Water and ice
2 heads broccoli cut into small florets (5 cups)
2 unpeeled large apples, cored and cut into 1/2-inch cubes
1 cup chopped sun-dried apples
1/2 cup dried cranberries
3/4 cup toasted pecans halves (See note)
Juice of 1/2 lemon, optional
Creamy Almond Butter Dressing:
1/4 cup almond, cashew or smooth peanut butter
1/4 cup hot water
2 tablespoons honey
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 tablespoon low-sodium soy sauce
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
Pinch cayenne pepper
To make salad:
1. Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Meanwhile, fill a large bowl with ice and water; set aside. Add the broccoli florets to the boiling water and cook about 30 seconds until they just turn bright green; they will still be very crisp.
2. Immediately drain and put broccoli into ice water to stop the cooking. Drain broccoli and place in the bowl. Add the apples, cranberries and lemon juice, if using to keep apples from browning.
3. Make the dressing: Combine all dressing ingredients in a bowl and mix well with a whisk or immersion blender until smooth and creamy. Combine dressing and broccoli mixture well. Serve immediately. Makes 6 servings.
Note: To toast nuts: Place nuts on a baking pan in a 375-degree oven 6 to 8 minutes until lightly browned and aromatic.
Per serving: 391 calories, 49 percent calories from fat, 21 grams total fat, 3 grams saturated fat, no cholesterol, 50 grams carbohydrates, 8 grams total fiber, 34 grams total sugars, 42 grams net carbs, 7 grams protein, 335 milligrams sodium.