On January 1, 2013 I made my New Year’s Resolution list. Remember doing that? Well, my list had two items on it: 1) go on a diet; and 2) get some exercise. I don’t know about you, but I can’t diet until all the stars are properly aligned. You know, like there are no big stressors in my life, and I have to have a heavy-duty motive. People, I am a food blogger! I live to cook and eat!
Well, my son’s wedding was going to be on Saturday, May 18th, and I wanted to look as good as possible. Not only to represent him, but I had an ex-husband and a gaggle of ex-inlaws from 40 years ago that would also be there. So I had 4 ½ months of food deprivation to endure and making myself walk as much as possible, so I could melt off the pounds. Ugh.
When I’m on a diet, I can’t eat normal stuff. I have no self control. I have to find several low calorie dishes, with big flashy taste, that I basically eat 6-7 days a week. In this case, since I had such a short time to lose the pounds, I ate about 600-800 calories per day. I journaled everything I ate and counted calories, plus I weighed myself every day to see the result of what I was eating. I also walked for an hour or more, 4-5 times a week. By May 18, I had lost 40 pounds. Yes!
One of the dishes I ate repeatedly was this Confetti Salad with Carrot Juice Vinaigrette. I chose veggies that were mostly water and fiber, hence low in calories. The vinaigrette was made with carrot juice to dilute the vinegar, instead of calorie-laden oil. I experimented with other juices, but the carrot was what I loved the most. I tried several carrot juice brands, but Bolthouse Farms was hands down, absolutely superlative, compared to the others. With the white balsamic vinegar, poupon mustard, garlic and sweetener, this vinaigrette really has pop and sizzle.
After eating a big bowl of these raw chopped veggies, which takes lots of time and lots of chewing, you feel really full and satisfied. When you are starving, this is really important. Lol. I have also, upon occasion, added tomato, avocado and shrimp, which really taste great with this vinaigrette. Even if you are not on a diet, this salad is amazing. I hope you try it.
Confetti Salad with Carrot Juice Vinaigrette
Makes 6 servings
1 red bell pepper
1 yellow bell pepper
1 large zucchini or 2 small
1 large cucumber, peeled and seeded
1 large carrot or 2 small
1 4-5-inch broccoli head
12 cups ¾-inch dice iceberg lettuce
Optional: tomato, avocado, cooked shrimp, all in bite-size pieces
Carrot Vinaigrette (recipe below)
1. Cut the peppers, zucchini, cucumber and carrot into ¼-inch dice and place in a large bowl.
2. Cut as much stem as possible off the broccoli and save for another use. Cut into very small florets. Add to bowl. Mix all diced veggies evenly together.
3. In large flat salad bowls, place 2-3 cups diced lettuce and top with 1-2 cups diced veggies. Spoon generous amount of vinaigrette over salad and serve.
Note: Store any remaining diced veggies in airtight plastic containers and refrigerate for up to 5 days.
Makes 1 cup, enough for 3-4 salads
½ cup carrot juice (preferably Bolthouse Farms), shaken well
¼ cup white balsamic vinegar (or rice wine vinegar)
1 large garlic clove, pressed
½ teaspoon kosher salt
1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon poupon mustard
1 packet Sweet ‘n’Low (or equivalent sweetener of choice)
1. Whisk all ingredients together in small bowl. Chill in covered container until use. Can be stored up to one week.
Note: Be sure to check the expiration date on carrot juice, or taste for freshness. Store unused juice in original bottle in fridge for around 1 week.