How’s your 30-Day Good Mood Challenge, going? Day 22 calls for a “colorful salad,” and I thinking we make it a winter salad!
There are SO MANY reasons to add more salads into your life! Fiber, antioxidants, super filling and bursting with flavors and textures – salads check lots of nutrition boxes. Just because it’s cold out doesn’t mean you should skip the salads this time of year. The key to a winter salad is to utilize ingredients that are “in-season” this time of year. (Yes, summer salads differ from fall and winter ones!).
This Colorful Winter Salad combines sweet, savory, salty and creamy all in one! Feel free to make it vegan, if you choose!
Winter Salad Components
The difference between summer and winter salads comes down to what produce is produced this time of year. You’ll notice grocery stores full of things like figs, pomegranates, apples squashes, Brussels sprouts, arugula and beets, as opposed to summer produce like tomatoes, zucchini, berries and corn.
Some ingredients are offered year-round, but it doesn’t mean they’re “in-season.” That means that some of your produce comes from other countries or really far away, leaving a bigger carbon footprint. When possible, eat in-season for the best flavor, nutrients, lower prices, and less strain on the environment.
Swaps for This Recipe
I love a versatile salad, and this one is VERY forgiving. If you’re not a fan of any of the ingredients in this salad, no problem! Make a few swaps to tailor it to your taste.
- The bacon is optional! If you choose not to use it, select a vegan bacon if you want the smoky-salty component.
- Add chopped, cooked chicken breast for even more protein.
- Don’t like figs? The dressing I chose is very fig-forward, so if it’s not a flavor you love, choose something else. Use the Maple Vinaigrette dressing from Trader Joe’s instead, or make your own balsamic dressing using vinegar, Dijon mustard, olive oil and a pinch of stevia.
- If honey goat cheese isn’t your jam, use regular goat cheese or try feta or vegan feta crumbles.
- Use a mixed bag of greens in place of arugula if you find arugula too bitter.
- Add in roasted butternut squash cubes if you have some extra time to roast some.
- The TJ’s spicy sweet nuts are a must (IMO). If you want to keep the carbs lower, simply make your own using pecans, some monk fruit sweetener, salt and cayenne. Add to a skillet to melt and caramelize the monk fruit, which adds a crispy sweet coating to your nuts without any sugar.
Easy Shopping List
Shop wherever you like for this Colorful Winter Salad! Most stores carry all of these ingredients. The dressing and honey goat cheese, however, are specifically from Trader Joe’s. So if you want a one-stop-shop and live near a good ol’ TJ’s, that’s the place to go!
Colorful Winter Salad
*This recipe may contain affiliate links to products we use and love.
- 1 7 oz bag organic arugula
- 1 5.3 oz container organic pomegranate seeds
- 1 large bell pepper, chopped
- 2 medium honey crisp apples chopped
- 1 large avocado, chopped
- 5 oz honey goat cheese, crumbled
- 1 green onion, chopped
- 1/2 cup sweet & spicy pecans
- 12 tbsp organic balsamic & fig dressing*
- 6 strips cooked, crumbed bacon, optional
- Add the arugula to a large salad bowl.
- Sprinkle with the pomegranate seeds, chopped bell pepper, apples, and avocado. Top with goat cheese, green onion, and pecans.
- Toss well with dressing, adjusting the amount to suit your taste. Sprinkle the top with bacon, if using.
This salad is SO beautiful…so if you make it, or tweak it with any of our above suggestions, show us!
Any time you make a recipe, let us know in the comments and tag us in your pics!
Keep up the good work with the Good Mood Challenge! A happier you means a happier world because good vibes are contagious!