I don’t know about anyone else but I LOVE salads! I could eat a salad a day and most of the time I do and #saladdaily on my Instagram (thismomsreallife). When I day dream I think about different combos that would taste good together and new fresh seasonal ingredients that would change up an old classic. This recipe is a twist on a classic picnic salad I have found not only on salad bars (yes they still exist some places) but also a much lighter and summer flavored one.
One of the fun things about this salad for me is that there is no lettuce included! Now don’t get me wrong I love a leafy green in my life but sometimes same old gets just that old and this opens your mind to new ways to think about “salad”. It does not have to be the standard lettuce, raw veggies, cheese, croutons and heavy dressing that our parents served us growing up. It can be light, and seasonal, and include all sorts of fun ingredients and flavors that would suit all palates.
Our green base starts with 2 heads of broccoli chopped and don’t forget those stems (they have a ton of flavor so chop them up too), 3 scallions and 3 stalks of celery.
Then add in some color and some healthy fats with strawberries, red onion and avocado. One tip if someone does not like raw onion because of the bite you can chop it and soak it for 5 mins in ice water this helps calm down that raw onion flavor but allows for the crunch.
This is the step where you can play with some different flavors as well. I added sunflower seeds and some dried cranberries for a different texture combo. You can stop right here if you want to make the salad Vegan friendly. If you are serving to Vegetarians some Feta cheese would be an awesome addition to this salad for some salt and creaminess. And if you know you are serving to meat eaters you can do what I did and crisp up some Turkey Bacon and add this at this time! The options are endless. Dried blueberries, almonds and goat cheese would be amazing. Using cauliflower instead of broccoli or combined with the broccoli would be great as well. I have skipped the avocado and strawberries all together and added feta and grapes to the party with a creamy yogurt dressing in colder weather months and that was a huge crowd-pleaser. Just use your imagination or feel free to comment below and I can give you some more combo ideas!
This salad turned out amazing and I used it this week in meal prep bowls with cooked quinoa which was a great protein and fiber packed combo to keep you full through your day!
Summer Broccoli Salad
-2 heads of broccoli chopped
-1 package of turkey bacon cooked and crumbled
-3 stalks of celery
-2 cups strawberries
-Juice from 1 lemon
-1/4 cup dried cranberries
-1/4 cup red onion (chopped small)
-2 Tbsp sunflower seeds
Cook turkey bacon until crispy (once cooked place bacon on paper towel to remove all excess grease) Chop all veggies, cut the lemon and squeeze over the avocado and berries, and place in a large bowl with avocado and strawberries. Add remaining ingredients and mix until combined. Flavor with dressing of choice.
This salad gets even better in a day or two when the dressing starts to soak into the broccoli…that is if it lasts that long! I am also giving you the recipe for my new favorite dressing this summer. A creamy strawberry vinaigrette that is made with fresh summer ingredients and whipped up with minimal oil by using your blender. This dressing would be amazing on any salad this summer and even as a marinate for some deliciousness on the grill!
Creamy Strawberry Vinaigrette
-3 fresh strawberries
-6 basil leaves
-1/2 cup apple cider vinegar
-1 Tbsp olive or avocado oil
-Salt and pepper to taste
Place all ingredients in blender and pulse until combined. Use within 3 days of preparing