Better than Chick-Fil-A Carrot Raisin Salad – Healthy!

Have you ever ordered a salad from a fast food establishment thinking it was one of the healthiest options in the menu? I have.

While we don’t eat out often, much less if the place has a drive-through, every month or two my husband and the kids enjoy Chick-Fil-A. Don’t get me started about the germs in the “play” area–that’s another story. 

I once tried the carrot raisin salad thinking it would be a healthy option with my grilled chicken sandwich. It was so good, I wondered what the heck was in the salad?

So, the inquisitive foodie in me began to google look alike recipes and found the nutritional information on their site. I was disappointed by what I found.

Ingredients I try to avoid at all costs (like high fructose corn syrup, “spice” and calcium dysodium EDTA) were in my delicious salad! I knew it was too good to be true!  

The recipes that I found to “make it homemade” weren’t any better. They were also made with mayonnaise, sugar and even corn syrup (a couple).

Aren’t salads supposed to be healthy? I like salads but I love raisins. I make killer whole-wheat cinnamon rolls (sometimes with raisins), a delicious raisin vinaigrette, out of this world oatmeal raisin cookie dough bites and amazing cinnamon raisin fruit roll ups! Of course, you know I had to make my own version–a healthy version.

What would I substitute mayonnaise for? Plain Greek yogurt of course! High in protein, low in fat (0% if you use non-fat) and rich in calcium… you just can’t go wrong with it! I use it in my MOMables menus all the time and in my kid’s school lunches.

Next, I had to make sure that I could still achieve that sweet taste and crazy good “juice” found in the little black cup. My challenge is to use real ingredients while making sure it remained true to the original.

I know that once you try my version, you will be thankful I ate carrot raisin salad for a week! Paired with some nitrate-free organic ham and round whole-wheat crackers… it’s also the perfect school lunch!

5.0 from 1 reviews
 
Prep time
Total time
 
Ingredients
  • 16oz bag carrots
  • 1 cup pineapple, sliced cut into chunks
  • 6oz plain non-fat Greek yogurt
  • 2 Tablespoons pineapple juice
  • 2 Tablespoons lemon juice
  • 1 Tablespoon honey
  • ⅓ cup California raisins
Instructions
  1. Finely shred carrots by hand or in a food processor.
  2. If using fresh pineapple, slice skin off the sides and cut into slices. Remove core and then cut rings into small bite sized pieces.
  3. In a bowl, mix yogurt, pineapple juice, lemon juice and honey.
  4. Toss shredded carrots, pineapple chunks and raisins into the bowl. Mix well to combine all ingredients.
  5. Chill in the refrigerator for at least 1 hour.
  6. Serve.

Here is the nutritional data comparison. I’ll let you be the judge of the recipe.

My version has 153 calories per serving and 0g of fat!! Theirs 340calories and 15g of fat! Lordy. Everything else is healthier too! 7g of protein in mine… 2g in theirs…

 

Comments

  1. says

    I saw a link in your post for whole wheat cinnamon rolls so I jumped over there. Ummm…yum! I’m a sweets lovers (but also like eating healthy) so that definitely made me happy.

    • Laura Fuentes says

      Fawn, the cinnamon rolls aren’t “healthy” per se.. but they are made with real ingredients and come out fantastic…every time. :)

  2. Autumn says

    I’m very impressed with your motives desire ro feed our kids as we should. I’ve been reading your site and following for a while now but have resisted purchasing for only a few reasons. One is the amount of sugar in the meals. Although we don’t follow complete Paleo, we do try to keep the sugars low, even the natural ones. Can you tell me your beliefs in the carbohydrate consumption and how that filters into your meals?
    Thanks, Autumn

    • Laura Fuentes says

      Thank you Autumn! I have an “everything in moderation” mentality when it comes to food. I grind my own wheat and I am not afraid of carbohydrates. That said, we don’t eat starches with every meal. In this particular recipe, the honey is optional and the other sugars found are naturally occurring in the food.

  3. SoFLMom says

    I made this last night because it looked so easy and I am all about easy!! I was a bit skeptical as I have never tried this at Chik Fil A but thought, what the heck, my daughter loves all the ingredients so how bad could it be?

    It was SUPER easy and FAST to make!!! I made this in between making dinner last night(and I do not like to cook). I just sampled it for lunch today and was pleasantly surprised. It is quite tastey! I am looking forward to giving my 18 mo old some carrot raisin salad at dinner tonight. :)

    • Laura Fuentes says

      Wow! Great going! this is one salad that can be left in the fridge for like 2-3 days and it tastes just as good. I mean, carrots are crunchy so it’s not like they get all soggied up. And the “juices” make it delish. My 13mnth old loves it too. Glad you liked it!

    • Laura Fuentes says

      I would substitute with maple syrup. It needs a little sweetness, otherwise, it’s quite tangy. Let me know how you all enjoy it!

  4. Ruthanne Szenasi says

    So excited to find this! My 6-year-old could eat his weight in this salad when CFA was still selling it! I, however, assumed it was healthy (as I’m sure many others did, too) and am sick-to-my-stomach when I think of how much of this stuff I ate, trying to avoid the fries…not sure that was a bargain at all! Anyway, the kid of mine who loved it has since shown a sensitivity to lemons (didn’t know there was such a thing before a couple of weeks ago!) Can you make a suggestion for what to sub for that? Is it a natural preservative or does it make a significant difference in the flavor? Thanks for all you do!!

    • Laura Fuentes says

      Ruthanne, the lemon is for flavor. If you are going to consume it immediately, omit it. So happy you found this recipe!

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