Vegan Versions: Sunshine Carrot Salad

by Maria Theresa Maggi on February 24, 2014

Sunshine Carrot Salad

As you may remember from my last post, I still had some of those little baby carrots left over from the art opening after I made the Apple Carrot Amaranth Bake–about 3/4 of a pound, to be exact. I had recently revisited Susan’s lovely recipe for Carrot Cashew Salad, and the detail of putting the cut lengths of carrots horizontally into the food processor for shredding had stuck with me. I realized that these baby carrots were already a size that would fit perfectly if I were to try and stack them horizontally into the feed tube.

Before I go any further with this, I want to say that this “vegan version” is a blatant case of me fiddling with a perfectly good recipe. So if you have picky eaters at your house, or you’re not as cashew-shy as I am because of their high saturated fat content, then by all means click on over to Susan’s Cashew Carrot Salad, which is the true original, and make that one.  You’ll get a creamy tasty slaw that won’t disappoint.

But if you want to follow me into fiddling territory, I’ll share with you a slightly lower fat version that uses just a tablespoon of cashews (which is what I found on my shelf) and another 2 tablespoons of unsalted pistachio nuts (which I also found on my shelf). I also wanted to fiddle with adding some “grown-up” seasonings, and a couple of other surprises too. These things may not be picky kid friendly, but they make for a delicious combination of (again) somewhat unusual tastes. And all with things I had on hand.


You might be wondering why in the world I have such an exotic ingredient as fresh pineapple chunks “on hand.” As I mention in my post Power to the Pineapple, fresh pineapple is chock full of anti-inflammatory micronutrients. I feel their benefit instantly. And it’s not that labor intensive to eat a little pineapple every day either. Or expensive. Here’s what I do. I buy a half of an organic pineapple. (The Co-op regularly offers this, and if one isn’t cut in half, they’ll do it for me.) Each morning I put it face down and slice a slice or two off. I trim it and chop it up to put in my breakfast or my lunch bowl. It keeps really well with the rind still on until I’m ready to slice another slice off, and I get a little shot of pineapple medicine every day for about a week. And for only about $1.99 a pound, far far away from where organic pineapples grow. I thank everyone who grew them with every luscious bite. They add sunshine to my winter meals, which is why I call this Sunshine Carrot Salad. If you don’t like pineapple for some unfathomable reason, but you like mangoes, and they are affordable where you are, I think a little mango in this salad would bring its own kind of wonderful sunshine to your taste buds.

I ate the last bit of this salad as the top layer in a bowl of kale massaged with a bit of mashed sweet potato, carob powder and pear-cinnamon infused vinegar, some leftover black beans, and warm amaranth. To my eclectic taste buds, it was ambrosial. Now that those little carrots are all gone, I might just have to make this again sometime with the big ones.

Maria (moonwatcher)

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{ 9 comments… read them below or add one }

1 veggiequest February 24, 2014 at 6:50 pm

Maria, I love that you made this low fat! I’m trying to keep my fat intake down these days to see if it helps with a health issue I’m working on. (So far, so good!) Looking forward to trying it. 🙂


2 moonwatcher February 24, 2014 at 7:38 pm

Hi Lee–Thank you! I’m glad to hear you’re interested in a lower fat version. Also glad to hear keeping your fat intake down is helping with a health issue you’re working on. It’s been gold for me to do that. I’m thinking of fiddling with this even further and perhaps trying a dressing using Susan’s strategy in her latest salad dressing recipe, only adding some mango to puree. So something like almond milk mango and some golden flax. Then just putting a tbs of pistachios into the actual salad. It’s fun to fiddle and come up with something tasty and lower in fat!


3 Veronica February 25, 2014 at 9:20 am

This looks wonderful! Susan’s original recipe is also fantastic, but I like how you made this your own with things on hand. Adding the pineapple (or mango) sounds so tasty. Next time I have some carrots left over that I don’t know what to do with, I’ll definitely try this! And low in fat, high in flavor is never wrong. 🙂


4 moonwatcher February 25, 2014 at 10:41 am

Thanks Veronica! Sometimes I feel like i’m on my own low fat island, so it’s always nice to hear that low in fat, high in flavor is never wrong. 🙂


5 Cheryl February 25, 2014 at 10:36 am

Hi Maria,
Thank you for posting this. I just made it and YUM!!!
I didn’t have any pineapple but did have some frozen Persimons and the worked as well. Also, I like the seasoning combination very much. Thank you! 🙂


6 moonwatcher February 25, 2014 at 10:42 am

Hi Cheryl, thanks for letting me know you liked it! I love the idea of using frozen persimmons in place of the pineapple. If I had some, I’d definitely try that out. Something to look forward to next Fall. 🙂


7 Nicole O'Shea February 26, 2014 at 12:01 pm

Sounds DELICIOUS! So, my esteemed master-creator-of-recipes…any ideas on how to adapt this if you cannot eat carrots? Do you think zucchini and extra apple might work? How about some fennel? I feel like there is something that could work that is not beets… 😉




8 moonwatcher February 26, 2014 at 4:55 pm

Well, Nicole, I love a challenge so let’s see. . .zucchini and extra apple could work, but I would suggest yellow zucchini or even summer squash for more sweetness. What came to my mind were these two things: good organic jicama–which is crunchy and sweet but not a carrot, and would hold it’s shape well in this salad over time. Also, grated, lightly steamed sweet potato–then you’d get the orange and the sweet and the starch. Let me know if you try to experiment with any of these options, or come up with yet another one!! xo


9 Nicole O'Shea February 28, 2014 at 10:15 am

OOOh, these are excellent ideas! I will experiment and report back! xoxo


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