Autumn is a time for change. Mother nature puts everything to a dreamless sleep waiting for Spring to come again. As you know I worked at a camp for disabled and mentally challenged children over the summer which in itself was a very rewarding experience. Now a new chapter begins at a new doctors office working in the field of opthalmology. It may seem like a new beginning but it feels more like coming home and settling into a comforting job that I enjoy after a long absense. Something like renewing a friendship with an old friend whom I haven't seen in years.
So in the theme of comfort I am submitting this delicious salad to this months vegetarian blogging event No Croutons Required . The founders of this event are the talented duo Holler of Tinned Tomatoes and fellow Canadian Lisa of Lisa's Kitchen. Each month they are looking for our vegetarian soups or salads with the theme for this month being FRUIT. Both of these ladies follow a vegetarian and healthy lifestyle which is evident in each of their feature stories. They have heard me say this before but they are both such sweeties that I have to participate in their event as often as I can...and I will say it again!!
In this recipe I steamed the broccoli for a very short period of time. You are welcome to keep the broccoli raw but I find that sometimes the broccoli will have a slightly bitter taste that steaming seems to eliminate. The added bonus of steaming is that it gives the broccoli a gorgeous bright green hue. So welcome home with a broccoli salad.......................
**Autumn Broccoli & Apple Salad**
1 head of broccoli
1 carrot, diced
1/2 red pepper (purple, yellow or green would be fine)
1/4 cup red onion, finely diced
1 Granny Smith apple, diced
1/2 cup dried cranberries
3/4 cup reduced-fat mayonnaise
3/4 cup fat-free plain yogurt
1-1/2 tsp sugar
1-1/2 tsp apple cider vinegar
1 tsp Dijon mustard
1/4 tsp salt
1/8 tsp pepper
1/4 cup slivered almonds, toasted
Bring a large pot of water, salted with a teaspoon of salt, to a boil. Add the broccoli florets. Cook 1-2 minutes, depending on how crunchy you want the broccoli. 1 minute will turn the broccoli bright green, and leave it still pretty crunchy. 2 minutes will cook the broccoli through, but still firm. Set your timer and do not cook for more than 2 minutes, or the broccoli will get mushy. Drain the broccoli and immediately put into a bowl of ice water to stop the cooking. Let cool and drain. Dice broccoli stems and all.
In a large bowl, combine the broccoli, carrot, green or red peppers, apple, cranberries and onion. In a small bowl, whisk the mayonnaise, yogurt, sugar, vinegar, mustard, salt and pepper. Pour over salad; toss to coat. Just before serving, sprinkle with toasted almonds.