Monday, October 31, 2011

Broccoli Crunch

Broccoli Crunch 6

One of my favorite prepared foods at Whole Foods is the broccoli crunch.  It is the perfect salad “topper”…nutrition from the broccoli, sweetness from the raisins, smokiness from the bacon, crunch from the cashews, creaminess from the dressing.  I chop it up and serve it over romaine with other veggies (red bell, shredded carrots), sometimes adding chicken.  I usually don’t have to add dressing because the broccoli crunch is already dressed.

Broccoli Crunch 1

Typical broccoli salad has a lot of fat (mayo, nuts, bacon), but honestly the one at WF’s is mostly broccoli and isn’t overly dressed with mayo.  Mine is on the lighter side too.  But NOT because I used light mayo (I can’t stand light mayo).  I used less bacon and swapped some of the mayo for Greek yogurt (I used 0% Fage). 

Broccoli Crunch 2

You could swap a purple onion for the shallot, but a shallot provides the perfect amount of onion (no leftovers to use up).  Broccolini was on sale at WF’s last week, so that’s what I used.  The stems are really thin (like asparagus), so I chopped them up right along with the florets.  If I were to use regular broccoli I might peel and chop some of the stem as well.

Broccoli Crunch 7  Broccoli Crunch 3Broccoli Crunch 4  Broccoli Crunch 5

The salad needs to chill in the fridge for a while before serving to help soften the broccoli (which in my opinion makes it better).  Next time I’m going to add the cashews right before serving…they lost their crunch!

Broccoli Crunch 9  Broccoli Crunch 8Broccoli Crunch 10

Broccoli Crunch

makes 6 servings

4-5 cups broccoli florets, chopped (stems if you want), 1 head*
1/2 cup raisins, chopped
1 shallot, thinly sliced (about 1/3 cup)
1/4 cup cashews, toasted and chopped
4 slices of bacon, cooked** and crumbled

3 tablespoons mayonnaise
5 tablespoons non-fat Greek yogurt
2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon black pepper

Combine all ingredients for the salad in a large bowl (broccoli through bacon).  If not serving right away, I recommend waiting to add the cashews.

In a small bowl whisk together the dressing ingredients (mayo through pepper).  Add dressing to the salad and toss to mix well. Chill thoroughly before serving.

Per serving (a little less than a cup) – 190 calories, 11 g fat (2.3 g saturated), 19 g carbohydrates, 3 g fiber, 7 g protein (exchanges: 2 vegetable, 1 fat)…plus 115%DV vit C, 99%DV vit K, also a good source of vit A and folate

* If you wanted you could blanch the broccoli, as they did in this recipe.

** I cooked my bacon in the microwave.

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Lima Bean Soup

lima bean soup 2

I have random cravings for lima beans…like the kind I imagine a pregnant woman has for something equally as weird.  Yes, I know you’re thinking “she would crave something healthy”…but I seriously do!  Maybe its because they remind me my childhood…it’s a Bernie favorite! And just so ya know, one of my favorite dancer/foodie friends shares my love of lima beans (and loved the soup)…so I’m not the only one!

I’ve never had lima bean soup, but I figured I could make it the way Bernie makes her beans, and then just make them “soupier”.  So I called the expert to consult the best way to go about this.  Here is what we came up with.

Sauté your “seasoning” (carrots, celery, onion) in a little oil with salt and pepper.  Add the chicken stock and frozen lima beans.  Cook until they are as tender as you like.  I decided  to add lemon juice to finish.  Really easy!

I wanted something brothy with beans that held their shape so I didn’t cook the soup for too long.  But I think it would be really good if you cooked it longer and the beans started to fall apart…or if you puréed half of the soup.

lima bean soup 3

Lima Bean Soup
created by me and Bernadette

makes about 8 1-cup servings

2 tablespoons olive oil
1 carrot, diced
1 celery stalk, diced
1 onion, diced
4 cups low-sodium chicken stock
2 16-ounce bags frozen lima beans
salt and pepper
juice of a lemon

In a large stockpot over medium-low heat, sauté the carrot, celery, and onion with the olive oil until the onions are translucent, 10 to 15 minutes.  Add stock and beans.  Add enough water to just cover the beans.  Season with salt (a few pinches) and black pepper.  Simmer, covered, for 20 minutes or until beans are tender (or longer if you want the beans to begin falling apart).  Add lemon juice. Taste and re-season if needed. 

Per serving: 200 calories, 3.4 g fat (0.5 g saturated), 30 g carbohydrates, 7 g fiber, 10 g protein (exchanges: 1 protein, 2 starch)

* I ALWAYS make enough soup to freeze some…Its so nice having soup ready to go on days when I don’t have have time to cook!  Especially when it’s a long studio night!