How to make harvest salad

This recipe for a Harvest Salad is both festive and dietitian-approved.
By Nicole Barragan, Transplant Dietitian
Nutrition plays an important role in the pre- and post-transplant phases. After surgery, the initial focus is on nutrition for healing. As time goes on, the focus shifts to maintaining good nutrition status, as well as preventing food-borne illness and excessive weight gain.Your dietitian is a great resource when you have questions about your child’s nutrition. These tips below are also very helpful:

  • Be mindful of portion sizes and use MyPlate as your guide. Visit for helpful resources.
  • Eat more fruits and vegetables: see below for a great tasting, healthy recipe!
  • Choose lean protein sources (95% fat-free or leaner) and low-fat dairy. When cooking lean protein foods, try baking, broiling, grilling, barbecuing or steaming, instead of frying.
  • Try whole grains like brown rice, popcorn and whole wheat bread.

Remember, every person has different nutrition needs after a transplant. Your dietitian will work with you in the hospital and in clinic to provide recommendations, help you plan menus, teach you more about nutrition and answer questions.

Harvest Salad Recipe


  • 4 cups of Romaine lettuce/spinach
  • 2 apples (green or red) or pears or 1 ½ cup strawberries
  • orange or lemon juice
  • ½ cup dried cranberries or raisins
  • ½ cup pecans or pistachios or walnuts (optional)
  • 3 oz. grilled chicken (optional); cook to internal temperature of 165° F


  • Wash lettuce well and then dry.
  • Wash and cut apples into slices or chunks. Coat apples with orange or lemon juice.
  • Mix salad greens with apples, cranberries and other ingredients (optional).
  • Dress salad with small amount (about 2 Tbsp/2 cups of salad) of preferred dressing. Balsamic vinaigrette goes well with this salad!

Note: This salad typically contains blue cheese, but blue cheese or any “soft cheese” may not be pasteurized and is therefore not allowed for those who have received a solid organ transplant. Always check if cheese is pasteurized before eating, or try hard, processed cheddar cheese with this salad.