May is Guest Chef Month on A Passionate Plate!
Today’s recipe comes from my friend, Jeannie Bastasch – an amazing woman who spends her days inspiring kids to exercise and make heathy food choices at Greenwood Elementary in Seattle. Not only is Jeannie an educator and an athlete, she is also an amazing dancer! Last year she taught her entire school Beyonce’s “Move Your Body” routine. And, Jeannie is a great cook, too. Recently Jeannie told me that cooking recipes from A Passionate Plate has made her feel like a more confident cook. (Big smile). Thanks, Jeannie!
Recipe and Post from Jeannie Bastasch.
I am one of those people everyone hates. Well, at least I used to be. No, I don’t drive slowly in the PASSING lane (passing only people!) or talk during movies. I used to be able to eat anything in any amount and never gain weight. I once ate an entire box of 8 hostess cupcakes on the way home from the grocery store. In college my teammates nicknamed me “the silo” for my impressive performance at all-you-can-eat restaurants. Not the most intimidating sports nickname I can think of. Don’t hate me; those days are over.
As an elementary physical education teacher I do burn a lot of calories at work, but a knee injury and aging metabolism have caught up with me. When my friend, Ruthanne, introduced me to this recipe I knew it would become a staple in my diet. I’m just not at the point where I’m willing to sacrifice taste, and this nutritious salad is so delicious I really can’t ever make enough of it. It’s perfect for those times when you’re really hungry and you need something quick and satisfying and you really can’t take the time to wash, chop and make something nutritious. Those are the times we reach for chips, crackers, and treats. Yes, this delicious broccoli salad takes a little prep time up front, but once it is made it will keep in the fridge all week, providing you with a healthy, satisfying alternative to junk food. Yes, I said BROCCOLI SALAD! I know, yuck. Give it a chance and you won’t be disappointed.
In addition to being delicious and nutritious, this recipe is also VERY forgiving. There is a general formula, but many things can be left out or can replace what’s called for depending on what you have on hand. The formula: sweet, crunchy, hearty, red oniony (uhh…. red onion is pretty much just a necessity). My sweet is craisins and apples, but you could try raisins and pears or dried cherries and grapes. For crunchy I go with sunflower seeds, but sliced almonds would work too. Hearty vegetables help this salad last longer and pack the veggie servings most of us are lacking and red onion is probably the most important part of the puzzle. I just can’t think of a replacement and it’s the one ingredient I notice when it’s missing.
- 2 Tbsp. olive oil
- salt (to taste)
- One head of broccoli, cut into florets
- 2 Tbsp. lemon juice
- 1 chopped cup each:
- red onion
- cherry tomatoes
- yellow pepper
- shredded carrots
- ½ cup sunflower seeds
- ½ cup craisins
- Place the broccoli in a bowl that has a tight fitting lid.
- Drizzle the olive oil over the broccoli and sprinkle on salt to taste.
- With the lid tightly secure, shake the living daylight out of that broccoli!
- This will spread the olive oil and soften the raw broccoli in order to take the edge of it’s “rawness”.
- (I usually let the broccoli sit and rest with the olive oil while I chop the rest of the ingredients.)
- Stir in the lemon juice and remaining ingredients.
- Taste and add more salt if desired.
- This salad will last, refrigerated, for up to a week!