Post Thanksgiving Meals: Harvest Turkey Salad

December 1, 2014

After an indulgent meal like Thanksgiving, I like to serve lighter leftover dishes to return balance into my diet.  This harvest turkey salad is jam packed with nutrition and flavor.  Roasted butternut squash and turkey are served on a bed of greens with tart cranberries, apples and buttery walnuts.  You can prepare this salad throughout the winter and play with the ingredients so you won't get bored with it.  For example, roasted celery root, turnips, or rutabaga would be delicious substitutes for butternut squash.  Similarly, pears or persimmons can be served instead of apples.  Harvest turkey salad is one holiday meal you can feel good about.

Harvest Turkey Salad


5 cups lightly packed spinach or spring mix greens
1 cup cooked quinoa or wheatberry
8 ounces chopped leftover turkey (light and dark meat)
2 cups butternut squash, cubed
2 tablespoons olive oil 
1 large apple, cored and cut into chunks
1/4 cup dried cranberries
1/4 cup toasted walnuts or pecans, chopped
salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste

1 teaspoon minced shallot
2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
1 teaspoon cranberry sauce (optional)
3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste


Step 1: Prepare the quinoa or wheatberry according to the package directions. Once cooked, fluff with a fork.  Let cool and set aside.

Step 2: Preheat oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit.  Cover a baking sheet with foil.  In a large bowl, toss together the olive oil and butternut squash.  Season with salt and pepper.  Cook the squash for 25 to 30 minutes or until tender. Let cool.

Step 3: In a small bowl, whisk together balsamic vinegar and cranberry sauce.  Add the shallots and olive oil.  Whisk the vinaigrette until combined.  Season with salt and pepper.

Step 4: Arrange the salad on individual plate or in a large bowl with the vinaigrette on the side.

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