Here lately I’ve been doing a not-so-hot job of incorporating greens into my diet. I love veggies for the most part, but sometimes I struggle with finding creative ways to cook them. I’m not much of a raw vegetable eater at all. I often have to sort-of trick myself into eating them by hiding them in the meals that I cook. The southern culture that I’m accustomed to (and love dearly, hence the name of this blog) is notorious for frying vegetables. I’m not knocking fried veggies..heck, I LOVE them (‘sup, fried okra,) but I also realize that frying them pretty much cancels out all of the goodness in them. Hard pill to swallow, I know, but it’s true. 😉
Last week I had the privilege of joining a neighboring church for a dinner on the grounds after their morning service. Potluck dinners and Southern Baptist’s go together like peas and carrots, y’all. We ain’t playing when it comes to bringing a covered dish to a church function! I absolutely love potlucks because I love sampling and experiencing new-to-me dishes that people in my community make. Of course, you have your staple casseroles and such, but sometimes you stumble across something you’ve never tried!
I’ve seen several different variations of this particular dish over the years, and I’ve even sampled it just a few times here and there, but last week at that dinner on the grounds I tried a batch of someone’s broccoli salad that was out of this world delicious! SO delicious, that I came home and told myself that I was going to try to replicate it.
Broccoli salad is a great way to add in fresh greens, as long as you go light on the dressing. This dressing is mayo based, so I opted for a lighter variety of mayo. You could also skip the bacon if you wanted to go healthier, but I don’t like to live in a world where I sacrifice putting bacon in my salad. Just don’t. Not gonna do it. I’m satisfied enough with the fact that I actually got to put some fresh vegetables into my body, and I felt much better afterward!
Broccoli, Bacon and Quinoa Salad
- 2 cups broccoli florets
- 5 slices of bacon
- 1/4 cup raisins
- 1/2 cup dried cranberries
- 1/2 cup toasted pecans or walnuts chopped
- 1/2 cup quinoa cooked according to package instructions
- 1/3 cup light mayonnaise
- 1/4 cup milk
- 1 Tbs fresh honey
- 1/2 tsp apple cider vinegar
- 1/2 tsp sugar or stevia
- Divide raisins and cranberries into two different bowls. Boil a small amount of water and pour over raisins and cranberries and allow to sit for roughly 10 minutes before draining (This re-hydrates and softens the fruit)
- Blanch broccoli - Bring a pot of water to a rolling boil and add broccoli. Allow to cook for 2 minutes (no longer than that) and remove from heat. Drain water from broccoli and immediately rinse with cool water to stop the cooking process.
- Cook bacon pieces according to package instructions, making sure that the bacon doesn't overcook and become too crispy - you want it to still be a little soft so that you can easily chop it
- In a large bowl, combine broccoli, rehydrated cranberries and raising, quinoa, toasted pecans and bacon
- In a separate small bowl, combine mayonnaise, milk, honey, apple cider vinegar and sugar and stir until well combined
- Pour salad dressing over broccoli mixture and stir well
- Drizzle with a little extra honey (if desired) and serve.
I absolutely love salads with dried cranberries, and this salad has the perfect amount. To give it a little oomph, I added in some Inca red quinoa. Quinoa is SO good for you, and I love to add it into recipes whenever I can. While my daughter was taking her mid-morning nap, I whipped up a batch of this delicious Broccoli, Bacon and Quinoa Salad and curled up on my couch and devoured it! Deeee-lish!
If you’re like me and have a hard time getting veggies into your diet, this salad is a great way to do it! It’s perfect to take to potlucks and other events, and it’s even better the next day as leftovers!
What are some other broccoli recipes that you like? Broccoli is one of my favorite vegetables, so I’d love to get my hands on some new recipes! Drop a comment and share the veggie love!