Monday, November 24, 2014

Port Plumped Cranberry, Baby Kale & Shaved Brussels Sprout Salad with Maple Vinaigrette + DOLE's Healthy Salads and Sides

Time whirls by.  It seems as though we were just putting away our Christmas decorations and yet in just a few days, we will be putting them back up again.  Hubby and I absolutely love this time of year and do our best to make the most of it.  As my hubby always says, the official start to the holiday season is his birthday which is October 9th.  Although it seems a bit early for the official holiday season, it makes him smile from ear to ear, so in our house that is the “official” start to the holiday season.

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Halloween comes and goes like a blink of the eye, and then there is Thanksgiving.  This is a special holiday in that it is a time to gather with family and friends to reflect on what we are thankful for and spend time with loved ones.  I am thankful each day for my hubby, family, friends, health, career and waking up each day knowing that can hopefully make a difference in someone’s life with doing a kind deed, sharing a fun recipe, making someone smile, assisting with their career or just a general act of kindness.

My mother always taught us growing up that it is easier to be positive than negative – she was absolutely right.  I choose to live my life with the philosophy that the glass is always full, not even just half full.  I am not a Pollyanna, but I do think if we were all a bit kinder to one another, our world would be a better place.

Speaking of a better place, do you have your Thanksgiving Day menu all planned?  Like many folks, we have our traditional dishes we serve on Thanksgiving but are you the type of person that may mix it up year after year.  I certainly am.  Don’t hear me wrong, my Mom makes some extremely tasty dishes that have graced our table for years and it would not quite be the same if they were not there.  However, I do like to bring a new dish or two over to their house each year.

The folks at DOLE reached out to me to ask me if I could create a healthy Thanksgiving recipe using Dole Salads.  I am a huge fan of Dole Salads and have partnered with them on many occasions. For some reason my recipe came to me within minutes of reading the emailed request.  I am fanatical about baby Kale and Brussels sprouts, both of which are products distributed by Dole and I can personally attest to the outstanding quality that Dole has.

Something I have been doing with my holiday salads for years is plumping up dried cranberries in a bit of Port.  The flavor is enhanced and the sense of extra umami is added to the dish. Another key to a tasty salad is to have some crunch, sweet and savory components and lots of texture.  I believe this salad gives you all of that and even more.  It is the epitome of the fall season all on one platter.  I hope that each of you have a blissful, relaxing and tasty Thanksgiving with your family and friends!

Port Plumped Cranberry, Baby Kale & Shaved Brussels Sprout Salad with Maple Vinaigrette

Serves 4

1 Cup Dried Cranberries
½ Cup Port
2 Cups Shaved Brussels Sprouts
2 Cups Tuscan Kale (tightly packed)
2 Cups DOLE Baby Kale (tightly packed)
2 Persimmons, Diced (2 cups)
½ Cup Pumpkin Seeds
1/3 Cup Pomegranate Seeds

To prepare the port plumped cranberries, add the port and dried cranberries to a small sauce pan.  Heat on high until it begins to boil, and then reduce to low heat until almost all of the liquid has disappeared.  Remove from the heat and let cool.

In a large bowl, add the port plumped cranberries, shaved Brussels sprouts, Tuscan and baby kale and toss with the maple vinaigrette.  Next add in most of the persimmon, pumpkins seeds and pomegranate seeds.  Reserve a bit of the persimmon, pumpkin seeds and pomegranate seeds to adorn the top of the salad.

Maple Vinaigrette

½ Cup Olive Oil
1 ½ teaspoon Dijon Mustard
1 Tablespoon Maple Syrup
2 Tablespoon White Balsamic Vinegar or Champagne Vinegar
Dash of salt and pepper

Add all ingredients to a jar fitted with a lid.  Shake vigorously until all combined.  Let sit for at least 30 minutes to develop flavors.

For more healthy recipes, try Dole’ holiday salads and side dishes:

Make next-day magic with holiday leftovers.  Roast turkey and Brussels sprouts are tossed with grilled Poblano peppers for an infusion of flavor and heat.  Dress with cranberry vinaigrette, and garnish with walnuts and pumpkins seeds.

Here's a savory dish that will warm your holiday table.  Our version of the classic au gratin adds DOLE Power Up Greens Baby Kale for a contemporary twist.  With layers of butternut squash, sweet potato, carrots, parsnips and Brussels sprouts, each bit bursts with fall flavors. Best when served right from the oven.

This fresh fall salad combines the natural sweetness of caramelized pear and roasted tomato, with earthy lentils and tender butter lettuce.  Finished with lemon zest, olive oil and balsamic vinegar, this elegant salad lends a lighter side to holiday meals.

This salad is a celebration of fall vegetables.  Roasting the butternut squash and eggplant reveals ambrosial flavors that are enhanced by fresh, leafy romaine and tangy pomegranate.  Serve this as a hearty side or a vegetarian main.

Disclosure:  This post was sponsored by DOLE Salads and compensation was given to me.  All opinions are, as always, are my own.  Sponsored posts such as these help behind the scenes at Authentic Suburban Gourmet.  Thank you for visiting and making my blog part of your day.


  1. Gorgeous salad! The vibrant colours make me think of summer; which is exactly where my heart resides.

  2. it looks so vibrant and beautiful. I love all the colors going on and yes healthy dish can still be DELICIOUS and this looks delish:)


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