GOOD NEWS, ladies and gentlefolk! It’s Day 4 of Whole30 and I am alive.
I’m also crying a bit into my black coffee (I miss you, milk) and my breakfast plate looks strange without its usual peanut butter toast situation, but so far we are surviving — dare I say, thriving?
Truth be told, so far it hasn’t been as hard as I thought it would be. Granted, I know we are like 7.555% of the way done with the program, but still. I take pride in each day accomplished. And I believe I’ve already eaten one thousand eggs, 50 avocados and an entire farmers market’s worth of vegetables. It’s been great you guys, just really really great. Just really, really, really, really…
OK I do miss cheese the most. Like, THE MOST.
But we are moving along. And this carrot sesame salad is coming with us. Because believe it or not, just five ingredients come together in this pretty little number that, when combined, are just dazzling to the tastebuds. (I almost wrote “bedazzling,” as in the BeDazzler. I think I need more black coffee.)
Let me say this right off the bat: I am not, repeat, AM NOT, going to turn this blog into a Whole30 blog from now on, or even for the entire month. I might post recipes, like this one, a few times that happen to be Whole30 compliant, but I’m not going to make a big deal out of it. There will still be plenty o’ carbs and the occasional sweet and other foods that our hearts and our bellies really love. So there. Whew. Glad I got that out.
Now as I was saying, salad. I’m such frenemies with salad, because sometimes I like to think a big, hearty salad will satiate me, but most of the time it just really doesn’t. I can’t lie to myself. No kale salad in the world will satisfy like a juicy burger and fries, let’s be real. But I do love the idea of salad, and I do in fact eat a lot of them — you know, for the leafy greens or whatnot. But I have to be honest when I say that my belly just really wants that burger + fries.
But this salad, you guys. It’s really a game changer. As simple as it is — like, peeled carrots with some oil and lemon juice kind of simple — it’s also incredibly satisfying. The carrots are fresh and crunchy; the toasted sesame oil gives you the fat and umami flavor you crave; the lemon juice brightens it all up; the sesame seeds add texture; and the sea salt adds taste. Throw a dash of chopped parsley on top for color, and voila! Satisfying carrot sesame salad, fo’ yo’ face.
For those of you who eat like dainty rabbits, this salad alone may be a meal for you. But for me, someone whose appetite can often be like that of a linebacker, it’s just a really satisfying springtime side dish to go with something else — lately, things like grass-fed burgers or tuna or avocados or grilled chicken. Sometimes I’ll toss a chopped avocado or salmon into the salad, or add a handful of nuts or seeds, too. Next time I’m at the grocery store, I may pick up some nori to crush and sprinkle over the top, because that just sounds crazy good.
For the next month (and even beyond), this carrot sesame salad and I will be likethis (along with all those eggs and avocados I mentioned).
- 6 medium-large carrots, trimmed and peeled
- 2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice
- 2 teaspoons toasted sesame oil
- 2 teaspoons (or more) sesame seeds
- Pinch of sea salt
- Chopped fresh parsley, for topping (optional)
- Use vegetable peeler to peel carrots into long, thin, wide strips. Add to large bowl along with lemon juice, sesame oil, sesame seeds and sea salt. Toss with tongs to combine.
- Transfer salad to serving plates/bowls. Top with chopped parsley, if desired.