Did you know that broccoli is one of THE most healing, healthful foods we can eat?
Tom Malterre, one of my favorite nutritionists, has been so bold as to call it “The DNA Whisperer” in his fascinating TEDTalk.
I’ve written about the incredible health benefits of broccoli in another blog post (which also features my favorite “crack” broccoli recipe – aptly named due to how addictive it is).
Click here for that recipe and to learn more about the cancer-fighting, immune boosting, detoxifying benefits of this tree-like vegetable.
Broccoli is coming in season locally, so I wanted to find some new and interesting ways to use it aside from the usual steaming it or tossing it in a salad.
Since removing dairy from my diet a few years ago, I’ve been especially driven to come up with creamy dressing recipes. This one uses tahini (sesame paste) and raw cashews to create creaminess, which paired nicely with the light and fluffy quinoa and roasted broccoli.
The trick was making a big pot of quinoa at the beginning of the week, which we’ve since used for a southwest black bean salad, pumpkin breakfast cereal, and now this recipe.
It’s a big time saver to cook once and then use the ingredient 3 times. You can do that with any grain at the beginning of the week (brown rice, wild rice, quinoa, millet, buckwheat).
(In case you missed it, here’s how to cook quinoa 🙂 )
One of my colleagues who tried this recipe on her own had this to say about it:
“Whoa, Rachel! This salad was excellent! First, it was easy to make, which, as a non-cook, I totally appreciate. The flavor is what really impressed me. The sweetness of the cashews, the umami of the tamari, and a bit of heat from the crushed red pepper married so well together! I’ll definitely be adding this one to my personal recipe collection!”
- 4 cups broccoli florets
- 1 tablespoon coconut oil, melted (coconut oil is my prefered oil for cooking since it’s more stable at high temperatures while olive oil is best for raw or low heat preparations)
- 1 cup quinoa, cooked (Here’s how to cook perfect quinoa!)
- Juice of 1 lemon
- sea salt and black pepper
- Optional: almond slices, lightly toasted
- 1 cup raw cashews, soaked for 4 hours in water (or overnight) then drained and rinsed
- 3/4 cup water
- 2 cloves garlic, peeled and chopped
- 3 tablespoons tahini
- 3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
- 1 tablespoon tamari (wheat-free soy sauce)
- 1 tablespoon 100% pure maple syrup
- 1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Toss broccoli in oil and season with salt and pepper. Transfer to a baking sheet and roast until golden brown and softened slightly but still bright green, about 15 – 20 minutes.
- While broccoli is roasting, prepare dressing. Transfer the dressing ingredients to a blender and blend on high until creamy. Taste and adjust seasonings as needed.
- When broccoli is done, remove from oven and transfer to mixing bowl. Add quinoa, drizzle with lemon juice and toss to combine.
- Pour 1/2-2/3 cup dressing over the broccoli-quinoa mixture and stir until evenly coated.
- Top with toasted almond slices, if you prefer (for an extra crunch!).
- Serve immediately (for a warm salad) or chill in fridge for at least two hours.