Happy spring! I always think of carrots when I think of spring but this carrot salad is great at any time of year. It’s a great side or light lunch. The fiber-rich raw vegetables are complemented by the warmth of garam masala and cayenne. This recipe is inspired by a lentil recipe I used to make at my first ever cooking job and though I've made many versions over the years, I've never gotten tired of this flavor combination. Enjoy this easy to make colorful crowd pleaser!
3 C packed grated carrots, about 1 pound carrots, washed, grated and packed into the cup to measure (this is approximately half of a standard cuisinart base filled with grated carrots).
1/2 medium sized red cabbage, stem cut out, small diced
1 large red bell pepper, small diced
1 large green bell pepper, small diced
1/2 C raisins
1/2 C cashew pieces, toasted
6 T pumpkin seeds, toasted
1 medium red onion, small diced
1T garam masala
6 T extra virgin olive oil
1/4 C apple cider vinegar
2 T agave, honey, or maple syrup
1+1/2 tsp sea salt
1/4 tsp cayenne
Toast pumpkin seeds and cashews together either on the stove top in a dry skillet on medium low heat, moving the pan until the seeds and nuts have some light brown color, or bake in a 350 F preheated oven for 10 minutes or until nuts and seeds have some light brown color. Wash and prepare vegetables.
In a large bowl, combine prepared carrots, cabbage, peppers, raisins, cashews, pumpkin seeds, and red onion. In a small bowl, whisk together garam masala, olive oil, vinegar, agave, salt and cayenne. Use a rubber scraper to move every drop of the liquid mixture to the veggie mixture. Mix well to combine. Adjust seasoning to taste. Best eaten in 3-4 days.
Yield: about 7 cups
Cayenne is a circulatory stimulant that helps equalize circulation by relieving stagnation and balancing blood distribution, allowing the body to better regulate temperature.
Garam masala is a mix of coriander, cumin, caraway, black pepper, cardamom, cinnamon, nutmeg, and clove. Garam masala is often used with raw vegetables and as a garnish because the sweet spices do not need cooking to be palatable. Recipes for the spice blend can vary.