Chickpea, Broccoli and Carrot Salad with Lemon-Mayo-Mustard-Olive Oil Dressing

Chickpea, broccoli, carrot salad with mustard-mayo-olive oil-lemon dressing. Delicious!

Chickpea, broccoli, carrot salad with mustard-mayo-olive oil-lemon dressing. Delicious!

Sometimes I think I can be a raw foodist, but then I remember how much I love sweet potato fries and my Mom’s homemade, warm chocolate chip cookies and I scrap that idea. I can be an occasional raw foodist, one who eats a lot of various kinds of salads, right? Right. In fact, this was my lunch today.

  • 1 can of chickpeas, rinsed, drained
  • 1/2 C chopped carrots
  • 1/2 C broccoli florets (cut really tiny)
  • 1/4 C chopped onions


Whip together the following in a small bowl:

  • 2 TB dijon mustard (I used OrganicVille brand)
  • 2TB Mayo
  • healthy glog of extra virgin olive oil
  • juice of half (or a whole) a lemon

Put chopped veggies and chickpeas in a large bowl, drizzle the dressing and mix until the beans and veggies are well-coated. I measured out the dressing and it’s about 1/3 of a cup. I did add a little more mustard because the flavor is just so nice.

Spaghetti Squash Mac and Cheese


I love mac-n-cheese, but sometimes I don’t want to eat pasta. So, enter the lovely (and seasonal!) spaghetti squash, which I’ve used in the past in place of pasta with tomato sauce or pesto. If you’re one of those weirdos (kidding!) who say, “Oh, yuck. I hate squash,” you just might change your mind when you try this. Trust me, if you add enough cheese sauce…you’ll be won over.

  • 1 spaghetti squash, halved, seeds/innards removed*
  • 1 C. steamed broccoli florets
  • 1 C. reduced fat cheddar cheese, shredded
  • 1/2 C. grated pecorino romano
  • 1 TB butter
  • 1 TB AP flour
  • 1 C. milk (room temperature)
  • 1 tsp ground mustard
  • 1 tsp hot paprika
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • crushed red pepper (optional)
  • 1/4 C. panko bread crumbs (optional)

Update: I just learned that rather than struggle with cutting a spaghetti squash in half, one can poke a bunch of holes in it with a knife or fork and microwave it whole for 12-15 minutes until soft, OR, roast in a baking dish whole for an hour (also poke holes in it). That is SO much easier than pretty much using a machete and almost cutting off a finger.

Cut squash in half and either spray with cooking spray or, rub a bit of olive oil on the squash. Bake, halved side up on a baking sheet for about 50-60 minutes (or, until the squash is tender and fully cooked (ie: soft) at 400 degrees. Let squash cool off until you can handle it. Using a fork, scrape out the insides of squash–it should look like angel hair pasta. Add to steamed** broccoli in bowl and set aside.


Make the cheese sauce: Over a low heat, melt the butter in a small/medium sized sauce pan, add the flour and whisk out any lumps, add the milk and the cheeses and let it simmer. Add the ground mustard and paprika too. Whisk until a smooth sauce forms. Pour cheese sauce over squash and broccoli, stir until well-coated. Now, at this point you can serve and eat it, but, I went a step further. I put the mixture in an 8×8 baking dish, topped with a tablespoon of grated pecorino and the 1/4 cup panko bread crumbs and baked it for 30-40 minutes at 400 degrees until it was brown and crispy on top.

Spaghetti Squash Mac and Cheese!

Spaghetti Squash Mac and Cheese!

*Wait! Don’t discard those squash seeds! You can eat them! Remove them and rinse in a colander, making sure to get all the bits of squash guts off of them. Pat dry with a paper towel and put ’em in a bowl. Drizzle a tiny bit of olive oil to coat them, sprinkle a little salt and maybe some crushed red pepper, spread on a parchment lined baking sheet and bake for about 20 minutes, or until toasted.

**I’ve found that I’m too lazy to use a stovetop steamer, so, I put the broccoli florets in a microwave-safe bowl with a bit of water, cover the bowl with wax paper and nuke it for a minute and a half. I don’t like wilt-y broccoli; I still want it with a slight snap…thus the brief cooking time

Broccoli Pesto

Want to try a different kind of pesto? Cool, so did I. What follows is my adaptation of a conglomeration of recipes I found online. I don’t use cheese in my pesto, but would rather add to my pasta when I eat it. But, as always, you can adapt this to your taste and add some grated Pecorino Romano if you wish. I had my pesto with mini rigatoni pasta, and long fusilli. This recipe also works well as a dip with pita chips (or so I’m told by a ginger from Nebraska [he seems trustworthy enough ;)]). Enjoy!

  • Trimmed, washed broccoli florets from one head of broccoli
  • 1-2 cloves garlic
  • 1/3 – 1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/4 cup roasted almonds (optional)
  • Handful of rinsed basil leaves
  • Crushed red pepper to taste
  • Salt, pepper to taste
  • 1/4 cup of Pecorino Romano cheese (if using)

Trim and wash broccoli florets. You can either steam them in the microwave or in a steamer on the stove. I chose the lazy route (hello, less dishes to wash) and steamed them in a bowl in a bit of water in the microwave. Steam until they’re bright green (not mushy!). Add florets, basil leaves, almonds (if using), olive oil, crushed red pepper, garlic to the bowl of the food processor. Pulse until ground and just combined. You may find that you’ll need to add more olive oil at this point. Season to your liking. Consume!