Broccoli Salad with Bacon and Cranberries – A healthy salad of fresh Broccoli, crisp bacon and sweet dried cranberries tossed in a light yogurt and mayonnaise sauce is perfect for a picnic.
Broccoli Salad with Bacon and Cranberries here!
I recently had a version of this broccoli salad at an Easter egg hunt and picnic. It was love at first bite. I’ve had a lot of different versions of broccoli salad, but that one was better. I had to go home and lighten it up. The first step to lightening a recipe is to look at the ingredients and take note of any high calorie ingredients. First, the salad I had was filled with fresh broccoli, bacon, cranberries and sunflower seeds. The sauce tasted mostly of mayonnaise and vinegar. My high calorie items were going to be the bacon, sunflower seeds and mayo. Then I think about healthy swaps. Center cut bacon is actually not horrific in calories. It is a splurge, but in this salad the bacon was worth the added calories. I knew if I finely chopped the bacon, you would get a little bit in each bite. That was easy.
I then thought about the sunflower seeds. I noticed that they had fallen to the bottom of the salad, and their flavor was overwhelmed by the cranberries and bacon. So while seeds are actually healthy, they are not needed. I’d rather spare the calories here and have a handful of sunflower seeds for a snack. I just eliminated them. Next is the dressing. While I adore Greek yogurt, I don’t really like it alone in a dressing. I still miss the mayonnaise. Some people are quite happy to swap all the mayo for Greek yogurt, but it doesn’t work for my taste buds. So I find most of the time a 50-50 swap works. Say bye-bye calories from fat.
After I eliminate fat, I need to think about adding flavor. This salad is really simple with few ingredients. The vinegar actually does matter. I went with champagne vinegar. It will still give you that tang but is smoother in flavor. A little dash of sweetener made up for the lack of mayonnaise. Next, lower sugar dried cranberries helped reduce the sugar content further. Since I would rather control the sugar in this, I used a no calorie sweetener, but you can use sugar. The other tip is to use good quality ingredients. Get good bacon. I’m sure you know what I mean. I did use center cut, but I bought a better quality bacon. I used farm fresh broccoli and red onions. I also splurged on the champagne vinegar.
With just a few tricks, it is easy to lower the calories and fat in most dishes. Figure out where you want the bang for your buck. Don’t be afraid to use a little of high calories items, just make sure they are really needed. Bacon was needed, sunflowers weren’t. It is that easy.
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Broccoli Salad with Bacon and Cranberries #SundaySupper
- 10 oz broccoli florets cut into small florets
- 3 slices center cut bacon finely crumbled
- 3/4 cup minced red onion
- 1/4 cup dried cranberries chopped
- 3 tbsp low-fat mayonnaise dressing
- 3 tbsp 2% fat plain Greek yogurt
- 1 tbsp champagne vinegar
- 1 tsp sweetener
- 1/2 tsp kosher salt
Toss first 4 ingredients into a medium bowl.
In a small bowl, whisk together remaining ingredients.
Add dressing to broccoli and stir well.
Refrigerate for a few hours to let the flavors come together
I calculated 3 Weight Watcher Smartpoints.
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