Sunday, December 23, 2012

Winter pomegranate salad

Are you ready for the holidays? This year, I have to say I've been surprisingly prepared. I managed to make a calendar for the kids, ON TIME (unlike previous years where I would start a few days into December), we got our tree the first weekend of December, and I have been making jams and granola for the last two weeks for gifts. The kids have been cutting snow flakes out of paper and making paper garlands all month, and Christmas music has been playing almost every night off of Pandora in our house.

In the midst of all this frenzy, I have somehow managed to enjoy all this, and have gotten much joy out of watching the kids enjoy new and old Christmas traditions. Watching them grow in their understanding of what Christmas is really all about has also been very sweet. 

In our family, we celebrate the birth of Jesus as the biggest gift ever given to us. Understanding what happened that night, what it means to us, who God and Jesus are, are really magical and sweet to witness through the eyes of a child. They of course are more excited about gifts, Santa and the elf than anything else, which we do and talk about as well.

As for me, Christmas away from family means I want to fill my house with friends, light the lights on the tree, listen to Christmas hymns and cook a good meal. I haven't decided yet on the salad, but I will, of course, make a salad, before the main dish (which will be a pomegranate lamb on quinoa with sauteed leeks and portobello mushrooms). I thought I would share this one, which I made a few weeks ago, as it lends itself well to a Christmas menu.

I absolutely love pomegranate, and I'm not alone. The kids always ask me to peal them one (which I don't love doing as much) and I like to put the bursty juicy little seeds everywhere, including in my salad.
Shrimp is a common food for the holidays, usually served as an appetizer. The flavor of raw fennel brings a fresh twist to the whole thing, and avocado, with its smooth texture, completes the recipe perfectly.

For a big bowl of salad, here is what I used:

3 romaine lettuce, chopped finely
1/2 red onion chopped finely
1 pink grapefruit, pealed and cut in small pieces
1 orange, pealed and cut in small pieces
2 avocados, chopped
1 fennel bulb, finely sliced
dill (from the fennel branches)
1/2 pomegranate (or more), seeds
2 dozen shrimps
1 tbsp coconut oil
lemon juice
salt and pepper

juice of 2 oranges
3tbsp mustard
2tbsp apple cider vinegar
3tbsp olive oil
1tbps mapple syrup, honey or agave
Salt and pepper to taste

Melt 1tbsp coconut oil in a frying pan. Add the shrimps, stir fry them until cooked through, adding lemon juice, salt, pepper and dill while cooking. 

Place the lettuce, onion, fennel, pomegranate seeds, grapefruit and oranges in the salad bowl. Mix together and serve on plates. Add avocado cubes and shrimps and drizzle some of the dressing on top. 

Wishing all of you a Merry Christmas!

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