Thanksgiving Salad with Garlic Rosemary Pork Chops and Maple Cider Vinaigrette

This week was Canadian Thanksgiving. I am neither Canadian nor do I live in Canada, but having always lived in multi-cultural setting, Canadian Thanksgiving marks the true start of fall in my mind. Plus, someone was having a Thanksgiving feast at my church (in Dubai) this morning and I got inspired.

I started thinking of roasted vegetables and fall flavors. I was dreaming of maple and cranberries and oddly enough pork came to mind instead of turkey . Thus the Thanksgiving Salad was born and honestly I’d be thrilled to have this next month for Thanksgiving dinner. Maybe by then I’ll have reintroduced pecans to add to this plate of yumminess!


Thanksgiving Salad with Garlic Rosemary Pork Chops and Maple Cider Vinaigrette

Serves –  2 (entree) or 4 (side salad)

Time – 40 minutes ….this was walking in the door to sitting down to eat

– 2 pork chops (garlic and rosemary to season – about 1 t rosemary and 1/2 t garlic)
– 2 cups chopped butternut squash
– 1/2 t rosemary 
– 1/4 t garlic
– 1/2 t sea salt (divided )
– 1/2 T coconut oil + extra for cooking pork
– 4 cups baby greens – kale, spinach, chard mix
– 1 pear – sliced thin
– 1 avocado – sliced thin
– 2 T dried cranberries 
– 1 T olive oil
– 1/2 T apple cider vinegar
– 2/3 T maple syrup 
Roasted Butternut Squash
– preheat oven to 400F/ 200C
– cut butternut in half and scoop out seeds (if you can eat seeds, these can be roasted)
– peel and chop butternut into 1 inch pieces – you’ll need about 2 cups for this recipe
– mix 2 cups butternut with 1/2 T coconut oil, 1/2 t rosemary, 1/4 t garlic and 1/4 t sea salt
       (most easily done by shaking in a sealed plastic bag)
– spread in an even later in baking dish and bake 25 minutes until fork tender
Pork Chops:
– season chops with rosemary, garlic and salt on both sides
– heat 1/2 T coconut oil in frying pan over a medium heat 
– place pork chops in the pan and cook 3 minutes on each side to brown
– then cover and cook and additional minute or two until the center is cooked through
– let them rest on a cutting board for 10 minutes before slicing thin
Maple Cider Vinaigrette:
– Mix 1 T olive oil, 1/2 T apple cider vinegar, 2/3 T maple syrup, 1/4 t ground garlic in a small jar.
– Shake until blended and drizzle over salad
To Plate Up:
– start with a bed of greens
– top with 1/2 of the butternut (1cup)
– place slices of avocado and pear around the plate
– arrange pork slices
– sprinkle with dried cranberries (1T)
– drizzle 1/2 the dressing over the top
** For a lighter variation on this salad, try 3-4 seared scallops per person.

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