These lovely April days, when the temperature is getting hot enough to make being outside a pleasure but being inside with the windows open just on the borderline of too stuffy and uncomfortable, I’m choosing more and more often to skip cooking altogether and make a meal of salad. The last thing I want to do after a day spent working in the garden is stir a steaming pot on a hot stove. So, if it can be made by cooler methods—chopping vegetables, opening cans, whisking dressings—then I’m all for it. Hummus and green salad is my standard no-cook (or pre-cooked) meal, but when I have time, I love to indulge in chickpea salads, coleslaws, grain salads, and various vegetable salads.
So when Tamara H. wrote in to rave about the Spicy Carrot Salad on my website, I just had to give it a try. If you don’t know, Fatfree Vegan Recipes is my main website, which I started before this blog, and though a few of the recipes there are mine, most of them were contributed by other people. I used to try to make one website recipe each week, but now most of my time is spent trying to come up with my own original dishes. When Tamara reported that the carrot salad was a hit at a family reunion, I decided to test it out on my carrot-salad-loving husband.
As you may know, I’m not a big fan of cilantro, so right away I was adapting the recipe to leave that out. And of course, instead of regular paprika, I had to use my favorite ingredient, smoked paprika. I decided to give my new jar of spicy smoked paprika a try, so instead of paprika and cayenne, I used it. The salad was good, but tart for our tastes, so I added a little agave nectar. It was a hit!
But, of course, I couldn’t leave well enough alone. Figuring that if lemon juice and agave nectar were good, orange juice would be even better, I made the salad again the next day. This time I left out the raisins and included sections of clementine oranges. It was heavenly! It’s sweet and spicy, and best of all, I love the little burst of juice when I bite into one of the clementines.
Spicy Carrot Salad
Ground flax seed acts as a thickener for the dressing while providing healthy Omega-3 fatty acids.
- 2 teaspoons ground flax seeds
- 2 tablespoons hot water
- 1/4 cup orange juice
- 2 tablespoons fruit vinegar (I used pear vinegar, but apple cider or white wine vinegar will do)
- 1/2 teaspoon spicy Spanish paprika (or 1/4 teas. paprika plus 1/4 tsp. cayenne)
- 1/4 teaspoon cumin
- 4 cups grated carrots (about 4 large carrots)
- 4 clementines (small seedless oranges), peeled and sectioned
- 2 tablespoons walnuts (optional)
- Put the ground flax seeds in a small bowl and add the hot water. Stir and allow to sit until thickened, about 5-10 minutes. The add orange juice, vinegar, paprika, and cumin.
- Grate the carrots. Put them in a bowl and immediately add the dressing and mix well. Fold in the clementine sections and sprinkle with walnuts. Serve cold or at room temperature.
Preparation time: 15 minute(s) | Cooking time: 0 minute(s)
Number of servings (yield): 4
Makes 4 servings. Per serving (with walnuts): 153 Calories (kcal); 3g Total Fat; (17% calories from fat); 4g Protein; 31g Carbohydrate; 0mg Cholesterol; 43mg Sodium; 7g Fiber.
Per serving (without walnuts): 130 Calories (kcal); 1g Total Fat; (6% calories from fat); 3g Protein; 30g Carbohydrate; 0mg Cholesterol; 43mg Sodium; 7g Fiber.