Whenever we start a new way of eating, I always need some time to wrap my head around it. My goal for all our meals is to prepare food that doesn’t shout I’m so good for you! with every bite. I also avoid any type of acrobatics to transform one type of food into another. For example, processing cups and cups of almonds, sunflower seeds, and water into “scrambled eggs.” No thank you. You’re not fooling anyone. Most copycat foods and recipes just serve to remind me how amazing the original is.

In other words, I hate feeling like we’re missing out or eating some type of poor substitution. So when we planned meals for this week–our first full week on a new eating plan that includes more raw veggies, less meat, less dairy, and no grains–I spent about 30 minutes thumbing through a raw food cookbook before returning to more comfortable (and tasty and real) ground: The Essential New York Times Cookbook. There’s a gajillion salad recipes in here and many other vegetable dishes I can easily adapt as meals for us. No faking required.

roasted carrot and avocado salad with citrus vinaigrette
makes 2 entree servings
adapted from The Essential New York Times Cookbook

The original recipes uses beets instead of carrots. If you’re a beet lover, it’s probably delicious. We couldn’t find reasonably-priced beets this week, so I subbed carrots. Whoa. We may never try the beets. To make this more of a meal (and contribute to our daily quota of raw veggie consumption), I added the mixed greens.

8 large carrots, scrubbed and ends trimmed
coconut oil
salt and black pepper
3 tablespoons raw apple cider vinegar, divided
1/3 to 2/3 cup extra virgin olive oil
1/4 red onion or 1 large shallot, finely diced
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice (zest the lemon first)
1 tablespoon fresh orange juice (zest the orange first)
zest from one lemon
1/2 to 1 teaspoon orange zest
1 avocado, sliced
mixed greens

Heat the oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit. Cut the carrots into quarters lengthwise, then into 2- to 3-inch pieces. Place on baking sheet with a small spoonful of coconut oil. Roast for five minutes, stir to cover the carrots in the oil. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Continue roasting for 35 minutes or until the carrots are shrivel and the ends are getting toasty and caramelized.

In the meantime, combine the onion with 2 tablespoons raw apple cider vinegar, lemon and orange juices, and a pinch of salt. Let sit for 15 or more minutes. Whisk the olive oil and zest into the dressing. Adjust the seasoning.

Tear mixed greens into a serving bowl (I used 3 big handfuls and we both added more as we ate; go with 4 or even 5 handfuls). Add the remaining vinegar. Scoop the carrots (and all the oil and salty goodness on the pan) onto the greens, top with the avocado, and drizzle with the dressing.


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