Detox Chopped Salad ♥ Recipe

Detox Chopped Salad, another healthy salad ♥ A Veggie Venture. Vegan, great for potlucks and parties.
Today's chopped salad recipe: An addictive combination of finely chopped broccoli, cauliflower (both or one or the other) and dried fruit, nuts and seeds, bound by a citrus dressing. Great for home as a "refrigerator salad" that keeps for a good week or more but also a great salad to take along to potlucks and parties, ensuring at least one plant-based, satisfying choice. Weight Watchers Friendly. Not just vegan, Vegan Done Real. Naturally Gluten Free.

"I bought a food processor," my sister announced back in November. "We really like this salad recipe I tried. It's great! But you really can't chop everything fine enough by hand."

So curious, I was! What super-special salad recipe would rouse such serious kitchen appliance-temptation?! Turns out, it's just broccoli, cauliflower, dried fruit, some nuts and seeds, all chopped finely and tossed in a no-oil citrus dressing.

Since I already owned the all-important food processor, there was no waiting on an Amazon delivery. But as luck would have it, I did have everything else on hand – so made my sister's Detox Chopped Salad on the spot. And another batch the next week. And then a double batch for Thanksgiving. And another double batch for Christmas Eve! And ...

This is such a refreshing salad, so fresh tasting, with excellent crunch. And it's pretty! I happen to like the all-broccoli or all-cauliflower version better in the looks department but that's just me. It's a real crowd pleaser too, an easy one to make ahead to take along to a potluck or party to balance out all the heavy, high-calorie appetizers or snacks. (Hello, Superbowl parties!)

So here's the question, fellow vegetable lovers. Who else has bought a kitchen appliance for just one recipe? Would you? I knew a guy once who wanted to make a dessert from a St. Louis restaurant (the still much-missed Blue Sky Cafe's chocolate enchiladas, stuffed with fruit and whipped cream, drizzled with caramel sauce) for a dinner party and came home with a skillet (for the chocolate crepes), a heavy saucepan (for the caramel sauce) and, gracious, a Kitchen Aid mixer (for the whipped cream). What extremes will we go to when we really-really-really want to make something?! Who can imagine this?!

While you're thinking on this question, make the Detox Chopped Salad!

But First, for Weight Watchers

ABOUT WEIGHT WATCHERS' NEW FREESTYLE SYSTEM Sigh. Weight Watchers has done it again. It's changed its point system again, it's happening every two years like clockwork. Frankly, with 1700 recipes on A Veggie Venture and Kitchen Parade, my food column, there is no keeping up. My sister tried Freestyle after Christmas and found, oops, that she gained weight – she found that she needs more structure and more limitation than Freestyle offers. But our friend Denise and her husband both love the flexibility and have the smaller jeans to prove that it works. And I guess that's the issue, right, that we need to understand our own needs, weight-wise, effort-wise and maybe especially head-wise, then get on that bandwagon and stick with it. So ...

HOW I COUNT POINTS So I'm going to continue to count points as I always have since way back in 2002 – counting each and every ingredient before applying the Old Points, PointsPlus and SmartPoints calculators. It takes extra effort but I'm also re-calculating the nutrition information, excluding the Freestyle ingredients. Much to my surprise, both A Veggie Venture and Kitchen Parade have lots of existing recipes that fit the Freestyle program perfectly – that's the payoff, it seems, for a life-long dedication to healthy proteins and vegetables. As always, I will also continue to provide complete nutrition information (and weights for ingredients) so that each of us can do the math as we see fit, for what works for them.

FOR WEIGHT WATCHERS How does this sound? Will it work for you? I'm curious about your reaction / experience with Freestyle.


Hands-on time: 25 minutes
Time to table: 25 minutes
Makes about 8-1/2 cups

For the ingredients which need chopping (not all will), chop each one separately in the food processor and use the "pulse" button rather than the "on" button. Aim for small but distinct bites of each ingredient. You really want to avoid one big, over-processed mushy mess. Feel free to adjust the ingredient amounts, including using all broccoli or all cauliflower.

1/2 cup (95g) toasted almonds (about 15 pulses in food processor)
1/2 cup (55g) dried cranberries (about 15 pulses)
1/2 cup (75g) dried apricot (about 15 pulses)
1/2 cup (65g) dried currants (no food processor)
1/2 cup (60g) sunflower seeds (no food processor)

1 broccoli crown (about 225g), trimmed, mostly tender florets (about 15 pulses)
1/2 head cauliflower (about 225), trimmed, mostly tender florets (about 15 pulses)
2 - 3 carrots (about 100g), trimmed and peeled (about 15 pulses)
Big handful arugula (about 50g) (about 25 pulses, arugula and parsley together)
Big handful parsley (about 30g), leaves and stems both okay (about 30g)

4 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
4 tablespoons rice vinegar
4 tablespoons maple syrup or sorghum
1-1/2 teaspoons kosher salt plus more to taste
Pepper to taste

FRUIT & NUTS Yes, get out the food processor! Chop the ingredients in the order listed, collecting each one in a large bowl with lots of room for stirring well. In fact, stir it well now, before adding anything else, this will break up the sticky fruit a bit.

VEGETABLES & GREENS Chop and collect in the large bowl. Stir really well, distributing all the ingredients throughout.

DRESSING Mix the dressing ingredients, toss into the bowl, stirring really well to wet all the ingredients. FYI, the dressing itself will taste really salty, that's because it's seasoning the entire salad.

MAKE-AHEAD While you can definitely serve this salad as soon as it's made, it's also holds really well for several days.

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Alanna Kellogg
Alanna Kellogg

A Veggie Venture is home of "veggie evangelist" Alanna Kellogg and the famous asparagus-to-zucchini Alphabet of Vegetables.


  1. The recipe sounds good, I'll definitely give it a try!

  2. I tried this salad. It's a great recipe!

    1. Songbird ~ So glad you liked it! Thanks for taking a moment to let me know! The funny thing is, I first published this recipe a year ago. If you’re a regular at A Veggie Venture, you might be noticing that I’m working with a developer to upgrade how the site works/functions (mobile friendly, responsive, secure, etc.) -- and somehow, we’re not certain how, this recipe decided to re-publish itself and put itself back on the front page! It’s been a top recipe for several days now! Maybe it’s the site’s way to thank me for the “technology detox”! Haha --

  3. How you came up with this combination of ingredients, I do not know. Please fill me in. But it was so delicious!!! Thank you! I just loved it. We have leftovers and the ingredients to make another batch...yea!

    1. Jan ~ Thank my sister! So glad you liked it, here too!

    2. Just made this salad again. I just love it!

  4. Just had to tell you that the detox salad recipe is awesome! You hear the world detox and think it's one of those "good-for-you" things that takes yucky... It's delicious!!! I will definitely make it again. I also tried the stacked ratatouille recipe and loved it.

    1. Paula ~ So glad you liked it! Thanks for taking the time to let me know about both dishes!


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Thank you for taking a moment to write! I read each and every comment, for each and every recipe, whether a current recipe or a long-ago favorite. If you have a specific question, it's nearly always answered quick-quick. ~ Alanna