Friday, November 30, 2012

Splendid Salads: Simple Ginger Carrot Salad

A salad can be so many things - they're a great way to get a mixture of flavors and textures and loads of good nutrition. If you make them yourself, you get to personalize them and ensure that they are actually healthy and not a calorie bomb (no, just because you put a leaf of iceberg lettuce underneath does not make your fried chicken and ranch dressing healthy).

When eating seasonally, you get to enjoy produce at their peak of flavor and nutrition. Now that the weather is turning cold, those delicious baby greens are no longer in season. Of course you can still buy them, but how about mixing things up? One option is to try a different green - Kale Salad is delicious and can be purchased locally very late in the season. Another option is to skip the greens altogether! When my dad was a kid, his mom often just shredded some carrots for a simple sweet salad. I built on that and added some fat for nutrient absoprtion and some seasonings for yummy flavor. Don't be limited my this recipe though, there are a zillion different ways to dress up this simple salad.

Feel free to scale this recipe up for down - if you're cooking for yourself, cut it in half. If feeding a crowd, double or triple it. If you have a food processor with a grating attachment, you'll whiz through the carrots in a jiffy. I used a box grater and did it by hand. A box grater is stable enough that your kids can help too (watch your fingers and knuckles!).

Simple Ginger Carrot Salad
  • 4 carrots
  • 1/4 cup low-fat mayonnaise or yogurt
  • 1 teaspoon lemon juice
  • 4 teaspoons honey
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger (or freshly grated ginger)
  • 1/4 cup chopped walnuts
  • 1/4 cup raisins
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • More raisins and walnut halves, for decoration if you wish
  1. Grate carrots using a hand grater or your food processor
  2. In the bottom of a large bowl, whisk together your dressing ingredients. Add carrots, walnuts and raisins and toss to coat. Taste and adjust seasons as your taste buds desire. 
No need to peel carrots. Leave on the tops too - they make a great handle when grating by hand and help prevent waste.  Do cut off if using food processor
Delicious, kid friendly and ready in a flash!

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