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Food
Crunchy Carrot Salad a 'kool' summer treat

Thursday, July 12, 2001

By Betsy Kline, Post-Gazette Staff Writer

You don't need to convince Helen Mihaly of the benefits of exercise and a healthful diet. The active Weirton, W.Va., resident, who retired from Westinghouse Electric in 1990, is still commuting to Downtown Pittsburgh once a week to do volunteer work at the Salvation Army divisional headquarters, where she helps with volunteer services and assists in the development department.

She's scaled back from her five- day-a-week volunteer schedule but looks forward to her walking forays to The Strip, a healthy jaunt from the charity's Third Avenue offices. "I've always liked fruits and vegetables, and I never come back empty-handed," Helen says.

 

Check her grocery bag and you're likely to find the makings for a healthful salad like today's Carrot Salad.

"The recipe was given to me by a friend," she says. Most people look at the ingredients and do a doubletake: Kool-Aid? In a salad?

"You wouldn't think it, but it works," she laughs.

And don't try to use the unsweetened packets of the kiddie fruit ade, because it doesn't work, she cautions.

Helen loves to cook. She fondly remembers her brush with fame in 1987 when a recipe she submitted earned her a "guest chef" spot on the "Who's Cooking" segment of KDKA-TV's "Pittsburgh 2Day" show with Patrice King Brown and Jon Burnett.

Nowadays, she cooks mostly for herself and church luncheons and bake sales. But her emphasis is almost always on fresh foods, like the tuna rice salad she was in the midst of preparing when we called her earlier this week. Helen knows first-hand the payoff of prudent diet and exercise: She's a breast cancer survivor and intends to go on surviving.

Have a child who balks at eating his or her carrots? Try this crunchy sweet Carrot Salad. Its perky flavor is addicting and, if you have a food processor with a shredder disk, it comes together in a mere 10 minutes flat. If you want more of a cardio workout, do what Helen does and grate the carrots by hand. Either way, you're in for a sweet reward.

CARROT SALAD

2 pounds grated carrots, cleaned and shaved
1/2 cup steamed raisins, drained (steaming option al)
1/2 cup mayonnaise
1/4 cup orange Kool-Aid, sug- ar-sweetened (no substi- tutions)

In medium or large glass bowl, combine carrots and raisins.

In a small container, combine mayo and Kool-Aid. Add to carrot mixture and toss until moistened.

Refrigerate in covered bowl. Keeps well.

Makes about 6 to 8 side dish servings.

Tester's note: You might be tempted to add more mayo because the salad looks a bit on the dry side: Don't. The carrots will give up some of their juices the longer the salad sits. Too much mayo and you'll have carrot soup.

If you like raisins, you can double the amount. Steaming is optional.

Do you have an entree, salad or vegetable side dish recipe (no desserts, please!) that can be made in 30 minutes or less from six ingredients or fewer (not counting water, salt and pepper)? Share it with Countdown to Dinner.

The PG tests all recipes and if we select your recipe for publication, you'll receive a free selection from our cookbook grab bag of current releases.

Send your recipe to Countdown to Dinner, Post-Gazette Food, 34 Blvd. of the Allies, Pittsburgh, PA 15222, or fax to 412-263-1313. Please include your name, neighborhood and daytime phone number. Or e-mail to: nanderson@post-gazette.com Questions? Call 412-263-1760.

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