Broccoli salad: Really crunchy, easy and tasty
Written by MICHELLE REITER Sentinel Staff Writer
Tuesday, 03 July 2012 08:23
Forget the ice cream, the ears of corn slathered in butter and salt, high-calorie sodas and bubbling berry pies. Instead, it's time to bring in the broccoli salad, said Mary-Jon Ludy, a Bowling Green State University nutritionist.
|Mary-Jon Ludy with her broccoli salad. (Photo: Enoch Wu/Sentinel-Tribune)
"It's really crunchy, it's really easy, it's tasty and it's got a crunch with the broccoli," Ludy said of the broccoli salad recipe that has been a hit with her family and friends for about 20 years. The salad is officially called "Fooling Around in the Kitchen Salad" and started with her father, an art teacher, who got the recipe from another teacher at a potluck.
Since then, the salad has been requested at wedding showers, baby showers, barbecues, picnics, potlucks and other gatherings and has been an all-around surprise hit for such a healthy salad.
"This particular recipe is great, it's loaded with Vitamin C. Tons of fiber," Ludy said.
Ludy's official title is assistant professor of clinical nutrition at BGSU, and she teaches students to be food scientists. Before coming to BGSU she worked in hospitals as a dietitian.
She has a long history of interest in food-related issues, and advocates -- as the government now does -- a diet top-heavy in the fruits and vegetables department.
It has been about a year since the United States Department of Agriculture switched from the traditional food pyramid most of us grew up with to what they call "Choose My Plate," which can be found at ChooseMyPlate.gov. The new imagery centers around a plate half-filled with fruits and vegetables, along with a quarter of lean protein and a quarter whole grains, Ludy said.
It's a tall order for a nation addicted to fried fast food that comes in super sizes, heavily-salted and often fatty restaurant food and processed, packaged snacks high in calories and abysmally low in nutrition.
Ludy said the change can be made in baby steps, if that's what it takes.
"You can start by making a little bit of a change. It's not bad to make a long-term goal," she said.
Because Americans are so enchanted easy foods, she said swapping potato chips and snack cakes for a bowls of fruit is a good first step.
If the fruit is as accessible as the unhealthy snacks, even cut up to make them an easy finger food. The vitamins and minerals embedded in this diet would far outstrip the average American's daily diet, she said.
Ludy is hopeful that the nation as a whole is taking tiny steps in the right direction towards eating better -- towards choosing recipes like hers over cookies or chips.
"Obesity is not increasing; it's more leveling out now," she said. "Restaurants are gradually changing too."
Places like Starbucks once used whole milk as the default choice, but now they put 2 percent milk in drinks unless patrons request whole milk, she said. Those little changes can make all the difference. Some fast food restaurants now put fruits and vegetables in kids' meals instead of fries, or at least give kids the option.
Recipes like the broccoli salad also prove that healthy can be tasty.
When making it, she said, leave the pecans until it's ready to be serve for freshness. Otherwise the recipe is fairly straightforward.
"Fooling Around in the Kitchen Salad"
2 bunches broccoli, florets only
1 small sweet onion, minced
5 slices extra lean turkey bacon, cut into bits
2 cups red seedless grapes, cut in half
1 cup white raisins, soft
1 cup chopped pecans, add just before serving to prevent "wilt"
1 cup fat-free mayonnaise
1/2 cup sugar or less
2 tablespoons vinegar
Mix well and chill until ready to serve. Serves 12 if they like it a little, 6 if they like it a lot, and 24 or more if they do not care for it.
Based on 12 servings: 210 kcals, 8 g fat (< 1 g saturated fat), 29 g carbohydrates, 6 g protein, and 5 g fiber.