Day 4 is a non-traditional salad for lunch today, a broccoli and bacon salad with some grapes and sunflower seeds. Did you miss days 1 (flank steak salad), 2 (apple cranberry cashew pork salad) or 3 (strawberry spinach salad)? Check them out. They are all really great tasting salads with a great nutrient dense benefits.
So for today, I wasn’t really in the mood for an entree salad for lunch so I prepped a broccoli side salad. I modified a recipe I found on Pinterest. The author declared it to be the best broccoli salad ever. We will see, I thought as I pinned it.
Glad I pinned it because with my modifications, it was very very tasty and very filling. I love using grapes in salads like this because they add some necessary flavor and sweetness. The sunflower seeds brought a slight roasted saltiness. And oh yea, there’s bacon. Which is a salad’s better half. Need I say more.
I paired today’s broccoli salad with a half of turkey sandwich on toasted sunflower wheat bread with monterey cheese, avocado, mayo and dijon mustard.
The recipe breakdown is as follows:
The broccoli steals the nutrition spotlight in this salad however, the grapes are a close second. Broccoli is a nutrition power house, it’s full of lots of good things like fiber, B vitamins, Vitamin K, Vitamin C and surprisingly even a source of omega three fatty acids, and other essential minerals. These are the well known nutrients broccoli contains, but what we have yet to really understand are the phytochemicals they contain. These are the compounds whose mechanisms are fully understood.
This article here, does a nice job explaining the role of chronic inflammation and how it can lead to unwanted disease state. The phytochemicals found in cruciferous vegetables like broccoli have been shown to shut down the genetic machinery that is activated during an inflammatory response. The compounds in broccoli have other beneficiary effects as well enhancing detoxification by supporting the liver’s function, supporting the digestive system with it’s high fiber content as well as protecting the stomach’s lining by preventing the over growth of a particularly nasty microorganism. Really, go read this article for more info, there’s lots of good stuff. So your mom was right to tell you to eat your broccoli 🙂
What about the sweetness in this salad? The red grapes bring a lot of nutritional benefit to the party as well. They are high in antioxidants which will decrease the amount of reactive oxygen species in circulation. With more reactive oxygen species in circulation, the more cellular damage can occur. Therefore, the more available anti-oxidants, the better. Duh 🙂
Also, grapes are anti-inflammatory. It has been shown the grape or grape product (juice or compounds found in grape) consumption as been associated with decreased amount of pro-inflammatory messenger chemicals in circulation. From the same website, check out this article about red grapes. There’s a lot more info about the numerous benefits wrapped up in that tiny little grape package.
So make the broccoli salad. Your taste buds and body will thank you!