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Grated Carrot and Orange Salad A La French

Carrot Salad, Car Keys and a Map

Road trip anyone? Summertime means traveling and hopefully as I write this you are planning your vacation trip.

In France, where we live most of the year (except summers), vacations are ‘par for the course’ and Le Français take full advantage of time off to zip away for some good mental health down time.

Yes, it is true what they say about the French (or Italians or ….). In August everything stops in most of Europe. Everyone is away somewhere enjoying some time off from work. And why not?

La Dolce Vita, La Vie Est Belle, The Sweet Life

In whatever language you call it, heading off on the road, plane, train (or by foot) is a sacred time. With all the planning involved there is that element of anticipation and “when are we gonna get there?”

One part of the planning that the French do not take lightly is le food. On vacation the French eat well too, even if it is spending a month on a camping trip near the Mediterranean Sea, or biking in the Loire Valley, or just relaxing by a lake in *somewhere* France. Oui, le food is also part of the whole vacation a la Française experience.

Including the road trips.

Eating *in* the car? Pourquoi pas? Why not?

My attitude on a road trip to that anticipated vacation: get there and as fast as possible.

But the French take it slow, and with reason. What is an hour to stop for lunch, when you have such a long day drive anyway?

And do you know what we see, while passing by on the travel road to nowhere? The French, all ready, with their portable picnic tables that unfold and their elegant lunches on the side of the road, Oui, Monsieur,on the road.”

We eat while driving along, we don’t stop for these half gourmet lunches. But we do eat. And I want to share with you one French recipe that we love (including all my kids) to enjoy either 1. on the road or 2. whenever

Give me some Vitamin C!

One part about how the French travel is their love in using Vitamin C when traveling. The French have an obsession with using Vitamin C to stay awake. Driving long distances? Take some Vitamin C tablets with you to stay awake. I have known for a long time that this French habit to take vitamin C while driving doesn’t help much, but I play along with it.

In fact, the reputation among the French general population is that Vitamin C has the power to keep you awake. This doesn’t have scientific merit. Actually, while Vitamin C is a healthy part of a diet it doesn’t have these special powers to keep you alert when you really need to sleep. But I still bring along in the car the tangerines and oranges (both high in Vitamin C) to keep us happy, even if the effect of these fruits is not “eye-opening” when driving.

Why not some oranges for the road?

For this month’s Recipe ReDux challenge I wanted to share with you a typical recipe that the French bring with them when traveling. And there is one trés Français specialité that comes to mind. A simple recipe perfect to make for a first course, to bring to a picnic, to add to the BBQ menu or to bring on the travel road. This salade de carrote râpée (grated carrot salad) is also served as part of the menu on the portable picnic tables I see passing by (while we are eating our carrot salad in the car). It is so easy to make, doesn’t need to be kept cold, and ‘keeps you awake’ with its taste of freshness. Yes, this salad has a burst of vitamin C from lemon juice and orange slices, and the grated carrots are packed full of eye-happy Vitamin A. The added olive oil gives you a full mouth and stomach feeling so you are not reaching into something less healthy halfway along the trip.

Recipe ReDux Challenge

This recipe is my addition to this month’s Recipe ReDux challenge. The theme was traveling snacks or meals and I immediately thought of my French travel friends. What would they bring for their travel food? My French buddies wouldn’t eat in the car, they would pull over and take a meal break. This type of carrot salad would be the perfect side dish.

So, enjoy and bon appétit. Check out what my fellow ReDuxers are offering this month below. Happy vacation!

Grated Carrot and Orange Salad


  • 8 small or 4 large carrots
  • 1 large orange
  • Juice of half a lemon
  • 1/4 tsp. sea salt
  • 3 Tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
  • 3 Tbsp. raisins
  • 1 Tsp. fresh chives


  1. Peel and grate carrots into a large mixing bowl.

2. Peel and cut the orange into sections. Add orange sections to carrots.

3. Squeeze lemon juice and add to carrots in mixing bowl.

4. Chop chives and add to carrots.

5. Add salt and olive oil to carrots in bowl and mix well.

6. Adjust for seasonings.

7. Add raisins and mix well.

Put carrot orange travel salad into a travel friendly bowl and put in refrigerator for at least two hours.

Don’t forget to take it out for the trip!

Warmly, Mary

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8 Responses to Grated Carrot and Orange Salad A La French

  1. Diane Boyd July 22, 2013 at 08:04 #

    Wow, I love salads. This looks and sounds so delicious. I am going to add it to my menu this week to give it a try. Maybe I’ll even pack it on my next road trip and stop somewhere roadside to enjoy!!!
    Diane Boyd recently posted..Recipe Redux Travel Snack : Lemon Honey Pistachio Biscotti

  2. Glenda @ Healthy Stories July 22, 2013 at 01:59 #

    I love the look of this salad and will have to try it when summer rolls around in the southern hemisphere. I was thinking of adding some walnuts on the top for a bit of extra crunch
    Glenda @ Healthy Stories recently posted..Apple pie muffins #RecipeReDux

  3. EA-The Spicy RD July 22, 2013 at 00:09 #

    What a great salad, and I loved reading your post! I think we (Americans) have a lot to learn from the French way of traveling. I’m sure they will resist, but I’m going to try and convince my husband and kids to stop for a leisurely lunch the next time we go on a road trip. Happy Summer!!
    EA-The Spicy RD recently posted..Recipe ReDux: Have Tropical Granola, Will Travel

  4. dixya@food, pleasure, and health July 21, 2013 at 18:42 #

    this will be great to pre pack on a road trip.

  5. Dr Barb, Nutrition Budgeteer July 21, 2013 at 11:51 #

    I love carrot raisin salads but didn’t know that I’ve been enjoying a typical French dish. Love the addition of fresh oranges.

  6. Quincy @ Shugurcän July 21, 2013 at 11:26 #

    I’ve had a recipe similar to this using mayonnaise (in my pre-vegan days). This, however, looks much more appetizing and interesting. Anything with carrots and raisins is delicious!

  7. Alisha @ Gluten Free Perspective July 21, 2013 at 09:28 #

    This salad looks delicious– carrots, lemon, chives, raisins? Yum! I feel like I got a healthy glow just reading your post.
    Alisha @ Gluten Free Perspective recently posted..Popcorn Trail Mix

  8. Deanna Segrave-Daly July 21, 2013 at 06:36 #

    I always love reading your posts, Mary, for the recipes, of course, but to get a glimpse into la vie francaise! I’m that American, rushing to get to my destination ASAP (maybe because we get no vacation time compared to Europe – not a good thing 🙂 So interesting to hear how the French love their Vitamin C when traveling – great tip and super yummy looking salad!

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