Today I’m taking a break from desserts to share this Roasted Carrot Salad.
Even though I love sweets and serve up lots of recipes for them here on Inspired by Charm, I have been dieting for the past month or so. In fact, I went back on Jenny Craig (with whom I partnered last year). The program worked well for me then, so I thought I’d give it a go again. To date, I’m down about 12 pounds, but my hope is to lose even more.
When it comes to food, I’m all about balance. Yesterday I shared a decadent cake recipe. Despite being on a diet, you can bet I enjoyed a couple pieces of that cake. Yes, I ate less for lunch and dinner and worked my butt off on the treadmill, but I wasn’t missing out on Cream Puff Cake.
Through my dieting, I’ve noticed what a difference eating lots of fresh greens and veggies can have on my mood, energy level, and general sense of well being. As a result, I’ve been choosing to have vegetables whenever possible, even if I’d rather eat cake all day every day.
The great thing about veggies is that they can take on fabulous flavors, depending on how you prepare them. Roasting them is one of my favorite methods. It brings out the sweetness, and it is almost effortless as you’ll see in my Roasted Carrot Salad. You just need olive oil, spices, and salt and pepper.
One of the best things about this salad is that it involves a little blue cheese. – I’m game for anything with a sprinkle of blue cheese. (If you prefer gorgonzola, goat cheese, or feta cheese, use one of those instead. This is an adaptable recipe.)
You’ll find that this salad is also easy to prepare. The main work is peeling, slicing, and roasting the carrots. The rest of the ingredients just get tossed together.
While this salad is best served as a side dish, you could toss in cubed or shredded chicken to make it a meal.
Whatever you do, I think you’ll love the combination of flavors as much as I do. The sweetness of the cranberries works beautifully with the tangy blue cheese, the peppery arugula adds a little bite, and the rich look and flavor of the roasted carrots complement everything.
2 pounds carrots, peeled and sliced diagonally
1/2 cup sliced almonds
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
2 tablespoons cider vinegar
2 teaspoons honey
1 (4 ounces) package Danish blue cheese, crumbled
1/2 cup dried cranberries
3 cups arugula
Begin by preheating your oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit. Mix together the carrots, almonds, and garlic on a baking sheet. Drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Toss to coat and spread out in an even layer. Roast the carrots for about 30 minutes until they are soft and the edges start to turn brown. Stir them twice while roasting. Remove from the oven and cool to room temperature.
Transfer the carrots to a large bowl. Drizzle with vinegar and honey. Toss to coat. Add the blue cheese, cranberries, and arugula. Mix gently to combine.
Salad perfected, my friends!
Toss this up for Easter, at your next party, or when you want to fancy up a weeknight meal. It’s a sure winner!