegranate Greek Yogurt
- 2 Tbsp Sweet Red Chili Sauce (found in Asian section)
- 5 Tbsp pomegranate juice
- 2 Tbsp light mayonnaise
- 1 Tbsp apple cider vinegar
- 1 Tbsp lemon juice
- ½ tsp Worcestershire sauce
- In a small bowl, whisk together dressing ingredients until well incorporated; set aside.
- Wash and chop romaine; transfer to a large bowl. Drizzle with dressing and toss well, using tongs, to distribute throughout. Add apple, pear, bell pepper, and onion; toss well. Distribute salad into 5 even portions and top each with 2 tablespoons of pepitas and pistachios, pomegranate arils, and 1 ounce of goat cheese. Serve immediately.
Weekly Menu: December 14th – 18th
- Sunday: Lamb Bolognese
- Monday: Sausage and Apple-Stuffed Acorn Squash
- Tuesday: One Pot Spicy Taco Rice Skillet
- Wednesday: leftovers/snackies at a work party
- Thursday: homemade pizza and Arugula Salad with Ultimate Vinaigrette