May 8

Easy and Healthy Broccoli Salad Recipe

It's coming up to barbecue weather so it was time to share one of my favourite salads with you. This can be quickly thrown together while the charcoal heats up.

I first saw a broccoli salad on my Pilates training. There was this amazing supermarket down the road with was stocked with so much amazing healthy food. We went there every day for lunch.

I had a little of the broccoli salad the first day out of curiosity and then every day after that. Our local Dunnes used to have it in their salad bar but the last few times I was in, it wasn't there. So time to make my own!

So why do I love Broccoli Salad? It is crisp, super crunchy and fresh. Plus I am thoroughly fed up with regular leafy salads. This summer I intend to fill my blog with lots of different salad recipes, so subscribe belwo so you don't miss any.

I consider humble old broccoli to be a "super food". Broccoli is a nutritional powerhouse full of vitamins, minerals, fibre and antioxidants. Broccoli is a member of the cruciferous family of vegetables, other members include cauliflower, cabbage, kale and Brussels sprouts.

Cruciferous vegetables contain a compound called indole-3-carbinol, which our bodies metabolise upon digestion into diindolylmethane (DIM). DIM is well-known for supporting healthy hormone levels in both men and women. In women, it favourably influences the ratios of oestrogen metabolites while in men, it helps reduce the conversion of testosterone to oestrogen. You can read more on that below:

How to Naturally Improve Hormonal Balance, your Oestrogen Metabolism

I always aim to include plenty of cruciferous vegetables into my diet every week. So I am also, always keeping an eye out for delicious ways to eat them, because they are not really my favourite. This is one of my favourite ways to enjoy broccoli. I'm sure I'll be sick of it by the end of summer though!

Broccoli salad is probably one of the quickest and easiest salads you will throw together, which is why it has become my favourite summer salad!

Ingredients - Serves 4

  • 1 large broccoli crown, cut into florets with larger pieces sliced
  • 1 small onion, finely sliced
  • 1 carrot, grated
  • a handful of cherry tomatoes, quartered
  • 6 rashers of streaky bacon, grilled until crisp
  • a small handful of slivered almonds
  • a small handful of dried cranberries


  • small clove of garlic, finely grated
  • 4 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons of white wine vinegar
  • 2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
  • 1 teaspoon of honey
  • pinch of fine sea salt

How To:

  1. Use a small knife to remove the broccoli florets and cut them up into smaller ones. Basically, this is your opportunity to make the broccoli really delicate and more salady-looking, so spend a bit of time doing this. You’ll be left with the stalk, so discard the thick dry base, then cut the remaining stalk in half lengthways and finely slice. 
  2. (Optional) Blanch your broccoli florets and sliced stalks really quickly in boiling salted water for 60 seconds, just long enough to soften the broccoli but still leave it with a bit of a bite. Drain it in a colander, then spread it around a clean tea towel to steam dry (this is important because it will help the dressing cling to the broccoli). Once completely dry, transfer to your serving dish.
  3. If you don't blanch the broccoli, simply wash and drain very well.
  4. Grill your bacon until crisp. I do our on our George Foreman grill.
  5. Add the grated carrot, sliced onions, tomatoes, almonds and cranberries to your serving bowl.
  6. In a small bowl, combine all of the dressing ingredients (olive oil, vinegar, mustard, honey, garlic and salt). Whisk until the mixture is well blended and pour over the salad. 
  7. Toss well so everything is coated, especially the broccoli.
  8. I highly recommend letting the salad marinate for at least 20 minutes. It is even nicer when it is made in advance and kept in the fridge until you’re ready to serve it. This gives the broccoli a chance to soak in some of the dressing, resulting in an even more flavorful salad! The vinaigrette breaks down the broccoli a bit.

Tips from Emma:

I like to add some sharp cheddar cheese to mine. The cheese offers some creamy indulgence to the salad. Different-coloured cherry tomatoes are really nice too.

Did you make this recipe?

I would love to know how it turned out for you! Post a picture of your meal on Instagram and tag me @PilatesBarreDlk or #VitalityNutritionProg. I share on my stories!

Emma x

Meet Emma

Hi, I am Emma McAtasney, a NCEHS Personal Trainer since 2009. I earned my Pilates credentials through BASI Pilates, a highly respected college-level Pilates teacher training programme which aim is to create and maintain professional standards for the teaching of the Pilates Method to the highest calibre.

In addition, I am a prenatal and postnatal exercise specialist, nutritionist and founder of a boutique Pilates studio in Dundalk, Ireland.

I help my clients eat healthier, ditch fad diets and lose weight for good by guiding them to make small manageable changes that long term have a huge impact on their quality of life!

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