Meg Starr went off to Stanford for sassy business things, and Annabel decided to move to Boston with her man-friend, leaving Daphne, Lara and me in NYC. Sure, I was happy for the deserters, but I’d also grown accustomed to the five of us living within a 10-block radius, and their moving ruined everything. (I’m just putting that in print in case I need to use it against one of them in the future. Like, “Sorry, I’m running an hour late to dinner. Remember the time you ruined EVERYTHING?!” Boom.)
When Starr and Annabel peaced, it felt like the end of an era. And while we knew everyone would come back to the city in a couple of years, that seemed like an eternity at the time. Given our extreme codependency, how would we survive the split? More importantly, how would we manage the increasing demands of the group text? Would Starr have to keep East Coast hours to stay relevant? So many #whitegirlproblems to consider!
Well, I’m very pleased to report that it wasn’t actually that bad. The past two years practically flew by, and both Starr and Annabel moved back to the West Village last month (!!!). I swear it feels like I made jambalaya yesterday, and it’s almost, almost like they never left. (That said, no one is allowed to move again for at least five years. Stability is important.)
The group is slowly easing back into its old habits (thank God), and last night we had our first official dinner. I brought Quinoa Broccoli Slaw to celebrate…
If you think this slaw doesn’t qualify as a “celebratory” dish, you are very much mistaken. Fresh and tangy with a killer crunch, it’s straight-up delightful and the perfect side for any and all festive occasions, from Sex and The City Night to summer picnics/barbecues. And given that it’s made sans devil’s condiment mayo, it also happens to be significantly lighter and less controversial than your average slaw. Hallelujah.
Speaking of mayo-less wonders, let’s talk nutrition for a hot sec. You know I get all hot and bothered about epic healthy recipes, and this one is a powerhouse, friends. Quinoa and broccoli bring it on the fiber front, plus you get all the glorious antioxidant, anti-inflammatory and detoxifying benefits of the cruciferous vegetable. Carrots provide more essential vitamins and beta-carotene (magic for your skin and eyes), and walnuts and hemp seeds serve up plenty of omega 3s and added protein. In short, this slaw is one of those beautiful superfood situations that will make you smarter and prettier, so you should consider working it into your rapidly expanding repertoire ASAP.
Despite the slaw’s many selling points, I imagine some of you are looking at all the finely chopped things in this recipe and starting to sweat. Please chill. I swear, prepping the slaw is much less miserable and time consuming than it seems. If you have a food processor with a grater attachment (that big metal disk with the holes that you never use), it will make quick work of the broccoli and carrots. No grater attachment? No problem. Just use the regular blade and pulse the broccoli a few times. And those without a food processor (no judgment) can finely chop the florets with a very sharp knife. It will take a few extra minutes, but still, I’m confident you can get through all the hands-on prep in about 20 minutes. I believe in you.
And yes, you may buy pre-packaged broccoli slaw in a pinch. In a PINCH, people.
I’m thrilled to say that this slaw was a great success at last night’s reunion. Since serving a giant green quinoa salad to a group of hungry girls (on a Monday night) elicits the same reaction as surprising Logan with a pile of buffalo chicken fingies, I’m sure you can imagine the compliments, hugs, and general excitement freakouts that took place. Loved it.
Quinoa Broccoli Slaw: (Serves 6-8)
½ cup quinoa
1 pound broccoli florets (1 large head of broccoli)
1½ cups shredded/grated carrots
1 large shallot, finely chopped
2 tablespoons finely chopped chives
1/3 cup chopped walnuts
1/3 cup chopped golden raisins
1 tablespoon hemp seeds (optional)
For the dressing:
4 tablespoons plus ½ teaspoon apple cider vinegar
4 ½ tablespoons plain-non-fat Greek yogurt
4½ tablespoons olive oil
1½ tablespoons Dijon mustard
1½ teaspoons honey
¾ teaspoon kosher salt
¼ teaspoon fresh ground pepper
Preparing your Quinoa Broccoli Slaw:
-Start by cooking your quinoa. Place the quinoa and ¾ cup water in a small pot and bring to a boil. Lower to a simmer, cover with a lid, and cook for 14 minutes until all the liquid has been absorbed. Let the quinoa rest, covered, for 5 minutes, then fluff with a fork. Transfer to a bowl and let cool to room temperature. (Sorry, I forgot to take a picture. You know what cooked quinoa looks like, right?)
-Time to chop the broccoli. You can do this in oh so many ways. If you have a food processor with a grater attachment, definitely use that. If you have a food processor, but no grater attachment, you can use the standard blade and pulse it a few times. No food processor? Use your sharpest knife to finely chop the broccoli. (And if you’re super lazy, you can use 6 cups pre-packaged broccoli slaw. In that case, you wont need to add extra carrots.)
- ½ cup quinoa
- 1 pound broccoli florets (1 large head of broccoli)
- 1½ cups shredded/grated carrots
- 1 large shallot, finely chopped
- 2 tablespoons finely chopped chives
- 1/3 cup chopped walnuts
- 1/3 cup chopped golden raisins
- 1 tablespoon hemp seeds (optional)
- For the dressing:
- 4 tablespoons plus ½ teaspoon apple cider vinegar
- 4 ½ tablespoons plain-non-fat Greek yogurt
- 4½ tablespoons olive oil
- 1½ tablespoons Dijon mustard
- 1½ teaspoons honey
- ¾ teaspoon kosher salt
- ¼ teaspoon fresh ground pepper
- Start by cooking your quinoa. Place the quinoa and ¾ cup water in a small pot and bring to a boil. Lower to a simmer, cover with a lid, and cook for 14 minutes until all the liquid has been absorbed. Let the quinoa rest, covered, for 5 minutes, then fluff with a fork. Transfer to a bowl and let cool to room temperature.
- Time to chop the broccoli. You can do this in oh so many ways. If you have a food processor with a grater attachment, definitely use that. If you have a food processor, but no grater attachment, you can use the standard blade and pulse it a few times. No food processor? Use your sharpest knife to finely chop the broccoli. (And if you’re super lazy, you can use 6 cups pre-packaged broccoli slaw. In that case, you wont need to add extra carrots.)
- Place the broccoli in a large mixing bowl and add the carrots, chives, walnuts, raisins and hemp seeds (if using).
- In a separate bowl, whisk together all the ingredients for the dressing.
- Add the dressing to the slaw and toss to coat. Taste and season with a little more salt and pepper if necessary. Refrigerate for at least 15 minutes to let all those glorious the flavors mingle.
- Transfer to a large bowl or platter and serve.
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