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Each holiday, when I ask “What can I bring?”, I’m usually already planning on, a) a salad or b) roasted or grilled veggies. Meat has long taken center stage in our Midwestern families (whether you see that as good or bad), and this way, I know I can eat the salad or veggie and featured meat, even if everything else doesn’t fit my diet du jour.

These days, my eating style is closer to the Paleo way of eating, that is, one that focuses on grass-fed meats, wild-caught fish, roots, tubers, veggies and fruits. Since discovering I’m gluten and dairy intolerant, I’ve been avoid both, and in the past few weeks, have started cutting all grains to help me break my current weight-loss plateau. (I also generally avoid sugars and processed foods a la Paleo rules, but can’t let go of beans quite yet.)

Whatever I’m doing with salads is working: My mother-in-law includes a request for the leafy greens whenever she’s planning a dinner. The summer salads have been my favorite, but this year I tried the endive, pear and walnut salad recipe from Whole Foods Market. It took us less than 10 minutes to make the dressing and toast the nuts, then another 8 to 10 to assemble. One miss on my part: the pears were still a little firm, so give them a few days to soften. Mixed greens work as well as Romaine, and I leave the cheese in a dish for people to add if they so choose.

Endive, Pear and Walnut Salad

endive salad

Another popular request from the Opdahls: green beans with shallots and almonds. I’ve been bring this dish to the past three Christmases or so, and now it’s making appearances on Thanksgiving and sometimes Easter, too. It’s extremely simple to make, and seems to pair well with every kind of main dish.

Green Beans and Shallots

crock pot green beans

Hope you had a wonderful Thanksgiving!

Thoughts to share?

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