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Healthy & Delicious: Carrot and Raisin Salad

Editor's note: On Mondays, Kristen Swensson Sturt of Cheap, Healthy, Good swings by these parts to share healthy and delicious recipes with us. Take it away, Kristen!

[Photograph: Kristen Swensson Sturt]

When one thinks of Carrot and Raisin Salad, "hip" and "healthy" may not be the first words that come to mind. More likely, it's "church potluck" or "distant relative's funeral buffet." Well, this slightly sweet, no-cook vegetable side dish deserves better than that, especially with a few updates.

Adapted from CopyKat.com's Dining Out at Home Cookbook by Stephanie Manley, this twist on the traditional salad takes just a few minutes to make, and includes two major departures from the time-honored version Betty Draper might serve. First, there are nuts. Second, there's no mayo.

The nuts in question are toasted pecans, which give everything a nice crunch along with some much-needed textural variation. As for the customary tub of mayonnaise, I substitute a few tablespoons of 2% Greek yogurt instead. This provides tang and moisture, reduces the fat slightly, and makes the dish both lighter and infinitely more edible for mayo haters like myself. Plus, since the salad isn't swimming in Hellmann's, it allows the produce to shine. Kids, particularly, will love the pineapple.

To prevent sore muscles and scratched knuckles, shred the carrot with the disc attachment of a food processor rather than a box grater. Also, be aware that it's not a particularly wet dish, so feel free to add a little more dressing if you like. Whatever you decide, I'm pretty sure you'll find Carrot and Raisin Salad both hip and healthy. Who knew?

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