To blanch the broccoli, bring water to boil in a large pot. Add the broccoli florets and cook just until they turn bright green, no longer than 1-2 minutes. Drain immediately in a colander and rinse with cold water to stop the cooking.
To make the dressing
Add the oil free mayo ingredients to a food processor or blender (a high speed blender is best for the cashew version.) Add the maple syrup and rice vinegar, and process until creamy. (If using store-bought mayo, just whisk the ingredients together in a bowl.)
To make the smoky almonds
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit and place a rack in the center of the oven. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
In a medium bowl, whisk together the tamari, apple cider vinegar, maple syrup and liquid smoke. Add the raw almonds and toss together. Remove the almonds (leave any excess marinade in the bowl) and spread them out on the baking sheet.
Place on a rack in the center of the oven and roast at 350 degrees for 10-15 minutes, turning them over halfway through cooking.
When the almonds are cooked, chop half and leave the rest whole (if desired).
To assemble the salad
In a large mixing bowl, add all of the ingredients (except the whole almondand toss together until everything is coated with the dressing. Place in a serving dish and sprinkle the whole almonds on top.
Nutrition information shown is approximate and is for the tofu-based mayonnaise.If making tofu mayonnaise, I recommend using extra firm Silken tofu for this recipe.Tips for making this recipe:
For efficiency, make the dressing and blanch the broccoli while the almonds are roasting.
To save time - you can skip blanching the broccoli, buy prepped produce if you can find it (broccoli florets, shredded carrots, diced onion, etc.) use store bought mayo (may not be oil-free) and use store-bought roasted almonds.
To reduce calories: use tofu based mayo recipe, reduce/eliminate the almonds, reduce/eliminate the maple syrup.