But broccoli's good, right?

Monday, November 10, 2008

Most of you hated the brussel sprouts, but loved the fish and then proved to me that brown rice was indeed as dull as it sounds. But I know you like broccoli. I know you do.

Always at the top of the list of “superfoods” broccoli is high in Vitamins C and K and is known for its cancer-fighting properties. Just loaded with those wonderful antioxidants. And calcium! Did you know that? Not as much calcium as having a glass of milk, but if you can’t or won’t do dairy, it’s a good substitution. But not with Nestle’s Quik, I don’t think.

One day while searching Allrecipes, looking for a salad that I could take to a family barbecue, I came across a recipe for Bodacious Broccoli Salad. When I first saw the recipe, and after giggling about the name, I was intrigued by the ingredients. Once I was able to stop drooling over ingredients list, I realized it was also an easy recipe to make. Perfect.

This is an excellent side dish for potlucks and it is, indeed, bodacious. It is also pretty high in calories (288 per serving) but I’m going to post the recipe anyway, in case you don’t concern yourself with such things. Then I’m going to follow it up with a wonderful alternative recipe for Chilled Broccoli Salad from GreenLiteBites (a great food blog) that shaves the calories in half.

Bodacious Broccoli Salad
Makes 12 servings

8 slices bacon
2 heads fresh broccoli, chopped
1-1/2 cups sharp cheddar cheese, shredded
½ large red onion, chopped
¼ cup red wine vinegar (I've also used regular white or apple cider vinegar instead)
1/8 cup white sugar
2 tsp ground black pepper
1 tsp salt
2/3 cup mayonnaise
1 tsp fresh lemon juice

Place bacon in a large, deep skillet. Cook over medium high heat until evenly browned. Drain, and crumble. (Ha! Are they kidding here? I always use the precooked real bacon pieces from Hormel. Huge time and mess saver.)

In a large bowl, combine broccoli, cheese, bacon and onion.

Prepare the dressing in a small bowl by whisking together the red wine vinegar, sugar, pepper, salt, mayonnaise and lemon juice. Combine dressing with salad. Cover and refrigerate until ready to serve.

I prefer to make this recipe using half broccoli and half cauliflower – because you know how I love cauliflower. So try that, too. It’s even more bodaciouser. And if you happen to have some craisins around, throwing a handful or so into the mix is definitely not a bad thing.

I have been considering finding a commercially prepared dressing to use for this – because I’m nothing if not lazy. Any suggestions for that? Because I’m kind of at a loss.

And now here’s the lighter version:

Chilled Broccoli Salad
Recipe Source: GreenLiteBites

3 cups raw broccoli florets
½ cup of carrots grated/shredded
¼ cup diced sweet or red onion
2 tbsp real bacon bits
1 oz fancy shredded cheddar cheese or a Mexican cheese blend
½ cup non-fat unflavored yogurt
2 tbsp red wine vinegar
1 tbsp apple cider vinegar
1/2-1 tsp powdered Stevia extract, or to taste

If you like, blanch the broccoli. Bring a pot of water to a boil, drop in the broccoli then remove after a minute and place in a large bowl of ice cold water.

Place the broccoli, carrots, onion, bacon bits, and cheese in to a medium-large bowl.

In a smaller bowl whisk the yogurt, vinegars and stevia to make the dressing.

Pour the dressing over the broccoli mixture. Stir to coat and refrigerate for a at least 10 minutes. Serve!

So there you go. Two recipes for the price of one. If you’ve been chosen as the designated salad maker for Thanksgiving this year, this would be a nice choice. A little different from the usual fare – and much tastier. You will not be bringing home leftovers.

PS: I also came across an idea for “Loaded Broccoli” – which is like a loaded baked potato, only with broccoli instead of the potato. Top with sour cream, cheese and bacon. (Drooling again.)


Cyndi said...

This is one of my favorite salads ever, but my recipe adds raisins and sunflower seeds. SO GOOD. I will have to try the lightened version.

Mrs. Jelly Belly said...

I would love to see your recipe. Maybe you can post it on your blog so you have something to write about today. :)