This past week of school turned out to be much more mellow than expected. I had most of my nights free from studying so I was able to spend some much-needed time in the kitchen.
When classes started in February, I made the decision to eat healthier. Each day I start out by having probiotic yogurt and fruit. For lunch, I pack a small cucumber sandwich smeared with low-fat cream cheese along with a generous portion of raw veggies and more fruit.
In the afternoon, I snack on raw unsalted almonds. At night, I have a sensible dinner (this sounds like a Weight Watchers commercial or something) of steamed veggies and some sort of protein.
I decided to start this week with a new lunch routine (since people are starting to notice I eat the same thing every single day). I created a raw broccoli salad with a sesame dressing which is loaded with flavor and nutrition. While I’m not on a raw food diet, I do enjoy eating more raw foods and this salad is nearly 100% raw.
The salad is similar to a mayonnaise broccoli salad which I haven’t had in many years. I replaced the mayo with a sesame dressing and threw in a few nuts and dried fruit for texture and added flavor. I couldn’t stop eating it when I mixed it all together and think it’ll get better as it sits (I just finished making it).
Within minutes, the dressing started working its magic on the broccoli and it began to soften. It also didn’t look like enough dressing at first but everything began to have a nice sheen. After taking a few bites, I think it was the perfect amount.
Sesame-Broccoli Salad Recipe
2 heads broccoli, chopped (use the stalks too)
1 cup lightly packed cilanto, chopped
1/2 cup shredded carrot
2 green onions, chopped
3/4 cup toasted almonds, chopped
1/2 cup dried cranberries (or raisins)
1/2 cup canola oil
1 tablespoon sesame oil
3 tablespoons rice vinegar (or apple cider vinegar)
1 tablespoon sugar (or sugar substitute)
2 teaspoons soy sauce
Add the first 6 salad ingredients to a large mixing bowl. Mix the dressing ingredients in a separate small bowl and whisk with a fork until blended. Pour dressing over salad and toss to combine.
Allow the salad to set in the refrigerator for at least 30 minutes so the flavors can get all friendly and combine with each other. It’s even better the next day!
The salad is not only good for lunch, it will travel well for a summer picnic or outdoor barbecue as well since it doesn’t have any mayo. It’s also hearty and filling enough for those who are vegetarian. Feel free to make it your own by adding in other shredded veggies or nut/fruit combos.
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