Pear Pecan and Blue Cheese Salad with a Dijon Honey Vinegrette

This time of year always brings up “holiday survival tips” to prevent that “inevitable” 5 or so pound weight gain around the holidays.

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While there are definitely some strategies to help you stay on track without giving up your favorites: my favorite tip is to bring a dish to pass that you love, that’s healthier, and that you think others will love, too!

{My other favorite go-to recommendation is to exercise, even if it’s just for a walk. It will help to keep those excess calories in check}.

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It can be tricky to twist a beloved family dish. Often times you can wind up changing the dish completely and it won’t be the same dish you remembered.

That’s why coming up with something new, starting a new tradition- if you will! It will be more likely to win your family over and you can save those cherished once-a-year recipes and just have a little bit, without any guilt!

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This pear, pecan, and blue cheese salad is a perfect option to provide a healthier option on your holiday table. It has unique and holiday-inspired flavors built in that will make you feel festive and indulgent at the same time, but without the guilt! You get greens, fiber, healthy fats, a little natural sweetness all in one delicious dish!

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Pear Pecan & Blue Cheese Salad with Honey Dijon Vinaigrette

Ingredients:
4 ounces kale
4 ounces fresh spinach
1/4 cup toasted pecans, chopped
1/4 cup blue cheese crumbles
1-2 fresh pears, sliced {reserve until right before serving or sprinkle with lemon juice}

For the dressing:
2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
1/2 cup olive oil
2 cloves garlic, crushed
3 Tbsp apple cider vinegar
1 Tbsp honey
salt & freshly ground black pepper, to taste

Directions:
Make the dressing and then drizzle a little bit of it into the bottom of your serving bowl. Layer on the greens along with the blue cheese and pecans. Just before serving, toss the salad and the dressing to coat the lettuce. Finally, layer on the pears and serve.

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This salad will carry you through Thanksgiving all the way to Christmas. Maybe even New Years.

Maybe even well into your New Years Resolutions!

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This recipe has become a tradition in my family, and at my in-laws Thanksgiving table as well.  It’s from my blog’s archives and it is inspired by my mom’s longtime childhood friend, Sue.

We call her Crazy Aunt Sue as she lives in New York City with her son and has always had a dreamy lifestyle for this modest Midwestern girl. She used to be a chef. Then she turned fancy sock designer. Regardless, we love her, and her recipes. This isn’t her exact recipe, but the ingredients are reminiscent of what she made for us when she came to visit one year and made Thanksgiving dinner. Our fancy, formal Chef-inspired, Thanksgiving dinner.

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What good memories!

That’s what the holidays are all about.

I hope this recipe becomes a beloved new tradition in your family!

 

Merry Christmas!

Becca

 

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