Broccoli quinoa salad and…school is out and hockey season is over! On Wednesday I slept in until 8:45 am which I haven’t done in years. Plus my oldest one went camping with a friend for 3 days and let me tell you having 1 child is a joke! OMG, it is so quiet and peaceful. I leisurely stroll around the house with a cup of coffee. I don’t have to drive anywhere and there is no pressure of a schedule. Plus I had great one on one time with my 4 year old and he actually is a normal child when the other one is not around, an eye opener. So, 2 kids is plenty for me.
Moving onto food…I practically live for summer like some people live for Christmas. My favourite part is going to the beach with the kids, having a picnic there, reading a book, sipping on club soda and watching my boys play before they grow up, get a girlfriend and consider me an old person (which is kinda not true as I will be only 44 when my oldest one turns 20 but you know kids).
And of course my other favourite part is all that fresh produce! On Tuesday, I found 3 lbs of broccoli in my fridge that desperately needed to be used. This year I’m also growing 8 broccoli plants that I’m proud to announce actually now have broccoli crowns inside those gigantic leaves. It is my 1st time ever seeing broccoli grow. I wonder what I could do with broccoli leaves?! Hate to waste that organic goodness… I have to be honest – broccoli is not my favourite vegetable unlike my kids’ (this one still puzzles me). I force myself to eat it and there is only a certain way I would eat it – roasted or finely chopped. I recently discovered chopping broccoli is not my favourite task. It has to be chopped finely too to be palatable. So, food processor here we come. Magic happens in 1 instead of 30 minutes. Plus you get to use a stem which has so many nutrients and you already paid for it. Don’t throw it away.
This week I saw Aggie’s Kitchen salad and later on found myself wondering in my herb “garden” and toasting slivered almonds. What a genius combo! Don’t judge my garden, it is a hot mess this year as our backyard is in renos and I’m still a rookie gardener. And apparently my “wheat grass” is just a wheat plant. Like why would you label it “wheat grass”?! By the way, Aggie has many more quick salad ideas. I mean she has 3 kids, I totally get her cooking style – chop, chop and voila. Seriously, even tacos stress me out – I need more practice warming up tortillas, creating non-meat fillings and having salsa and cheese on hand (last one is a tough one as I hate meal planning).
So, this broccoli quinoa salad ended up containing – chopped broccoli, a mix of herbs from my garden+farmers market+organic produce delivery, toasted slivered almonds and quinoa. I really wanted all ingredients being similar texture! Then I added organic extra virgin olive oil (great for salads and not so great for heating), a bit of lemon juice, salt and pepper. The salad was delicious and made a complete meal which we ate for days (cold salad in summer is unbeatable). My 8 year old was away camping so I don’t know what he would say. My 4 year old’s face changed as he saw broccoli quinoa salad…Ugh, he somehow thinks (?) everything green is spicy. Or he is just smart.
I used slivered almonds which I happened to have on hand. I love their texture but they cost an arm and a leg, I agree. As I was paying $7 for a little bag a cashier said to me: “Unfortunately anything good for us costs a fortune”. OMG, this is how myths about “expensive” healthy food are born. Um, that was a treat and really an extra. Nuts cost more money than Lunchables but offer so much more nutrition and health benefits per $. Not to mention saved healthcare costs etc.
- 1 cup quinoa, uncooked
- 1 1/2 cups water + pinch of salt
- 1 cup almonds, slivered or sliced (coarsely chopped are OK too)
- 1.5 lbs broccoli (including stems), cut into large pieces
- 1 cup herbs, finely chopped (I used dill+parsley+mint+basil+cilantro+chives)
- 3 tbsp olive oil, extra virgin
- 1/2 lemon, zest of
- 1/2 tbsp lemon juice
- 3/4 tsp salt
- 1/4 tsp black pepper, ground
- In a medium pot, add quinoa, water and a pinch of salt. Cover, bring to a boil, reduce heat to low and cook for 10 minutes. Remove from heat, let stand for 5 minutes and fluff with a fork. Set aside.
- In the meanwhile, preheat small skillet on low heat and add almonds. Toast until golden brown, stirring occasionally. Set aside.
- In a food processor, add broccoli and process in batches until coarsely chopped. Add to a large bowl along with remaining ingredients and gently stir to combine. Serve cold.
Servings Per Recipe: 6
Amount Per Serving = 1 1/2 cups:
Total Fat: 18.0 g
Cholesterol: 0.0 mg
Sodium: 322.8 mg
Total Carbs: 28.0 g
Dietary Fiber: 7.6 g
Protein: 11.2 g
WW Points+: 8