Pomegranate, Parmesan and Lemon Vinaigrette Give Traditional Brussels Sprouts Side Dish a Lift

Traditional Thanksgiving dinners have given way to informal gatherings called Friendsgivings where potlucks and BYOB take place during the month of November for extended family, friends and those seeking refuge during the holiday season. This salad is the perfect side dish to accommodate any and all who are welcomed to the table. 

Serve with quinoa or another whole grain, and it becomes a main dish. Substitutions are always welcome here. Finely chopped kale, a chiffonade of mustard or collard greens or a head of ubiquitous romaine lettuce would also do the trick. 

This salad represents the clean or low-calorie eating that seems to fall to the wayside on the holiday. Your palate will crave something cleansing to cut through the fat-ribbon-ridged meats, unctuous gravies and butter-laden side dishes. Pairs well with an indispensable glass of wine to settle your nerves after finding out the children did something to make the game console downstairs stop working. 

It’s all fun and games. 

Brussels Sprouts with Pomegranate, Parmesan and Lemon Vinaigrette

1 pound (6 cups) Brussels sprouts, ends trimmed, bruised outer leaves removed, thinly sliced 

1 1/2 cups pomegranate arils

5 ounces Parmesan cheese, shaved

1/3 cup shallot, finely diced

For the vinaigrette:

1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil

1/4 cup fresh lemon juice

2 tablespoons honey, agave or corn syrup

1 garlic clove, minced

Salt and pepper, to taste

In a small bowl, whisk together the vinaigrette ingredients until well combined. Taste and adjust the dressing to your preference. Set aside. In a large bowl, assemble the salad by combining all the salad ingredients together. Drizzle the desired amount of vinaigrette on top and toss to combine. Serve immediately.

Thanksgiving for Fido

Pets are other friends we welcome to our celebrations. Dr. Janine Oliver, owner of Benessere Animal Hospital and a proponent of fresh-made, whole-food diets for pets, offers this fun holiday recipe for canine companions.

By Dr. Janine Oliver

Dogs love whatever you like eating. They can eat most things that humans can, with the exception of grapes, raisins, onions, chocolate, coffee, processed sugar and artificial sweeteners, so it’s not surprising that they want to share our Thanksgiving dinners. Here is a healthy take on turkey, cranberries, stuffing and sweet potatoes too. This is a moderate-carbohydrate low-fat recipe suitable for healthy adult dogs.

Ingredients for 9 1-cup servings:

3 pounds skinless turkey pieces (light and dark meat)

1/2 cup oatmeal, cooked

1/2 cup barley, cooked

1 pound sweet potatoes, cubed

2 tablespoons cranberry sauce (Best if you make your own cooking down crushed fresh cranberries with 1 teaspoon maple syrup in a double boiler, but if you are not up for making it, the canned cranberry sauce is acceptable.)

4 tablespoons turkey gravy (optional; to reduce the fat content, omit the gravy or substitute olive oil.)


1. Use turkey leftovers or roast the turkey. Remove all the bones and dice the meat into large pieces.

2. If using fresh sweet potatoes, roast them, let cool, then peel and dice.

3. Meanwhile, cook the oatmeal and the barley according to their package instructions.

4. Mix together the turkey meat, oatmeal, barley, sweet potatoes and cranberry sauce. If using gravy or oil, add it and mix thoroughly. (If your dog is at all prone to pancreatitis or other fat-related upsets, omit the gravy.)

Portion size: For small dogs, 3/4 cup; medium dogs, 1 1/2 cups; larger or more active dogs, 3 cups.

Nutritional Information

Per 1-cup serving (approximate, depending on ingredient substitutions)

Calories: 321

Protein: 44 grams

Carbohydrates: 16 grams

Dietary fiber: 1.9 grams

Fat 7.7 grams (with gravy, less if omitted)