Sunny Basil Orange Salad

Beautiful BasilHappy Humpday Night!! Only two more days until the weekend! I got my weekly produce box this evening, and it came complete with a beautiful bunch of basil. I hadn’t planned to make an attempt at a BSI recipe just yet, but I couldn’t help myself. I came up with a quick and easy salad that is light, bright and tasty! I had another dish in mind, and if I have time, I may give that a shot too. You can’t have too much basil! Here’s tonight’s creation and a BSI: basil entry:

Sunny Basil Orange SaladSunny Basil Orange Salad


1/2 cup boiling water

1/4 cup loosely packed basil

1 Tbsp. Turbinado Sugar

2 Medium Carrots

Zest of one orange

2 Naval Oranges

1 Tbsp. basil, thinly sliced


Making the Sugar Syrup:

Very roughly chop the 1/4 cup of basil. The goal is to bruise the leaves a bit but not create a bunch of little pieces that have to be picked out later. Four or five passes with your knife should be enough. Place the basil in a heat safe cup or bowl. Pour the boiling water over the basil, cover, and allow to steep for 10 minutes. Place the turbinado sugar in a small pot and add the basil and water. Give it a stir. Bring to a boil. Boil for 3-5 minutes, stirring once or twice, until the sugar is dissolved. Scoot the basil to the side of the pot, separating it from the liquid. Allow the syrup to cool for five minutes.

Preparing the Carrots and Oranges:

Peel the carrots and grate them into a medium sized bowl. Remove the zest from one of the oranges and add that to the carrots. Cut the tops and bottoms off of the oranges, slide your knife down the sides to remove the peel, and then separate the sections of the orange from the membrane. Add the orange sections to the carrots and the zest. 

Putting it together:

Drizzle the sugar syrup over the carrot and orange mixture. Use a rubber spatula or the back of a spoon to press the excess liquid out of the basil and on to the carrot mixture. Sprinkle the tablespoon of sliced basil over the top. Allow the salad to stand for a bit so that the flavors can blend— at least 10 minutes.  

This makes 2 unofficial 1 point servings!

I love to infuse a syrup with the freshness of herbs. Yum! It’s kind of like making basil tea!

SteepingI used turbinado sugar, but plain sugar would work too if that is all you have on hand.


Make sure to squeeze the extra liquid out of the basil. It is nice and… basilly! You could use a strainer, but I thought it was easier just to scoot the basil to the edge of the pan. Plus, it dirtied up one less dish.


Orange zest adds so much flavor without racking up the calories!

ZestyI had cara cara naval oranges from my produce box. I think this would be awesome made with red grapefruit too! I thought this orange was so pretty!

Cara CaraI love that this salad is so basic and has such a short ingredient list, but yet packs a huge punch! It’s light, refreshing and sunny!

Yum!I ended the day with this salad, but I started it by making tea… in my French press. I don’t know why it never occurred to me to make tea in my French press! I bought a ton of loose black teas from Adagio Teas awhile back, and I haven’t made much of a dent. I decided that, rather than buy more coffee, I would start having tea lattes in the morning and use up some of my surplus! I wanted to make enough to fill up my thermos and have some to sip on while getting ready this morning. The French press worked perfectly! Pay no attention to the dishwasher spot. Oops!

French Pressed Tea!This morning’s tea was a mix of black teas in chocolate, cherry and coconut. I added it to my usual half and half mix of unsweetened vanilla almond breeze and skim milk. I also added a splash of vanilla sugar free Torani. It was so yummy! I’m excited about making some more in the morning. I’m also excited to use up some of this tea and make some room in the pantry. 

Do you start your morning with tea or with coffee? Inquiring Sweetie Pie wants to know!

Before I go, I want to remind you about my CONTEST! You have until tomorrow night to comment on the post. Link back to that post if you have a blog or send me an e-mail for a second bonus entry. The snacks are ready and waiting to come to your door!!

I’m off to bed to read some more of Diet Girl’s book and sip some tea. Have a good night and a lovely Thursday!


Filed under BSI, diet, Fitness, Food, Recipes, Uncategorized, Weight Loss, Weight Loss Success Story, Weight Watchers

15 responses to “Sunny Basil Orange Salad

  1. foodsthatfit

    That looks great! I have always been hesitant about basil in sweet recipes…like I have seen it with watermelon and other summer fruits. I bet I would be surprised and like it! Your recipe looks so bright and summery!

  2. Thanks! It may be cold out, but my mind has definitely moved on to warmer weather! It sounds like Friday should be nice. I hope so!

    I love basil and watermelon! Hank’s in Dupont makes an awesome salad in the summertime that has those two things in it. Aaaahhh. I can’t wait!!

  3. I start with tea! I love tea!

    And everything looks great! What a great recipe, I want to try it!

  4. Erin

    That salad is so creative! It looks light and yummy. Great sounding combo.
    I start my mornings these days with hot water and lemon, but I spend a lot of the day sipping on herbal teas and about once a week I have coffee! I love it but it makes me BONKERS!

  5. This looks like a wonderful, sweet salad. YUM! I am def a coffee girl. I have 1 large travel mug full every morning. I try to listen to my body and only drink what I think I need. This am….a full container 😉

  6. great BSI entry! I need to think some more on it…

    I usually have coffee, but I love tea, too!

  7. Yum!!! I love basil and oranges together!

  8. I have the same, exact french press! What a great idea to use it for tea!

    I’m not a regular, habitual drinker of either coffee or tea, but I usually have coffee late in the morning or tea at night, to relax.

  9. Your pictures are always so beautiful and the food looks like it has tons of flavor.

    Personally, I’m a coffee girl in the morning and a tea girl at night. 🙂

  10. Like many other readers, I prefer coffee in the morning (and early afternoon) and tea (typically green and herbal varieties) at night. Especially, the ginger peach green tea by Republic of Tea and magosteen green tea by Stash.

    The orange basil salad looks great–those two are such a great pair!

  11. great idea for the salad!! i love your “tea” method for making basil syrup. i’ve been thinking along the lines of something syrupy for my entry, and you just confirmed for me that it can be done 🙂

    i am definitely a tea drinker in the morning. so cool that you can use the french press to brew it!

  12. M

    For the first time, I’m going to start my day with hot tea. I’m usually a coffee girl in the morning, but my cardio class is at 6:00am on M,W,F and I have been getting such a cotton mouth lately so I thought I would get it a try. We’ll see. 🙂

    I love your ideas!

  13. Emily

    I almost never drink coffee or tea in the morning. However, sometimes I start my morning with a diet coke, eeek!

  14. There are a lot more morning tea drinkers than I expected! Wow!! I usually have my coffee in the morning and herbal tea throughout the day. I really am digging this morning tea thing for now. I’m glad I’m in good company!

    Emily– I used to start my day with a Diet Dr. Pepper. I’d forgotten about that! There is something to be said for the little bit of fizzzzzz!!

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