Broccoli, Apple, & Cheddar Salad with Creamy Honey Mustard Vinaigrette
Please excuse the unnecessarily long title of this salad. I just love every ingredient so much that I didn’t want to leave anything out. :)
The funny thing is, I posted something very similar last fall and decided to call it a Big Bowl of Comfort because I couldn’t think of a better name and yet here I am again, stumped like a chump. I thought naming recipes was supposed to be the easy part?
I’m not sure if it’s because of the St. Patrick’s Day hype or the fact that spring is in the air but I am craving greens like crazy these days, especially in the form of light and healthy salads. You know, so my midsection pooch will be a little less noticeable when I start peeling off layers of clothes for the warmer weather.
I decided to take all of the things I loved about the Big Bowl of Comfort and make it into a slightly lighter version that’s more fitting for
To start, fresh broccoli is lightly roasted alongside crispy chickpeas and toasted maple pecans. Then all of that gets placed on a bed of baby spinach topped with crisp apples and cubed cheddar cheese which is finished off with a creamy honey mustard dressing.
The end result is pretty fantastical, if I don’t say so myself.
The crunchy textures of the chickpeas, broccoli and apple go so well with the creamy cheddar and honey mustard dressing. I LOVE it.
Plus it’s a great option to pack for lunches. Just store everything in an airtight container then bring the apple and the dressing on the side and add ’em whenever you’re ready to eat. Easy, healthy, and oh-so-good. I hope you enjoy!
4 cups broccoli florets, chopped
1 (15 ounce) can chickpeas, drained and rinsed
3/4 cup pecans, roughly chopped
5 ounces baby spinach
2 apples, cored and diced
6 ounces mild or sharp cheddar, cubed
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil, divided
1 teaspoon maple syrup
salt & pepper to taste
Creamy Honey Mustard Vinaigrette
4 tablespoons Dijon mustard
3 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
1 tablespoon tahini
1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
1 tablespoon tahini
1 teaspoon raw honey
- Preheat the oven to 425°F then grease or line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Place the chickpeas on the baking sheet and coat in one half of a tablespoon of olive oil. Bake in the oven for 10 minutes.
- Add the broccoli to a separate baking dish/sheet and coat with the remaining tablespoon of olive oil and salt & pepper. After the timer is up for 10 minutes, add the broccoli to the oven (leaving chickpeas in the oven as well) and bake for additional 12 minutes.
- In a small bowl, toss the pecans with the second half of a tablespoon of olive oil, maple syrup and a pinch of salt. After the 12 minutes is up, add the pecans to the baking sheet with the chickpeas and continue to cook for 6-7 additional minutes.
- Meanwhile, prepare the dressing by stirring all ingredients together in a small bowl and then layer the spinach into separate serving bowls.
- Remove the broccoli, chickpeas, and pecans from the oven and arrange on top of the spinach. Top with diced apple and cheddar cheese and serve with dressing.
- To save for later, place everything except for the apples and the dressing in an airtight container and store in the refrigerator for up to 3 days. Add apples and dressing when ready to serve.