Recipe : Spring Rainbow Salad

Spring Rainbow Salad by Westcoast Nutrition

(Healthcastle.com) Looking for a stunning salad to bring to a dinner party that is still easy to put together and packed full of flavour and dazzling colour? You’ve come to the right spot. A few basic kitchen tools make quick work of the ingredients and some powerhouse nutrients make it a salad healthy enough to have every single day.

Rainbow Power: Why you should make this salad tonight

I’m a firm believer in the power of a good salad. With the right amount of crunch, crispness, colour and zippy bright flavours you don’t ever have to be bored by salad again. The nice thing about this one is you can pre-grate all the add-ons in to separate containers at the beginning of the week and throw a new salad together every day with no fuss. No wilty greens or hours spent prepping lunches every night for you!

Feel free to play with the greens and toppings- I try to always include a cruciferous green like kale or arugula for the peppery bite and cancer fighting phytonutrients. Mixing them with something a bit milder and tender like baby spinach or red and green baby romaine helps amp up the calcium and iron content while keeping it light and fresh.

The rainbow of toppings is more than just a pretty face- by including different colours you get the full range of anti-oxidants and their potent anti-inflammatory punch for a healthy body and visual feast. Beets also help support a healthy gut with their prebiotics so try to keep them in when you can. Find regular beets a little overpowering- try golden beets for a milder take. 

Variety is the spice of life, so play around with the toppings making sure you get at least two or three different colours and textures on there. Mint not in season? Try parlsey or cilantro. Blackberry bushes overflowing? They make a fabulous sweet addition to the bite of the greens. Experiment!

This recipe is closely adapted from "Susie's Jewelled Salad" from Whitewater Cooks With Friends (2011). It is a fabulous cookbook - with beautiful pictures and inspired recipes from right here in BC. 

Ingredients

  • 1 small or 1/2 large beet, grated
  • 1 large (or 2 small) carrot, grated
  • 1/4 red onion, thinly sliced (optional)
  • 1 mini or about 1/3 of a large field cucumber, thinly sliced.
  • 2 tbsp almonds or walnuts, roughly chopped.
  • 6 cups of greens (arugula, spinach, mixed field greens, romaine or kale)
  • Handful fresh mint leaves (optional, when in season), finely sliced
  • 1/3 cup olive oil
  • 1 1/2  tbsp lemon juice
  • 1 tbsp soy sauce
  • 1/2 tbsp honey
  • Ground pepper, to taste

Directions

Toss mint and salad greens in a bowl (and beet greens if they came with them), top with whichever veggies are being used.

For grated beet and carrot, I like to use a mandolin with grater attachment, but a box grater (on the middle or fine side) works great too! Nothing fancy needed.

Whisk together dressing ingredients in a jar. Drizzle on salad dressing 1-2 tbsp at a time until lightly dressed right before serving. Save any extra dressing for another night (or substitute your own dressing)

Top with nuts and extra mint (if using) and dig in!

Optional add ins 

Thinly sliced radishes, blackberries (or blueberries or quartered strawberries), lemon zest

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