Broccoli salad is probably my absolute favorite side salad. I love the creaminess and the crunch and the sweetness. However, it amazes me how many calories can be packed into a “healthy” salad once you start adding up the sugar and mayo concoction that makes the salad so sweet and delicious. But because I love it so much, rather than giving it up… I healthied it up. This Skinny Broccoli Salad is full of flavor with the saltiness of the bacon, the sweetness of the cranberries, the zip of the onions, the crunch of the broccoli… yet has very few calories! Yah, you’re welcome!
Truth be told though, this delightful recipe almost didn’t make an appearance on the blog.
I had the recipe portion of this post written up for months. I just didn’t have a “backstory” to go with it. I mean, c’mon, every good recipe should have a story of what inspired the chef or how much the family loves it or how it’s become a tradition.
But nope, not this recipe. I just decided I was going to make something for me.
Mama has to eat. Mama loves broccoli salad. But mama does not need sugar-coated broccoli. So mama swapped the sweets for a healthier alternative and there you’ve got it. No funny anecdote. No nuthin’. Just a story-less recipe sitting in my unpublished drafts folder waiting for someone to latch onto it and love it.
But over the weekend when my parents came to visit, I paired burgers with this Skinny Broccoli Salad. At the dinner table, my mom asked if the recipe was on my blog. I told her no and that I needed a story to go with it.
Dear Barbara! That sentence set the scene for what became a live infomercial from my family. No, they were not paid actors, but they sure made one heck of a pitch as to why y’all need to make this recipe.
Let me set the scene for you…
My middle son, so busy scarfing down his broccoli salad, was the “your kids will love it” part of the infomercial. Seriously, this kid loves the salad so much that whenever I make it, he asks for a large portion and even asks to have it for an afternoon snack!
My oldest son, being the voice of reason, told me to tell you that you should make this recipe because “it’s broccoli so it’s healthy and it tastes good and is full of nutrients.”
My mother was selling the bling of the recipe. “Part of food is what you see. This is so colorful and looks good. It tastes good. It’s light and very refreshing. Very refreshing.”
And my husband, being a straight-to-the-point engineer who doesn’t speak with fluffy words, simply said all I need to tell you is:
“Just make it. Trust me. It’s delicious.”
So there you have it, friends. Just make it. Or have your hubby make it! Yes, my husband made Skinny Broccoli Salad on his own for our swim team potluck dinner last week! I couldn’t believe it. Usually boxed mac & cheese or something you can put in the microwave sums up his culinary skills. To make a giant batch of this to feed 50+ people… let’s just say hubby impressed me once again!
Skinny Broccoli Salad
- 2 medium heads broccoli (approximately 6-7 cups)
- 1/2 cup red onion, chopped
- 6 strips bacon, crumbled
- 1 cup dried cranberries
- 1/4 cup sunflower seed kernels
- 3/4 cup fat-free plain Greek yogurt
- 2 Tbsp light mayonnaise
- 2 Tbsp honey
- Crisp bacon in a skillet. Crumble.
- Combine broccoli, onion, bacon, cranberries, and sunflower kernels in a large bowl. Set aside.
- Stir together Greek yogurt, mayo and honey in a small bowl. Pour over the top of broccoli mixture and stir evenly to coat.
- Tastes great freshly served or refrigerate to chill.
Oh… if you want to skinny up the recipe even more, you can exclude the 2 tablespoons of mayo altogether or swap it for more yogurt. And instead of regular bacon, go for turkey bacon. No matter what, it’ll be a hit and a great addition to any cookout or potluck!
Okay, it’s your turn. Tell me your favorite food related story in the comments below!