Seriously, if I actually made half of the things that I bookmark or print from the Internet or tear out of a magazine, I would be cooking 24 hours a day / 7 days a week. And, that really doesn’t sound too terrible when I think about it. It’s just that little thing called my day job always interfering with my cooking habit… if only work didn’t get in the way of play! I would hands down prefer to be in my kitchen all day manufacturing culinary nirvana than commuting to my day job as a cubicle monkey. [sigh] But, the latter pays the bills…
Anyhow, a rather large blog that I follow, bookmark recipes from, and regularly drool over, is Smitten Kitchen. Her site is full of fresh and inspiring recipes and witty little quips that keep me coming back for more. It was her recent post about this soup, in particular, that got me thinking about a carrot-ginger dressing I enjoyed from this past summer’s cleanse. At the time, my detox inspired a post about a surprisingly tasty sweet pea and basil soup that was also part of the plan, but I haven’t had the opportunity or mindfulness to blog about the other winner from my cleansing experience until today.
Now, I’m guessing your pretty little heart sunk a bit and expectations basically plummeted at the mention of me sharing a “cleanse” recipe with you. That word neither inspires excitement among crowds nor instills confidence in a recipe. Please, bear with me and have a little faith. I take care of you, don’t I?
In today’s recipe, I bring you a sunny, vibrant, and healthy carrot-ginger dressing. And, yes, it packs flavor that is as bright and fresh as its color! It’s not the consistency of dressing in a traditional sense in that it’s super chunky, but it still holds onto the greens and disperses just as well when tossed around. In addition, as my friend, Gwyneth, mentions, it can also be used as a vegetable dip, making it super versatile. I added some cilantro and tossed it with some buttery soft lettuce, pungent red onions, creamy avocado (it’s the season!), and pan-seared tofu. Carnivores, feel free to swap in whatever animal protein your heart desires in lieu of tofu. I went with this bouncy bean curd in an effort to create a perfectly tasty meatless Monday meal. Plus, I truly enjoy tofu as a regular part of my diet – it’s loaded with protein, takes on whatever flavors you mix it with, and sears up to a crisp brown in no time.
Carrot – Ginger Dressing
Slightly adapted from Gwyneth Paltrow’s GOOP.com recipe
serves 6 +
4 medium carrots, peeled and roughly chopped
1 large shallot, peeled and roughly chopped
3 Tbsp. roughly chopped
2 Tbsp. sweet white miso
3 Tbsp. rice wine vinegar
1 Tbsp. sesame seed oil
1/4 cup + 1 Tbsp. grapeseed oil
2 Tbsp. water
1/4 cup roughly chopped cilantro (optional)
Pulse the carrot, shallot, and ginger in a blender until finely chopped. Scrape down the sides, add the miso, vinegar, and sesame seed oil and blend together. While the blender is going, slowly drizzle in the grapeseed oil and the water.
For the salad
Serves 2 as a main dish
1 block of extra firm tofu
Extra virgin olive oil
1 head of butter lettuce, roughly cut
4 thin slices of red onion
1/2 an avocado, diced
Drain a block of extra firm tofu and pan sear some rectangular chunks, about 1-inch long and 1/2-inch thick, in a dry non-stick skillet until crispy. Toss in a bowl with a drizzle of extra virgin olive oil and a pinch each of salt and pepper. Combine the lettuce, onion, and avocado in a medium bowl. Distribute evenly on two plates. Top with tofu chunks and drizzle with plenty of carrot-ginger dressing. Serve immediately.
- Carrot size varies. If you feel your dressing is too thick, add water and oil by the tablespoonful until you hit the consistency you like. You can always punch it up again with a splash of vinegar.