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Kathy Caprino

Christmas Tree Holiday Salad

I am always searching for new, healthy dishes for the holidays. I look for unique, healthy and colorful. The colors add to the health benefits, and knowing that what you eat, is good for you inside and out, makes enjoying the dish that much easier! I am not sure what it is about pomegranate seeds that scream festive, but they just do to me! I stumbled across a recipe that is now on my list of must tries. The recipe and post come from vegan cookbook author Kathy Patalksy, and her website


Ms Patalksy explained on her blog that she accidentally created this beautiful salad, that just screams Christmas Festivities! Thank you Kathy for this beautiful, healthy salad and your recipe:


This Christmas Tree Holiday Salad will fill your holiday season table with cheer! And healthy-deliciousness too. Dive in. Twinkly lights not needed for this shiny-fabulous tree..


Shopping Tip. Make sure you buy organic, super fresh chard since it is your main ingredient! Look for perky green leaves with plenty of “bounce” in their movement. Wash and pat dry your chard leaves very well.

Nutrition Bonus!
This salad is filled with healthy things. Those pomegranate seeds are loaded with antioxidants. The pecans are rich in healthy fats and minerals. The chard is loaded with vitamins and minerals – including even more free radical fighting antioxidants. The citrus is rich in vitamin C. The dried fruit and pretty much all of the ingredients are rich in fiber.


And in case you didn’t notice, this salad is DELICIOUS even though it has no oil added. The only fat comes built in from those crunchy raw pecans.


Christmas Tree Salad – aka Raw Chard Pecan Pom Salad
makes about 6-7 cups


1 bunch organic swiss chard (red or green will work) – rinsed well + sliced into thin ribbons
1/3 cup pomegranate seeds (about the amount from from 1 medium pomegranate)
3/4 cup frozen red globe grapes, sliced*
2 satsuma mandarin oranges, chopped
1 small onion, diced
1/4-1/2 cup chopped pecans, raw
2 Tbsp dried cranberries (or another dried fruit like dried golden raisins or even chopped dates!) – organic
1 small honeycrisp apple, organic – chopped


*tip: those frozen grapes help to keep the salad nice and cool for you and your holiday guests! I simply freeze the grapes, then right before I slice and toss with the salad, I run them under warm to hot water to quickly “thaw” the outside layer. This washes off any ice crystals too. It also seems to easily release lots of sweet grape flavor!


2 Tbsp apple cider vinegar
1 Tbsp maple syrup, grade B
1/3 tsp salt (or to taste)
1/4 tsp fine black pepper
1/8 tsp coriander
a pinch of cayenne (optional, but warms up things nicely)
1/8 tsp turmeric powder
a few pinches of satsuma orange zest


(feel free to use your own seasonings as desired as well – or use your own favorite dressing.)


star topper: 1 slice of toast (I used sprouted grain)


Other optional ingredients that would be fabulous: pear, avocado, dates, bell pepper, corn, grains like quinoa or brown rice, beans, tomatoes, diced roasted squash or sweet potato …… gosh, pretty much anything yummy would be beautiful in this salad!


Directions: Simply prep all your ingredients and toss them with the dressing/spices in a large bowl. Toss and mix very well since this will help to distribute the flavors and infuse the chard with flavor. You can serve right away or chill in the fridge for up to 12 hours in advance before serving. Any longer and your chard will begin to get a bit soft. Serve raw and chilled. Top it! For the “star” tree topper, simply toast any slice of bread and using either your knife (free-hand) or a star-shaped cookie cutter, cut out a toast star to top the tree salad.


Again, thank you Kathy for making this amazing salad! Maybe it will become a favorite for many to come!


Article, recipe and photograph from Kathy Patalksy and



Posted in Food | December 12 th , 2015 | 0 Comments

7 Damaging Parenting Behaviors

I came across an article today on that addresses 7 damaging parenting behaviors that can be detrimental to our children’s future leadership traits. The article focuses on author and leadership expert, Dr Tim Elmore’s findings. Dr Elmore has written over 25 books that are dedicated to mentoring our youth in to tomorrow effective leaders. While no book can give you the blue print to raising the perfect child, Dr Elmore’s findings resonated with me.

It seems to me that there are more dangers in the world, which can make parents more protective. Parenting practices such as “helicopter parenting,” along with other styles of over-parenting have come under recent scrutiny. These some time unintentional parenting practices can be detrimental to a child’s future self esteem. This makes the possibilities of them thriving as an adult, a little more challenging. According to Dr Elmore, parenting practices need to focus on mentoring children in ways that will allow them to become tomorrows leaders. As the founder and president of Growing Leaders, his observations, to me, warrant a closer look. Look at the list below and examine if you think you are allowing your children to thrive in their own lives.


7 Damaging Parenting Behaviors That Hurt Children’s Future Leadership Abilities


1. We don’t let your children experience risk


2. We rescue too quickly


3. We rave too easily


4. We let guilt get in the way of leading well


5. We don’t share our past mistakes


6. We mistake intelligence, giftedness and influence for maturity


7. We don’t practice what we preach



For more detailed explanations of these bad habits of parents, see the article written by Kathy Caprino, on 7 Crippling Parenting Behaviors That Keep Children From Growing Into Leaders…

Posted in Health & Wellness | March 11 th , 2015 | 0 Comments

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