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Dzung Lewis’ Fall Harvest Salad

Honeysuckle creator Dzung Lewis strives to inspire young women to use food and lifestyle choices to develop creativity, self-confidence, and community. Her new book, The Honeysuckle Cookbook, inspired by her popular YouTube channel, will help you do just that. Lewis has shared one of her favorite recipes with Nutritious Life.  Her Fall Harvest Salad is the perfect meal to munch on as the leaves change. 

Growing up in the Bay Area, the valleys of Napa and Sonoma were just a quick weekend trip away for Lewis. This fall harvest salad is inspired by a postcard vineyard view in Napa speckled with bright rustic hues. With fruity and fine cheese flavors, it’s a hearty but easy meal for Indian summer.


  • 1 (4 ounce) log goat cheese
  • 1/3 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • 1/3 cup panko bread crumbs
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/3 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon minced fresh basil
  • 2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
  • 2 teaspoons honey
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • Pinch freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 handful of green beans, trimmed and cut into 2-inch pieces (about 1 cup)
  • 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 3 cups baby kale salad mix
  • 1 cup (1/2 a can) canned cannellini beans, rinsed and drained
  • 1 carrot, sliced into 1/4-inch discs
  • 1/2 cup dried dates, halved, pitted, and sliced into 1/2-inch pieces
  • 1/2 cup halved red grapes
  • 1 Bosc pear, thinly sliced
  • 1/2 cup candied walnuts


  • To prepare the goat cheese: Slice the goat cheese log into 5 roughly equal rounds. The best way to cut goat cheese easily is with unflavored dental floss, but you can also just use a thin knife. If you cut the cheese with a knife, dip it in hot water and wipe it dry between cuts.
  • Set up a dredging station: Line a plate with waxed paper or parchment paper. Put the flour in one small bowl and the beaten egg in a second bowl. In a third bowl, stir together the panko, salt, and garlic powder. Working with one slice at a time, dip the goat cheese rounds first into flour to coat, then into the beaten egg, and then into the panko mixture, carefully coating each slice each time. Transfer the coated slices to the waxed paper and freeze for 15 minutes. You can also make these ahead and simply refrigerate until ready to cook, up to 24 hours.
  • To make the dressing: In a small bowl, whisk together the lemon juice, olive oil, basil, mustard, honey, garlic, salt, and pepper to taste until the honey has dissolved. You can make the dressing a day ahead of time and refrigerate until you’re ready to use it.
  • To finish the salad: Bring a small saucepan with about 1 inch of water in it to a boil over high heat. Add the beans and cook for 3 minutes, then drain and rinse with cold water to stop the cooking process. Set aside.
  • To finish the goat cheese: When you’re ready to serve the salad, heat a large nonstick skillet over medium heat. Add the olive oil. When the oil is hot (a bit of panko should sizzle vigorously in the oil), add the chilled goat cheese slices and fry until golden brown on both sides, 2 to 3 minutes per side. Transfer the goat cheese to a plate lined with paper towels to drain for a moment.
  • To serve: In a large bowl, mix the baby kale with ¼ cup of the dressing. Transfer the kale to a large platter and arrange the green beans, cannellini beans, carrot, dates, grapes, pear, and walnuts on top. Place the fried goat cheese over the arranged salad and drizzle the remaining dressing over the veggies and cheese just before serving.


In this recipe, goat cheese is the star.  One serving delivers 6 grams of filling protein. Plus it has a powerful combination of calcium, phosphorus and copper—nutrients essential for healthy bones. The creamy cheese compliments crunchy kale, one of the most nutrient-dense foods there is and packed with Vitamins A, C. and K. It’s a great salad to enjoy this fall season.

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