I have been obsessed lately with broccoli salads. Broccoli is such a wonderful vegetable and one of the most liked by everyone. I love it prepared in any way, shape or form, but in the summer this spinach broccoli blueberry salad really hits the spot. No cooking required, and best of all it is a powerful antioxidant salad!
It makes a great side for just about any protein, from grilled chicken to shrimp. You can also choose to add the protein as a topping and make it a complete meal, if that’s how you like it.
A powerful antioxidant salad
It’s pretty obvious but I’ll say it nonetheless: spinach is a leafy green. As you know, you should be eating leafy greens every single day. This is your chance! Little known fact: spinach belongs to the amaranth family and is related to beets and quinoa! It is mostly known for its iron content. Does anyone remember Popeye the sailor man – he will soon be 100 years old and still has a huge fan base! But spinach also packs high amounts of carotenoids, vitamin C, vitamin K, folic acid, calcium, as well as insoluble fiber and plant compounds that can improve health, such as lutein.
Next is broccoli. I’ve said it before but I’ll say it again: broccoli is a nutrition powerhouse. Part of the cruciferous vegetables family, it is high in fiber, vitamin C, vitamin K, iron, and potassium. It also boasts more protein than most other vegetables. It is delicious cooked but IMHO even better raw.
Now on to blueberries! Just like spinach and broccoli, they are also labeled a super food. Rich in fiber, vitamin C, vitamin K, manganese, but also in flavonoids, they have the highest antioxidant capacity of all the popular fruits and vegetables.
And the final star…avocado. Avocados are a great source of healthy monounsaturated fats. But they are also rich in fiber, potassium, fiber, and a slew of minerals and vitamins that are often lacking in many people’s diets, including magnesium, B6, vitamin C, vitamin E, and folate.
So what can we add to all this healthy stuff to make it extra yummy? How about a delicious vinaigrette?
The recipe below is a variation of my lemon balsamic dressing. I’ve added to it some shallots that add a little bite of onion flavor and a few specks of pink color to the salad. I’ve also indulged in adding a touch of honey. It’s completely optional, and I am not a big fan of sweet salad dressings, but it fits very well with this particular salad. By the way, the recipe below makes enough for 2 salads. You can divide it in half in you want, but it’s such a time saver to make dressing ahead of time, it would be a shame not to make a whole batch and use it on another salad in the next few days. Just keep the leftover dressing refrigerated and bring it back to room temperature when ready to use (olive oil turns solid in the refrigerator).
Then, I’ve added a bit of feta cheese for a salty touch and as a source of calcium.
Finally, some sunflower seeds joined the party. They are also a great source of nutrients and according to the USDA, the richest source of vitamin E.
How to make spinach broccoli blueberry salad:
If you have a knife and a bowl, you can do this! Chop, mix, toss, eat.
I recommend tossing the spinach, broccoli and blueberries with the dressing first, mixing well to get the dressing into every little crevice of the broccoli…Add the avocado and feta next and toss lightly, as you don’t want them to get completely mashed into the salad. As for the sunflower seeds, I like to sprinkle them on top last.
Eat up and as we say in France: à votre santé! (to your health!)
Other recipes to try:
Kale broccoli and cranberry salad
Roasted broccoli and bell pepper
Somewhere over the rainbow there’s a salad
Spinach broccoli blueberry salad
- 2.5 oz baby spinach
- 2 cups broccoli florets, chopped bite-size
- 1 cup blueberries
- 1/2 avocado
- 2 tbsp feta cheese, crumbled
- 2 tbsp sunflower seeds
- 1 tbsp shallot
- 1/2 tbsp Dijon mustard
- 1/2 tbsp honey
- 2 tbsp white balsamic vinegar
- 2 tbsp lemon juice
- 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 1/8 tsp freshly ground black pepper
- In a large bow, place spinach, broccoli and blueberries
- Mix all dressing ingredients in a small bowl, whisking until emulsified.
- Pour 6 tbsp of dressing into the bowl. Toss well. Keep the rest of the dressing for another salad.
- Cut half an avocado into a rough dice. Add to the bowl, along with the feta crumbles. Toss again.
- Serve topped with sunflower seeds.
Thumbs up for this one. Easy to prepare and the dressing is wonderful! Even my iceberg lettuce loving husband liked it. I’ll be making this salad often!
Thank you so much, Teri! So glad your family liked it! It’s such a health booster too!
Creative and delicious!