Monday, July 14, 2014

Broccoli Goodness

I haven't posted a recipe in quite  while, so I figure it's about time. And why not start with something that combines healthy and unhealthy foods in the most appealing way? This recipe includes lots of nuts and seeds (good fats) and cruciferous vegetables like broccoli and cauliflower (vitamins, fiber, and disease-fighting phytochemicals), but then throws in bacon and mayonnaise. But if you're someone like me (or have children like me) who like a little sweetness to bribe them into eating their veggies, then this recipe is for you.


Raisins, seeds, and nuts from the bulk food aisle.
1 lb bacon fried and chopped or crumbled (Note: this is a LOT of bacon. Feel free to reduce.)
3 or 4 heads of broccolli
1/2 head of cauliflower
1 medium red onion diced
1 cup raisins (could substitute dried cranberries)
1/2 cup shelled pumpkin seeds (could substitute sunflower seeds
1/2 cup cashews (could substitute slivered almonds or chopped pecans)
1/4 cup hemp hearts


1 cup mayonnaise
1/4 cup sugar
2 Tablespoons cider or wine or raspberry vinegar


Are you drooling yet?
Save time and bother by cooking the entire package of bacon in the oven (even if you're cutting down the quantity in this recipe -- you'll have it for later)! Here's how:
Line your largest cookie sheet or roasting pan with tin foil (makes clean-up slightly easier). Take down your smoke detector. Spread the rashers out over the tin foil (don't worry if they overlap a little). Place the sheet in a COLD oven and set the temp at 425 degrees.

Bake for 17 minutes, then start checking on it every minute until it is perfect. (You may want to rotate the pan if you notice that the bacon is cooking unevenly.) Drain on a paper towel and squeeze out as much grease as you can. Once the bacon has cooled, chop or crumble it. 
While the bacon is cooking, chop the broccoli and cauliflower into florets, saving the broccoli stems.

The top stem has not been pared; the bottom one has.
My mother always used to cook the broccoli stems along with the heads -- and I honestly don't know when I stopped. It wasn't that I disliked the stems . . . though I could understand that the outer rind could be tough sometimes.

Solution: pare the rind from the bottoms of the stems, then slice and chop the stems.

Ready to chop!
Dice the red onion.
Pro tip: dice all your onions and your entire head of celery in one session. It will speed up your meal preparation for the rest of the week!
(Your bacon should be done by now.)

Set aside some bacon and seeds or nuts for garnish.

Combine remaining bacon, veggies, raisins, and nuts in a great big salad bowl.

Combine dressing ingredients. Toss with salad ingredients in the bowl.

Garnish and serve.

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