Whenever I go to a potluck or picnic, it is expected that I bring a healthy salad. I almost dread walking in with my dish, because some people are skeptical that anything healthy can taste good. They and are wondering how much they have to take to be polite, and they can be pretty vocal about it.
I have to up my game to bring something healthy that everyone is also happy to eat.
This salad fits the bill. Even the people who don’t care about healthy eating like it, because it looks and tastes so good. It gets better as it sits, tastes great at room temperature, is colorful and appealing, and doesn’t wilt in the heat.
It’s also hearty enough to be an entree for vegetarians, is great in a lunch box, and makes a great wrap filling the next day. Did I mention its full of vitamin C, antioxidants, protein and fiber? It will fill you up without filling you out.
My family has been making this broccoli salad for years, and we haven’t gotten tired of it yet. As a kid, I would never eat broccoli or beans alone, but add some cheese and salad dressing and I couldn’t get enough.
Here’s how to make it:
1 large bunch broccoli (4-5 stalks), cut into small florets
1 large red onion, diced
1 14.5 oz. can kidney beans, rinsed and drained
1 large tomato, chopped (or an equivalent amount of halved cherry tomatoes)
1 cup grated cheddar cheese (thickly grated is best in this salad)
1 package of Good Seasons Italian dressing, mixed with oil and red wine vinegar (or your favorite Italian dressing)
Mix everything together and let sit overnight or at least a few hours. This serves about 8 as a side dish, and this recipe can easily be doubled. Just toss with half of the dressing to start, and add more as needed so it doesn’t get soggy.
That’s it! So easy and quick, but it looks like you spent a lot of time putting it together.
Could you use another type of bean or a different kind of cheese? Yes! Add anything you think would be good that’s hanging out in your fridge, like a colorful bell pepper.
Once you get the hang of making this salad, you can take it any direction you choose. What you want are bright colors and a variety of textures that complement each other.