Festive Holiday Salad

How to Add a Festive Touch to Your Holiday Salad By Bonnie Taub-Dix, RD

Whether it’s your office potluck party, a Christmas Eve dinner or a Christmas Day brunch, there’s a good chance that a salad will be nowhere in sight. Holiday meals are usually full of rich family favorites, yet lighter options can be just as festive! Although some people think of trimming their trees this time of year, I think about the trimmings on my salads, to welcome my own fresh festive holiday touch to the family table.

Sweet Kale Beets and GreensBy including the colors of the holiday season – red and green – you can spruce up your salad bowl without expanding your waistline. Plus, you don’t have to be an iron chef to create a colorful plate. A pre-made package of an Eat Smart Gourmet Vegetable Salad Kit, like the Sweet Kale Salad Kit or the Beets and Greens Salad Kit, contains ingredients with these gorgeous color combos, without you needing to add a thing. We all know it’s not easy to meet our requirements for fruits and veggies…especially during this hectic time of year – but with Eat Smart products, it’s easy to achieve the USDA recommendation for eating two to three cups of vegetables per day while adding nutrient dense superfoods to any meal.

These convenient kits make a great appetizer or side salad for your family (dressing included!) or you can turn it into an easy, satisfying meal by adding some chunks of chicken, turkey, seafood or beans to boost protein and keep calories in check.

So, if you’re trying to give your guests something to cheer about, try Eat Smart salad kits with these three festive garnishes to help kick off a happy and healthy new year:

beets

Beets.

The deep red-purple hue of beets makes this vegetable a gorgeous addition to your salad. The stunning color comes from a pigment called betacyanin, an antioxidant that also has anti-inflammatory effects. Beets also contain vitamin C, plus heart-healthy minerals like potassium, magnesium and folate.

dried cranberries

Dried cranberries

are a great way to add a touch of sweetness to your salad, which can even entice your kids to dig in. Cranberries contain a variety of vitamins and minerals, and unique antioxidants called PACs or proanthocyanidins, that help contribute to cranberries’ health benefits. PACs are unique naturally occurring compounds known as flavonoids, that have been associated with reducing the risk of heart disease, decreasing the incidence of urinary tract infections, and perhaps even protecting us from gum disease. They’re also a good source of fiber.

red kidney beans

Red kidney beans.

If you’re looking to add more protein and fiber to your bowl of greens, look no further than red kidney beans. Red kidney beans are a very good source of fiber — a nutrient that most Americans don’t eat enough of — that has been shown to help lower cholesterol, prevent heart disease and help control blood sugar. Plus, beans are a good source of iron, a mineral that some of us, particularly vegetarians and vegans, find hard to come by.

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