Last week I bought my first ever lottery ticket. I generally am not a huge fan of gambling, I not really a huge fan of gambling, especially when it involves putting more than my standard $2 bet on, however I had a “good feeling” about the lotto a few weeks prior when it jackpotted at $20 million, and when I forgot to get a ticket that time around I remembered this time around. Because of my premonition that me purchasing said lottery ticket may eventuate in me winning the $20 million jackpot, by the time I went to check the ticket I had already mapped out what I would do with my winnings. I’d give some of the money to my family and friends, pay off our house, quit my job (sorry boss if you’re reading…) and instead focus my time of building up this whole blogging business, donating some of my newly-found free time to charitable causes and travelling. Perhaps even combining all three. The bulk of the money would be sensibly invested so that we would never be short of money and would be able to live a comfortable, but not overly lavish life.
So when I stopped in at the newsagent on my way home from work yesterday afternoon, handed over the ticket and up on the screen flashed “Total winnings: “$0.00” a wave of disappointment swept over me. I like to think I’m usually quite a rational person – some of my friends may say even boarding on pessimistic in some situations – yet even so I still managed to build up this unrealistic idea of what may happen, and subsequently was quite deflated by it when it did not eventuate.
Anticipation is a funny thing. I think in general I think about things happening in the future too much, which ultimately often leads to disappointment. I sometimes struggle to find a balance between organising and planning an upcoming event or holiday which results in increased expectations of how it will play out, and just relaxing and letting things run their course. It’s something that I have really been striving to find a balance with – on the one hand I want to make sure that the best is made of every situation and experience, yet on the other hand I feel that sometimes that expectation and the ensuing disappointment can get in the way of enjoying a situation.
But enough about anticipation, lets talk about this dish! The inspiration for this salad came from a trip to Thailand my mum and I took a few years back. We had been walking around in the hot Bangkok heat all morning and stopped in to a local cafe to get some lunch. I was craving something light and refreshing and saw on the menu carrot salad. I was a little sceptical, but what arrived at our table turned out to be one of the most beautifully simple salads I have ever eaten. The salad itself was nearly entirely shredded carrot, topped with some tomato and fresh mint and coriander. The light dressing had all the wonderful flavours I associate with one of my favorite countries – lots of lime, a hint of chilli, that pungent but necessary fish sauce, and a touch of sweetness.
If you’ve been to Thailand before and love Thai food as much as I do, or even if you haven’t, this is a deliciously light salad that packs a wonderful flavour punch. It’s quick and simple to make, however if you’re unsure about some of the flavours such as the fish sauce or the spiciness, you could omit the offending ingredients and still end up with a tasty salad – however if these flavours don’t scare you away, definitely add them in so you get the all the wonderful elements of this dish.
- 1 clove garlic, minced
- 2 Tbsp lime juice
- 1/2 Tbsp coconut sugar
- 3 Tbsp tamari
- 1 Tbsp sesame oil
- 1 small red chilli, finely chopped
- 2 tsp fish sauce (optional)
- 2 Tbsp cashews
- 3 Tbsp shredded coconut
- 3 large carrots
- 2 large tomato roughly cubed
- To make the sauce, add all ingredients together in a bowl and stir well to combine.
- Add the cashews and coconut to a mortar and pestle and crush together to combine.
- Use a spiraliser or vegetable grater to spiralise/grate the carrots.
- Add the carrots to a bowl with the tomato then pour over the dressing and mix well. Mix through the cashew/coconut mix and serve.
- To bulk the salad out a little and make it more filling, thinly slice some firm tofu and marinate in some of the dressing for at least half an hour. Either fry lightly, or add uncooked to the salad before serving.