Broccoli Salad

Broccoli Salad

This Broccoli Salad is a remade version of the classic broccoli salad. I had a nutrition class back when I was in nursing school and we had to re-make a recipe to make it more healthy. You’ll notice bacon in the recipe and may argue that it is not so healthy. True, but sometimes a person just has to keep the bacon–yeah, baby.

This broccoli salad is diabetic friendly as well as being darn good. Dried cranberries are used instead of the traditional raisins. Light mayo replaces the full fat regular mayo. Originally I used Splenda to replace the white sugar, but since the advent of Agave, I think that would also be a good choice. Of course white sugar can be used instead of the Splenda or the Agave, it’s all up to your personal preference.

Additionally, regarding the bacon, there were no calories saved by using turkey bacon instead of regular pork bacon. Use whichever type of bacon you prefer.

Raw broccoli is generally used in this salad, however, I prefer to give the broccoli a quick steam for about 2-3 minutes.  This sets a beautiful bright green color which makes the salad look so appealing.  In order to halt the cooking process, I either plunge the broccoli into an ice water bath (this is called ‘shocking’ the broccoli) or run it under cold water.  Because our water comes from the mountains it is pretty darn cold for most of the year.  This process leaves the texture of the broccoli crisp.

Broccoli Salad

Ingredients

    For the Salad
  • 8-10 cups broccoli florets
  • ½ cup dried cranberries (such as Craisins)
  • ½ cup small dice purple onion
  • ½ cup slivered almonds, toasted (see instructions below)
  • 12 slices bacon, fried crisp and crumbled
  • For the Dressing
  • 1 cup light mayonnaise
  • 3 tablespoons red wine vinegar (For a bolder taste, try balsamic vinegar. For something lighter, try seasoned rice wine vinegar.)
  • ¼ cup Splenda (sugar substitute) or white granulated sugar, or 2 tablespoons Agave

Instructions

    For the Salad
  1. Cut broccoli into bite-sized florets.
  2. The broccoli can left raw, which is what is generally done with a broccoli salad. However, I like to give the broccoli florets a quick steam, just a couple of minutes, to set a bright green color. I then cool the broccoli quickly in a colander under cool running water or plunge it into an ice water bath. Drain well.
  3. Add the dried cranberries, diced purple onion, slivered almonds, and crumbled bacon and mix.
  4. Just before serving, add the dressing and mix well.
  5. For the Dressing
  6. Mix all ingredients together. Refrigerate until ready to use. (Do not add dressing until you are ready to serve the salad.)
  7. To toast almonds, or any nut:
  8. Saucepan method--Place almonds, single-layered, in a sauce-pot or frying pan. Stir often over medium heat until golden brown.
  9. Oven method--Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Spread nuts in one layer on shallow baking pan. Bake for 10 to 15 minutes, stirring or shaking pan occasionally, until golden.
http://tsgcookin.com/2011/04/broccoli-salad/

Broccoli Salad
Cut the broccoli into bite-sized florets.
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Broccoli Salad
Steam the broccoli for 2-3 minutes to set a bright green color.  It is important to quickly halt the cooking process, so either plunge the broccoli into an ice water bath, or pour icy cold water over it.
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Broccoli Salad
Do a small dice on the onion.
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Broccoli Salad
To save some time and clean-up, I often cook my bacon in the microwave, about a minute per slice for an 1100 watt microwave.  Stack several layers of paper towels on a platter or large plate, then place the bacon strips side-by-side on the paper towels, as many as will fit. (You will have to cook the bacon in 2 batches for this recipe.) Cover with another paper towel and put in the microwave.  Start with a minute per slice on high.  It you are working with a lower wattage microwave, additional time may be needed.  Cook one additional minute at a time until the bacon is crisp, but not burned.
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Broccoli Salad
Put all of the ingredients into a large mixing bowl.  No, those are not slivered almonds in this salad.  As it turned out, I had already used the last of my slivered almonds, so I substituted some macadamias that I found at the back of the freezer.  What a nice change!  Mix the ingredients together and refrigerate until ready to serve.  Just before serving add the dressing.
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Broccoli Salad
The dressing goes together quickly–just stir the mayonnaise, red wine vinegar, and sweetener of your choice together in a bowl.  Refrigerate until ready to use.
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Broccoli Salad
Just before you ring the dinner bell, pour the dressing over the salad…
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Broccoli Salad
…and mix well.
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Broccoli Salad
Now ring the dinner bell.
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