Growing up, before adopting a plant based diet, I have childhood memories of my mother making a broccoli, cranberry and bacon salad that was “to die for.” I am sure it was the only way my mom got my sister and I to eat anything green by masking it with bacon.
As a matter of fact, bacon seems to be one of the food items vegans miss the most when changing their diets. So, why not make bacon from plants? Honestly, I can ‘veganize’ anything if challenged accordingly.
In hindsight, I actually think my vegan version of Broccoli salad is a much tastier version, and much healthier as well. I know mom would definitely approve. In fact, she requests this salad every time she visits.
Although this salad can easily be an entree, I often serve it on the side, or bring it to a party. And, I never tell the meat-eaters of the group it is vegan. Despite the healthy ingredients, my salad is always the first to disappear.Print
Broccoli, cranberries, and coconut bacon oh my……This tangy, savory salad will have your kids begging for broccoli.
- 4 Crowns of Broccoli washed, with the core removed.
- 1 large red onion, diced.
- 2 celery stalks, washed and diced
- ½ cup dried cranberries
- ½ cup Vegan Coconut Bacon (Other options) Bacos (did you know they are vegan)? Or use tempeh bacon bits
- 1/2 cup raw cashews
- 1/2 cup water
- 1 Tablespoon Apple cider Vinegar
- Juice of 1 lemon
- ¼ cup Balsamic vinegar
- 2 cloves garlic
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon pepper
- 1 cup unsweetened coconut chips
- 3 Tablespoons Maple Syrup
- 3 Tablespoons Tamari or Soy Sauce
- 2 teaspoons Liquid Smoke
30 MINUTES PRIOR TO COOKING
- In an airtight container, add coconut and all other ingredients
- Put the top on the container
- Place in refrigerator for a minimum of 10 minutes, ideally 30 minutes, or overnight if planning ahead
PREHEAT OVEN TO 350
- On a cookie sheet, cover with parchment paper
- Remove coconut mixture from the refrigerator
- Give it one last shake, and using the top drain any excess fluid
- Place a single layer of marinated coconut on the cookie sheet
- Use a spatula to spread a single layer, attempting to reduce a thick layer
- Place in 350 degree oven for 10 minutes
- Remove from oven; using a spatula, flip and move bacon around pan, still maintaining a single layer
- Cook another ten minutes
- Remove from oven and let cook completely.
- Prepare the broccoli. Cut the core from each head of broccoli. (My dogs love the core; they actually cry for it, so waste not, want not).
- I washed my broccoli in my steamer basket to save a step.
- Steam the broccoli for 10 minutes. It is recommended to steam it for 14 or 15 minutes, but that is too much. You want it al Dante.
- As soon as the broccoli is done, immediately transfer it to an ice bath to stop it from cooking.
- Now, take the broccoli and place it on paper towel to drain the excess water.
- Chop broccoli bite sized pieces
- Put broccoli, onions, celery, dried cranberries, and Vegan Coconut Bacon in a large mixing bowl.
- In a blender, blend all the ingredients together until smooth.
- Set aside
PUTTING IT TOGETHER:
- Pour the dressing on the broccoli mixture and mix well.
- Put in the dressed salad in an airtight container and place in the refrigerator.
*The ingredients need to meld, so leave overnight and then mix before serving.
Keywords: salad, broccoli, coconut bacon, vegan bacon, cranberries, oil-free, vegan, plant-based