Festive Broccoli, Cauliflower, and Goji Berry Salad

by Gena on December 23, 2012

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I guess the thing to do as a food blogger is to approach December 25th with a slew of festive recipes. I’m sure that every post is supposed to feature photographs of perfect sugar cookies and sumptuous entrees, laid out against a backdrop of charming holiday decorations.

But the truth of the matter is that, since finals, I haven’t wanted to cook a thing. It has been wonderful to eat out, to spend my days far away from the kitchen, and to take a break from business as usual in the recipe realm. So I’m sorry to say—and please, friends, I hope you’ll forgive me—that I won’t have some sort of grand, picture-packed Christmas round up this year. What I will have to offer you, as usual, are my real life eats, humble though they may be. Today’s offering is a salad of broccoli, cauliflower, and goji berries. 25 days of cookies and pies and casseroles it is not, but hey, at least it’s red, white, and green. And more importantly, it is nutrient-packed and tasty.

This salad can be made either totally raw or lightly steamed. I tend to digest raw crucifers very well, but if you struggle with raw broccoli or cauliflower, or you are particularly mindful of goitrogens in your diet, or you just prefer the taste, you can definitely steam or boil the for a minute or two, then submerge in cold water to stop the cooking. Dry the vegetables well before using them in the salad.

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Between the broccoli, the cauliflower, and the goji berries, this salad is absolutely bursting with phytochemicals, which may be helpful allies in cancer prevention. It’s also packed with fiber, protein, and Vitamin C. What a delicious and healthy recipe!

Festive Broccoli, Cauliflower, and Goji Berry Salad (vegan, can be raw, gluten free, soy free)

Serves 4

3 cups broccoli, cut into small florets
3 cups cauliflower, cut into small florets
1/3 cup goji berries, soaked overnight
1 cup cashews, soaked overnight and soak water drained
2 tbsp lemon juice
1 tsp agave
3/4 tsp sea salt
Black pepper to taste
3/4 cup water

1. If steaming, bring a pot of water to boil. Either steam or boil the broccoli and cauliflower till crisp yet tender–just a minute or two will do it. Submerge the veggies in cold water to stop cooking, and dry them.

2. Place cashews, lemon, agave, salt and pepper in a food processor. Process till the mixture is starting to resemble a nut pate. Add the water in a thin stream with the motor of the machine running, and then allow the processor to do its work for two minutes, stopping to scrape the bowl periodically. You want the dressing to be as smooth as possible, so keep processing if necessary.

3. Place the broccoli, cauliflower, goji berries, and 1/3 cup of the dressing in a large mixing bowl and mix well. Add more dressing to taste. Serve.

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I love everything about this salad—the colors, the textures, and the creamy dressing on top. It’s amazing how many uses I can find for cashew cream!

This would make a wonderful raw/vegan side dish for holiday gatherings, as well as an easy lunch component on Christmas eve, day, or any day thereafter, really. I hope you enjoy it! And I look forward to sharing another NYC dining recap—and possibly another recipe as well—tomorrow. See you then!

xo

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{ 11 comments… read them below or add one }

Lexi @ You, Me, & A World to See December 23, 2012 at 9:50 pm

Cookies it is not. But content I am :)

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Gena December 24, 2012 at 11:09 am

Ha! And so am I.

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Veronica December 23, 2012 at 10:56 pm

I’m really curious to see what goji berries taste like, the store by my house is always telling me they’re amazing. Looks great!

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Gena December 24, 2012 at 11:09 am

They are kind of an acquired taste, honestly, but one that I have acquired.

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Tanya @ Playful and Hungry December 24, 2012 at 8:55 am

Beautiful! The perfect colors for christmas!

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Lisa @ Lisa the Vegetarian December 24, 2012 at 9:52 am

Looks delicious, and I’m not usually even a broccoli fan. I hope you have a great holiday and a restful well-deserved break from studying!

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jodye @ chocolate and chou fleur December 24, 2012 at 12:00 pm

I eat broccoli and cauliflower literally everyday, so this is right up my alley. I love the addition of the goji berries and the cashew dressing. It looks so festive! I might just have to add this to my Christmas menu

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Mélanie December 26, 2012 at 8:12 am

Looks delicious! And by the way, don’t get too hung up on what you “should” be posting, or what “the thing to do” is. I think alot of us set high expectations for ourselves, especially during the holidays. I know I do it as a mom and I felt a bit of that same sort of guilt in the first few sentences of your post. Truth is, I actually came to your blog this morning feeling rather “blah” from the last few days of eating way too much food and hoping for a super healthy, nutrient packed, cleansing recipe to try. So it turns out that what you posted is just exactly what I needed :) Thanks Gena!

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Gena December 26, 2012 at 9:10 am

Aw, thanks Melanie. I’m glad :)

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Kait @ yogabeautylife December 27, 2012 at 1:59 am

This looks so delicious…and thanks for the note about goitrogens. Since my hypothyroid diagnosis, I’ve struggled to find the right balance between knowing that I should (and want to!) eat cruciferous veggies and not really supposed to be eating them. I never thought that blanching might be a good option. Thanks. :)

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Kim December 28, 2012 at 4:02 pm

Totally looking forward to trying this out. I love the lightly steamed version (I try to watch out for goitrogens).

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