Somewhere over the rainbow, way up high, there’s a salad that needs to be part of your diet! Salads don’t have to be a boring pile of iceberg lettuce with a few croutons and a glob of thick creamy dressing from a bottle. Unless that’s what you really love, and then who am I to tell you not to eat that…
But seriously, if you want to get your vitamins and minerals from your food, as you should (and not from a pill), a bright-colored salad should be part of your daily regimen.
Just take a look at this colorful, crisp and crunchy salad. Not only is it beautiful and delicious, but in one serving it will provide 121% of your daily requirement of vitamin A and 95% of your vitamin C! Not to mention a significant amount of calcium and potassium. Oh, and fiber, of course!
- Kale: Packed with vitamins and minerals, kale adds a nutrient-dense, earthy flavor and a satisfying crunch.
- Red cabbage: Rich in antioxidants and vitamins, red cabbage contributes both visual appeal and a pleasant crunch with its vibrant color and mild, slightly peppery taste.
- Carrots: High in vitamin A and fiber, carrots bring natural sweetness, a pop of orange color, and a delightful crunch.
- Yellow bell pepper: An excellent source of vitamin C, yellow bell peppers offer a mild, sweet flavor.
- Cucumber: Low in calories and high in hydration, cucumbers contribute a cool, crisp texture.
- Radishes: With their peppery bite, crunchy texture, and vitamin C content, radishes add a zesty kick.
- Green onions: Delivering a mild onion flavor and beneficial antioxidants, green onions lend a subtle, savory touch and a hint of freshness.
- Dijon mustard: Bringing tanginess and depth to the dressing, Dijon mustard acts as a flavor enhancer, while also providing some trace minerals.
- White balsamic vinegar: With its sweet and tangy notes, white balsamic vinegar adds brightness and acidity to the dressing, along with some antioxidants and antimicrobial properties.
- Extra virgin olive oil: Rich in heart-healthy monounsaturated fats, olive oil lends a smooth, rich mouthfeel and enhances the overall flavor of the salad.
- Salt and pepper: Essential seasoning agents, salt and pepper help to balance flavors and elevate the taste of each ingredient. Black pepper also offers some antioxidant and anti-inflammatory benefits.
How to make Rainbow Salad
For full recipe, see below.
Variations on a Rainbow
You don’t have to follow this recipe to the letter as far as which vegetables you include and in what proportions. Of course, the nutritional information provided is for the vegetables and quantities listed. But it is highly customizable depending on what you have on hand. The idea is to get a rainbow of colors to benefit from a variety of phytonutrients. That includes purple and blue, green, orange and yellow, red, and white and brown.
Ah, you caught me there! I did not include anything red in this particular salad, but you could. Grape tomatoes or red bell pepper would do the trick. I didn’t include any as I was trying to keep the salad super crunchy. Therefore, tomatoes were out. Also, I had no red bell pepper, only a yellow one. Oh well, guilty as charged! And no, red peanut M&M’s are not a vegetable!
A quick tip. If time is of the essence for you and chopping vegetables is not your thing, head to the nearest salad bar in your grocery store or the like. Grab a variety of pre-washed and pre-cut veggies. Just make sure you build a rainbow!
How to eat Rainbow Salad
This salad will keep well for 3 days in your refrigerator. So, even if you live alone and prep a large amount, don’t worry. It will be there to nourish you for a few days! I never get tired of it myself. Add a small piece of chicken breast or cooked salmon, or cooked grains and chickpeas, and you have yourself a fantastic to-go lunch box!
So, try it now. It might even make you feel that you can fly like a happy little bluebird! At the very least, you’ll be singing!
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- In a large bowl, whisk together mustard, vinegar, oil, salt and pepper.
- Add kale, toss well and massage gently with your hands to soften the kale a bit.
- Add red cabbage, carrots, yellow bell pepper, cucumber, radishes and scallions. Toss to coat. Serve!