You may have been given the advice to “eat the rainbow.” What does that mean, you ask? Think big salad bar with this satisfying and nutrient-dense lunch favorite! The idea with this salad is to include 3 servings of dark leafy greens, along with a rainbow of antioxidant-rich vegetables and fruits (if you like).
The goal of “eating the rainbow” is to provide a diversity of antioxidants and phytochemicals to improve health. Sounds weird, I know. But health restoration happens within our tissues and cells.
The color of food matters! You see, these nutritive and non-nutritive compounds are anti-inflammatory and stop free radical damage. Inflammation and free radicals are common to obesity, type 2 diabetes, heart disease, cancer, and autoimmune conditions. Gigi’s Big Rainbow Salad has the colors green, red, purple, white, and orange.
There are different variations of this salad where you can swap out jicama for cauliflower (both white). You can also add broccoli for more cruciferous vegetables. Onions are a great addition. Add some shredded beets to boost nitric oxide producing compounds. Heirloom tomatoes and avocado are an excellent combination to toss in. If you prefer a sweeter salad, you can add fresh fruit like diced apples, pears, or berries. One of my favorite things to do is add kimchi—a fermented cabbage with probiotics.
When I want to make this a full meal, I’ll also add 1/2 to 1 cup of chickpeas, black beans, or lentils. Alternatively, pairing this salad with a cup of Amazing Lentil Soup or North African Chickpea Soup are excellent options.
Curious about why eating whole plant foods like this salad improves health? If so, check out this article.
Gigi’s Big Rainbow Salad has 6 key ingredients:
- Mixed baby greens (or any dark leafy green)
- Red bell pepper
- Purple cabbage
You may be wondering, what do you dress this salad with? I’ve used just fresh squeezed lemon or lime juice. The other three sauce options I’d recommend are:
- Epic Tahini Lemon Garlic Sauce
- 5 Minute Avocado Cilantro Lime Dressing
- The Best Toasted Pecan Balsamic Vinaigrette
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