Broccoli Crunch Salad

Years ago I remember having the most incredible broccoli salad. I couldn't tell you where I was (which is bugging me), but I can still taste it. This salad (remember, I use the term loosely) ingeniously combined broccoli, red onion, raisins and bacon dressed in creamy deliciousness. I'm sure mayonnaise was involved, which I publicly detest but have been known to turn a blind eye to when it's in chicken salad (shhh). Speaking of, I'm working on a delicious and mayonnaise-free chicken salad. So stay tuned for that. But back to broccoli... This salad left quite an impression. And I've since discovered a few others that can be the determining factor in my decision of where to dine, no lie. Sweet Tomatoes does a creamy one sans bacon. Then there's Whole Foods' version which is cream-free with cashews and sweet agave dressing. I wanted to make one that was a bit healthier. And I took it to a whole new salad-as-a-meal level. I've mentioned before that I love a good salad for lunch. And that my definition of a salad may be a bit different than the traditional. For me, lettuce alone does not a salad make. Mixed greens should merely be a backdrop to a medley of flavors, colors and textures. It's gotta be interesting, delicious and (keyword here) satisfying. This broccoli crunch creation checks off all three boxes. Crunchy, sweet and salty all combined into one. For the dressing, you can use the same balsamic vinaigrette I did (see below for recipe), or just mix a little balsamic and olive oil (1:2 ratio), or use your favorite bottle (read the label!). Looking for something a little heartier? Add a scoop of quinoa for some extra carbs with protein.

Broccoli Crunch Salad

What you need:

spring mix
broccoli, chopped
apple, diced
red onion, sliced in thin crescents
walnuts or cashews (or both), chopped

For the dressing:

1 tbsp balsamic vinegar
2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
1 tsp dijon mustard
1 tsp honey
salt and pepper

What you do:

Combine dressing ingredients and whisk together until combined. Combine salad ingredients, top with dressing and toss well.

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