March 10, 2016 40

Celery Salad with Black Pepper Turmeric Vinaigrette

Vegan, gluten-free fresh turmeric celery salad.

Celery Salad with Black Pepper Turmeric Vinaigrette | Celery salad made from the stalks and the leaves, tossed with crunchy red cabbage and dressed with a bright and zesty black turmeric vinaigrette.

Before we get into this celery salad, I want to tell you a secret. Something I’ve been carrying around with me over the past year. And I’ve got to get this shame or guilt or whatever this horrible feeling is inside of me out.

I cannot hide it any longer.

Besides the few years I was teased in middle school for being overweight, I’ve had a pretty healthy relationship with my size. As I entered high school and college I was thin. Probably too thin as a result of being teased a lot as a fat kid. As I aged through my twenties and into my thirties, I put on a few pounds here and there. But mostly my weight has stayed the same – in a healthy, totally average zone.

Then I moved to the Midwest. And for the first time since I left my parents house at the age of 17, I found myself living in a city where I needed to drive almost everywhere. Walking as a mode of transportation became less and less. Working from home kept me isolated. And as I’ve shared already, I battled debilitating anxiety and a pretty serious bout of headaches for months.

As a result, I gained weight.

Celery Salad with Black Pepper Turmeric Vinaigrette | Celery salad made from the stalks and the leaves, tossed with crunchy red cabbage and dressed with a bright and zesty black turmeric vinaigrette.

Celery Salad with Black Pepper Turmeric Vinaigrette | Celery salad made from the stalks and the leaves, tossed with crunchy red cabbage and dressed with a bright and zesty black turmeric vinaigrette.

Celery Salad with Black Pepper Turmeric Vinaigrette | Celery salad made from the stalks and the leaves, tossed with crunchy red cabbage and dressed with a bright and zesty black turmeric vinaigrette.

As a {former} health coach, wellness blogger and public figure of sorts, I often feel tremendous pressure to be thin. Not like Hollywood waif thin, but thin. Thinner than I am right now. A few months ago I was asked to appear on television to demo some recipes. My stomach was in knots. Every ounce of me wanted to say no. Besides the obvious challenges of just going on tv, I couldn’t fathom making my debut at my heaviest weight. I mean who agrees to go on live television at their heaviest weight? A crazy person.

So, I said yes. I showed up. I did my best. I felt good about what I did. I actually had a lot of fun doing it. I went home and watched the clip and then balled my eyes out. I barely recognized myself. This wasn’t about vanity. This was about feeling good in your own skin.

And I felt like I’m crawling out of mine.

Even though I am a health and wellness advocate, and I’m a conscious eater, eating mostly plants – I am a normal person doing the best I can. Sometimes I’ll show up heavier than I want to be or more tired or less put together and barely grasping for air. But I’ll show up and that’s all that matters. Right? Thanks for hanging with me on this one you guys. Here’s the clip if you’d like to watch it.

Now, celery. As far as I’m concerned it’s incredibly underused. And very under appreciated. I’ve had in my notes, ‘use celery more’ for a many months now and I’ve been doing just that. It is the base of my soups, stocks, and green juice. And now it’s the star of my salads. This celery salad has four ingredients. Celery, all the parts, especially those leaves. Cabbage, scallions and the most magical black pepper turmeric vinaigrette.

It’s crunchy, slightly sweet, full of umami and gets better with age. Celery has tremendous detoxing abilities, and turmeric root fights inflammation, making this the perfect spring salad if you’re in the mood to drop some winter lbs. Or take off your Midwestern coat, as I like to call it.

Celery Salad with Black Pepper Turmeric Vinaigrette | Celery salad made from the stalks and the leaves, tossed with crunchy red cabbage and dressed with a bright and zesty black turmeric vinaigrette.

Celery Salad with Black Pepper Turmeric Vinaigrette | Celery salad made from the stalks and the leaves, tossed with crunchy red cabbage and dressed with a bright and zesty black turmeric vinaigrette.

Celery Salad with Black Pepper Turmeric Vinaigrette | Celery salad made from the stalks and the leaves, tossed with crunchy red cabbage and dressed with a bright and zesty black turmeric vinaigrette.

Celery Salad

Prep Time 5 mins
Cook Time 1 min
Total Time 6 mins
Serves 4 - 6

This salad can be made ahead of time, and it ages beautifully. This recipe makes a pretty hearty amount and is a great option for meals and snacks all week long.


  • 4 cups chopped celery (stalks + leaves)
  • 4 cup red cabbage, finely shredded
  • 1/2 cup scallions, small diced
  • 1/4 cup Black Pepper Turmeric Vinaigrette


  1. Toss the celery, cabbage and scallions together with the vinaigrette until well coated.

Black Pepper Turmeric Vinaigrette

Prep Time 5 mins
Cook Time 1 min
Total Time 6 mins
Serves ½ cup

This is one of my go-to vinaigrettes. It stores well in an air-tight container in the refrigerator for about 5 days. It's fantastic on everything from salads to roasted vegetables to pasta. If you cannot source raw turmeric, 1 teaspoon ground turmeric can be used in its place.


  • 1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 inches fresh turmeric root, grated
  • 1 tablespoons maple syrup
  • juice from 2 lemons
  • 2 tablespoons raw apple cider vinegar
  • 2 cloves garlic, grated
  • 1 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon sea salt


  1. Whisk together all of the ingredients until combined well.



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40 Responses to "Celery Salad with Black Pepper Turmeric Vinaigrette"

  1. Reply

    Kelly @ Nosh and Nourish

    March 10, 2016 at 7:54 AM

    Love this thoughtful post, this salad, and you. You did a fabulous job! xoxo

  2. Reply

    Amanda Paa

    March 10, 2016 at 7:59 AM

    So many brave thoughts, real thoughts, and your heart written here. There are days when it is definitely hard for me to accept who I look at in the mirror, but as you said, we’re all doing the best we can. And on some days that might look different, and even just different to us, not anybody else. When others see us, they see everything that makes us who we are, and rarely the first thing that is is defined by looks. Love you, sister! And celery – well, I need to keep it in my notes to use it more as well. xo

  3. Reply


    March 10, 2016 at 8:34 AM

    What an honest post to write, Sherrie. You did so well on tv, the clip was great. I completely understand what you’re saying about it not being about vanity but rather just feeling good in your own skin. I’ve been there, I’ve had that breaking moment/point (a family picture on a beach vacation where I didn’t even recognize myself) and you know what? I look back at it now and feel so grateful for it b/c it literally marked the turning point in my health journey over the last 7 years. I know something good will come of this, hugs!

  4. Reply


    March 10, 2016 at 9:23 AM

    You did a fantastic job! You’ll be a TV star in no time! Thank you for the post above. You are always so real and honest, and in this day and age, authenticity and truth can be so hard to find. Thank you for sharing with us. I’m at a place right now as well where I feel I have to start showing up more. I’ve stayed in the background for too long, and after a while, you start to feel that it’s the only place you belong. So I completely agree, that showing up is what matters. Also, that salad looks amazing. I found fresh turmeric at my farmers’ market for the first time a few weeks ago, so just might have to give this a try.

  5. Reply

    Shelly @ Vegetarian 'Ventures

    March 10, 2016 at 9:25 AM

    You are so brave for laying all this out when so many of us are thinking the same things of ourselves but can’t find the courage or words to put it online (raises hands). I feel like it’s particularly hard for ambitious woman like us because we want to be so much (business woman, photographers, cooks, recipe developers, writers, a certain weight, loving friends and family members, etc. etc.) and there just isn’t time to adequately focus on it all to be the very best in all areas.

  6. Reply

    Liz @ Floating Kitchen

    March 10, 2016 at 9:25 AM

    You are speaking straight to my heart here, Sherrie. I myself have never been the thin girl. I’ve dreamed of it often, but it’s just not my reality. Sometimes I catch a photo of myself and think “is that what I look like?”. And then somedays I’m okay with it. I suppose those are the ups and down of living in our skin and learning to love ourselves. Love that you’re brining celery front and center here in this salad. It deserves more attention that it gets.

  7. Reply

    Ana @ TheAwesomeGreen

    March 10, 2016 at 9:45 AM

    Loved the video and the immune boosting dressing idea! And the colors of this salad are bliss.

  8. Reply

    Lisa Bryan | Downshiftology

    March 10, 2016 at 9:45 AM

    You did a fantastic job on the video! I can totally relate though as video and ‘being seen’ is one of my biggest hurdles to overcome. Like you, my stomach gets in knots and I feel like I’m gonna be sick. But a massive bravo to you for pushing through it. That in and of itself is a huge accomplishment, and you’ve inspired me to push forward and get out from ‘behind’. Oh, and this salad – it sounds amazing! xx

  9. Reply


    March 10, 2016 at 10:00 AM

    What an amazing way to use celery! I love that celery is the star in this recipe. I’ve always seen it as essential for sofritos or mirepoix, or to add crunch in chicken soup or tuna, but you are so right in that it is underused and under appreciated. I cannot wait to try this recipe. I also love that your vinaigrette contains ACV, I’ve been hearing about its benefits for a long time.

    Also, way to go on your tv segment. You kicked butt! Everyday you wake up and choose optimism, happiness, and to follow your passion is a win in my book. Kudos to you for being kind and loving to your self.

  10. Reply


    March 10, 2016 at 10:02 AM

    As a former client, human being, friend, overweight woman – your honesty makes me love you even more. It also helps to solidify that the struggle is real. That there is no magic answer. That sometimes we fall flat on our faces (or ample asses). That it’s important to stand up and start over. That it’s important to be real and surround yourself with loving supportive people. I hope you feel that love and support. xoxo

  11. Reply

    aida mollenkamp

    March 10, 2016 at 10:20 AM

    Congrats, dear. Congrats for going on TV, for being honest about all this, and for overcoming it all! Sending you hugs and high fives from the west coast.

  12. Reply

    Sarah | Well and Full

    March 10, 2016 at 10:39 AM

    I loved reading this post, Sherrie. I think all women have felt pressure at any given time to be something else – to look differently, act a certain way, etc. I feel a similar pressure as a yoga teacher in training. People hear that I’m getting my certification and they ask me if I can do a handstand split or some other insane pose. Props to the people who can do that, but I’m just a normal person with a normal body who just happens to do yoga. But I think what counts is still showing up and not letting yourself be intimidated by whoever is better at yoga/thinner/whatever the case may be. And it sounds like you did that when you went on TV. I’m so proud and happy for you that you decided to take a chance and go on TV!

  13. Reply

    Sophie MacKenzie

    March 10, 2016 at 11:01 AM

    I’m so proud of you! Having the courage to push through anxiety and do something outside your comfort zone is one thing, but then have the courage to watch it is another. I find even seeing myself in home movies too uncomfortable, so for you to re-watch yourself on tv is pretty much the bravest thing I can think of. Like you, I’ve been up and down in size depending on life situations. It can be hard, and upsetting, and plays with your self worth and feelings of deserving. I just wanted to let you know that as someone who only knows you form your blog, I see you as an incredibly hard working woman, with epic pictures, and delectable food, and whenever I see one of your creations, I ask myself “how can I be more like her”. Seriously girl! I think you’re hella smart, you’re beautiful and you’re a kickass lady boss!

  14. Reply


    March 10, 2016 at 11:12 AM

    Thank you for laying it all out there for us. There is so much strength in vulnerability.
    And this salad looks friggin’ delicious.

  15. Reply

    Jayme | holly & flora

    March 10, 2016 at 11:33 AM

    Sherrie, congratulations on your televisions spot! You totally rocked it. And thank you for sharing such personal thoughts on weight and confidence. If we all waited for very thing to be ‘perfect’ or to look a certain way, we would never get anything accomplished. I feel ya here. Congrats on your accomplishment and your bravery. Much love to you and thank you for your inspiration to show up. Big Xs and Os to you.

  16. Reply

    Lily | Kale & Caramel

    March 10, 2016 at 11:39 AM

    Sending you so many hugs and so much strength and love for putting it all out there. You fucking rock. And look absolutely gorgeous doing so. And I also, 100%, completely understand (as you know) what it feels like to just, not feel like yourself. To want to change. And to be brave enough to say so and do something about it. All the alls for you.

  17. Reply


    March 10, 2016 at 12:41 PM

    What a generous post Sherrie, your courage and honesty is a gift to us all. You truly are amazing, beautiful, and such an inspiration! You speak to the secrets and shame that many of us hold from our childhoods of not being seen for the incredible human beings that we are, and the underlying root causes of some of our habits and patterns that do not serve our overall health. I am so glad that you said yes to that great interview and demo and I agree that you rocked it! Both of these recipes, yum. I can’t wait to make this celery salad and the twist on the kale one.

  18. Reply

    Heather | A Merry Feast

    March 10, 2016 at 1:28 PM

    Sherrie, you are so lovely. Thank you for inspiring us to be authentic despite the virtual side to our lives. Loving this salad and can’t wait to try it! xx H

  19. Reply


    March 10, 2016 at 1:44 PM

    Sherrie you did fantastic! It takes such bravery to get on TV and do that in the first place and to do it when you don’t feel you are at your best! Keep on pushing through these barriers girl, face fear, self-doubt, and the lies that so often get in our minds head-on, you’ve got bright things ahead of you!

  20. Reply


    March 10, 2016 at 2:52 PM

    Oh whoa, Sherrie, you’ve said all the things that I’ve been wanting to say for years but would never have the courage to say. Your story is almost like mine to a T. I feel like I postpone life way too often because I’m not at my ideal weight. Recently I’ve tried to find just one thing I can complement myself on everyday, it’s definitely tough but I know self-love is where it’s at. Wish we could hug right now in real life. I loved watching your clip. You’re an amazing, beautiful, talented women! So happy we’re friends!

  21. Reply

    danielle // rooting the sun

    March 10, 2016 at 3:03 PM

    Sherrie, you are strong and have my complete respect for confessing your feelings on self and life. These are deep and true matters of the heart, those that comprise us, and for you to be able to speak on such honest matters is inspiring. You completely owned the video clip, congratulations on the spot! It’s so cool to see you in action, you’re beautiful in every way. xo ps – in the past year I’ve rekindled my love for celery, it’s really an amazing and versatile vegetable.

  22. Reply

    Lauren Kelly Nutriiton

    March 10, 2016 at 3:43 PM

    First off, let me start by saying you were fabulous on tv and a total natural! I commend you for your honesty and courage. I feel the exact same way. As a nutritionist, people will make a comment if they see me eating a cookie or having a glass of wine or even looking in my grocery cart to see what I am buying! I feel like sometimes people are scrutinizing me and what they don’t realize is that I am a human being. I am not perfect and I can ‘stress eat’ sometimes, like everyone else out there. Every winter is difficult for me and I always feel like I put on a few pounds from eating too many comfort foods. We are human. I have the same struggles as my clients do and often times. And other times, I feel like I may be the one putting that pressure on me, not them. I understand how you feel and have even blogged about feeling the same way. You look beautiful and you recipes are always amazing (and don’t get me started on your pictures!). But, I also understand what it feels like to just not feel comfortable in your own skin. Take a deep breath and keep up the great work! xo

  23. Reply


    March 10, 2016 at 4:20 PM

    If you had butterflies, it certainly didn’t show up on the video. You appeared poised, knowledgeable and in control. Everyone’s already written much of what I’d like to say in response to what you shared with us, but I’d like to just add my voice, briefly. I’ve had my own struggles with how I look, especially weight-wise (when one is 5′ 2″, a couple of pounds can quickly slip one into the next size up). All my younger years, I felt I was too short, too fat, oops, now too skinny, wait, fat again, and on and on…and don’t get me started on eye color and shape, fly-away hair etc. (I’m here to tell everyone, it is impossible to perfect the smokey cat-eye when one has puppy-dog eyes. Period.) So, yes, I can definitely relate. But here’s something that happened to me which I hope will at least make you smile. One day, not long ago, I was looking at photos of the 25-year-old girl I was (the one who refused to be seen in anything but baggy sweaters and would never, ever, wear a swimsuit) and I thought, heck, I was pretty gosh-darned cute, why didn’t I enjoy that more? So, two years ago, on holiday back home in Greece with my two boys, I spent an entire week on the beach in a bikini, yes, a bikini and no one ran screaming for shelter and my boys were not embarassed and I even got a double-take (from an older gentleman in a speedo but even so!) I had fun! :-). I guess what I’m saying is, we are our own most intense critics and the pressures we face to adhere to an unrealistic, photo-shopped standard of beauty can take its toll and you are brave and wonderful to share your thoughts. I hope you go back and watch that video again and see what I saw, a lovely young woman with a whole lot to flaunt. :-)

  24. Reply

    Jessie Snyder | Faring Well

    March 10, 2016 at 5:49 PM

    Oh Sherrie, I just want to give you a big hug. I know that feeling all too well. I can tell you that you are beautiful and inspiring, but I know you have to take the path that leads you to truly believing it yourself. Here’s to a beautiful, strong outlook on yourself + health today. And this salad, goodness, the color is gorgeous and that dressing sounds so tasty girl! <3

  25. Reply


    March 10, 2016 at 6:28 PM

    I’m really excited to make this. I love the shit out of celery and its fabulous crunch in salads is so underrated. You’ve made it a star! Also, I’m making up for two ridiculous decades of life wherein I shirked the celery — I blame mom’s ‘bumps on a log’ featuring raisins. And lastly because the dressing sounds and looks amazing, and I’ve wanted to buy a nub of turmeric root for ages, just, you know, not to let it wither into a witch’s finger in the fridge.

    We’ve all been there. Not feeling okay in your own skin, like someone else showed up to your party. I hope the feeling dies miserably very soon. Be as generous as you can with yourself. It’s all you can do and you CAN do it.

  26. Reply


    March 10, 2016 at 7:44 PM

    It appears that we are all in agreement that these are real emotions that most of us have experienced during our lives. I have even wondered if it was a Midwest emotion growing up Catholic in the 50’s and 60’s. So it also appears that we all can reason with this emotion, but how do you deal with it when it happens to you? I want to know specifically what you do to turn that day around?

  27. Reply


    March 10, 2016 at 10:07 PM

    Sherrie, I want to hug you to bits. I love your honesty and admire your bravery. I’ve felt that pressure. I gained weight after starting my blog. My ‘healthy’ food blog. And felt so ashamed. But, I never admitted my weight gain to anyone who didn’t have to see me in person. I hid it. Between the extra cooking and baking and the hours spent at the computer instead of moving my body, it was really no wonder. It’s taken me a couple of years to find balance, find what works for me and find my body! I had to learn to step away and devote some time each day to caring for myself. That’s helped me tremendously. So I did see your clip and you were completely adorable, so confident and bubbly. Brave girl. I’d have passed out the moment I had to open my mouth. Oh and this salad – YUM! Love the celery and that dressing is rocking.

  28. Reply

    Sarah/The Sugar Hit

    March 10, 2016 at 10:40 PM

    Hi Sherrie – this post is something I can completely relate to. Although I’m not a wellness blogger, so I don’t have that element of extra pressure, I still want to be healthy and feel good about how I look. And it’s freaking hard when I make cakes for a living! It really helped me to hear this (and read all these comments) to see that this is something a lot of women are grappling with. And now I feel like – look at this group of badasses! Look at all these women! Look at everything we’ve achieved! I feel so ready to do something positive. So thanks for the positive boost and congrats on crushing it in your clip!

  29. Reply

    Sneh | Cook Republic

    March 11, 2016 at 12:00 AM

    I think you look really cute .. and happy and radiant from within. I’d want to hug you if I met you, that is the emotion you’d generate in me and probably a lot of people. What I am trying to say is that you look lovely and friendly and down to earth and approachable, qualities that are far valuable in this world than being a certain size or not. So, thank you for sharing your words and you heart. I relate to them. I recently read a bit of this book: The Life-Changing Magic of Not Giving a F*ck and it really helped me put things in perspective. To give you a bit of a background, I have been blogging for 11 years, lost 20 kilos from running, kept most of it off, have two boys, had a fall and badly injured leg, can’t run anymore. Weight is an issue I address everyday but lately freeing myself from all the shackles and expectations and doing what makes me happy. I think you might like this book!

  30. Reply

    Brooke @ Chocolate and Marrow

    March 11, 2016 at 4:02 PM

    You are a beautiful human, on the inside and out, Sherrie! And such an inspiration for so many of us. It’s hard being a public figure, of any capacity. Our words, our bodies, hell even our kitchens are so often scrutinized by others and maybe even sometimes a little too much by ourselves. That’s tough! But, you are not alone. You are a normal person, as you say. And quite frankly, I think you’re a pretty damn rad one. Thanks for sharing so vulnerably and openly with us, Sherrie. And for inspiring me to always eat more mindfully. Now off to drool over this gorgeous salad. xx

  31. Reply


    March 11, 2016 at 4:27 PM

    Oh Sherrie. I wish I could be there and tell you that you are beautiful as you are. What I saw in that video is a woman who is confident and strong. I do not know many people, who can be on TV and look like that. I do not know if I could do that. Keep your head high. You look amazing. p.s. I love celery and this salad looks so good!

  32. Reply


    March 13, 2016 at 9:34 AM

    I’m a bit behind on commenting on this, but I cannot tell you how many times I’ve hidden from the camera because I wasn’t a sized deemed healthy (I have a bad relationship with stress + eating and I gained quite a bit during he cookbooks). Thank you for being so honest about this but serious – you’re gorgeous and were wonderful on that segment. On a note about the recipe, I think you’re such a genius. The use of celery in this recipe is perfect (and something I would have never thought to use!).

  33. Reply


    March 14, 2016 at 8:30 AM

    Just getting here now, Sherrie – but I have to tell you how powerful this post is. I struggle with weight and image and what it means to be and look ‘healthy’. Thank you for the courage in sharing your story, so much goes on behind the scenes of all these recipes and blogs, your honesty is so refreshing. So darn real. ‘Show Up’ – I love it, I’m going to use that one. Sending love!

  34. Reply


    March 14, 2016 at 3:20 PM

    You look fantastic in the video! Seriously.

  35. Reply

    Amy | Lemon and Coconut

    March 19, 2016 at 2:10 PM

    I love this post, I completely understand what you’re saying and feel the same it was so good (you know what I mean) to hear you say it. You’re beautiful, a wonderful advocate for plant-based eating and did a GREAT job on the TV, be so proud of yourself! It’s real to struggle with weight, I have my whole life (even felt I was fat when I wasn’t, I have swung in so many different directions). It’s so easy to be a bit heavier than you feel comfortable being, we all have a different relationship to food and different contexts in our lives. Thanks so much for sharing how you felt. xx

  36. Reply

    Phoebe @ Feed Me Phoebe

    March 22, 2016 at 5:55 PM

    I think you’re absolutely amazing just the way you are. And I wish I felt the same about celery! xo

  37. Reply


    April 16, 2016 at 10:32 PM

    I really love making this salad!! But every time I read it, I can’t help but think – as someone who has lived in the Midwest my whole life and now STL- that you CAN walk a lot of places! And I do! Every little bit counts! I have actually also started to ride my bike around the city, to the store or market, etc. And our easy access to trails and hiking is great. Check out the trails behind the art museum in forest park!

    And just be yourself – be true to who you are and what you eat. People will notice if you are pure and yourself. No one notices the flaws we notice in ourselves because we are all our biggest critic. What matters is how we treat everyone around us, and how we inspire people. So hold your head high and just keep on inspiring.

    • Reply


      April 18, 2016 at 5:37 PM

      Hi Anna, yes you can walk a lot of places {depending on where you live} and I do! I crave walking, and take every opportunity to do it. I live within walking distance of Forest Park, it’s my favorite place in the city, so so so great! But as an east coaster and major city dweller, the walking culture here is simply different, mainly because of the layout of the city. Either way, I embrace STL for all that it is, and all that it isn’t. I love it here. Thanks for stopping by, all my love! xx

  38. Reply


    September 9, 2016 at 4:41 PM

    I’m a cancer survivor on the lookout for more ways to add turmeric to my meals, and WOW, this salad is chock full of cancer-fighting goodness. Every ingredient is a powerhouse. Thank you for posting. And no matter what – love yourself, hon. You are shining like a diamond.

  39. Reply

    Michele Mansfield

    November 3, 2017 at 11:04 PM

    You are beautiful! And what great knowledge you have about healthy eating. I am always looking for more ways to use celery and I have all of these ingredients on hand now. Thank you!

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With Food + Love © 2018 | All photos + words belong to Sherrie Castellano -- they cannot be used or distributed without permission.