02 May 2015

What would you say if I told you there exists a salad with three different veggies, two different fruits, and some nuts that kids will not only eat, but like?  You would think I was crazy, right?  I would have thought so too until I made this awesomeness this week.  I cooked lunch for my daughters' school on Friday and had planned to make those little ham and cheese sliders on the Kings Hawaiian rolls. But I couldn't decide what to serve with them.  I could have been boring and just done carrot sticks or something, but I wanted to be a little more creative than that.  I did some Pinterest research and found this gem from the blog on Super Healthy Kids.  Are you familiar with that site? They have all kinds of neat ideas on there.  If you cook for kids, I encourage you to check it out.

This salad was so perfect for the school lunch.  Shredded broccoli (stems), carrots, and red cabbage with chopped apples, dried cranberries, and sliced almonds for crunch.  Poppyseed dressing is a convenient and delicious way to tie it all together.  While this salad is tasty, its beauty is a real asset to it.  I love how colorful it is: pale green from the broccoli, bright orange from the carrots, bright pops of red from the cranberries and apple skins (I highly recommend using red apples for this reason), and even the tiny little dots of the black poppyseeds are nice.  

Broccoli Apple Salad

6 cups broccoli slaw
1 cup dried cranberries
1 cup poppyseed dressing
6 cups apples, cored and chopped (not peeled)
½ cup sliced almonds

Put broccoli slaw in a large bowl.  Add the cranberries and poppyseed dressing and toss to combine.  Chop the apples; add each cup to the broccoli mixture as you chop it.  Tossing them with the dressing will keep the apples from browning.  After all apples have been added, toss well, then cover and refrigerate until ready to serve.

When ready to serve, add the sliced almonds, and toss a final time.

Makes about 14 cups.

Can you believe how easy this is?  I had never bought the broccoli slaw before, but I had seen it and knew where to find it (in the produce section with the bagged salads).  It made this so easy and fast.  

I love how it can be prepped ahead of time.  I debated on whether or not to add the apples in the morning because I was afraid they would brown.  But I saw that the poppyseed dressing contained vinegar, so I gave it a shot.  They didn't brown one bit in the 2 or so hours until lunch, and I just checked my leftovers in the fridge and still no browning.  The salad is just as beautiful today as it was yesterday.  The reason I held off on adding the almonds is because I thought the dressing might soften them a little bit.  To make it even healthier, you can use "light" poppyseed dressing.

I will admit one thing, however: I just called this "Apple Salad" to the kids at lunch.  Since the shredded broccoli stems are so pale green, I figured the kids (at least the younger ones) wouldn't realize it was broccoli.  And if they don't know (or think) there is broccoli in it, they will be more willing to try it.  It was definitely well received. I can't say that every kid loved it, but I know lots of them ate all of what I gave them.  That's success in my book!  And the teachers and my husband loved it too.  Bonus!  

Here's a close-up.  Isn't it just gorgeous?

(The camera on my phone really rocks!)

I'm so glad I found this recipe.  This will make an awesome potluck dish.  It is gluten-free, and dairy-free, and vegan as long as the poppyseed dressing you choose is vegan.  I used Marzetti, which is not vegan because it contains egg yolk, but I saw the Ken's does not.  So perfect for all those summer get-togethers and potlucks!

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