Sunday, 6 July 2014

Salad Days #1: A Broccoli Recipe To Convert The Haters


I´ve been making and eating salads for the past few weeks, trying to lose  the last 3 kilos.  My reason for  going on a salad binge  is admittedly shallow and yes, superficial.   My college bestfriend and I are going to Ibiza for the summer, so of course, I do want to look at my least yuckiest in a swimsuit.  I know, girls out there understand where I am coming from, right?

And in the course of my salad making attempts,  I´ve discovered a few amazing recipes that go beyond the boring lettuce/grated carrots/cucumber/chicken breast salad combinations.  I thought I´d share my best three salad finds here in my humble blog, just in case you´d want to try them out.  These are salads I have made more than a couple of times already.  Some I´ve even served to friends.  So be brave, salad fiend,  these may not be your typical cabbage and lettuce salads, but I have tested and tasted them and I humbly think that they are delicious. And totally easy to make.

                                                  My version of Broccoli Salad

First up,  Broccoli Salad.
Do I hear Ewww?  Hey, I get you.  I used to hate Broccoli too.  It has that bitter aftertaste, no?  Truth to tell, the only broccolli dish I liked was the ever-typical Beef with Broccoli and it was  the fact that the broccoli was doused in that brown soy and garlic sauce masking that bitter veggie taste that made me like this dish.  And to be honest,  I still don´t like broccoli that much.  But this Broccoli Salad, it is awesome and  and one of the only two delicious ways I know to eat broccoli.

THE RECIPE:  Broccoli Salad
(adapted from a recipe from

A few slices of bacon  (adjust quantity according to your love for bacon )
1 head fresh broccolli  (cut into really small bite sized pieces, only the head please, avoid the stem)
1/4 cup red onion, sliced into tiny cubes (the smaller cubes, the better)
4 tablespoon vinegar ( the original recipe asks for white vinegar, but I´ve used both balsamic and red wine vinegar and they work just as fine)
Craisins or any dried fruit of your choice ( the original recipe calls for raisins but you can adapt this.  I personally like the sweet and sour flavor combination of Craisins, which are dried cranberries)
2 tablespoons sugar  ( I use Stevia, a plant-based sweetener)
2/3 cup mayonnaise ( you can use low-fat)
almonds, sunflower seeds or any nuts of your choice

Step 1:  Make the salad dressing.  Mix the vinegar, sugar and mayonnaise until smooth. You can use a whisk or even a fork to do this.  I personally use chopsticks to do my mixing, because, well I use chopsticks in most of my cooking tasks --frying, beating, mixing. But that´s just me,  I think chopsticks are the cheapest, most versatile cooking utensil ever made, easy to replace too.

Step 2: Toss the broccoli, craisins, red onion, and dressing until mixed. Cover and refrigerate for at least a few hours.  I usually make this at night and have it for breakfast ( and lunch and dinner).

Step 3:  Fry your bacon, crumble them to bits.  Get a serving of the salad from the ref,  top with your crumbled bacon and your nuts of choice.

The result is a salad that´s sweet, salty, tart,  bacon-y and healthy. The brocolli flavor is there but it is balanced by the other ingredients. I love the flavors and textures, like a salad symphony in my mouth.

Tips and Caveats:
The brocolli here is raw.  So make sure to clean your broccoli head before cutting it into small  bite sizes.

Don´t use white onions instead of  red onions.  You want that strong flavor of the red onions,  not the slightly sweet and timid flavor of the white ones.


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