When Fall hits we want comfort food.  Who does not love warm soups, stews, pot roast….? Yes, I love those things also and so does my family, but my waist does not.  It is so hard to find healthy Fall recipes that still taste like comfort foods. 

This recipe is such a great salad to serve as a main course or as a side dish or to take to a holiday party or Thanksgiving dinner.  It saves in the fridge for about 3 days and it still tastes great and has a wonderful crunch.  I love crunch so anything that gives me that crunchy texture in recipes I am a fan.  
You can alter this recipe to fit what you like or what your family likes.  I have to be honest and say that my boys are not huge fans of this recipe, but that does not stop me from making it.  I figure one day they will begin to love veggies. But, if your kids love veggies then make this salad.  You can add shredded chicken, blue cheese crumbles, pomegranate seeds, slivered almonds, kale, roasted butternut squash. The list is really long!!
Throw this meal into your rotation and watch the pounds just fall off.  Ok, that was a bit dramatic, but it sounds good!


Autumn Brussels Sprout Salad

Makes 4-6 Servings

1 lb. shaved brussels sprouts (you can buy them pre-shredded in the lettuce section)
4 slices bacon
1 shallot, minced
1/4 cup pecans
1/4 cup dried cranberries
2 Tablespoons pepitas (pumpkin kernels) 
1 Granny Smith apple, diced
1/4 cup red wine vinegar
1 Tablespoon Dijon mustard
1 Tablespoon honey
salt and pepper

In a skillet cook the bacon until crisp.  Remove to drain on a paper towel. Crumble when cooled.

Reserve 2-3 Tablespoon bacon fat in the skillet.  With the skillet over medium heat add the shallots and saute until soft. Add vinegar, mustard and honey to skillet.  Whisk dressing until smooth. Remove from heat and let cool slightly.

In a large bowl, combine shaved brussels sprouts, bacon, pecans, cranberries, pepitas and apple. Drizzle warm dressing over salad.  Season with salt and pepper.  Serve warm or at room temperature or chilled.

* If you do not want to use bacon fat for the "oil" in the dressing the just omit and use canola or olive oil.  
* If you cannot find pre-shredded brussels sprouts then use a food processor and slice whole sprouts. Or you can use a very sharp knife and slice the sprouts very thinly.