I made Healthy Broccoli Salad a few weeks ago, and loved it so much that I’ve started making variations! Mexican Broccoli Salad is the first and there will be a Curried Mango one to come later on this summer! I have to admit that I’m partial to this salad, but that might be due to the fact that I love Mexican food and all of it’s extraordinary flavors. I find myself thinking of Mexican as burritos or tacos, but true Mexican is about fresh simple flavors. Even the rich molés in all their complexity have an innate simplicity, or maybe the word is purity of flavor. We’re lucky enough to have a restaurant here that has inspired me to delve below the burrito surface and into this complex, delicious cuisine. I’m not saying that this is authentically Mexican by any means, but it showcases some of my favorite flavors all in one nutrient packed salad.
To get started, I like to process the dressing first, that way you don’t have to clean the container in between.
While you’re prepping the vegetables, toast the pumpkin seeds in a cast iron skillet over medium-low heat until golden brown, about 5-10 minutes.
For the broccoli, I like to break it up a bit before processing because you achieve a more even texture that way. I’ve tried this with really big pieces of broccoli, and it ended up being mush with a few big pieces that refused to process.
This time, I quartered my cherry tomatoes but what you’re looking for is 1/2 inch pieces.
For the cucumber, I first cut it lengthwise into eighths and then crosswise into small pieces. (FYI – I just had to look up how to spell eighths – apparently I can no longer remember how to spell!)
Place all of the ingredients in a bowl, toss together and serve immediately.
Tip: to make this salad more presentable, save a few cherry tomatoes, cucumbers, and pumpkin seeds for the top. Top the whole thing with a sprig of cilantro and you have a gorgeous salad instead of green glop.
We’ve been eating this salad paired with something from the grill. My favorite combination so far was the Jalapeno Sausages we got from a local meat shop. Grilling and making a salad has been my best strategy yet for healthy but delicious dinners in a hurry.
- 2 heads broccoli, about 1 lb
- 1½ cups cherry tomatoes
- 1 cucumber
- ½ cup pumpkin seeds, toasted
- 2 avocados, peeled and pitted
- ¼ cup lime juice, freshly squeezed
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- ½-1 jalapeno, seeded and minced
- ½ cup cilantro, loosely packed
- 1 Teaspoon cumin
- 2 Teaspoons sea salt
- Place all the ingredients for the dressing in a food processor fitted with the chopping blade and process until mostly smooth. Place the dressing in your salad bowl, scraping the container as clean as possible.
- Place the bowl and blade back on the base. Peel the stem of the broccoli and chop both heads of broccoli into pieces - about 3-4 inches. Process the broccoli in the food processor until small pieces remain. Transfer the broccoli to the salad bowl with the dressing. Cut the cucumber lengthwise into eighths and then crosswise into small pieces. Halve the cherry tomatoes and place them and the cucumber in the salad bowl. Toss together with the toasted pumpkin seeds and serve immediately.
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