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Fall Salad with Apple Cider Dressing, Pears, Goat Cheese and Pomegranate

November 7, 2018

I love this salad SO much. It has everything I love about fall produce – pears and pomegranates – plus a tangy apple cider vinegar dressing. The crunchy walnuts and tangy goat cheese just round out the flavors and textures in this dish. It would be beautiful on a Thanksgiving table (and lighter, with a nice note of acid to balance the other heavy foods). You could also sub cranberries for pomegranates too. It’s the kind of dish at a buffet that surprises me and makes me want more.

I recently thumbed through Ina Garten’s Cookbook, How to Cook Like A Pro, and when I got to a page that listed her Apple Cider Dressing, I had to laugh. It was the exact dressing I had just made and put on this salad. I don’t know if that qualifies me as a pro, especially because it’s a very simple, basic recipe that is delicious and easy and you’ll use it all the time.

I actually buy all the ingredients for it in bulk at BJs, including a one pound bag of shallots. I guess I really need to have the makings for it in my pantry. Yes, that is a giant Dijon jar you see there and I love it!


This dressing just brings every thing in this salad together. The toasted walnuts…

The pomegranate seeds and crumbled goat cheese…

This salad hits the high notes for flavor but also it’s just so pretty.

That whole ‘we eat with our eyes first’ idea means that our mouths and our tummies will be so satisfied with this on our plate. And you can play around with the ingredients – roasted butternut squash, candied pecans, dried cranberries all play well with this dressing. And I highly recommend grabbing a big wooden bowl like this if you see one! This functions as our fruit bowl but I have made a huge salad in it for parties before and it always dresses up the table and is always one of the first dishes to be polished off.

Hope this salad helps you round out your fall entertaining table! But it is equally as good for a simple dinner or a lunch for one.

Happy Eating! xoxo Katie


Fall Salad with Apple Cider Dressing, Pears, Goat Cheese and Pomegranate (printer versions here):

16 oz. of mixed greens (the mix I used had shredded carrot, pretty but optional)

3-4 oz. of crumbled goat cheese

1-2 sliced pears

⅓ cup toasted walnuts

⅓ cup pomegranate seeds (or substitute dried cranberries)

For the dressing:

¼ cup apple cider vinegar

⅓ cup olive oil (I like a 2:3 ratio of vinegar to oil but you make like it 1:2 and use 1/2 cup of oil)

2 teaspoons dijon mustard

2 T. chopped shallots

S & P



Slice pears, toast walnuts, and prepare pomegranate seeds and goat cheese, if you’ve bought them whole.

Mix dressing, then add most of it to greens, tasting to see how well-dressed it is. Add more dressing if needed.

Layout in a wooden bowl, then top with sliced pears, pomegranate, goat cheese and walnuts.


Lemongrass Coconut Chicken over Grains

April 13, 2013

Now that I am getting ready for baby in a few weeks, I am all about making meals to freeze. I will share some of my favorites as I make them this month, because finding new meal ideas to freeze ahead are one of the biggest requests I get.

As I started to think about what to make, I looked to the meals that I have bought and liked in the freezer aisle.  At the top of my list was this entree from Kashi:


I always feel great after I eat this, and knew it froze well, so I thought, what if I recreated it at home? Turns out it is super easy:

I was also excited to get to use this ingredient that friends and healthy food writers have been raving about:

This is supposed to be the healthiest fat we can eat, though I used it as a flavor booster, with the healthiness factor as a bonus (always my priority levels).

You start with these grains, and while they cook according to their packages:

You make the yummy sauce for the top with these ingredients:

Note the jalepeno – I decided to leave it out since my kids don’t love spicy, but if you do, leave it in!  I was so happy to discover how easy this dish is.  First you melt the 2 T. of the coconut oil on med-high heat, then saute the aromatics in it:

I can’t believe how much the pureed Lemongrass and Ginger speed up this dish, and you don’t even notice the difference.  If you can’t find these ingredients in these tubes, try to get the original and just use about the same amount (1 T.) of minced ginger, and about six 1-inch pieces of lemongrass stalks (about 2-3 stalks, tops trimmed) removing them after the sauce has simmered.  Then you add the chicken:

Then after the chicken has turned mostly white, add the cocount milk and lime juice, simmering on med-low for 10 min. to infuse the flavors:

After 10 min, mash this mixture of flour and coconut oil together and add to sauce thicken it (it does a beautiful job! It is just like thickening a french sauce with butter and flour):

When it is all cooked, add the veggies (I love how the frozen bag of stir fry veggies felt like I was eating the Kashi meal since they are perfectly cut, also super speedy):

Cook until veggies are cooked through, then serve over combined grains.  If you are freezing them like I did, just lay out 3 medium sized containers, letting sauce cool before assembly:


Ready to freeze! I did layer grains with sauce on top, so each container is like the entree, even though this picture looks like I froze them separately. It was so good I made a second batch the next day and we ate if for dinner – the kids were licking their plates.

Lemongrass Coconut Chicken (printer version here.)

1 c. wheat berries – cook according to package

1 c. red quinoa (use regular if you can’t find red) – cook according to package

1 c. brown rice – cook according to package

2 T. coconut oil

1 large shallot, chopped*

2 garlic cloves, chopped

3 T. lemongrass

1 T. ginger

3 chicken breasts, thinly sliced (I try to use organic)

1 t. salt

1 can light coconut milk

2 T. lime juice

2 T. flour + 1 T. coconut oil

Bag of stir fry veggies (broccoli, carrots, snap peas)

* If you like it spicy, can add 1/2-1 jalapeno minced with shallot and garlic, or serve with Sriracha sauce.


Cook grains according to package directions. Rice will take longest, around 50-60 min, and a rice cooker helps, so put it on first.  Then wheat berries and quinoa should be around the same time, so you can cook them together on stove, around 15 min. Look at packages to get amount of water needed.

While the grains cook, melt coconut oil on Med-High heat in a large fry pan. Add shallots and garlic, saute for 3 min until fragrent.  Add lemongrass and ginger, saute for 1-2 min.  Then add chicken, and sprinkle with 1 t. salt.  Cook 3-5 min., flipping over until chicken is mostly all white.  Then add coconut milk, and simmer for 10 min.  While it cooks, mash together 1 T. coconut oil with 2 T. flour, then add to chicken/coconut milk mixture to thicken it.  Cook for a few minutes then add veggies. Stir to combine and warm up veggies.

Serve over combined grains when hot, or freeze in portion sized containers.


Please let me know what your favorite make ahead freezer meals are!!