Low Carb, salad, Vegetable

Broccoli Italian Salad


So I took a few weeks sabbatical on accident…Two weeks ago I was having a hard time with getting my eating and working out regimen back on track – and had given in to temptations numerous times and even made a demonically delicious calorie-laden pasta for myself that week as an act of rebellion. An act of rebellion against my health. Makes sense right? Ha. Oh, and about those Cadbury egg cupcakes….yeah, that happened.

Last week I spent a lot of time reading other blogs and reading up on things like the paleo diet and eating clean to help get my mind back on track! Man oh man….it’s hard sometimes! But enough complaining….the truth is I know what I need to do – I know that it makes me feel awesome – so I have to just do it and stop over thinking it!

Long story short….girl’s gotta get a handle on this! Which has led me to a new proclamation – I need to have more food prepared! It’s times when I won’t have any prepared sides in my house and I start craving something to eat right when I get home from work….and whoops – this happens:  – “Is that N’s ice cream in the freezer? Yes, it is – ok I’ll just eat half of the container – he won’t notice.” That’s an exact quote from my head two weeks ago. Whoopsie.

Decision #1: stop eating ice cream…especially when it’s not yours. That’s not nice and not good for weight loss!

Decision #2: remember that this is a process – changes don’t happen overnight. To get to my goal I am going to have a few bumps in the road – just make sure they’re speed bumps and not freaking road blocks!

Decision #3: be happy. Being upset with myself is depressing, and I don’t like to be depressed. I’d much rather be happy.

Those 3 items (and to be honest…I could list like 25 more, but I will save those for my next rant) transition perfectly into my recipe post: a delicious, healthy, low carb, low fat side dish: Broccoli Italian Salad. This is inspired from a pasta salad that my mom makes during the summer….and I love it. And was craving it – but in an effort to reduce carbohydrates – pasta is out for me. So I started thinking about a way to get the great flavor without cheating – and this was my solution – to use broccoli instead! I wasn’t sure how much I’d like it – turns out it’s perfect!

Here’s what you’ll need: Broccoli, cheddar cheese (the sharper the better in my opinion), 2 cans black olives, cucumber (I had those cute small ones), and turkey pepperoni.

Simply cut the broccoli florets off and cook in boiling water or steam until tender. About 5 minutes. After the broccoli is finished cooking – make sure to drain completely and dry on a few paper towels. This will allow the salad dressing to stick to the broccoli and not be watered down.

Then chop the turkey pepperoni and olives in half and the cheese and cucumber into small slices.

Note: any dressing you like will be fine – I prefer traditional Italian – just make sure that you don’t get one with too many sugars – b/c that would defeat the purpose of using the broccoli! I used light versus regular….light dressings are ok – fat free ones taste totally gross to me!

Finally, toss the chopped ingredients with the drained and cooked broccoli and pour the dressing over. Simple. Super simple. And a perfect salad to have in the fridge to eat as a main or as a side dish.This salad is perfect to keep in the fridge to have as a snack before gym in the evenings. It’s perfect as lunch too because it’s filling and delicious. Enjoy!

Broccoli Italian Salad
Serves 6 as side


2 heads of broccoli
6 ounces sharp cheddar cheese
4 ounces turkey pepperoni
3 kirby cucumber or ¾ English cucumber
2 cans extra-large pitted black olives
5 ounces light Italian dressing

  1. Directions
    Simply cut the broccoli florets off and cook in boiling water or steam until tender – About 5 minutes.
  2. Drain broccoli and pat dry with towel.
  3. Chop the turkey pepperoni and olives in half and the cheese and cucumber into bite-size slices.
  4. Mix all ingredients with the the cooked broccoli and pour the salad dressing over.
  5. Toss all ingredients to cover with the dressing….and enjoy!


  1. Joan Budnick

    What a wondrful idea. I never liked broccoli salad because it was raw and tasteless.
    I am certainly going to try this recipe. I think I will include chicken in mine, since
    pepperoni is on my no-no list. Joan B.

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