Broccoli Salad

This weather is disgusting.

When you wake up it’s already 80 degrees out, and by noon it’s 90. It just doesn’t feel right turning on the oven to cook. So it’s good to have a bunch of no-cook, cold, fresh salad recipes in your recipe box.

Salsa and tabouli are both great for this purpose, and this recipe is another good one.

Broccoli Salad

You need to make this a day ahead to give the broccoli time to marinate and soften. I didn’t realize this when I was making the recipe, so I blanched it as a shortcut. I recommend following the directions though :)

On a side note, did you know that sometimes pignoli nuts can cause you to have a bitter taste in your mouth for days? Yeah, I didn’t either until it happened to me. It’s not ALL pignoli nuts, but apparently some are affected.

I  also don’ t know if it only affects some people (since Nate didn’t seem to notice it) or if I’m just hyper aware of tastes, but it was disgusting. All food tasted bad/bitter until it wore off several days later. It probably didn’t help that I continued to eat this for 3 days until I realized that the pignoli nuts were the cause. Don’t let that this stop you from making this recipe, and I hope I haven’t in any way affected your love of these tasty little seeds.

On another note, I worked on more wedding crafts this weekend! I have to say they came out super cute…here’s a sneak peak.

I also had my wedding hair trial appointment today. I don’t know what I want to do! I hate making decisions.

Nate is pretty set on having me wear my hair down, and since he hasn’t asked for much I feel like I should honor his request. i know I want it off my face though, so maybe some sort of half up, half down thing? I think I want some loose waves.

The hairdresser showed me a few options. I defintely don’t want anything complex…I’m a simple girl.

Broccoli Salad


Cold Broccoli Salad

From mom’s recipe box (original source unknown)

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Serves 6

1 head broccoli, cut in 1″ pieces
1/2 cup sliced black olives
4 thin-sliced radishes
1/4 cup pignoli nuts
1/2 cup olive oil
3 Tbsp wine vinegar
1 clove garlic, crushed
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp pepper
1/2 cup feta cheese, crumbled
tomato wedges for garnish

Soak broccoli in salted water for 10-15 min. Drain.

Add olives, nuts.

Combine oil, vinegar, and seasonings to make dressing.

Marinate broccoli for five or more hours, chilled.

Add rest of ingredients before serving.


If you like chopping vegetables, then this recipe is for you.

Nate and I headed down to his mom’s for Memorial Day weekend, and as always I took advantage of her giant kitchen with ample counter space to make lots of recipes.

I love having room to spread out! I literally had every square inch of the counter covered with ingredients for three different recipes I was making at once. It’s such a nice change from our little apartment kitchen where I have to clean as I go (something I’m horrible at) if I want any hope of keeping some semblance of order in the kitchen.


I will be SO happy when we move to a house with *hopefully a nice big kitchen! Unfortunately, we just signed our lease for another year, so it’ll be at least a year til my dream comes true.

Anyway, this salad isn’t quick to make. There are a lot of vegetables to chop…and not just any vegetables, but small vegetables. I wish there was an easy way to chop small things.

I did use Rachel Ray’s tip for cutting cherry tomatoes. She kind of annoys me sometimes, but in this case, she’s a freaking genius. This is hands-down the best time-saver EVER.


Speaking of Rachel Ray, did I ever tell you guys I was in the audience of the Rachel Ray show, and they kept panning the camera to me. It was my 15 minutes (okay, seconds) of fame :) You can see it here…if you go to minute 1:50, you can see me!

Try to ignore the fact that I look directly at one of the cameras. I’m not an actress, folks. I was beckoning to the camera man. I’m also in the other segments from show that day, which you can find here. They loved me!

Ok, so back to the recipe. This may be time-consuming, but when all is said and done, it’s so colorful, fresh and delicious!

Be aware that this makes a lot of Taboulli. Perfect alongside your summer barbecues or for a light lunch!




From Mom’s recipe box (i.e. source unknown)

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Serves 8-10

1 cup bulgur, uncooked
1 cucumber, diced
2 tomatoes, diced (or 2 handfuls cherry tomatoes, cut in half)
1 bunch radishes, chopped in 1/4 dice
3/4 cups scallion, sliced
1/2 cup fresh mint, minced
1/2 cup fresh parsley, minced
1/2 cup olive oil
1/2 cup lemon juice
salt and pepper to taste

Wash bulgur in cold water til water runs clear. Place in bowl, cover with 4 cups boiling water. Mix and let stand 30-40 min.

Drain bulgur and squeeze out excess moisture. Place in clean bowl

Add rest of ingredients. Adjust seasonings.

It seems like Kale is the 2012 super food. I mean I know it existed before that, obviously, but everywhere I turn, I’ve been seeing recipes for it.

Usually I’m not a fan of raw kale since it’s a lot tougher than a typical salad leaf. I like to sauté or braise it. But I found this recipe  for Kale, Apple and Pancetta Salad in one of my trusty food emails the other day and thought it sounded too good to pass up.

Most of the recipes I had seen for kale in salad called for massaging it. Yep, you read right. While you’re peeling and chopping those poor other veggies, lucky Kale is getting a rub down.

Massaging kale is actually some sort of a scientific process. You add some oil/dressing, grab bunches of it in both hands and squeeze. Then rub them together. And repeat. The tough cellulose structure breaks down and the leaves wilt. The leaves will darken and shrink to almost half their pre-massage volume.

This salad actually didn’t call for such a technique, although I think it could have used it. Nate might have gotten a bit jealous though ;)

In the end the flavors were totally delicious but I think if I made it again I would either massage it or lightly saute just the greens before mixing it with everything else. And oh my, the pancetta MADE this salad. If you don’t eat pork, you must substitute something else similar (maybe turkey bacon), as it just wouldn’t be the same without that saltiness.

I’m posting this as part of the #greenslove March bloghop hosted by:
Al Dente GourmetAstig VeganBadger Girl Learns to CookBaking and Cooking: A Tale of Two Loves,BigFatBakerBon a CroquerCafeTerraBlogCake DuchessCheap Ethnic EatsEasily Good Eats,GeorgiecakesKitchen BelleiciousMis PensamientosMy Twisted RecipesNo One Likes Crumbley Cookies,Oh CakeQueen’s NotebookRico Sin AzucarSavoring Every Bite, Simply ReemSoni’s Food for Thought,Sprint 2 the TableTeaspoon of SpiceThat Skinny Chick Can Bake!!!The Art of Cooking Real FoodThe Spicy RDThe Wimpy VegetarianVegan Yack AttackVegetarian Mamma.

I didn’t get my stuff together early enough to host with them this month, but hopefully I will in April!

Here are the rest of the entries!:

Kale Apple and Pancetta Salad

Taken from Serious Eats

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Serves 4-6

1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil
4 ounces sliced pancetta, diced
1/4 cup Champagne vinegar
1/4 cup pure maple syrup
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 small head radicchio, shredded
1 8-ounce bunch kale, stems discarded, leaves shredded
2 tart yet sweet apples, sliced into thick matchsticks
3/4 cup pecans, toasted if desired

Combine the olive oil and pancetta in a small saucepan over medium heat. Cook, stirring frequently, until pancetta is golden and crispy. Strain the pan drippings into a small bowl and leave the crispy pancetta off to the side to cool. Add the Champagne vinegar, maple syrup, salt and pepper and whisk well.

Combine the radicchio, kale, apples and pecans in a large bowl. Toss while adding the dressing, little by little, until salad is well dressed. Taste and adjust seasoning with salt and pepper. Garnish with crispy pancetta.

Everyone loves rice.  It’s the most important staple food for a large part of the world’s human population, especially in East and South Asia, the Middle East, Latin America, and the West Indies.

The seeds of the rice plant are first milled using a rice huller to remove the chaff (the outer husks of the grain). At this point in the process, the product is brown rice. I’m sure you all know this chewier, nuttier form of rice that healthy folks eat instead of the typical white rice.

Personally, I like white rice.

Black rice is one of several black colored heirloom plants. It’s high in nutritional value and has a similar amount of fiber to brown rice…who knew?! I bet people would way rather eat black rice than brown rice. The rice council of America should start promoting that more. Then maybe Americans would get a little more fiber in their over-processed, fatty diets.

Wild rice isn’t rice at all! It’s actually four species of grasses. It’s not even directly related to Asian rice, although they are close cousins. Like close enough that it’s probably still not ok for them to marry and have kids. ;)

Weedy rice, also known as red rice, is a species of rice that produces far fewer grains per plant than cultivated rice and is therefore considered a pest. Take that red rice!

Isn’t that all you ever wanted to know about rice…and more? ;)

Ok, so now that you’ve had your little lesson for today. Let me introduce you to something delicious. This here salad is apparently made from the weedy version of rice, but I promise you it doesn’t taste weedy at all.

Truth be told, I wanted to use black rice because I thought the color would look pretty with the cranberries, oranges, and mint in the recipe. But the stupid little nyc supermarket I went to didn’t have black rice, and I wasn’t about to go to two or three other markets to maybe find it. Apparently, black rice turns purplish when it cooks, so it probably wouldn’t have been all that much prettier than the red rice I ended up using.

Colors aside, this dish would be beautiful with whatever variety of rice is your favorite. Or even with another grain like wheatberries. That could be tasty.

I’m submitting this recipe to #ricelove. Please join in on the #ricelove fun by linking up any rice recipe from the month of September.  Click here to enter your link and view this Linky Tools list… Powered by Linky Tools

Cranberry-Orange Rice Salad
Slightly Adapted from foodman11 on

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Serves 4

1-1/3 cups Black, Red or Wild rice
2 large oranges, supremed (peeled and sectioned)
1/2 cup sweetened dried cranberries
1/2 cup diced toasted pecans
1/2 cup sliced scallions
1 Tablespoon olive oil
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 cup chopped fresh mint
1/4 Tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
1 Tablespoon orange zest
1 Tablespoon lemon juice
1 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
sugar to taste

Prepare rice according to package directions; set aside until cool.

Combine cooled rice with remaining ingredients.

Let stand at least 20 minutes for flavors to blend.

Serve chilled or at room temperature.

I check out tons of blogs on a daily basis, both for enjoyment, and to get recipe inspiration. You can see the blogs I follow regularly under my Blogs I Follow Tab at the top of the page.

In my blog surfing, I often come across blogs I’ve never seen before that I absolutely love. Anyway, the other day I was doing my reading and stumbled upon a blog called Pass the Sushi and was immediately drawn to the Creamy Chicken and Pasta Salad recipe she had posted that she got from Food Network Magazine.

For some reason when I looked at it, I immediately got a craving for a tuna noodle pasta salad. I guess that’s the last time I’ve had small noodles like she used in a pasta salad. Also, I’m not a huge fan of chicken, or cooking it, so I thought canned tuna was the perfect alternative. 

I slightly altered the recipe to make it a little more tangy, and it totally hit the spot! It’s perfect for these hot summer nights when you just want something cold to eat.

Tuna Pasta Salad
Adapted Food Network magazine

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Serves 5-7


10 ounces tubetti or other small tube-shaped pasta1 1/4 cups 2% Greek yogurt (or mix of 2% and 0%)
1/2 cup light mayo
1/4 cup water
2 tsp apple cider vinegar
2 Tbsp dijon mustard
1/2 cup chopped fresh dill
1 Tbs chopped fresh chives or scallions
2 tsp salt
2 5-oz cans chunk light tuna in water, drained
2 stalks celery, finely chopped
1 English cucumber, quartered lengthwise, then each piece halved lengthwise again (i.e. cut into 1/8ths), then seeded and diced
Freshly ground black pepper
8 cups mesclun greens
1/3 cup dried cranberries

Bring a pot of salted water to a boil. Add the pasta and cook as the label directs. Drain and rinse under cold water to stop the cooking.

Meanwhile, whisk the yogurt, mayonnaise, 1/4 cup water, the vinegar, mustard, dill, chives, and salt in a medium bowl. Add the celery and cucumber to the dressing and gently stir to combine. Dump in the drained tuna, breaking up if there are big chunks, and stir to combine

Shake the excess water from the pasta and add it to the tuna salad. Season with pepper and toss. Serve over greens with cranberries sprinkled on top.