Light and Easy Flavors for a New Year: Carrot & Bean Sprouts Salad

The first time I made this recipe, I shared it with a friend and her daughter. She was working at a retail shop throughout the holidays, and I wondered how they had any time to eat, let alone cook, after the long days. Although I wasn’t sure about what she liked, I took a chance and prepared this dish. The best part about it is that everything can be prepared ahead of time and stored in individual containers. I delivered it later, along with a short description of the ingredients and the only direction, “Put it all together and enjoy!” It was greatly appreciated and began what has become somewhat of a tradition between us—preparing and sharing different recipes. 


Following the holidays, your body is probably in the mood for something a bit lighter. This easy-to-make salad makes a delicious light supper or lunch. Serve with a warm pot of Jasmine tea. Its delicate flavor and floral aroma will delight your senses, while the warmth of Asian cups will bring comfort on a cold winter night.


Jasmine tea is very light. To avoid a bitter taste, be sure to prepare with water that is not too hot or steep for too long. Courtesy photograph. 

Jasmine Tea

To brew Jasmine tea, make sure your water is not boiling. If you have an electric kettle, heat 4 cups of water to 175 degrees. Otherwise, set boiling water aside for 3 minutes before pouring over 4 teaspoons of loose Jasmine tea in a preheated teapot. Allow to steep for only 2-3 minutes, then pour into individual serving cups.


Carrot & Bean Sprout Salad

The salad, croutons, tofu, and dressing can all be prepared ahead of time and then put together when ready to serve.



  • 3-4 large carrots, coarsely grated (rounded 2 cups, not packed)
  • 2 rounded cups bean sprouts (use same quantity as carrots)
  • 1/3 – 1/2 cup raisins
  • 1/3 – 1/2 cup salted freshly roasted peanuts. Salt and roast raw peanuts in a low oven (300-350 degrees) for about 8-10 minutes.
  • 1/4 cup chopped cilantro (or parsley if preferred)

Toss together well in a large bowl. May cover and refrigerate until ready to serve.


  • 3-4 slices Sesame Semolina Bread, cut into 1-inch cubes
  • 1-2 teaspoons olive oil 

Drizzle olive oil over cubed bread and bake in a low oven (300-350 degrees) for about 10 minutes, until lightly crisp. Set aside until ready to serve the salad.



  • 1/2 to 2/3 of a package of firm tofu, cut into 1/2 inch slices. 
  • 1/2 cup cooking oil, approximately (olive, peanut, or canola)


Place tofu slices between paper towels and a tea towel to dry. Cut the slices into cubes. Bring the oil in a small, heavy pan to medium-high heat. Place half of the tofu cubes in at a time. To prevent the pieces from sticking together, stir the tofu pieces around with a metal spatula while they brown, approximately 3 to 4 minutes. When golden browned, remove the tofu to a paper towel-lined plate to drain. Sprinkle with a bit of salt at this time if desired. Add the other half of the tofu cubes, brown, remove, drain, and salt in the same way. The fried tofu cubes can be put on fresh paper towels a second time to blot off any remaining excess oil. Set aside until ready to serve the salad. 



  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 3 teaspoons sesame oil (dark Asian sesame oil preferred)
  • 3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice, or Santa Cruz Organic® 100% Lemon Juice
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons sugar


Put all the dressing ingredients into a small bowl and whisk together or shake well in a small jar.

 When ready to eat, pour half of the dressing over the salad. Toss well to coat and distribute everything. Add the croutons and tofu, toss again, and enjoy!


 Recipes by Kathy Heaton, Photography by Pat Wherritt.