Disclosure: This recipe and blog post were created in partnership with Mann’s Fresh Vegetables (Mann Packing Company). I was compensated for my time and provided with product from Mann’s. All opinions are my own. Thanks for supporting the brands that support Casey Seiden Nutrition!
The Fourth of July has come and gone, so we are firmly into summer now, which means it’s barbeque season! Sadly, living in New York City affords me limited access to an outdoor grill, so I take a more liberal view of what barbeque means throughout the months of July and August. By traditional definition, barbeque is “a meal at which meat, fish, or other food is cooked out of doors, on a rack over an open fire”. When I get the chance to do some grilling at my in-law’s house in the country I take full advantage, but in our city apartment, barbeque means cranking up the oven’s broiler to quickly get a nice crisp and char on some salmon or chicken, and also getting creative with “grilling” vegetables!
Grilling can transform a vegetable side dish or salad into something truly spectacular! Heating them in such a way brings out their natural sweetness, while also lending a smoky flavor. It also has the nice effect of creating a more crisped, yet still soft texture, which many people don’t associate with veggies.
However, not all vegetables are well-suited for tossing straight onto the grill. Many are small and oddly shaped, but I’ve happily found a new favorite that can get grilled up with minimal fuss- BROCCOLINI® baby broccoli! I’ve teamed up with Mann’s Fresh Vegetables to showcase their baby broccoli in a barbeque-style summer salad.
BROCCOLINI® baby broccoli is actually a cross between two vegetables- gai lan and broccoli- and has a sweeter, milder flavor compared to regular broccoli. Plus, since it can be eaten from flower to stem, these larger pieces of BROCCOLINI® baby broccoli are easy grillers whereas broccoli florets may be a bit small and annoying to turn. But do you want to know the best part? My husband, who reeeally dislikes broccoli, will gladly down some charred BROCCOLINI® baby broccoli!
Tossing some vegetables onto grill helps boosts the fiber content of your summer barbeque spread. Animal proteins that you may be grilling up- like chicken, ribs, and fish- contain zero dietary fiber, but in just three stalks of BROCCOLINI® baby broccoli there is about 5 grams of fiber. Most of us could stand to get more fiber in our diets for improved gut health, blood sugar balance, and heart health, so why not include it in the form of deliciously grilled vegetables!
And even though we associate winter with cold season, that doesn’t mean keeping up with micronutrients like vitamin C isn’t important in the summer. The good news if that BROCCOLINI® baby broccoli contains 130% of your daily vitamin C needs, alongside other nutrients like vitamin A, calcium, vitamin E, folate, iron, and potassium.
I don’t know about you, but I’ve got my tongs ready to get this BROCCOLINI® baby broccoli “grilling” and put together this summertime BBQ salad! If you have access to an outdoor grill, replace the broiling steps in this recipe with your outdoor flame.
For the salad:
1 package Mann’s BROCCOLINI® baby broccoli
Olive oil spray
2 small ears of corn, kernels cut from the cob
1 tablespoon diced jalapeno
¼ cup chopped red onion
Juice of 1 small lime
Salt, to taste
4 cups mixed greens
1 cup cooked quinoa
½ lb. shredded chicken breast (I used a rotisserie chicken)
For the dressing:
2 tablespoons plain greek yogurt
1 tablespoon barbeque sauce
1 tablespoon avocado oil
Heat the oven’s broiler to high. Spray the BROCCOLINI® baby broccoli with some olive oil and transfer it to a baking sheet. Broil for about 15 minutes or until the BROCCOLINI® baby broccoli stars to brown and crisp. Once cooked, remove from the oven and let cool.
While the BROCCOLINI® baby broccoli is cooking, prepare the dressing by whisking together the yogurt, barbeque sauce, and avocado oil in a small bowl. You want the texture to be thin and pourable, so add a tad more oil or a small dash of water as needed.
In a medium mixing bowl, combine the corn kernels, diced jalapeno, and red onion. Drizzle the lime juice over the mixture and season with salt to taste.
When the broccoli is cool enough to handle, roughly chop the stems into 1 inch pieces.
Plate the salad by layering 2 cups of greens onto each plate, then top each bed of greens with ½ cup cooked quinoa, equal amounts of chicken, BROCCOLINI® baby broccoli, and corn salad. Drizzle with the barbeque dressing and toss to coat and combine flavors.