Sunday, November 30, 2014

Festive Pomegranate Salad with Sweet and Tangy Balsamic Vinaigrette

How was your Thanksgiving?? We had two grand celebrations. Brandon's sister and her family hosted Thanksgiving for the first time. She knocked it out of the park with the biggest turkey I've ever seen--perfectly browned, stuffed with beautiful pockets of Rosemary, and overflowing with moist stuffing. I'm afraid we could barely make a dent in the bird after we all filled up on the bbq ribs they grilled up as an appetizer. Joe can put away some ribs! He kept running back and forth from the football game to the kitchen to beg for more ribs. That boy is all man. Your average Joe--give him some meat, potatoes, and football and he's set!  

Friday we picked out a Christmas tree, lit the first fire of the season, and roasted s'mores. Yum yum! Caleb said it was the best day ever. He and Kai say that about a lot of days and they are right every time! 

On Saturday we geared up for Thanksgiving Round 2 with my family. My mom baked up a storm of dishes including her famous Cajun stuffing. Dad carved up the turkey in his infamous hand sewn camo chef hat....

Welcome to the South, my friends.

 My favorite part was that both of my dad's brothers were able to come this year and brought our cousins with them. I love hearing my dad and uncles reminisce about their childhood together-- especially since I have three boys of my own growing up together!

I hope you had a beautiful Thanksgiving enjoying old traditions or starting new ones. Now....onto that salad! Somehow I managed to escape any real cooking this Thanksgiving. I bought premade pies from the grocery store and whipped up this salad.  It looks cheery with the bright pomegranate seeds, tastes delicious, and is really easy to toss together! Hope you enjoy it too! I brought it as a side dish this time, but it's also great as a lunch if you beef it up with some nuts, granola, chicken, or even crumbled bacon!  (Go for the bacon. OMG. So good!)

For the Salad:
20 oz of Salad (give or take)
2 Pears
1 Pomegranate
2 oz Goat Cheese

For the Dressing:
1/3 cup balsamic vinegar
2/3 cup olive oil
1 tsp mustard
1/4 tsp garlic powder
1/4 tsp onion powder
1/4 tsp pepper
1/4 tsp salt 
1 1/2 tsp honey or brown sugar

Prepare the salad by dicing the 2 pears over the salad. Sprinkle with goat cheese and pomegranate seeds. I've found that the easiest way to remove the seeds from the pomegranate is by submerging the fruit underwater in my salad spinner. Cut the fruit in half and then use your hands to peel the seeds away from the flesh. The water keeps red juice from splattering all over your kitchen and also helps you separate the white flesh from the seeds. The seeds sink to the bottom and the white flesh floats on top of the water. Just skim the white bits off the top of the water and then drain the water. I received a couple questions about whether or not the seeds are edible. Yes! They are not only edible, but they are packed with antioxidants. They're great for you and they taste amazing--juicy and crunchy all in one bite!

After preparing the salad, mix all the dressing ingredients in a jar with a lid. Give it a good shake and you're ready to get your healthy (or not so healthy) party on!

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