Summer-Fresh Broccoli Salad

“I do not like broccoli. And I haven’t liked it since I was a little kid and my mother made me eat it. And I’m President of the United States and I’m not going to eat any more broccoli.”

~Former President George H.W. Bush


Summer-Fresh Broccoli Salad (THM-S/Low-Carb)

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I have never, not for one day, liked broccoli. Every member of my household loves broccoli and would eat it every night if I were willing to stink up my kitchen cook it regularly. It smells like feet. And it smells even worse warmed up in the microwave the next day. Plus, it’s got a creepy texture.

If the Lord wanted me to eat broccoli, He’d have made it to taste like a doughnut.

When I was a teenager, my mom (a weirdo broccoli-lover) found a recipe for a broccoli salad, probably in a church cookbook somewhere. Apparently she thought it would go over big-time, because she made it and put it on the table…at Thanksgiving! Thaaaaat’s right. Right there, beside the turkey and dressing, the sweet potatoes, the green beans, the corn, the mashed potatoes, the macaroni-and-cheese, and the pumpkin and pecan pies, was a big, ole bowl of broccoli salad. She’s got a lot of nerve, my mama! While I’m not at liberty to repeat what was said once I realized there was flippin’ broccoli on the Thanksgiving table (I’m trying to get more sanctified about these things), I can tell you this: there was an eyeroll involved. Let’s just say I was less than thankful.

She challenged me to try the parts that were not broccoli-related, which I did begrudgingly. To my utter shock and amazement though, after one bite, I was hooked. Another eyeroll, this time from my mama (Can YOU imagine having me for a child? God bless her.). The dressing is addictive. It’s sweet and tangy and creamy-dreamy goodness. Right then I decided that, even if it meant eating broccoli, I was eating as much of that dressing as I could. Shoot, man. You could whip up a batch of this dressing and pour it over an old shoe, and…nevermind.

While the original recipe calls for white sugar and raisins (both ingredients that add to the sweetness factor but are off-plan on a low-carb/THM-style diet), I have modified it to be more low-carb, perfect for an S-style side dish! However, if you are not sugar-free or low-carb, I’ll include the sugar conversion, too. Because I love you, you sugar fiend.


A Word About Mayonnaise:

Duke's Mayonnaise

The dressing for this salad is mayo-based; thus, the need for a little behind-the-scenes information. In our house, mayonnaise is not just something we put on a sandwich or mix into our deviled eggs. Mayonnaise is something to savor, a condiment that brings new life to dishes, even when used sparingly. As such, I’m pretty picky about what kind of mayo we use; I’m a mayonnaise snob, if you will. And even if you won’t. We only use Duke’s mayo. A serving size contains 100 calories and NO sugars and NO carbs. Plus, it’s the best-tasting mayo on the market (educated opinion  backed by anecdotal evidence), hands-down. I can find it at Kroger here in Texas; however, if you live in a market where it’s not carried, you can buy it here. It’s a bit pricey, but worth every penny.


Summer-Fresh Broccoli Salad

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Easy peasy. See those ingredients up there? Throw them into a bowl. Mix up the dressing in another bowl. Pour dressing over dry ingredients. Thoroughly combine. Cover and store in fridge. The longer it sits; the better it gets. To a point, of course.

Summer-Fresh Broccoli Salad (THM-S/Low-Carb)

  • Servings: 8-10
  • Time: 20mins
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print

Summer-Fresh Broccoli Salad
courtesy of http://www.adventuresinwomanland.com
Summer-Fresh Broccoli Salad (THM-S/Low-Carb)

Ingredients
Two heads of broccoli, trimmed and cut into bite-sized pieces
1/2 cup pine nuts
1/2 cup slivered almonds
1/2 small red onion, diced
1/2 lb. bacon, fried crisp then chopped into bits
1 cup Duke’s mayonnaise
2 Tbs. white wine vinegar (or plain white vinegar
sweetener*

Instructions
1. Combine first five ingredients in large mixing bowl.
2. Whisk together mayo, vinegar and sweetener in separate small mixing bowl.
3. Pour dressing over dry ingredients. Mix until combined.
4. Store, covered, in fridge.

*Sweetener notes: I use 8 teaspoons of THM’s Sweet Blend (a stevia/erythritol mix) in this recipe. However, sugar to taste or the equivalent in honey could be used. Of course, you could also use plain stevia, xylitol or any other of a number of options.

Variations
Don’t like onions? Leave them out. Want onion flavor? Add a bit of onion powder to the dressing.
Want less fat? Use light mayo. Watch carbs, though! Decrease the amount of nuts used for lower fat, too.
Okay with sugar? Replace the Sweet Blend with white sugar or honey. Add raisins or dried cranberries.
Not a pork eater? Use turkey bacon instead. A little salt may be needed, since the pork bacon provides that component.
Want a different, tangy flavor? Try balsamic vinegar in place of the white wine vinegar. Apple cider vinegar would work, too!


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UP NEXT
Mom Hack: Cabinet full of sippy cup parts cluttering up your brain, falling into your disposal, and melting in your dishwasher, and generally sucking your will to live? Bigger kids always looking for a drink of water and dirtying up a million glasses…All. Over. The. House? I’ve got a solution for that! Plus, Exercise Challenge people can do this, too!
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IN THE MEANTIME
Enjoy this little ditty from my more cynical days. Is there a 12-step program for that?
Giving Back: A Tale of Community Service

Cousin Carolyn’s Low-Carb Cabbage (THM-S)

“Cabbage is the perfect low-carb vegetable.” Trim Healthy Mama, p. 312

“Cabbage is awesome when it’s covered in butter and baked in the oven.”
Heather Lewis, 2014

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Cousin Carolyn's Low-Carb Cabbage

The statement, “I have a large family,” is the understatement of the century in my case. Between both parents’ families, across generations, I have approximately 607,458 family members. It’s true…ish. Okay, maybe there are a few less. Seriously, anywhere I go, especially in the Memphis area, I see someone to whom I am related. Once I traveled to Boston for a teaching conference and, guess what? BAM, cousin. Right there in the hotel lobby.

This is my thirty-fifth cousin seven-times-removed, Mike.

Mike

He’s a good guy to know if you like to hunt, fish, or otherwise slay anything in the out-of-doors. Naturally, Big Daddy and Mike like killin’ things together.

Ducks2

It’s not my thing, but whatever, man. (Ducks are delicious, though!) Personally, I’m far and away more interested in being in relationship with Mike’s awesome wife, Cousin Carolyn. She and I are kindred spirits, in the sense that she likes to bake cookies, and I like to eat them. Our relationship is symbiotic that way. Give and take, more or less. I mean, just look at the cute stuff she turns out!

cookies

Y’all! I die, seriously. And baked goods are not the only item in her repertoire, either.

One day, awhile back, Cousin Carolyn and I were talking about cabbage (and by ‘talking’, I mean Facebook messaging…y’all know I don’t talk to people unless I’m dying). Now, I know that cabbage is not exactly a hot topic, but, as you know, I’m an introvert and, therefore, generally socially awkward. It’s really not a thing for me to be talking with someone about things “normal” people wouldn’t dare touch in conversation. Cabbage is just something I happen to love, and Carolyn is known far and wide to be an expert cook.

Two and two still equals four in this part of the country.

Anyway, I was telling her how I usually chop it up, dump it in a pot, cover it in chicken stock and black pepper and boil it until it looks right, when she suggested that there might be another, better, even more tasty way to cook and eat cabbage.

And, y’all, she was right!

Here’s the low-down:

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Preheat the oven to 400 degrees and line a baking sheet with aluminum foil. This aids in clean-up, which makes me happy. Split the cabbage in half, top to bottom, and then split those halves in half again. Those are fourths, for those of you who are calculating. Now, take each fourth and cut it crosswise. Now you have eighths. Math lesson: BONUS! Shred the eighths until you’ve got a bowl full of something that looks like this.

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Sprinkle copious amounts of sea salt, black pepper, and garlic powder all over it and mix, mix, mix. Cabbage is somewhat of a blank slate, so you could really take it anywhere you wanted it to go at this point: onion powder, Creole seasoning, cumin, paprika. The list goes on and on.

Next, dump the seasoned cabbage onto the lined baking sheet. Don’t worry if it looks overly full. It’ll cook down in the oven.

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Top with butter pats. Step back and enjoy your masterpiece.

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Bake it for about 20-25 minutes. While  you’re waiting, give Carolyn’s Cake Crumbs and Cookie Dough page a once over. Who knows? You might need a cake or some cookies for, um, the kids. Right? After 20-25 minutes, take the cabbage out of the oven, give it a taste (careful, it’s hot!) and stir. Reseason as needed and put back into the oven. Roast it for another 20 minutes or until desired tenderness has been achieved. I like mine to still have a little crunch, but that’s just me.

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Try not to eat the whole thing. It’s like cabbage candy. Wait, what?

Here’s a printable recipe for you. Enjoy!

Cousin Carolyn's Low-Carb Cabbage (THM-S)

  • Servings: 6-8
  • Time: 45 mins
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print

credit: http://www.adventuresinwomanland.wordpress.com

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Ingredients
1 head cabbage
2 sticks butter
sea salt
black pepper
garlic powder
other seasonings to taste

Instructions
1. Preheat oven to 400. Line baking sheet with foil.
2. Quarter and core cabbage. Cut into bite-sized pieces.
3. Sprinkle with salt, pepper, garlic powder and other seasonings as desired.
4. Spread onto baking tray.
5. Place in preheated oven and bake for 25 minutes. Remove, stir and reseason.
6. Place back in oven and bake until tender.

Twice-Baked Potatoes

So, we’re really busy here at Moving Central.  The Diva’s birthday party is this weekend, and we’re prepping bigtime.  Yesterday, we got the party favors (beads and specialty lollipops) and the Diva a cute, new pair of white, spring shoes to go with her party dress. I bought a pair, too, of course, since the BOGO’s on up at the Payless.

However, I did have time to make PW’s Twice-Baked Potatoes for dinner last night.  You gotta try ’em!

Mammaw’s Good Green Beans

We’ve been canning strawberry jam…

…and making Black and White Cookies.

I figured you probably didn’t want to know about any of those, but you were nearly dying to know how to make the best green beans you’ll ever eat.

You’re in luck, ‘cuz I’m about to teach you just that.

Here are my Mammaw and Pappaw (taken this past Christmas):

If at either age 80 (Mammaw) or 84 (Pappaw) I look half as cute as they do (provided I even make it that long!), I’ll be satisfied.

My Mammaw is one of the best cooks around and the brains behind my second-rate little cooking operation, having trained my Mom.

As a kid, I’d spend the summers at their house in Mississippi. They’ve got about 12 acres or so, and we’d (my cousins, sister, and I) swim, ride go-carts, swim, cut grass, swim, and generally make pests of ourselves until Mammaw gave us a bucket and told us not to come back until it was full of blackberries.  If she wasn’t around, we’d pester Pappaw until he gave us a pocket knife (good idea!) and tell us to go dig potatoes out of the garden.  We canned, shucked, shelled, and froze food till our fingers were sore and purple (shelling bushels of purple-hull peas will do that to a person).

Then we painted fingernail polish over the chiggers we got around our ankles while picking blackberries.

I didn’t know then what I know now: Mammaw’s dirty little secret for green beans.  Her green beans always tasted like she’d just picked them from the garden and had slaved over them all day. I figured she put them up in the freezer by the Ziploc-bag full. So, one day, we (Mom and I) watched her make them.

Wouldn’t you know it! My grandmother, the saint, poured those suckers out of a can she bought at the WalMart Supercenter, doctored ’em up, and put ’em on the table.  I would never have known if I hadn’t seen it with my own eyes.  Much like Lucky Charms, they tasted magically delicious.  I went home and did what I saw her do and , guess what?  Mine tasted just as good-ish.

Now, I’m passing Mammaw’s dirty little secret on to you.

Here’s what you need:

a saucepan
canned green beans (I like the Allen’s flat beans because they are more rustic. However, you can use the regular cut ones if you like. Get however many cans your chicks can put down.  Two usually does it for my nest.)
cooking oil (about 1 tsp. per can of green beans)
beef boullion (one cube/equivalent per can of green beans)

Now, here’s Mammaw’s dirty little secret #1:

Drain the juice off the green beans after you open the can. Mammaw says that’s where the preservatives are and that’s what makes them taste canned.

Now, put the beans, sans juice, into the pot. Pour the oil over them and add the boullion. (The boullion is Mammaw’s dirty little secret #2.  Apparently, boullion or stock makes anything taste like it’s been cooked all day. It works on anything canned, just about.  Beans, especially.) Like this:


Oh, and if you’re counting your calories, spray the beans with spray butter instead of adding the oil. That way, you can eat as many as you want, get the same taste, and they have absolutely no calories whatsoever!

Cover them with water and put them onto boil. Boil them for as long as you like (mine go for about 45-60 minutes).  Just watch them.  If the water gets low, add some more.

When they are done, they’ll look like this:

No, that’s not them on the right.  They’re on the left, for Pete’s sake.

Heck, make 10 cans. Put ’em in the fridge and eat ’em for a snack.  They’re as good as a Snickers.

Almost.

Printable recipe card: click, print, cut and go.

Mammaw’s Good Green Beans