Mayo-Free Broccoli Salad & My Baby Shower

Mayo-Free Broccoli Salad

Alex and I have begun a new salad tradition– on Sundays, we make mega-salads for lunch. Usually a combination of a salads like this mayo-free broccoli salad, piled onto a crunchy bed of greens, with whatever fresh veggies I’ve cut up as a part of our meal prep. If we have leftover chicken, that goes on top- otherwise I’ll poach a couple of eggs for a protein boost. We both look forward to the massive dose of veggies, and it motivates me to get veggies prepped for easy lunches and dinners.

When I told Alex I was making an effort to eat healthier (back to my normal diet after eating some not-so-normal-for-Michelle foods during the 1st trimester), he was glad, but was skeptical when I told him one of my biggest motivators was knowing that this baby’s tastes are developing right now. What I eat, he will most likely show a preference for when he begins to eat solids. [source]

I had to pull up several research articles to prove this to him! Most important to me is eating a lot of vegetables, especially stronger tasting ones, like broccoli, asparagus, and cabbage. I figure most babies naturally prefer sweet foods, like sweet potatoes, carrots, and fruit.

It’s important to both of us that our child grows up a healthy eater. I know many people who eat healthy themselves, but still have very picky children. It’s easy for me to say right now that will never happen to my child, but I do know you can’t control everything. What I can do is introduce him to lots of healthy foods, starting with while he’s still developing inside me. Another thing we plan to do? Not let him know (as a baby and toddler) that “not-healthy” foods, like fast food, chips, processed foods, even exist. How can a baby prefer foods they’ve never had?

My theory is that as he grows older, and it becomes harder to control his diet, he will be so used to healthy foods that non-healthy options will make him feel sick– and natural consequences will keep him on the right track!

Ingredients in Broccoli Salad

Last weekend, I had a very special baby shower, put on by my friends at work. In the States, it wouldn’t have been such a big deal that they were able to find so many pirate themed decorations and gifts, but here in Malaysia, shopping is much more difficult. Walking in to the party, and seeing these balloons and decorations, it meant so much to me knowing how much effort they needed to put in to make all this happen.

Pirate Theme

When Alex saw these balloons, he excitedly asked how we could make them last until August. “Uh, we don’t. You do realize these are for us, not for the baby, right?”

And these cupcakes were a show-stealer!

pirate cupcakes

One of my dear friends found this pirate fabric, and decided she had to make me this baby blanket– something this baby will love for years to come!

pirate blanket

When we first started planning baby boy’s nursery, the theme was just nautical– because of Alex’s love of sailing. When cute little pirate images started popping up on Pinterest, I knew we had to work a few into the room decor. Now, treasure map swim trunks, and Ahoy! Matey shirts have taken over this child’s wardrobe.


My friends decided to make recipes from Vitamin Sunshine for the party. I was thrilled to see so many of my favorites! They made:

group shot

In addition to all the wonderful food and gifts, I also got a lot of advice from many of them who are already mothers. A very special afternoon!

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Mayo-Free Broccoli Salad
Prep time
Total time
Broccoli salads and all the beautiful toppings always look so wonderful-- except for my strong hatred for mayo! This salad has all the great mix-ins, with a light champagne vinaigrette. It's a great make-ahead dish, as the broccoli tastes better after it's been soaking in the dressing for a day. Just be sure to keep the other ingredients separate, and mix-in right before serving.
Serves: 8 cups
  • 6 cups fresh broccoli, finely chopped
  • 1 red bell pepper, finely chopped
  • 1 cup grapes, halved
  • ½ cup cashews, roasted
  • ¼ cup golden raisins
  • ¼ cup cheddar cheese, cut into small cubes
  • ¼ cup tablespoons olive oil
  • ¼ cup + 1 tablespoon champagne vinegar
  • 1½ tablespoons lemon juice
  • ½ teaspoon honey
  • ½ teaspoon mustard powder
  • pinch of sea salt
  1. Mix all the dressing ingredients together, and shake well.
  2. In a storage container, add the finely chopped broccoli and top with dressing. Mix well, then refrigerate for at least an hour, up to overnight.
  3. Prepare all the mix-in ingredients.
  4. If preparing ahead of time, keep the cashews, cheese, and raisins stored individually, The bell peppers and grapes can stored together.
  5. Right before serving, add all the mix-ins, and combine.

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