Winter Salad with Cranberry Orange Vinaigrette

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Fiddlehead is this awesome salad place in State College, PA.  It's kind of like Subway, where you go down the row picking what toppings you want, but in the end, you have a HUGE salad instead of a sub!  You can choose one of their featured salads (toppings already chosen for you), OR you can build your own.  For fall this year, they had a featured salad called the Harvest Salad.  It was SO GOOD.  Kale, roasted turkey, pepitas, corn, sweet potato chips, dried cranberries, and apple cider vinaigrette.  I kept thinking that I should re-create it for my blog, but then fall came and went, and I really missed my chance!  January is no time to be posting a Harvest Salad.

So I decided to take it a more winter-y route... introducing this Winter Salad, featuring shaved brussels sprouts, dried cranberries, apples, and walnuts, and topped with a Cranberry Orange Vinaigrette, YUMMMM!

Salad after salad after salad can get pretty boring during a Whole30, so this is a nice change for anyone looking to mix things up!  It can be served as a main dish (with chicken, turkey, or something else as your protein), or as a side to brighten up any meal.

Festive Salad with Cranberry Orange Vinaigrette

[Whole30 - Paleo - Gluten Free - Grain Free - Dairy Free]

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6-8 cups mixed greens
2 cups shaved brussels sprouts (~4 sprouts per salad)
2 cups roasted chicken, turkey, or protein of choice
2 granny smith apples
1/2 cup dried cranberries, unsweetened
1/2 cup chopped walnuts


6 dates, chopped
2 Tbsp water
1 orange, juice and zest
1/4 cup fresh cranberries
1/2 cup apple cider vinegar
1/2 cup olive oil
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp onion powder
1/4 tsp black pepper

Salad Instructions:

  1. Split mixed greens between 4 plates.
  2. If you are starting with whole brussels sprouts, chop them super thinly and add to the plates over the mixed greens.
  3. Slice apples and arrange over the shaved brussels.
  4. Top each salad with roasted chicken or turkey, then sprinkle with dried cranberries and walnuts.
  5. Make the dressing (separate instructions below).
  6. Drizzle vinaigrette over salads, and enjoy!

Cranberry Orange Vinaigrette Instructions:

  1. Add chopped dates and 2 Tbsp water to a mason jar and microwave for 1 minute.
  2. To the same jar, add the remaining ingredients (orange juice through black pepper).
  3. Using an immersion blender, blend until dressing is smooth.  If you'd like it to be thinner, add more vinegar or orange juice.
  4. Store in mason jar in the refrigerator for up to a week.  
    TIP:  If it's too thick when you go to serve it (due to the olive oil), run the jar under warm running water, or let it sit out at room temp for a while before eating!


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