I just finished an exercise, in the name of science, where I was required to weigh everything I ate or drank (except for water) for three days. Let me tell you, this is an experience I do not care to repeat. Not only is it incredibly annoying to have to lug a digital scale everywhere you go in case you eat or drink something, but it failed to give an accurate representation of my real diet because I adjusted to eating things that were easier to measure. I couldn’t weigh the exact amount of banana in a no sugar banana branner, for examples, so instead of a bran muffin I ate oatmeal for breakfast. The leftover chickpea curry in the fridge was impossible to measure, so instead I ate wheat berries, lentils, and grated vegetables, each weighed individually on their way into the bowl. A drizzle of olive oil over the top? Weighed that. A glass of red wine with dinner? Weighed that. A couple of squares of dark chocolate in the evening? That would be 20 grams.
Back at glorious non-weighed eating, I’m left digesting a few things. First, this exercise has made me question the validity of every nutritional study using this technique for dietary assessment. Second, it made me think about vegetable consumption.
Canadian and American recommendations for fruit and vegetable consumption around 4-5 cups a day for an adult. Swedish recommendations is 500g per day for fruit and vegetables. I like grams better than cups because a cup of spinach is going to weigh a lot less than a cup of broccoli, but most people don’t carry around scales, so visual measurements may be more reliable for the average eater.
I eat a vegetable-heavy diet, so I expected that my fruit and vegetable consumption would be waaaaaaay over the daily recommendations. And it was over, but not by as much as I thought it would be: my three-day average for fruits and vegetables was about 700g per day.
Getting more fruit and vegetables into your diet is never a bad thing, and this Honey Dijon Broccoli salad is a great way to do it. Broccoli florets are steamed, just barely, and then tossed with julienned broccoli stems, crisp apple, toasted almonds, and a spicy honey-Dijon dressing. I think you’ll like it.
One year ago: Spicy Squash and Lentil Salad
Honey Dijon Broccoli Salad Recipe:
I love this salad because it uses every bit of broccoli. The florets are steamed just enough to take away the raw bite, and then tossed with the stem, which is either julienned (I used the fine shredder on my mandoline) or finely chopped.
Recipe adapted, just barely, from The Sprouted Kitchen Cookbook
2 bunches broccoli with stems (about 500g total)
1/2 cup toasted almonds, chopped
1 apple, cored and diced
1/4 cup finely chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
3 Tbsp Dijon mustard
2 Tbsp honey
2 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil
2 Tbsp red wine vinegar
salt and pepper
Cut the stems from the broccoli and set aside. Put a couple of inches of water at the bottom of a large pot with steamer basket or mesh strainer inside. Once the water is boiling, add the broccoli florets, cover, and steam for one minute. You just want to take the raw edge off. Drain and let cool. Either shred, julienne, or finely dice the broccoli stems.
In a large bowl whisk together the mustard, honey, olive oil, and vinegar. Add everything else into the bowl and toss well. Taste, and then season with salt and pepper. Serve cold.
Broccoli is good for you, right? It is a great source of vitamin C, dietary fiber, and high broccoli consumption is thought to be beneficial in the prevention of heart disease and some cancers.
All text and photos © The Muffin Myth 2013