Tag Archive | carrots

Stringy Salad with Spicy Asian Vinaigrette

 

Asian Vinaigrette

You have heard me rant about eating salads in the wintertime. This is a salad that I actually look forward to at this time of year. It’s loaded with crunchy-type vegetables whose freshness doesn’t get compromised in the winter and it’s an easy way to overload on raw vegetables at a time when you’re craving slow cooked comfort foods.

Any hard vegetables would work, but the combination that I love is: green cabbage, zucchini, radishes, shallots, and carrots. Even more exciting than the combination of veggies is the fun stringiness! There’s something thrilling about being able to twirl a salad. The stringiness also let’s me enjoy radishes, a root vegetable I consider extremely boring.

It is all tied together with a spicy Asian vinaigrette with a hint of sweetness and hit of ginger that takes this salad over the top. Finished with chopped roasted peanuts, fresh coriander, and black sesame seeds, it’s a crunchy, medley of veggie heaven. Served with a side of tofu, it’s as low carb as I get and a quick weeknight meal.

Here’s hoping to spice things up in 2015. Happy new year everyone!

Serves 4

Ingredients:

 Salad:
 Cabbage, green, shredded  4 cups
 Zucchini, large, julienned  2
 Carrots, large, spiralled  2
 Radish, large, spiralled  1 (or 3 small)
 Shallot, sliced thinly  1/4
 Coriander, fresh, chopped
 Peanuts, chopped, roasted  1/2 cup
 Sesame seeds, black
Vinaigrette:
 Sesame oil, pure  1 tbsp
 Canola oil  1 tbsp
 Lime juice  2.5 tbsp
 Hot sauce  1 tbsp
 Tamari  2 tsp
 Garlic, clove, minced  1
 Ginger, fresh, grated  2 tsp
 Maple syrup  2 tbsp
 Tofu:
 Tofu, soft  2 lbs
 Canola oil
 Tamari  2 tbsp

1. Prepare vegetables. Thinly slice the cabbage and shallot. Use spiral cutter to cut carrots and radish into long, stringy spirals. Use a julienne-type kitchen contraption to cut zucchini (not inner seedy flesh) into long, thin strips.

2. To toast the peanuts, over medium heat in a small sautee pan, heat nuts stirring often. It only takes 3-4 minutes. Remove from heat and roughly chop once cooled.

3. For the vinaigrette, in a small bowl, combine vinaigrette ingredients.

4. For the tofu, slice the tofu into bite-sized cubes. Cover a large frying pan with a thin layer of canola oil. Heat pan over medium heat and add tofu cubes. Cook until golden on all sides. Remove from heat and toss in a couple tablespoons of tamari and prepared vinaigrette.

5. To assemble, place all shredded and sliced vegetables in a large bowl, mixing to ensure they are well-combined. Toss with vinaigrette (there will be vinaigrette left over so taste as you add vinaigrette). Sprinkle with chopped coriander, toasted peanuts, and black sesame seeds. Divide the salad between 4 plates and serve with 10-12 cubes of dressed tofu on the side.

 

 

Carrot Juice Cocktail

 

Carrot Juice Cocktail

I know I have said that there are very few vegetables I don’t like, namely celery, but I have decided that I need to add carrots to the list too. I’m ok with roasted carrots, but really don’t enjoy boiled or steamed carrots. Even in stir-fries, carrots are the last vegetable I eat. As for raw carrots, I rarely take them to work as a snack and when I do, they tend to come back home with me.

So how have I discovered this? My veggie box. I realized I would have a very strong reaction to the 3 lb bag of carrots I’d receive. Even though my husband eats carrots galore, he would let the carrots sit in the fridge opting instead to eat the store bought pre-cut ones!

My solution? This carrot juice cocktail. I have really been enjoying my vegetable cocktails this summer. They have all the taste without the added sugar! This one is splendidly sweet, especially with the little help from the peach managing to offset the carrot, without tasting peachy. The freshly grated ginger provides just a hint of heat and the coriander adds depth, that certain ‘je ne sais quoi’ that has a presence, though you hardly know it’s even there.

You don’t have to juice your own carrots. There are plenty of carrot juice varieties out there. If you are juicing, you’ll need 3 lbs of carrots (yield 3 cups of carrot juice).

It’s a great thirst quencher, with all the sweetness, just lots more nutrients. The perfect drink for those lingering hot summer days.

Serves 3

Ingredients:

Juice, carrot 3 cups
Peach, cut into chunks  1
 Ice, cubes  28
 Milk (works really well with soy or almond milk)  1/2 cup
Cilantro, sprigs  6
Ginger, fresh, grated  1 tsp

1. In a blender, combine all ingredients using the PUREE function until all ingredients are well blended and no carrot chunks remain. Pour into 3-20 oz glasses. (Depending on the size of your blender, you may need to half the ingredients and run them through your blender two separate times.)

Winter Salad

Winter Salad

You’ve heard me rant about leafy winter greens, especially those consumed raw in salads. Even when you do manage to get them in pretty good condition, they don’t quite taste the same, understandably so. They’re not in season.

Does that mean I stop eating salads in the wintertime? Absolutely not! It just means I need to think about salads a little differently.

I made this recipe for my mom during her visit and she loved it, so much so, that upon returning home, she went out and bought yellow beets, kohlrabi, and carrots to replicate the salad. It was nice to hear my mom say that as much as she loves salads, she gets tired of eating the same thing all the time. I love the classic Italian salad (olive oil and red vinegar with dried oregano and a touch of salt), but I too need variety. There hasn’t been a salad that I have experimented with that my mom hasn’t liked. I take the opportunity to try new ideas out each time she visits.

So what makes this salad special? The crunch and the robust distinctness of each of these hardy vegetables. Having removed the leafy greens entirely, it’s literally a play of crunch, greatly enhanced by the different cuts (mandolin slicing, strings, and sticks), and the interplay between the unique flavours of the select hard vegetables.

Over the week, I presented this salad in many ways, but my favourite was on a long plate in bunches by vegetable. It really allows you to appreciate the specialty of each vegetable; the salad gets lost in a melange. So, you can eat by bunch of vegetable or by bite by vegetable. Either way, savour the distinctness of each vegetable.

Each of these vegetables has a unique personality, so the only vinegar that could stand up to the collective robustness of the vegetables was the crispness of champagne vinegar (white wine vinegar works well too) and the only other thing the veggies needed were the sweetness of the chives and the little hit of heat from the chill pepper.

This is one of my favourite salads. Consisting mostly of root vegetables, it is not only satisfying, but yummy crunchy!

Serves 2

Ingredients:

Fennel, bulb, sliced (preferably with a mandolin)  1/2
Endive, leaves  10
Beets, orange, medium, sliced (preferably with a mandolin)  2
Carrots, small, cut into swirls  2 (or 1 large one)
Kohlrabi, medium, cut into sticks  1
Chive Vinaigrette:
Olive oil 4 tbsp
Vinegar, champagne 2 tbsp
Mustard, Dijon 1/2 tsp
Chives, chopped, sprigs 10 + more for garnishing
Pepper, chile, small, hot, chopped (seeds removed) 1
Garlic, clove 1
Salt 1/4 tsp
Black pepper 1/4 tsp

1. Using a hand blender, combine all vinaigrette ingredients until the chives and chili pepper are pureed.

2.  Slice and chop all the veggies. Divide ingredients in half and display vegetables in a pile separately on a plate. Drizzle with vinaigrette. Garnish with chives.