Lunchbox logistics sometimes make me crazy between packing for myself, my husband, and my children, but coming up with an arsenal of ideas seems to make the process a little more manageable. Have you ever found yourself hungry an hour after you eat? It’s no secret, low-fiber and low-fat foods are the biggest culprit behind hunger. With the craziness of back-to-school activities already in full swing, I’m always looking for something new and different to pack for lunch or eat as an early dinner when we’re on the go. Broccoli grown locally in early September tastes simply delicious, maybe that’s why I still see variations of this old Berks County classic at so many local picnics. My mom used to make this salad with nothing but red onion, broccoli, and raisins when I was a kid, and I always loved the simplicity of her version. Today I’m adding apples, blueberries, and some feta cheese to boost the flavor profile.
Low-fiber foods such as refined grains cause sugar levels to spike and then drop rapidly, which means you feel hungry sooner than you would if you ate foods high in fiber such as fresh broccoli. A diet rich in fiber keeps you fuller for longer periods of time since it takes the body longer to digest. Broccoli salad will keep everyone’s belly full and satisfied because the vitamins found in plant foods like broccoli are extremely subtle and complex; the miraculous things that happen inside your body during digestion are maximized by all the vitamins, minerals, and phytonutrients.
My best advice for all the moms out there during the business of September is to remember to breathe, plan ahead, and take some time to read about the connections between what we eat and our environment. My friend Margaret Specht inspired me to write this recipe with this beautiful photo of fresh broccoli from her garden; she writes a lifestyle blog about healthy eating, living a chemical free lifestyle, and the uses and benefits of Essential Oils. Check her out at www.healthymamacado.com.
Spinach, a few bunches
Chopped broccoli (one head)
1 cup blueberries
1/4 cup crumbled feta cheese
1/2 cup raisins or dried cranberries
1 green apple
Juice of 1 lemon (toss with chopped apple to prevent browning)
1/4 cup of sour cream or plain greek yogurt
1/4 cup mayonnaise
1 Tbsp. white vinegar
1 tsp. sugar
Salt and pepper to taste