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Apple, Broccoli & Sunflower Seed Salad

Sunday in East Texas was clear and beautiful following a night of showers. Thank heavens. The humidity from the day before had me grumpy and lethargic; my downward dogs were droopy dogs in yoga class.

The shift in weather–and Nick sleeping past 7 am, hurrah!–was merely the start of a great day, the highlight being a birthday party at a friend’s house to celebrate the birthday of one of his close buddies. In addition to bubbles, birthday cake, and rides in a wagon pulled by a bladeless riding lawn mower (I only partook of the former two), I witnessed a first: my husband doing an airbound somersault on Jack’s new trampoline. I was (and remain) speechless and smitten!

I was blissfully oblivious of dinner preparations until we returned home, pooped and famished. Kevin said he would be fine with cheeses, bread and salad–he got the first two in order–and I set to work on an impromptu salad, cobbled together from produce I had on hand and whatever else I could find in the pantry.

I had gone overboard in my purchase of broccoli crowns (on sale! how could I resist 🙂 so into a steamer they went. I am not crazy about raw broccoli, but love it when it is very lightly steamed.

Next, some gala apples (diced) and sunflower seeds. I recently found roasted, unsalted sunflower seeds at the supermarket, so, of course, I bought 3 packages (healthy food hoarder am I). I hate turning on the oven just to toast nuts or seeds, especially in the summer, and I have a tendency of burning seeds and nuts when I attempt to toast them in a skillet. Already roasted? Love it.

I let the broccoli cool (accelerated by placing in the refrigerator for about 10 minutes) and then finished the salad tossing apples, broccoli and seeds with a quick lemon & Dijon mustard dressing. Wow! I don’t know if it was because we were both starving, but this salad had us oohing and ahhing with pleasure (and Kevin was VERY skeptical about broccoli + apples). The salad was equally wonderful today for lunch. Easy, healthy and good, just what summer eating needs to be :)!

Yield: 6 servings

Apple, Broccoli & Sunflower Seed Salad

Apple, Broccoli & Sunflower Seed Salad
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 5 minutes
Total Time 20 minutes


  • 3 cups small broccoli florets
  • 3 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 teaspoons maple syrup
  • 2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
  • 1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly cracked black pepper
  • 2 large tart-sweet apples (I used Gala), cored and diced
  • 1/3 cup roasted unsalted sunflower seeds


  1. In a large pot fitted with a steamer, steam the broccoli for 3 to 5 minutes until it turns bright green (but is still hard). Rinse under cold water until cool.
  2. In a small bowl, whisk together lemon juice, oil, maple syrup, mustard, salt and pepper.
  3. In a large bowl, combine cold broccoli, apples and sunflower seeds. Add dressing and gently toss to coat. Serve!

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Sunday 13th of June 2010

THIS looks amazing! I'll be adding this to the "recipes to try" pile STAT!


Wednesday 5th of May 2010

I too discovered unsalted roasted sunflower seeds at a local grocery store (I live in Oklahoma City)and love them. Thanks for the delicious and healthy recipes. I make your version of Lara bars a lot (but I just make balls rolled in wheat germ) and my whole family loves them.


Wednesday 5th of May 2010

I've never thought about pairing broccoli and apples but this sounds fanastic.

Natalie W.

Wednesday 5th of May 2010

I cannot wait to try out this salad!!!


Tuesday 4th of May 2010

That salad dressing sounds yummy! I love citrus based dressings. This salad sounds like summer is just around the corner.

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