Have you noticed? Getting down to bare bones in your fridge forces creativity.

It’s time to get to market.  I know because I was scrounging around in the veg bins in my big beautiful 225 lb friend the fridge, looking for that familiar clutch of carrots and chunk of cabbage to toss into the grater for a favorite standby crunchy salad experience for lunch.

But as luck would have it, I’d already downed the last carrot. And the only cabbage to be found was a sorry looking end of what used to be a beautiful big bloom of purple.  Now what?

That’s when the bouquet of broccoli that was staring me in the face raised its hand and asked for a chance at the salad.  Why not?  Maybe you are deft and experienced with broccoli slaw, but me – not so much.  It’s time!

I’m uber-pleased with the result.  Grated broccoli, chopped celery, a splash of color from the kidney beans, and some pumpkin seeds (the jar of my favorite, sunflower seeds, turned up empty as well).

Broccoli bean & pumpkin seed salad

As you know, if a recipe has more than 5 ingredients my eyes start to glaze over.  I love to eat, but cooking – not so much.  I’m also not very good at measuring, so amounts are approximate.

2 stalks broccoli, grated in food processor

4 stalks celery, chopped into bite-size chunks


1 cup kidney beans, rinsed from the can

2 Tablespoons pumpkin seeds, lightly roasted

Dressing:  any sweet-sour type, fat-free that you have.  The classic 3-2-1 works well:

3 parts brown rice vinegar, balsamic vinegar, or any favorite in the vinegar category.  Lemon juice.

2 parts mustard

1 part maple syrup, date syrup, or other sweet component


There you have it!  With a big tomato sammy on the side, we were all set.

Have you ever had a ‘cupboard is bare’ lunch experience that ended in a creative, happy surprise?  Share your story (and recipe idea!) in replies below.  Can’t wait to hear what you’ve cooked up.   Let’s help eachother think outside the usual salad bowl!


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