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Healthy Dish

Salad Days

Take a break from the summer heat with our cool Mandarin Orange Broccoli Salad. Picture this: It's a hot July evening.

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Picture this: It’s a hot July evening. You’ve got a few friends coming over and want to serve some food, but don’t want to prepare a whole multi-course meal. You’d like something light, simple, fresh, and tasty that’s visually appealing and easy to make. Well, this cool fruited salad is just what the doctor ordered.

I could go on and on about the ingredients in this little gem-
broccoli, spinach, olive oil, spices, all usual suspects in any list of
healthy ingredients. The veggies are good sources of Vitamin K1, which, admittedly, is not the sexy vitamin K2 that gets all the attention for its role in heart health. But K1 is critical for healthy blood clotting, and there’s emerging evidence that, along with its brother K2, K1 also plays an important role in bone health (particularly when combined with vitamin D).

Overall, this recipe contains a nice mix of ingredients that help you build bones and lower inflammation. And the addition of olive oil adds a strong anti-inflammatory component. Enjoy!

-Dr. Jonny

Mandarin Orange Broccoli Salad

Serves 4
This fresh-tasting blend of sweet and acidic flavors pairs perfectly with grilled fish or chicken.

2 cups broccoli florets, cut to the size of quarters

6 Tbs. tarragon vinegar*

2 Tbs. cooking sherry

2 tsp. Dijon mustard

Finely grated zest of 1 navel orange

2 Tbs. olive oil

1 11-oz. can mandarin oranges, drained, juice reserved

4 cups baby romaine lettuce

2 cups baby spinach

1 cup shredded carrots

1/2 cup dried cranberries

1/3 cup tamari almonds, roughly chopped (or roasted almonds)

  1. Steam broccoli florets in basket over boiling water, 3 minutes. Fill medium bowl with ice-cold water, remove broccoli from heat, and transfer to bowl 30 seconds to stop cooking process. Drain water and set aside.
  2. In separate small bowl, whisk together vinegar, sherry, mustard, zest, olive oil, and 2 Tbs. mandarin juice. Pour half of dressing mixture over broccoli florets, and toss to combine. Refrigerate to chill, if desired.**
  3. Combine broccoli florets with greens, carrots, cranberries, and mandarin slices in large salad bowl. Top with remaining dressing, and toss gently to combine. Garnish with chopped almonds, and serve immediately.

per serving: 253 cal; 6g pro; 12g total fat (1.5g sat fat); 30g carb; 0mg chol; 216mg sod; 6g fiber; 17g sugars

Notes from: Chef Jeannette

*Tarragon vinegar is available in most health food stores. If you can’t find it, blend 6 Tbs. white wine vinegar with ½ tsp. dried thyme as a substitute.

**You can make the dressing and steam the broccoli a day ahead and chill them along with the drained mandarin slices overnight. Then the cold salad comes together in minutes at mealtime.

Jeannette Bessinger, CHHC, is a certified holistic health counselor and recipe developer. Jonny Bowden, PhD, CNS, is a nationally known health, nutrition, and weight-loss expert. Bessinger and Bowden have collaborated on numerous cookbooks, including The 150 Healthiest Slow Cooker Recipes. Visit them online at and