March 19, 2013

Mounds of carrot salad (with smoky orange dressing)

I've noticed a trend on my facebook page lately where people are posting photos of items from the past with a request to 'like' the photo if you recognize what it is. The intention is to route out all the boomers on facebook and create a camaraderie of sorts — I guess. OK, I admit it, I'm old enough to be your mother; I recognized the ice cube tray with the handle. Woohoo. In spite of the fact I never click "like" on any of the photos, I now have a little "guess what this is" game of my own. Does anyone know what my post title refers to? Yes? No?

There used to be an early, manual food processor advertised extensively on television, and the sideshow-like presentation both annoyed and amazed me. Also, I think I secretly wished I had one of the devices, being a young kitchen-device-hoarder in the making. (Now, of course, I'm a reformed kitchen-device-hoarder.) The hand-cranked machine in question  made "mounds of carrot salad." For some reason, the phrase stuck in my head. It took a while, but after much Internet sleuthing, and a lot of infomercials for Ronco Veg-O-Matics and other salad-making devices, I finally unearthed the source of the mounds of carrot salad — the Popeil Kitchen Magician. I don't know why the massive carrot piles struck me as so funny when I used to see the commercial on TV, but I found the idea of mounds of shredded carrots bizarre and hilarious. Why would anyone want to create mounds of shredded carrots? Hahahahaha. Little did I know that one day I might be creating mounds of carrot salad myself. Ahem. Who knew? Especially in the warmer months, when I bring out the spiralizer, it's not unusual to find mounds of carrot salad in my kitchen.

(BTW, I also discovered a fascinating history about Ron Popeil, the inventor and multimillionaire salesman behind the Ronco products that appeared (and still appear) in TV infomercials. The Kitchen Magician isn't mentioned in any of the Ronco or Popeil articles, but I think it was one of their products. Anyway, Ron had a very traumatic childhood, but in early adulthood he discovered his ability to invent unique products and sell them, eventually amassing a huge personal fortune. If you're interested in a quirky rags-to-riches story, click here.)

If you're just interested in carrot salad and great dressing, read on. I've been making carrot and cabbage salads with orange dressing for a long time but have never shared it because I never used a recipe — just threw things in a measuring cup, put a salad together and voila. I've made it twice recently for company, and both times I was asked for the recipe, so I finally measured, and am posting the results. The salad ingredients change depending on what's in the fridge, but usually contain some crisp things like green and/or red cabbage, celery, carrots, maybe radishes, romaine or baby greens. The dressing stays the same. Yesterday it was "mounds of carrots" with cabbage, along with a few sliced radishes. You could add apple sticks or satsuma segments to heighten the sweetness of this very refreshing salad. The salad benefits from marinating in the dressing a bit, so it can be made a couple of hours ahead and kept in the fridge. It's also great freshly made.

Carrot and cabbage salad with smoky orange dressing
  • 1/4 teaspoon turmeric
  • 1/4 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • 1/4 teaspoon sea salt (more or less, to taste)
  • several grinds of black pepper
  • 3 tablespoons frozen OJ concentrate (I used organic)
  • 2 tablespoons white wine vinegar
  • water
  • 1 teaspoon extra virgin olive oil (optional if you are oil-free)
  • 4 medium carrots, shredded (about 3 cups)
  • about 3 cups finely cut green cabbage
  • 2 green onions, finely sliced
  • 3 to 4 halved and thinly sliced radishes
  • handful of raisins or dried cranberries
  • sprinkle of pumpkin seeds
  1. Place the turmeric, smoked paprika, salt, pepper, OJ and vinegar in a one-cup glass measuring cup, and stir together with a fork.
  2. Add enough water to make 1/2 cup, and stir.
  3. Add the olive oil, if using, and stir.
  4. Combine the carrots, cabbage, green onions, radishes and raisins in a large bowl. Pour the dressing over the veggies and toss to combine.
  5. Sprinkle with pumpkin seeds and a few extra raisins.
Use apple sticks or satsuma segments instead of raisins.
Use red cabbage to replace some of the green cabbage.
Add shredded romaine.
Add baby greens.
Use toasted pine nuts instead of pumpkin seeds.
Add chopped parsley or cilantro.

Note: The last time I purchased smoked paprika, I had a choice between "sweet" or "hot." I bought both, but used the sweet in my dressing. Maybe I'll try the hot next time.

This post is being shared on Wellness Weekend.


  1. This salad sounds wonderful! Such a great combo of ingredients. I'd be leaving out the radishes, though.... I've never grown to like them, unfortunately.

    I don't recognize that commercial, so perhaps it was before my time. Funny how you're now very into mounds & mounds of carrots! ha! :)

    1. My husband likes radishes and I like them better than I used to. They actually taste pretty good with a citrus dressing.

  2. You're nowhere near old enough to be my mother. :-) I remember seeing those old Ronco/Ron Popeil ads in general, but not this one specifically. Pretty clever device though, and would be handy for off-grid living or making slaw during a power outage! :-)

    Your Mounds of Carrots (teach you to laugh!) Salad sounds great, and reminds me of some of the slaws I enjoyed in Costa Rica. Every food stand and restaurant served cole slaw, but each used a different dressing (none used mayo, thankfully!) BW would especially enjoy this, he's a huge fan of smoked paprika!

    1. I thought of you when I wrote that, and no, I'm not. I was pretty young when the commercials aired but was already starting to want kitchen gadgets, and I wanted my mother to buy one but she wouldn't. I don't think they got very good reviews, btw, but they sure look cool.

      The smoked paprika lends just the right amount of subtle smoky flavor that goes well with the orange. Can you find smoked paprika in the boonies? (just kidding, I think.)

    2. So did you at least have an Easy Bake Oven? :-)

      Yes, you silly goober, I can find smoked paprika in the boonies. I can even find it in my very own my kitchen cupboard! :-)

    3. Yes, I think I did have an easy bake oven. Relieved to hear about the smoked paprika. :D

  3. This salad looks just like what I need- recovering from the flu, followed by a cold. I don't know why, but I never spiralize carrots; what's wrong with me? I have a manual peeler-type thing that juliennes and I usually just use that. I guess I take my agression out on the undeserving carrots!

    1. Poor Abby. Sorry to hear you're suffering a double hit of germs. You should eat more carrots!

      I just shredded the carrots for the salad. The spiralizer is fun, but it's harder to do carrots with it than just shredding them. I do love it for zucchini, though, but when I do spiralize carrots, they are much more impressive than grated ones.

  4. Just the sort of food I go for. A bit of baked tofu, a couple of slices of nice wholemeal bread, and a big serving of this - heaven!

  5. This sounds like such a delicious departure from my typical salad! I almost never think to eat cabbage raw when I have it on hand, but it sounds so crunchy and refreshing here. This will be perfect in just a few weeks (fingers crossed) as temperatures warm up a bit and demand cooler, lighter foods..

    1. I actually prefer to eat it raw and hardly ever think to cook it! I wonder why that is, since I like cooked cabbage, too. I hope your weather turns a corner soon. It's time for SPRING>

  6. I really really want to make this but I am trying not to eat so many carrots! It sounds like a delicious crunchy side dish. my mom used to make an awesome Tunisian or moroccan carrot salad with cumin; I bet the paprika and turmeric is just as fantastic.

    1. Don't use carrots. Use shredded celery root, or jicama, or turnip, or broccoli slaw. It's all about the dressing.

  7. This is simple and oh so good...the colors are to die for!! We love it!

    melvin of My Garage Guys LLC


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