These days I️ find myself naturally leaning into (see what I did there?) the flavors and ingredients found on the Thanksgiving table (i.e. pumpkin, squash, and I️ got the cranberry cravings coming on!). It’s like my body wants to milk all these delicious flavor combinations for everything they’re worth while the season is here! Well, this salad does the trick for me this week! If an indulgent summertime slaw and crisp winter salad had a baby in November, this brussels sprout salad would be it.
I’ve found over the years that plain salads with little flavor (i.e. from fat and protein) just don’t do it for me. If I️ had to choose between a bagged “blah” salad and a juicy burger these days I would 100% choose the burger. Salads need to satisfy me and fill me up, and that means hitting up all of my taste buds, including a variety of colors and textures, and not shying away from protein and fat.
With this salad, I️ added sweetness by throwing in chopped dates which were on sale this week. You could also sub in your dried fruit of choice (side note: soak raisins and currants beforehand to plump them up a bit, the result is delicious!). I️ added crunch and a hint of salt with the pecans and a bitter tang with sliced red onions. Lastly, I️ shredded up some leftover carrots purely for a splash of color (not to mention more crunch!) - I️ definitely eat with my eyes first. If a certain color is missing from a dish, I️ go out of my way to add it in! :) #eattherainbow !
I️ based the dressing off a decadent mayonnaise dressing from a broccoli slaw recipe (find the original here). However, because I️ find the straight mayo to be a little too heavy for my tastes, especially because this is more of a lunchtime salad than a side dish, I️ cut the mayo in half and subbed in some greek yogurt. I️ then added a combo of apple cider vinegar and rice vinegar (you could easily just use one or the other or fresh lemon juice!), s & p, and some sugar and whisked to my hearts content!
The result is a HUGE batch of a sublime salad that will keep in the fridge all week long. Add in your choice of protein and you’ve got yourself a great lunch salad!
Shredded Brussels Sprouts Salad with Pecans & Dates
(makes 10-12 cups)
- 1/2 cup chopped dates
- 8-10 cups of shredded brussels sprouts*
- 1 red onion, thinly sliced
- 2 carrots, shredded or diced
- 3/4 cup chopped or halved pecans
- 1/2 cup mayonnaise
- 1/2 cup greek yogurt
- 1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
- 1/4 cup rice vinegar
- 2 tablespoons sugar
- 1 heaping teaspoon salt
- ground pepper (to taste)
*I bought a large stalk of brussels sprouts at Trader Joe's and shredded by hand. This is probably equivalent to 2-3 pounds of brussels sprouts if you bag your own. Supplement with other shredded root vegetables (i.e. carrots, cabbage, kale, etc...) if you fall short!
- Combine the mayonnaise, greek yogurt, apple cider vinegar, rice vinegar, salt, and pepper in a small bowl and whisk until well combined.
- Place the shredded brussels sprouts, sliced onion, sliced/diced carrots, chopped dates, and pecans in a large bowl and toss to combine.
- Pour the dressing over the salad mixture and toss until all ingredients are evenly coated and well-dressed.
- Serve immediately or refrigerate (allowing at least 30 minutes of refrigeration will allow the flavors to combine more thoroughly).
*Recipe adapted from The Kitchn.
- Adding sliced apple or pear would be a great addition.
- Shredded kale would also work well
- Throw in some whole grains (such as wheat berries, farro, or brown rice) for an even heartier salad.
- I️ do not recommend eliminating the sugar in the dressing as it really accentuates the tang. Feel free to decrease the amount to your liking but remember that this recipe makes A LOT and in the context of that, 2 tablespoons is nothing!
[Nutrition Note: This recipe has a heaping dose of fiber as well as a good supply of vitamin C (perfect around cold season) and vitamin K, which helps our bodies rebound after injury & helps keep our bones strong - I'd say that's a good combo for the beginning of winter!]
Give this recipe a shot and let me know what you think in the comments below! In the meantime...What are you most looking forward to about Thanksgiving next week?