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Unique Broccoli Salad

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I have some fun grilling & chilling plans . They’re all easy to make and more importantly – easy to make ahead. First up – broccoli salad! This is a healthier spin on the traditional midwest broccoli salad but it’s every bit as flavorful. Small broccoli florets are marinated in a creamy/tangy dressing along with dried cranberries and smoky tamari-roasted almonds. It’s a one-bowl recipe that’s great as a pack-able picnic salad or an easy make-ahead lunch.

How to Make a Healthy Broccoli Salad

While broccoli salad is a staple at summertime barbecues, the conventional recipe calls for too much sugar, too much mayonnaise, too much bacon, and too much cheese. By omitting the sugar, pork, and cheese from the original recipe, my version is lighter and healthier, and it yields a meal that is crisp, refreshing, and tangy—the perfect addition to any summertime barbecue.

My preferred dressing for broccoli salad is made by substituting olive oil for some of the mayonnaise and increasing the amount of vinegar above the standard 1 cup mayonnaise to 2 tablespoons vinegar ratio. To this, I add a couple teaspoons of Dijon mustard and a touch of honey for a delightfully sweet and salty dressing.

The dressing is tasty, but the tamari almonds and pepitas with their smokey, sweet/salty flavor are the real stars here. They are the perfect healthy alternative to bacon and cheese, adding a lovely crunch and a rich, smokey taste to this salad.

This recipe is packed with fresh, healthful ingredients: one pound of broccoli, chewy dried cranberries, and tiny bits of red onion.

Recipes for Broccoli Salad

Want to learn how to prepare the most delicious broccoli salad? Some easy advice is as follows:

  • Chop the broccoli very finely. In this recipe, the broccoli is served raw, so the pieces should be tiny enough to absorb all of the sauce and become tender. You may taste a variety of the salad’s components, and enjoy them all in one mouthful, if the broccoli is cut into bite-sized pieces.
  • Do some marinating. This salad is delicious fresh out of the fridge, but it improves with time in the fridge. By day three, the broccoli had softened and absorbed the flavors of the dressing.
  • Keep some nuts back for the finish. The very crispy, smokey nuts and seeds on top are what really set this salad apart for me, but cooking it ahead of time to let the flavors develop is a plus. Keep some aside to sprinkle on shortly before serving, as they will lose their crunch if added beforehand.

Tips for Serving a Broccoli Salad

  • This recipe pairs well with vegetable burgers, black bean burgers, portobello “dogs,” and BBQ jackfruit sandwiches, so it’s perfect for a vegetarian or vegan cookout. Because the broccoli softens in the dressing and the flavors blend as it rests, this is the ideal meal to prepare in advance, as I mentioned above.
  • You may also take this salad to work for a nutritious lunch!

Quick Glances


  • Broccoli florets, one pound
  • Three Tablespoons of Premium Olive Oil
  • Mayonnaise, three tablespoons (I use Sir Kensington’s) or vegan mayo
  • Apple cider vinegar, 1 1/2 tablespoons
  • 1 tablespoon of grainy mustard
  • Honey or maple syrup, to taste, 1 tsp
  • one minced clove of garlic one-fourth teaspoon of sea salt, to taste
  • 1/3 cup of chopped red onion
  • 1/4 cup fresh cranberries

Smoky tamari almonds

  • 1/2 tin of almonds
  • 1/2 mug of pepitas
  • tamari, one spoonful
  • 1/3 of a teaspoon
  • Paprika, smoked, 14 teaspoon, more to taste

download this article + recipe in pdf format.