Part of what draws me to certain cookbooks or blogs (I’m looking at you, Vegan Crunk) is familiar recipes, made in a new way that aligns with my health goals and values. Perhaps I should learn to make these adjustments myself, and maybe one day I will. For now, I’m doing things as the recipes suggest. I’ve tried a lot of new foods and even grown to love some new favorites, but nothing can really replace those long-time favorites, whether it’s a chewy oatmeal cookie or this carrot and raisin salad.
My grandmother would make carrot and raisin salad, a great side dish or snack that could be made with a little or as much carrot as you like and just tossed together on the spot. Grate the carrot, add a dollop of mayonnaise and a generous sprinkle of sugar, and some raisins. The carrots are sweet and the raisins swell with the juices, making this is a good, crunchy sweet salad. Distinctively Southern, Chick-Fil-A offers something like this.
I found a recipe for this salad in a new cookbook I’d been drooling over, The Vegan Soul Kitchen. In his recipe, Bryant Terry replaces the raisins with cranberries (which I did not do) and adds toasted walnuts (which I did add). He fancies it up by calling it “Carrot-Cranberry-Walnut Salad with Creamy Walnut Vinaigrette.” The vinaigrette in the recipe calls for walnut oil, which I did not have and did not buy.
What was most helpful? Replacing the mayo! Duh. I did need a recipe for this as I’ve never used silken tofu and never replaced mayo. Mayo is one of those secret pleasure, but icky-when-I-think-about-it foods for me. So I blended soft silken tofu with some cider vinegar, oil, and Dijon mustard to pour over my grated carrots, raisins, and toasted walnuts.
The dressing was really good – although I did later toss in some sugar – and I’m proud to say that I grated all the carrots by hand without injuring myself.