December 23, 2020
Pearfect Winter Salad
Indulge yourself with something fresh and seasonal for the holidays! This Pearfect Winter Salad includes fresh Red & Green Anjou Pears from my friends at USA Pears, goat cheese, pecans, kale, and homemade honey mustard dressing.
Who says salads are a summer food!? While the flu and you-know-what else-season lingers during the cold months, it is even more important that we eat foods that support a healthy immune system! Fresh fruits and vegetables keep our bodies alkalized and in the perfect state to ward off any illnesses. Greens like kale and fennel are filled with vitamins and minerals that keep the brain alert and the body in a healthy balance. Water-filled fruits like pears help satisfy our sweet tooth, and keep us wanting more naturally sourced sugars. (Natural sugars from fruit also help boost the immune system!)
So this is my thing. Yes, I am all about people being healthy. Yes, I am all about people eating more vegetables, but let’s be honest a lot of times they just aren’t served in a super appetizing way. Sometimes it seems like our healthiest friends eat some of the most bland and boring foods just because “they are good for you.” Again, I am all about being healthy and eating more vegetables, but I’m going to need these foods to taste good too!
For example, most of us know that salads are great for the body, but even if we all know that, it’s not always that easy to eat them! Here are three tips for enjoying your salads that have me constantly craving them.
The dressing is key.
Have healthy fats.
This Winter Salad is festive and one of my go-to recipes this time of year because of the delicious dressing, the fat from the cheese and pecans give it some extra bulk, and then the USA Pears give it a sweetness and overall balance that just really complement the kale and fennel. High quality pears are a must, and that’s why USA Pear’s Red and Green Anjou varieties are the true stars of this salad.
Fun fact! Did you know that pears actually pack the most fiber of the 20 most popular fruits!? The high water and fiber content allows the body to digest it quickly, which actually saves (internal, body-functioning) energy! Heavily processed foods and certain meats can take as long as 2 days to digest, as opposed to the rapid 30 minutes of a pear and many other fruits. Talk about an energy saver!
Alright, now let’s jump into this Pearfect Winter Salad recipe!
1 Green Anjou Pear
1 Red Anjou Pear
12 Dino kale leaves, 4 cups kale
1 Small head of fennel
5 oz Goat cheese
½ cup Pecans, salted and chopped
2 Tbsp olive oil
½ Tsp salt
2 Tsp dijon mustard
2 Tbsp honey
⅓ Cup olive oil
1. Slice pears thinly, removing the core and seeds, and lightly drizzle with lemon juice. Set aside. Cut fennel into thin wedges, removing the root and leaves.
2. Remove thick stems from the kale leaves and chop into thin strips. Place in a large mixing bowl with two tablespoons of olive oil and salt. Massage the kale by hand until it appears darker in color and feels tender or slightly wilted.
3. In a small bowl, whisk together mustard, honey, and olive oil until homogeneous. Drizzle evenly over the massaged kale and toss just before serving.
4. Top the dressed kale with the goat cheese and pecans. Arrange pears and fennel wedges neatly over the kale and serve!
Special thanks to USA Pears for sponsoring this post. All opinions are my own.