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 on to 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