Here is another one of those easy, basically dump-and-mix salad recipes. It’s a broccoli salad with cranberries or raisins, that you can make vegan very easily. I started with a popular recipe by Paula Deen, famous food celebrity.
Then I read some of the many comments and tried some of them out. All the variations I tried seemed to come out well.
The salad is a lovely mix of crunchy, creamy, salty, sour and sweet. You can substitute other dried fruits, such as dates or raisins, for the cranberries. You can use different nuts. We used pecans in some batches and almonds in others, when we made food for a memorial service and started with 24 pounds of broccoli florets.
We made some with the carrots, and some without, when we thought we had run out of carrots. I had brought liquid smoke, intending to add it in place of the bacon bits or vegetarian, fake bacon bits, but I forgot to add it. So it’s quite a versatile salad.
It has been very well received whenever I’ve served it, too. Even a friend, who doesn’t care for raw onions, ate it and didn’t complain.
You can make it vegan by using vegan mayonnaise and vegetarian bacon bits. With the combination of vegetables, nuts and fruits, the salad packs a nice wallop of vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, and fiber, too.
You could go through the trouble of blanching the broccoli if you find it too hard. But I prefer the less-work method, and it’s not necessary. Hey, you burn more calories when you chew more!
Here’s the recipe.
Crowd-Pleasing Vegan Broccoli Salad
4 cups broccoli florets (about 2 stalks)
1 cup minced sweet onion
2 carrots, grated
1/3 cup chopped nuts
1/2 cup dried cranberries or raisins
1/4 cup vegetarian bacon bits
1 cup mayonnaise
2 Tablespoons white vinegar
1/4 cup sugar
Mix all ingredients together.
The only complaints about this broccoli salad I heard were from those who were making it. We were using warehouse club bags of already cut broccoli florets, and dumped and mixed them with the other ingredients.
“This broccoli is too big!” and “How are they going to eat it–with their hands?” is what I heard them saying. “Aren’t we going to cut it smaller?” “Aren’t we blanching it?”
“NO!” I said. “We don’t have time.” We had hundreds of pounds of food to make, and no time to waste cutting or blanching broccoli.
“If anyone has a problem with the food, they can come talk to me,” I said.
Of course, I couldn’t help teasing them when we ate some for dinner that night. “Where is the quality control around here? WHO is in charge of this food? Look at this broccoli tree on my plate! Don’t choke on it!”
I guess you can’t please everyone.
But they had a point. The floret I had was the size of my palm. I cut it with a knife before eating it. So if you cut the florets yourself, be as meticulous as you so desire.
I hope you enjoy this Crowd-Pleasing Vegan Broccoli Salad With Cranberries recipe. Let me know if you try other variations and how they turn out.