3 Healthy Salads Perfect for Sweater Weather

December 11, 2019

Recipes submitted by Brianna Hanekom, BSN, RN, CDE, clinical manager of Nutrition Services at Jefferson Health NJ.

It’s a common misconception that salad recipes can only be unique during the spring and summer. Over the winter, maybe you’ll eat a plate of “mixed-greens.” But where’s the fun – or the diverse nutrients – in that?

A heartier salad, with fresh winter fruits and starches, can make a great side dish for any family meal or potluck.

For easy prep, you can purchase pre-chopped, bagged greens and pre-chopped nuts (a protein-packed source of crunch). Also consider picking up store-brands rather than name-brands, to cut down on cost.

Winter Kale and Quinoa Salad


  • 1/2 cup uncooked quinoa, rinsed
  • 6 cups chopped kale
  • 1 cup pomegranate seeds
  • 1/2 cup dried cranberries
  • 1/2 cup chopped walnuts

Ingredients for dressing:

  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 2 tbsp. apple cider vinegar
  • 1 1/2 tsp Dijon mustard
  • 1 tbsp. honey
  • Pinch of salt/Mrs. Dash and/or pepper 


  1. To make quinoa, add 1/2 cup of water to a small saucepan and add quinoa. Bring to a boil, cover, and reduce heat. Simmer for about 13 min. Remove from heat, keeping quinoa covered, and allow it to sit for about 5 min. Lightly stir (fluff) with a fork.
  2. In a large bowl, mix together the kale, quinoa, pomegranate seeds, dried cranberries, and walnuts.
  3. To make the dressing, whisk together olive oil, apple cider vinegar, Dijon mustard, honey, salt, and pepper in a small bowl.
  4. Pour dressing over the salad and toss together until evenly coated. 
  5. Eat. Enjoy!

Sweet Potato Panzanella


  • 2 cups peeled and cubed sweet potatoes 
  • 4 cups cubed French bread
  • 4 tbsp. olive oil, divided
  • 1/8 tsp salt/Mrs. Dash
  • 1/8 tsp pepper
  • 4 cups fresh baby spinach
  • 1/2 small, thinly sliced red onion
  • 1/4 cup minced fresh basil
  • 1/4 cup minced fresh cilantro
  • 1/3 cup red wine vinegar


  1. Preheat oven to 450F. Place sweet potatoes and enough water to cover in a large saucepan; bring to a boil. Reduce heat and cook, covered, just until tender (about 8 - 12min). Drain; cool slightly.
  2. Toss bread cubes with 2 tbsp. oil, salt, pepper. Spread evenly in an ungreased 15x10x1 in pan. Bake for about 5min or golden brown. Transfer to large bowl; cool slightly.
  3. Add spinach, onion, herbs, and sweet potatoes to bread. 
  4. In a small bowl, whisk together vinegar and remaining oil. Drizzle over salad and toss gently to combine.

Serves 8

3/4 cup =

Calories: 142

Fat: 7g

Sodium 150mg

Total Carb: 17g

Protein: 2g

Holiday Lettuce Salad


  • 10 cups chopped romaine
  • 2 medium red apples, cubed
  • 2 medium pears, cubed
  • 1 cup shredded Swiss cheese
  • 1/2 cup dried cranberries
  • 6 tbsp. lemon juice
  • 3 tbsp. olive oil
  • 3 tbsp. honey
  • 1 1/2 tsp grated onion
  • 1 1/2 tsp Dijon mustard
  • 1/2 tsp salt/Mrs. Dash
  • 1/2 cup chopped cashews


  1. In a large bowl, combine the first 5 ingredients.
  2. For the dressing - in a small bowl, whisk lemon juice, oil, honey, onion, mustard, and salt/Mrs. Dash.
  3. Pour over romaine mixture and toss to coat. Sprinkle in cashews.

1 cup =

Calories: 144

Fat: 8g

Sodium 134mg

Total Carb: 17g

Protein: 4g

For a healthier alternative to bagged dried cranberries, which can be high in sugar, try making your own! Learn the recipe HERE.

To learn more about Nutrition Services offered at Jefferson Health NJ, click HERE.

Interested in learning more ways to manage your health year-round? Sign up for Jefferson Health New Jersey's monthly e-newsletter, HealthView, by clicking HERE