These salad bowls take the phrase "eat a rainbow" very literally.
We all know we should be eating more veggies - their goodness cannot be understated. A plethora of vitamins, minerals, disease-fighting antioxidant and gut-loving fibre, they're a food that helps build great health from the inside out. They're also very protective for the body, helping to support a fighting-fit immune system that'll ward off the bugs, and optimal gut health. Eating veggies helps make us feel good - they're energising, and brimming with nutrients.
Why should we eat a rainbow: eating a rainbow basically comes down to the importance of variety in our diet - with variety in food, comes variety in nutrients. Fruit and veggies get their colours from a nifty group of chemical compounds called phytochemicals. Different colours indicate different nutrients, which have their own unique set of health properties. For example, orange and yellow veggies and fruits, like oranges and carrots, are brimming in vitamin C and A, while purple and blue, like berries and eggplant, are rich in anthocyanin, a powerful disease-fighting antioxidant.
When building your rainbow salad bowl, aim to pick at least one veggie to tick off each colour in the rainbow (to a degree - I had to settle for blue edible borage flowers). Arrange them as you please - you could do a rainbow gradient like I attempted, or just dice, chop and chuck into a bowl - the colours together will look fabulous!
Next, whiz up a tasty salad dressing to go along with it - I prepared an easy zingy fresh basil vinaigrette, which is super yummy and pairs perfectly. Recipe is below if you'd like to give it a whirl. Pairing healthy fats (e.g. olive oil in the dressing) with this dish will help you extract all the important fat-soluble vitamins (vitamin D, E, K & A) contained within your veggies, which need dietary fats present to be absorbed.
Finally, if you're looking at turning this into more of a main meal, serve with your choice of protein (for plant-based go chickpeas, lentils, beans, or otherwise boiled eggs, smoked salmon or grilled chicken would be yummy). You can also bump up the starchy carb content - rice or roasted kumara/potato/pumpkin would be great additions.
These rainbow bowls are part of a collaboration I’m doing with my wonderful long-time friend Buffy Gill who runs the incredible online store health store Be Good Organics and hugely popular Be Good Organics plant-based blog. We’re both really keen to encourage you to incorporate more vegetables in your life, with these rainbow bowls being a fab and fun way to do that! Stay tuned to both our Instagram accounts (you can find Buffy at @begoodorganics and me @healthyalways) for a few more rainbow bowl ideas over the next few weeks.
Buffy and I would love to see your Rainbow Bowls on Instagram, so if you make one of these let us know! Share your shots and tag us @begoodorganics and @healthyalways, and use the hashtag #showusyourvege so everyone else can see your beauties too.
Rainbow Bowls with Basil Vinaigrette
A few handful of leafy greens
A selection of fresh veggies - aim to tick of every colour of the rainbow! Examples: capsicum (green/orange/yellow/purple/red...), carrot, cabbage (purple/green...), tomatoes and avocado
Extras: 1 tsp/tbsp sauerkraut, 1 tbsp hummus, sprinkle of sesame seeds, fresh herbs...
1 cup fresh basil leaves
8 tbsp olive oil
2 tbsp apple cider vinegar (or white vinegar)
Juice of 1/2 lemon
1 small clove garlic
A few turns of the salt & pepper shaker
1. To make you dressing blitz up all ingredients in a food processor/stick blender.
2. To make salad bowl, pick your veggies and then arrange together in a bowl/plate. Get creative with whatever is in season (or lonely in your fridge waiting to be eaten!) - your goal is variety and colour!