Carrot Top Salad
So what does a mostly raw food dude take to work for lunch? A carrot top salad of course! The most complete salad we can muster.
This Carrot Top Salad is a good example of my daily packed lunch, nice and quick to prepare and bursting with good textures and flavours. Its one of my favs. You may have noticed the distinct slow down in Beach House posting recently, I’ve been working like a donkey. I need all the energy I can get and this salad is a serious hit of nutrition, flavour and vitality. I feel fully charged after lunch and light as a feather. Non of those post lunch slumps with this salad.
To make this you need carrot tops. To find those you need to go get some real food, most supermarkets won’t sell carrots with the tops on and if they do, god knows where they’ve been and what the poor green things have been exposed to along the way. Go local and find some earth loving types, normally living in peace and happiness somewhere in the middle of a field and ask them which way to the carrots. It should’t take long.
Carrot tops are delicious and full of nutrients, especially chlorophyll. They can be a little bitter, thats the potassium, so at least you know its some good stuff. They make great juice and can even be crushed and used as a mouthwash. They contain a lot of vitamins etc not present in the carrot (like ‘K’ for example). They can be hard going and a little chewy on their own, thats why they are best in this salad. They’re not as sweet as the ‘root’, thats where all the sugar and water goes. So much food is thrown away nowadays and much of these we can re-use or munch on. Please, give these little green beauts a chance!
Glorious local toms
To the salad….I basically combined the fruits, veg and seeds available into a massive salad, stick it in a container and have a jam jar full of dressing (that lasts a few days). I make enough salad for at least two days (excluding the apple, normally added in the morning) and hey presto! LUNCH.
This is a huge salad by general standards, alot goes into it and it’s designed to be a hearty meal. The Carrot Top definitely cannot be termed as a ‘side salad’, this is the main attraction. A word of warning, this takes quite a bit of munching. You need to build up some decent jaw muscles to attempt such a salad.
There are constants in my salad world; dark green leaves make up the majority of it, lots of hard vegetables cubed (for crunch), seeds (lots)and the occasional dried fruit makes an appearance and also a nice easy, tangy dressing. Then that’s me off, for another day in the office/ kitchen/ restaurant/ field/ bridge tunnel or wherever else the money lies!
We have decided to head off to Spain for a few months over the winter months and all the pennies are needed for time in the beautiful Mediterranean sun. Expect some real bright beach posts soon, until that time comes in mid October, its work and salad time for me.
Just for your information, I also scoff two pieces of fruit and a bowlful of nuts and seeds all washed down with a cup of green tea and lots of water. You’ll be glowing afterwards, safe in the knowledge that this lunch time you were very kind to your body.
The only reason we can eat like this is due to Jane and I’s passion for healthy foods. We have buckets of fine pulses and seeds filling up our kitchen. We buy all this stuff in bulk normally and have it to hand. We are lucky. If we are not at home, travelling around etc, it can be tough to get anything like the real ‘Carrot Top’ together.
Kale takes a bath
This makes two large pots of salad, good for two lunches at least.
Salad – 1 apple (or pear), 2 carrot, 1/2 cucumber (pickled or not, I like either), 1 courgette, 1 beetroot (all cubed), 2 handfuls of carrot tops (finely chopped), 2 big handfuls of beetroot leaves or green cabbage or kale (chopped), 1/2 handful of raisins, 1/2 handful of pumpkin seeds, 1/2 handful of sunflower seeds, 1 handful of mung bean sprouts, 1/2 handful of chopped mint leaves, 1/2 handful of chives, 2 teas barley powder/spirulina (optional, specialist things from health food shops that are full of zing), handful of cherry tomatoes (whole)
Beetroots on the board
Dressing – Juice and zest of half a lemon, 1/3 cup good olive oil, 1 teas honey, 1 clove garlic (minced), sea salt, cracked pepper. Or just make a whole jam jar full and shake it up when you need it. I normally carry it around in my bag. If you friends laugh at you for carrying dressing around with you, they obviously don’t understand the importance of salad.
Gather all you ingredients in your largest salad bowl and get you hands in there, give it all a good mix up. Separate into your containers and pop the lids on and into the fridge. You are now well lunch’d up and ready to go.
Packed up and ready to go.
After a good mornings graft, eat with a large spoon and be happy in your munching.
We Love It!
Turning something that many would deem as waste into a tasty dish is just grand. We love the crunch and texture of these salads, each mouthful is different.
Carrot tops can also be made into a brilliant tea, great for purifying the blood and kidneys. They also used to be used as a fashion accessory:
“In the reign of James I, (1603) it became the fashion for ladies to use flowers, fruit, feathers and the like to decorate their clothes. This was amusingly extended to the use of Wild Carrot flowers and its feathery leaves and stalks to decorate their hair, hats, sleeves, dresses and coats. The lacy green foliage was especially fashionable during the autumn months when the leaves took on a reddish coloration.”
For more carrot facts like this, visit The World Carrot Museum