Healthy Broccoli Salad

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Nothing like a good, creamy, bursting-with-flavor broccoli salad dressing to fatten up an ordinarily good-for-you vegetable… Except, what if you could make the same delicious result and STILL be healthy about it? Could subbing the normal amount of mayo with whipped cottage cheese possibly work…? This recipe is actually the result of not having very much mayo in the fridge, not feeling like shopping, and whipping together something that turned out really well with a bunch of ingredients that I already had.

Easy, tasty, healthy, flavorful broccoli salad. I may not want to eat broccoli any other way ever again.

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Healthy Broccoli Salad

  • Servings: 4-6
  • Time: 30 min
  • Difficulty: easy
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Ingredients

  • 2 heads broccoli
  • 1/2 cup thinly sliced almonds, toasted (about 10 min at 350 degrees)
  • 1/3 cup dried cranberries (I used Craisins)
  • 1/2 cup buttermilk (I used scant 1/2 cup milk + lemon juice)
  • 1/2 cup cottage cheese, slightly strained using cheesecloth, beaten with whisk
  • 2 tbsp cider vinegar
  • 1 tsp brown sugar
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 small red onion, finely chopped
  • ground black pepper to taste
Directions

  1. Trim the broccoli, and chop it into large chunks. Then cut each chunk into thin slices. I cut the stems into thin slices, stacked them and cut the other way (makes thin matchsticks). I cut the florets vertically into thin slices, slicing from the stem up to the floret top (this helps them stay together).
  2. Toss the sliced broccoli with the toasted almonds and cranberries.
  3. In a small bowl, whisk the buttermilk, cottage cheese, vinegar, brown sugar, and salt until smooth.
  4. Stir in the onion and let marinate at least 10 minutes (to mellow out the raw flavor).
  5. Pour the dressing over the broccoli mixture, and add black pepper to taste. Stir the salad until the broccoli is evenly coated wit the dressing.
  6. Serve and enjoy! (Leftovers can keep covered in the fridge for 2-3 days)

Margherita Pizza

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Hunter picked up some beautiful flowers from the farmer’s market last week (I wish I had a picture of them in their full glory!). Lovely blues and oranges, perfect for fall. Extra awesome bit – there was a bunch of basil in the center of the bouquet! Smells great, and deliciously useful.

Tonight, now that the last of the flowers have wilted away, we plucked out the fresh basil to make some homemade margherita pizza. Which I’ve incidentally been craving for weeks. Yum.

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(Throwback to 2013 when Hunter and I were living together in Amsterdam and didn’t have an oven. How to make pizzas in a pan.)

Margherita Pizza

  • Servings: 8ish slices (we finished the whole thing in one sitting)
  • Time: 30 min
  • Difficulty: easy
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Ingredients

  • 1 cup (plus up to 3/4 cup extra) flour, we used whole wheat
  • 1 packet yeast (1/4 oz)
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 1/2 tsp honey
  • 3 tbsp olive oil
  • 2/3 cup very warm water
  • toppings: olive oil, freshly sliced mozzarella, tomatoes, basil

(A couple other fun topping ideas: (1) pesto, shrimp, garlic, sautéed mushrooms, parmesan; (2) sauteed/smashed anchovies, capers, roasted red pepper, garlic, parsley, parmesan)

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees, and line a baking sheet with lightly greased parchment paper.
  2. In a medium sized bowl, mix together 1 cup flour, yeast, and salt.
  3. Add the honey, olive oil, and warm water. Bring dough together with your hands, slowly adding extra flour as needed.
  4. On a lightly floured surface, knead the dough (HARD) 6-8 minutes, until the dough is nicely pliable and stretchy!
  5. Flatten and stretch out the dough with your hands (optional: throw and spin it like they do in the movies) and spread it out on the baking sheet.
  6. Bake for about 8 minutes.
  7. Remove from oven, drizzle with olive oil, and top with the sliced tomatoes and mozzarella.
  8. Bake another 8-10 minutes, until crust is firm and cheese is a melty gooey mess of deliciousness. Sprinkle fresh basil on top.
  9. Slice and serve hot!

Monthly “Make It Happen” List – October 2015

  1. Horror movies, haunted house. It’s officially October and October is the one month a year where I actually really enjoy being scared! Attempted to have a horror movie night last week, but after watching a dozen trailers trying to pick the SCARIEST, we accidentally picked a parody – Drag Me to Hell. Um, best horror movie ever? Or…?
  2. Apple picking and cider mill visit. Now that I have my list of apple-things-I-want-to-make ready to go… need apples! We’ve of course already gotten our first cider + doughnuts fix at our local Dexter Mill, but still need to visit Erwin’s for our giant sack of orchard picks.
  3. Cedar Point Halloweekend. Unsure how likely this is to actually happen, but it’s Cedar Point (aka best theme park on the planet)! I’ve never gone during Halloweekends, but how can you possibly go wrong with thrill rides and monsters combined?
  4. Get Carrie Underwood’s new album. Comes out this month!! I just love her. Always have. Even though I’m now officially using Spotify, I think I’ll still just get her album to show my support. (You know what? I should really plan on going to see her live sometime. Probably much less expensive and much more doable than a Taylor Swift concert…)
  5. CHEER ON THE #13 NORTHWESTERN WILDCATS as they take on #18 Michigan in Ann Arbor! If we can manage to beat Michigan, that would likely catapult us into the top ten?? Has that ever happened?? I wouldn’t know. I just know that we’ve never beaten Michigan since I started cheering for the ‘Cats in 2010, and it’s been heartbreaking every year, and I JUST WANT TO WIN ugh. Will be wearing purple in the student section sea of maize and blue (lol).
  6. Visit Ann Arbor’s Palmer House. Most everybody who knows me at all knows that I seriously love Frank Lloyd Wright designs and have gone out of my way to visit his houses. Turns out, there’s one right here in Ann Arbor! Located right by the Arb, this could make for a really fun Wednesday “happy hump day” date.
  7. Have an Oktoberfest bier. I think I’ve pretty much already missed the Oktoberfest things… but ah well, can still feel festive downing a pint or two or some fest bier right?

Bake: MACARONS, apple pie cookies
Read: Just Mercy (Bryan Stevenson), Women Don’t Ask (Linda Babcock)

How’d I do in September?
Okay, but not great haha. I have yet to learn proper songs on the guitar (I HAVE learned some chords, but it’s hard to play songs without being able to sing while playing). Running is going hilariously miserably – add a twisted ankle and persistent lingering cough to the mix. We did not learn how to belly dance. Going for a more successful October…