An easy, delicious side dish for family cookouts and barbeques, this delightfully crunchy salad abounds in nutrients that support oral, heart and brain health. The salad is tasty right after it’s made, but the flavor improves if you let it marinate for a few hours or overnight in the fridge. Add the almond-pepita topping just before serving.
Broccoli is an excellent source of vitamin C and calcium, both of which help reduce your risk for developing periodontal (gum) disease. A recent study of nearly 1,000 older adults reported that eating at least one serving of dark green vegetables a day (such as broccoli) may reduce age-related cognitive decline. Almonds are very high in magnesium, an essential mineral involved in more than 300 bodily functions, including blood sugar and blood pressure control.
For the salad:
3 tablespoons olive oil
3 tablespoons reduced-fat or vegan mayonnaise
1½ tablespoons apple cider vinegar
2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
1 garlic clove, minced or crushed
½ teaspoon freshly ground pepper
4 cups coarsely chopped broccoli florets
1/3 cup diced red onion
1/3 cup reduced-sugar or unsweetened dried cranberries
For the tamari almond-pepita topping
½ cup almonds
½ cup pumpkin seeds (pepitas)
1 tablespoon tamari
½ teaspoon maple syrup
½ teaspoon smoked paprika
Preheat oven to 350°F and line a baking sheet with parchment paper. In a large bowl, whisk together the olive oil, mayonnaise, vinegar, mustard, garlic and pepper. Add broccoli, red onion and cranberries, then toss to coat. Place all tamari almond-pepita topping ingredients in a small bowl and toss to coat. Spread in a thin layer on prepared baking sheet and bake for 10-12 minutes or until golden brown. Remove from oven, cool for five minutes, then toss half of the mixture into the salad. Top salad with remaining almond-pepita mixture and enjoy! Serves four to six. Adapted from loveandlemons.com and myrecipes.com.