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Asian-Inspired Sesame Cilantro Carrot Salad (Paleo and Vegetarian!)

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Finally – another recipe! It’s been two weeks since I’ve posted a recipe because last week I shared why I log my food and macros and how to get started logging your own food. I’m excited to be sharing a recipe that’s been on the list of recipes to publish for a few weeks now!

This Asian-inspired sesame and cilantro carrot salad is a variation on a carrot salad I had at a potluck picnic about a month ago. I pretty much can’t eat a dish (even my own creations!) without thinking about how I might change it up. This carrot salad was particularly appealing because I realized with a couple quick changes it could easily become Paleo, and it was already vegetarian. Just leave out the honey and it becomes vegan, too!

Sesame Cilantro Carrot Salad (Paleo & Vegetarian!)You do make carrot “noodles” for this recipe, but the neat thing is that it’s best to use a peeler. You don’t need a spiralizer, mandoline slicer, or anything difficult to find. It does really help if you nave a “Y” peeler, though. My favorites are the Kuhn Rikon Swiss peelers – I have a whole set!

carrots and Swiss peelerThe only “tricky” part of this entire recipe is peeling the carrots into strips. Once the carrots are ready, you simply mix the dressing, then toss the dressing, carrots, and cilantro together in a bowl! This salad holds up pretty well overnight, too, so it’s a great make ahead choice.

Vegeatian Sesame Cilantro Carrot SaladAs you know from my posts on tracking food, I am all about weighing ingredients. I used 4 medium/large carrots for this recipe. So what does that actually equate to? The whole carrots weighed about 1.5 pounds, but I didn’t peel all the way through the core on each carrot, so the finished weight was about 1 1/4 pounds. If your carrots have woody/tough inner cores, you’ll probably want to skip using them, too.

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Asian-Inspired Sesame Cilantro Carrot Salad (Paleo and Vegetarian!)
Prep time: 
Total time: 
  • 4 or 5 medium/large carrots (about 1.5 pounds of whole carrots)
  • 2 tablespoons roasted sesame seeds
  • 2 tablespoons rice vinegar
  • 2 teaspoons ginger puree, or about 1 teaspoon dried ginger powder (or to taste!)
  • 1 tablespoon honey
  • 1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar (I use Braggs)
  • 1 teaspoon sesame oil
  • ½ teaspoon red pepper flakes (or to taste)
  • ¼ teaspoon kosher salt
  • ½ cup cilantro, roughly chopped
  1. Wash and scrub the carrots. Peel away the outer layer of skin and discard.
  2. Carefully make long ribbons of carrot using the peeler, rotating the carrot as needed. It's easy easier than it sounds and should only take a few minutes! Place carrot "noodles" in a medium bowl.
  3. Combine all the remaining ingredients, except cilantro, in a small bowl and whisk vigorously to combine.
  4. Add the cilantro and dressing to the carrots and toss to thoroughly coat the carrots with dressing.
  5. Serve immediately or store in the fridge in an air-tight container or covered with plastic wrap until you're ready to enjoy.

Yes, that really is it! So simple, but the flavors are wonderful. If you have “good” carrots, they will taste sweet compared to the vinegar, so the carrot salad will be sweet, sour, spicy, and nutty all at the same time! What a delicious combination.

Asian-inspired Sesame Cilantro Carrot Salad

I’m really looking forward to trying this one out on my husband when he gets home. He enjoys eating vegetables, but doesn’t usually like them cooked. I’m always on the lookout for new ways to prepare raw vegetables in interesting ways! What’s your favorite “not normal salad” way to serve uncooked veggies?


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{ 8 comments… add one }
  • Lana June 10, 2015, 03:31

    I love this recipes … it is remind me my favorite salad from Russia (I will try to posted one day as well). I use rice vinegar almost exclusively in every salad I eat. Love it! This is will be ( with little alternation) in my to do list for sure!!! Thank you for sharing!

    • Natashalh June 10, 2015, 06:25

      My high school boyfriend was a Russian immigrant and I remember some salads with vinegar at his house! I also remember this one with carrots and fish. I expected it to be really gross, but I actually liked it a lot.

      • Lana June 14, 2015, 02:22

        I think you refer to a “salad under coat”… or “mimosa” ( like a drink orange juice and champagne here… same name 🙂

  • Duni June 10, 2015, 03:50

    Yum! So refreshing, I love carrots 🙂 I’ve been meaning to get this great tool that can cut carrots and other veg into thin strips/spirals quickly and easily.

    • Natashalh June 10, 2015, 06:28

      Here people usually call them spiralizers. Sounds like of like a made up word! I’ve thought about them, too, but I haven’t found one I really like yet.

  • Marieken June 10, 2015, 08:02

    Yum! I can imagine this must be very tasty. And I love cilantro! I sometimes make a salad from carrots, pieces of orange, a bit of raisins, and walnuts.

    • Natashalh June 11, 2015, 05:58

      Raisins and carrots are always a great combo! I haven’t tried adding walnuts and oranges, though. I need to try that! Sounds great.

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