Let’s be real – the holidays are a time to “be merry”. Translation: skip the gym and go to happy hour, or reward yourself for going to the gym by gorging on extra cookies or extra carbs or extra beer…or all of those combined in one sitting. Thanksgiving in particular is the biggest day of the year to throw any diet rules out the door.
I did a dessert for last year’s Annual IMAX Thanksgiving potluck amidst the peak of my obsession with pumpkin. and really wanted to mix it up for 2012. I decided to be “that person” and contribute something healthy via a colorful salad for an otherwise really beige spread of Thanksgiving foods between the carbs, the turkey, the pies, etc. Bernie and I had eaten at Slanted Door during a work trip in San Francisco a couple of months ago and had their grapefruit and jicama salad. I fell in love immediately – each bite presented something different with all of the different flavor combinations.
This is what I wanted to re-create:
I also must say that I am really excited that I now know how to make candied pecans, thanks to this recipe. Who knew all it took was sugar and a little bit of oil? Oh, the simple things.
It took about 3 hours to chop, slice, and mince the various veggies into small pieces, and then to peel everything away to get to the grapefruit segments, but it was soooo worth it. I tossed the jicama and carrots in a wee bit of oil, and didn’t put any oil in the dressing. As a result of this, hardly any dressing was needed since it’s so strongly flavored sans oil.
The recipe I found on Little Eater made a HUGE batch of the salad… larger than any big container in my house could fit, so I had enough for a couple of lunches the next couple of days. I wanted some extra protein beyond the candied pecans to go with my lunch/dinners, so I eyeballed/taste-tested a chicken marinade made out of lime juice, a little brown sugar, soy sauce, minced garlic, and freshly grated ginger. The chicken stayed really moist throughout the baking process, even though I didn’t use any oil.
Note, too, that the recipe on Little Eater calls for chopped mint leaves. Cilantro actually goes better with this salad. I really love this salad. Here’s the end product!
And here’s the photo gallery!