A Totally Guilt-Free Meal You'll Actually Enjoy

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1Photo: Courtesy of Joy The Baker.
We may have Joy the Baker's infamous "Man Bait" Apple Crisp recipe committed to memory, but it's not the only reason we're loyal to this self-taught dessert maven. Joy's hilariously soulful commentary, undying devotion to butter, and her steadfast belief that cake is a perfectly acceptable breakfast choice is what really keeps us coming back for more.

This isn’t about my New Year’s Resolution. This salad has nothing to do with the obscene amount of lasagna I ate last year. I embrace that lasagna, every bit. This big bowl of apples and broccoli are simply a testament to my brain-tummy. This is what it asked for. And, I thank it — my brain-tummy — because usually it asks for cinnamon rolls and root beer and I have to convince it otherwise. My brain-tummy is in a constant passive-aggressive fight with my thigh-tummies.

In other news: I can’t believe the internet continues to let me have a blog. If we were to boil down to the essence of what I’m trying to say, it would be this: I made a salad. It was really delicious. I ate the whole thing. It was healthy and made me feels strong and capable…like my college education. I’ll stop saying brain-tummy starting exactly right now. This salad has such romantic beginnings.

While the recipe ahead details numerical measurements, a big bowl and a few large spoons will suit you just fine. One giant spoon of whole grain mustard meets a slightly less giant spoon of raw honey. A good dose of olive oil, vinegar, and salt and pepper.
2Photo: Courtesy of Joy The Baker.
Stir with spirit.

The rest of the salad ingredients will be added to this large bowl. Why is that romantic to me? Something about a large bowl with two spoons makes me sentimental.
3Photo: Courtesy of Joy The Baker.
Apples, arugula, and sunflower seeds are usually strangers in my kitchen until I force their friendship.
4Photo: Courtesy of Joy The Baker.
Broccoli has no idea what it’s doing at this salad party…

This recipe uses both broccoli florets and the stems. All broccoli bits are steamed until juuuuust a bit of their raw crunch is cooked out.
5Photo: Courtesy of Joy The Baker.
This unlikely cast of characters is absolutely delicious. This salad is hearty and filling, while still feeling light and fun. I also love that this salad is durable, making it a really great salad to take to work for lunch.

If you’re anything like me, you have a random assortment of weird kitchen items in your purse: a yogurt spoon, a pound of butter, and a jar of this salad.

This salad is sweet and savory. It’s the homemade honey mustard dressing. It brings everything together, and sets it all apart. It’s salad, and so it all makes sense.

Honey Mustard, Broccoli & Apple Salad
serves 2 large or 4 small portions
adapted from The Sprouted Kitchen

For the Salad:
2 bunches (about 1 pound total) broccoli with stems
1/2 cup roasted and salted sunflower seeds (seeds not seeds in shells)
1 Fuji apple, cored and sliced thin
heaping 1/4 cup arugula leaves (or you can use finely chopped parsley instead)

For the Dressing:
3 tablespoons whole grain mustard
2 tablespoons honey
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 tablespoons vinegar (white wine, apple cider, red wine, or coconut)
salt and fresh cracked black pepper to taste

Place a large pot with about one inch of water over a medium-high heat. Insert a steamer into the pot and bring the water to a low boil.

Cut broccoli florets into bite-sized pieces. Thinly slice broccoli stems and add both the florets and the stems to the steamer. Cover and allow to steam for about 2 minutes, or until the hard raw crunch is cooked from the broccoli. Remove from the steamer and rinse with cold water. Set aside.

In a large bowl, combine mustard, honey, olive oil, vinegar, and a few pinches of salt and better. Whisk vigorously until thoroughly combined. Add broccoli, sunflower seeds, sliced apple, and arugula to the bowl. Toss until every piece is coated in dressing.

Chill for about 30 minutes. Serve cold. This salad is best served the day it is made.

We may have Joy the Baker's infamous "Man Bait" Apple Crisp recipe committed to memory, but it's not the only reason we're loyal to this self-taught dessert maven. Joy's hilariously soulful commentary, undying devotion to butter, and steadfast belief that cake is a perfectly acceptable breakfast choice are what really keep us coming back for more.