Greens, glorious greens!

This warm broccoli, spinach, and avocado salad is ideal as a side with grilled chicken or fish, or as a stand-alone lunch.

Gently steamed broccoli and spinach are paired with creamy avocado, and topped with a honey, peanut, and thyme dressing. Some sliced raw radishes add extra crunch.

Not only is it light yet filling, this tasty medley of bright greens is packed full of health-boosting nutrients.

Eat green for your health

If you’re feeling like you haven’t had enough vegetables lately, this is the perfect side dish to give yourself an extra dose of plant-based goodness. This vibrant green salad contains two nutrient powerhouses in particular: broccoli and spinach.

Broccoli is an excellent source of vitamins, minerals, and phytonutrients, all of which contribute to an anti-inflammatory effect. It contains high amounts of vitamins A, C, E, and K, as well as potassium, magnesium, folic acid, and iron. This broad range of nutrients means that broccoli can be linked with health benefits such as improved cardiovascular function, heart health, skin and eye health, strong bones, and a reduced risk of some cancers.

It has been suggested that steaming broccoli is preferable to boiling. Not only does steaming produce a firmer texture and retain that familiar rich, green color, it is also said to help retain more of the broccoli’s vitamin C content. Overcooked broccoli tends to become mushy and bitter tasting, so quick steaming is ideal. It really only needs steamed for around 5 to 7 minutes.

Spinach is equally high in health-boosting nutrients, including niacin, zinc, and protein. The high folate content in spinach has been linked to improved circulation and cardiovascular health, while antioxidants contribute to colon health and cognitive function.

Both broccoli and spinach are low in calories, fat, and cholesterol, and high in fiber, making them ideal for anyone watching their weight.

Where possible, use organic vegetables as the pesticides used in non-organic greens can have negative health implications. Always wash before cooking!

Broccoli Salad served

A warm winter salad

Salad may not be the first thing you think of as winter draws closer, but warm salads can be filling and tasty. The avocado in this one creates a rich, smooth texture which complements the broccoli and spinach perfectly, while bright red, peppery radishes add some crunch.

Avocado is a fantastic source of healthy fats, helping you feel full while providing many nutrients. The fat in avocado is oleic acid, which is associated with preventing some kinds of cancer. In addition, avocados actually contain more potassium than bananas, which can help lower blood pressure, reducing the risk of heart disease and stroke.

Radishes contain antioxidants which are great for liver and digestive health. They are also a natural diuretic with anti-inflammatory properties, helping to flush out the kidneys and heal urinary infections.

This salad can be livened up with any number of different dressings. In this version, we’ve used a warming honey, peanut, and thyme dressing, but you could try lemon and basil, or ginger, soy sauce, and sesame seeds instead.

Broccoli salad ingredientsWarm broccoli, spinach and avocado salad

1 head broccoli, chopped into florets

3 cups spinach

half a medium avocado, sliced and chopped into small pieces

a handful of radishes, finely sliced

For the dressing:

1 Tbsp olive oil

½ Tbsp honey

1 tsp peanut butter

1 tsp fresh lemon juice

1 tsp fresh thyme

Directions

  1. Steam the broccoli for around 5-7 minutes. While the broccoli is cooking, chop the avocado and radishes and set aside.
    Broccoli Salad - Avocado
  2. Turn off the heat and add the spinach. Leave in the steamer for 1-2 minutes, until the spinach has wilted.
    Broccoli Salad steaming
  3. To make the dressing, combine the dressing ingredients in a small jar and stir thoroughly.
    Broccoli Salad Honey and peanut dressing
  4. Arrange the broccoli, spinach, avocado, and radish slices on a plate or bowl. Drizzle the dressing over the top and serve immediately.

Recipe Notes

  • Any nut butter can be used in place of peanut butter. Or, for a nut free version, try using half a teaspoon of mustard instead.
  • For some extra crunch, sprinkle some chopped almonds over the top.
  • This salad is best served immediately. You can make the dressing in advance and store in the fridge for a day or so – just shake well before use.

Integrative Nutrition is the world’s largest nutrition school and Health Coach Training Program. Through our innovative, one-year online course, students learn the principles of health coaching, business skills, and over 100 different dietary theories with lectures by the world’s leading experts.