Sweet Curry Roasted Root Vegetable Salad with Lime Garlic Tahini Dressing

Curry Roasted Carrot & Rutabaga Salad with Grilled Chicken & Garlic Lime Tahini Dressing
I had a hard time coming up with a succinct title for this salad–there’s just SO MUCH going on! Curry roasted carrots and rutabaga with currants add a sweet, cinnamon kick, while the garlic lime tahini dressing coats the greens in bright and earthy goodness. And the grilled chicken. It’s a DASH diet dinner winner.

Oh boy, this leftover salad was delicious! With so many flavors going on, it’s a feast of a salad. Let’s see: A savory sautéed chicken breast. A sweet and aromatic roasted rutabaga and carrots with currants, maple syrup and ras el hanout (a mild, fragrant North African curry powder). A reliable bed of lettuce, baby kale, grape tomatoes and scallion. Then everything gets a coat of bright, earthy, garlicky lime garlic tahini dressing. The combination was 100% spot-on and satisfying.

I made the salad using the curry-spiced rutabaga and carrots that I already had roasted, but you can of course start from roasting the root vegetables. Recipe for roasting is right here. You can save time by using pre-sauteed (or even better, pre-grilled) chicken breast as well. Then it’ll be a matter of assembling everything–perfect for a weeknight DASH diet dinner.

Print Recipe
Sweet Curry Roasted Root Vegetable Salad with Lime Garlic Tahini Dressing
DASH diet considerations: This curry roasted root vegetable salad with lime garlic tahini dressing is an all-A student of the DASH diet realm. It packs about 4 servings of different vegetables (full of fiber and potassium); tahini helps it go light on oil while providing an incredibly earthy depth to the dressing; and simply cooked chicken breast provides lean protein.

The wide range of flavors, from bright, earthy tahini dressing to sweetly aromatic curry roasted vegetables, as well as the different textures really jazzes up the salad without a lot of sodium or oil. Give it a try! We skipped grains, but a pita would go perfectly with this Middle Eastern-inspired salad.

DASH diet servings:
4 vegetables & fruits
2 meats & fish
½ fat & oil
¼ nuts & beans
Prep Time 20 minutes
Servings
servings
Ingredients
For the chicken breast
For the lime garlic tahini dressing
For the salad
Prep Time 20 minutes
Servings
servings
Ingredients
For the chicken breast
For the lime garlic tahini dressing
For the salad
Instructions
  1. Season the chicken breast with salt and pepper.
  2. In a saute pan, heat 2 tsp olive oil on medium high and add the chicken breast. Saute until the chicken is cooked through, about 7-8 minutes, flipping once to brown both sides. Set aside in a wam place.
  3. While the chicken breast cooks, make the dressing. Mix the tahini, extra virgin olive oil, lime juice and grated garlic in a bowl large enough to toss the lettuce and kale comfortably. Add water, 1 tsp at a time, to thin the dressing to a pourable consistency. Season with salt and pepper.
  4. To the bowl of the dressing, add the lettuce, baby kale, grape tomatoes and scallion. Toss to coat evenly.
  5. Slice the chicken breast into strips.
  6. Place the lettuce-kale mixture in two plates or bowls. Top with the roasted rutabaga and carrots, as well as the chicken breast strips.
  7. Sprinkle some za’atar on top, if you like, before serving.

curry roasted root vegetable salad with lime garlic tahini dressing

DASH Menu: Skirt Steak Wrap with Cumin Hummus & Roasted Carrot Salad with Lemon Tahini Dressing

For a quick weeknight dinner, I coupled a skirt steak wrap with a hearty and nutrient-packed roasted carrot and arugula salad, and made an earthy yet refreshingly bright lemon tahini dressing to complete the vaguely Middle Eastern feel of the menu. The hummus works so well as a sandwich or wrap spread–this wrap is otherwise pretty bland, but the cumin kick and creamy body of the hummus really make it into a satisfying meal.

Two regrets: I would have added toasted cumin to the lemon tahini dressing, if cumin wasn’t in the hummus-skirt steak wrap. Sprinkling the skirt steak with za’atar or sumac might have made the wrap even more interesting, with their floral zing. Next time!

Print Recipe
Skirt Steak Wrap with Cumin Hummus & Roasted Carrot Salad with Lemon Tahini Dressing
DASH considerations: This skirt steak wrap and roasted carrot salad combo violates a few DASH meal guidelines. First, I used skirt steak, because that’s what I had on hand, but it’s not one of the leaner meat options. You could easily substitute it with grilled chicken breast to make the protein part leaner. Second, it has a higher fat/oil content than many DASH recipes on this site, about half the daily limit for that category. You can probably skip the extra virgin olive oil in the lemon tahini dressing and rely entirely on the sesame oil contained in the tahini paste. This would cut down the fat & oil amount a bit (by about 0.25 serving). Or, you could opt for lower-fat meals for the other meals of the day.

DASH servings:
2 grains
1.75 vegetables & fruits
1 meats & fish
1.5 fat & oil
0.25 beans & nuts
Prep Time 20 minutes
Servings
servings
Ingredients
For skirt steak wrap with cumin hummus
For roasted carrot salad with lemon tahini dressing
Prep Time 20 minutes
Servings
servings
Ingredients
For skirt steak wrap with cumin hummus
For roasted carrot salad with lemon tahini dressing
Instructions
  1. In a small skillet, heat the olive oil over medium heat. Add the pepper strips.
  2. When the pepper pieces start to brown, place the skirt steak pieces on top to reheat.
  3. While the pepper and beef cook, make the dressing by mixing the lemon juice, tahini, EVOO, scallions and red chili flakes in a bowl large enough to toss the salad in.
  4. Add the roasted carrots and arugula to the bowl and toss it well so the dressing evenly coats the vegetables. Season with salt and pepper.
  5. When the peppers are cooked through, turn the heat off.
  6. If using pita, separate the two sides to make a pocket. Spread the hummus, stuff the pepper and steak, and top with cilantro.
  7. If using tortilla, spread the hummus and place the pepper and steak all the way down the middle. Top with cilantro and roll up the whole tortilla.

Homemade Hummus with Cumin

DASH Recipe: Cumin Hummus with Veggies

Oh my god, I had no idea homemade hummus was SO GOOD. I should have known this. Evidence abounds:

  1. The hummus we get at restaurants are probably homemade, and they are leaps and bounds better than the store-bought ones.
  2. My sister in law has been making her own hummus. She’s a cash-strapped grad student, so that must play a big role here, but she keeps making it. It’s got to be good.
  3. Everyone who blogs about cooking seems to be singing the glory of homemade hummus and endless varieties thereof.

Cumin Hummus Ingredients

I’ve been curious about making hummus for a long time. The final straw was the amazing specimen we had at Bar Virage in Lower East Side a few months ago: It was the best hummus I’ve ever had, and I wanted it to appear way more often in my life than it conceivably would, given that the “Israeli gastropub” is outside of our normal stomping ground. Anyway, the stars were aligned one day (read: I had all the ingredients on hand), and I made hummus. And holy cow, it was amazing.

Print Recipe
Homemade Hummus with Cumin
DASH benefits: Relatively low in fat, hummus is a good alternative to sugary snacks and a great source of non-meat protein. However, hummus can be high in sodium, especially if made with canned chickpeas (which is what I did). So, a few tricks on that front: 1) Use a low sodium version of canned chickpeas. 2) Eat the hummus with fresh veggies rather than pita chips that also contain salt.

DASH servings: ⅔ nuts & beans
1 fat & oil
DASH Recipe: Cumin Hummus with Veggies
Prep Time 10 minutes
Servings
cups
Ingredients
Prep Time 10 minutes
Servings
cups
Ingredients
DASH Recipe: Cumin Hummus with Veggies
Instructions
  1. In a small, dry skillet, toast the cumin and red chili flakes over medium heat, until fragrant. This shouldn't take more than a few minutes. Be careful not to burn the spices.
  2. Grind the cumin and red chili flakes. You can use a mortar and pestle like I did, or use n electric spice grinder.
  3. Put all the ingredients in a deep container and use an immersion blender to combine. Pulse until smooth.

Using Up Homemade Hummus

The first day, we just scooped it up with fresh veggies and made it a refreshing yet satisfying dinner. We had tomato, celery, cucumber and red pepper, and decided that celery and red pepper were the winners. The other two didn’t have enough of a crunch and a little too high in water content.

Hummus stays fresh in the fridge for 5 days or so. And it’s really not hard to use it all up because it’s so versatile, but it freezes and thaws well if necessary. I had a little bit added to my lunch salads a couple of times throughout the week, and used up the rest as a spread in a skirt steak wrap with grilled green pepper and cilantro. It’s amazing how much it adds to an otherwise nondescript wrap or a sandwich!