Home ยป Meatless Monday: Chopped Apple Salad with Toasted Walnuts, Blue Cheese and Pomegranate Vinaigrette

Meatless Monday: Chopped Apple Salad with Toasted Walnuts, Blue Cheese and Pomegranate Vinaigrette

When I was in college and visited the campus rec center for a sweat session, I often laughed at people on the elliptical (coughcouhgTHETAsororitygirlscoughcough). Unlike some people, I wasn’t afraid to sweat. I didn’t go to the gym to socialize, sport my boom-boom shorts, and/or pick-up guys. That’s what the internet is for, right?

But I didn’t laugh at them for the laughable reasons mentioned above. I laughed at them because they added no resistance to the elliptical, so that whatever was going on…was not a workout. When you have to put more effort in to slowing or stopping the wheel of a piece of cardio equipment, you’re not doing something right.

Kind of like ellipticals needing some effort, so do salads. And just like ellipticals, salads aren’t my favorite. If a salad is going to be a MEAL, it better have some substantial ingredients…like egg, or nuts, or seed, or…cheese. In other words, some fat and protein.

Leafy greens and vegetables drizzled in a sub-par dressing is going to lead to scary scenes. Like my stomach growling by 2pm, my blood sugar dropping, eating junk that’s available in the break room, and most likely, turning into a huge witch before long. All very bad, bad things, let me tell you. My tolerance of a growling stomach is less than that I have for drivers going UNDER the speed limit…in the left-hand lane. But let’s not go there…

Then there’s the facts. Greens and vegetables are packed with fat-soluble vitamins A, D, E, and K that require fat in order to be absorbed. The fat can come from other salad ingredients, salad dressing, or another component of the meal, but the fat should be consumed in that meal for best absorption. This salad, meets all of my Salad Criteria plus this special wow-factor when the following ingredients are combined. Mmm!


Chopped Apple Salad with Toasted Walnuts, Blue Cheese and Pomegranate Vinaigrette adapted from Bobby Flay

Pomegranate Vinaigrette:
1/2 cup POM Wonderful
2 Tbsp red wine vinegar
1 Tbsp Dijon mustard
1 Tbsp honey
salt, to taste
freshly ground black pepper, to taste
1/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil

3 apples (Gala, Fuji, or Honeycrisp), cored and cut into 1/2-inch pieces
2 cups spinach or arugula
1 large head Romaine lettuce, torn into pieces
1/2 cup toasted walnuts, coarsely chopped
6 oz blue cheese, crumbled
1/2 pomegranate, arils removed


To make the vinaigrette, simmer the POM Wonderful over medium heat until it simmers, thickening to about 1/4 cup (about 10-12 minutes). Whisk together the pomegranate juice, vinegar, mustard, honey, salt, and pepper in a medium bowl. Slowly whisk in the olive oil until emulsified. Set aside.

For the salad, combine the apples, spinach/arugula, Romaine, walnuts, and blue cheese in a large bowl. Add the vinaigrette and toss to coat. Yield: 5 entree portions.

Nutrition Information (per serving): 431 calories; 31 g. fat; 24 mg. cholesterol; 534 mg. sodium; 31.8 g. carbohydrate; 7.6 g. fiber; 11 g. protein

Result: I firmly believe this may be the best salad dressing…ever. It’s absolutely divine. I could eat it with a spoon or slurp it down with a straw. It has a great combination or sweet and tart while still being light and olive oil-based. The ingredients in the salad are perfect for fall and the blue cheese makes this salad outta-this-world. Enjoy!


Have a great week!

Share With Your Friends!


  1. Gina (The Candid RD)
    November 14, 2011 / 6:31 am

    This salad sounds amazing Nicole. And, I agree, a salad isn’t a SALAD unless it has some real “meat” to it, like eggs, nuts, bacon, cheese, SOMETHING! Our friend had us over for dinner on Saturday night and made us “salads” with lettuce and croutons. hehe, it was….interesting.
    Oh, and BY THE WAY, I was a Theta!!!!!!!!!!!
    But, only for 6 months, then I quit ๐Ÿ™‚

  2. Erika - The Teenage Taste
    November 14, 2011 / 7:00 am

    Oh my gosh, this salad looks phenomenal! I love all of the ingredients in it, plus those huge chunks of blue cheese are calling my name! LOVE! ๐Ÿ˜€

  3. Marisa @ Loser for Life
    November 14, 2011 / 8:01 am

    Yes! Love! Want!!! Making this for lunch…soon!

  4. Anna @ On Anna's Plate
    November 14, 2011 / 9:29 am

    I love the combo of blue cheese and pomegranates– yum!

    I used to make fun of the people on the elliptical too…then I got pregnant ๐Ÿ™‚

  5. The Home Cook
    November 14, 2011 / 9:57 am

    This sounds great. I’m always looking for new main course salads to add to my rotation. I’ve got a free bottle of pomegranate salad dressing that should work well with this, although I might doctor it up based on your homemade version. ๐Ÿ™‚

  6. Josie
    November 14, 2011 / 10:02 am

    When you posted that you were making this yesterday, I looked up the recipe, and I made this vinaigrette to with a different salad. It was really good, so thanks for sharing! And I still have half a jar left, so maybe I’ll make this salad now too ๐Ÿ™‚

    • Nicole
      November 14, 2011 / 10:18 pm

      The vinaigrette was the star of the recipe, for sure!

  7. Kelsey
    November 14, 2011 / 10:15 am

    This salad has everything I love. I can’t wait to make it!

  8. Anne Marie@New Weigh of Life
    November 14, 2011 / 10:18 am

    The salad looks so refreshing!!

  9. Leah @ Why Deprive?
    November 14, 2011 / 11:34 am

    I absolutely require any salad I eat to contain cheese. Now Im glad because I didnt know that thing about the fat and the nutrients.

    This salad sounds amazing. Its pretty much just a combination of everything I love.

  10. Trainer Kjirsten @ Balanced Healthy Life
    November 14, 2011 / 11:53 am

    This salad looks so amazing! Very groumet looking! I wish I were able to eat blue cheese right now! I’ll have to bookmark this recipe for when I can get it again!!! This is a salad right up my alley!

  11. Melissa
    November 14, 2011 / 12:01 pm

    I love salads like this! Looks beautiful, too!

  12. Heather @ Get Healthy with Heather
    November 14, 2011 / 12:14 pm

    There’s something about blue cheese and fruits together that make a salad amazing. Or really anything. I’ve been know to just eat pear and blue cheese together and lived every bite!

    Hope your Monday treats you well.

  13. Jessica
    November 14, 2011 / 12:45 pm

    Look at you putting some pizazz into your photo ๐Ÿ™‚ Nice touch.

    I’m with you, if I’m going to go for a salad, it needs something substantial in it. I wish I thought to make big salads at home more often. I don’t love fruit in salad, but the walnuts and bleu cheese sound amazing!

    • Nicole
      November 14, 2011 / 10:17 pm

      Pizazz…I like that ๐Ÿ™‚

  14. Lizzy (Good Things)
    November 14, 2011 / 2:22 pm

    Oh, lovely! This is my kind of salad.

  15. Kristen (swanky dietitian)
    November 14, 2011 / 2:31 pm

    I completely agree with you about salads! There has to be something to them. This looks like one that is not only delicious, but will keep me satisfied. That is one big reason I hardly ever pack salads for lunch.

  16. Faith
    November 14, 2011 / 4:12 pm

    Your pictures are stunning, Nicole! I love everything about this salad and it sounds like it’s absolutely perfect for fall!

  17. Claire @ Live and Love to Eat
    November 14, 2011 / 5:34 pm

    This looks Thanksgiving worthy – maybe with goat cheese instead…

  18. Roz
    November 14, 2011 / 7:22 pm

    Nicole, your photos are AMAZING!!! Makes me want to reach my fork through the monitor and dig in. Thanks for the great recipe!!! Have a wonderful week!!!!

  19. Sally Kuzemchak
    November 14, 2011 / 10:01 pm

    I am making this salad dressing ASAP. Also, gorgeous photos! You should submit them to Healthy Aperture: http://www.healthyaperture.com/

    • Nicole
      November 14, 2011 / 10:16 pm

      Thank you! I did!! It’s up there ๐Ÿ™‚

  20. Pingback: Recipe Swap – Chopped Apple Salad with Toasted Walnuts, Blue Cheese and Pomegranate Vinaigrette | Best Recipes Ever

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