This rainbow salad with a creamy dressing brings together a rainbow of raw veggies that pack a huge healthy punch. With red peppers, orange carrots, yellow peppers, green peppers, green onions, purple onions, and white jicama, you truly ARE eating the rainbow!
I always try to make sure there's a few different colors on my plate when it comes to vegetables. But honestly, it's tough. I get lazy and often only get one - a big pile of green broccoli, or a bowl of yellow spaghetti squash.
So I set out to make a rainbow salad - a bright, cheerful, colorful salad that's as much fun to look at as it is to eat!
My three year old went to town on this salad - he loved picking everything up with his hands and testing out the different levels of "crunch." I find that working with him to try and describe texture of foods helps him to continue to be adventurous and try new things!
So why should we eat a rainbow salad anyway?
What it means to eat the rainbow
The colors in foods actually serve a nutritional purpose.
You should focus on getting two to three different colors on your plate at every meal.
So why is this important?
It's important to “eat a rainbow” – meaning you eat fruits and vegetables from each color and get a variety of important vitamins and nutrients that can prevent disease.
- Reduces the risk of heart disease and stroke
- Removes damaging free radicals
- Promotes eye health
- Protects skin
- Promotes healthy joints
- Helps your heart
- Fortifies skin elasticity
- Aids immune system
- Keeps bones and teeth strong
- Aides tissues in healing
- Detoxifies the body
Blue + Purple
- Protects cells from damage
- Boosts memory
- Helps fight inflammation
What goes in a rainbow salad
Why, the rainbow of course!
There's nothing prettier to me than a big bowl of brightly colored fresh veggies. Just look at all those vibrant colors!
Red bell peppers
These are an excellent source of vitamin A, vitamin C, and potassium. Bell peppers also contain a healthy dose of fiber, folate, and iron.
Carrots are a particularly good source of beta carotene, fiber, vitamin K1, potassium, and antioxidants.
They also have a number of health benefits: they're a weight-loss-friendly food and have been linked to lower cholesterol levels and improved eye health.
Yellow bell peppers
Just like their red friends, they are an excellent source of vitamin A, vitamin C, and potassium. Bell Peppers also contain a healthy dose of fiber, folate, and iron.
Green bell peppers and herbs
You know what I'm going to say, right? An excellent source of vitamin A, vitamin C, and potassium!
I find the green ones to be a little less sweet than their red, orange, and yellow siblings, which makes sense, as they are picked off the plant earlier and have less time to sweeten up.
Different herbs have been said to have different medicinal properties. We won't go into that here, but just know that eating plants and green stuff is good for you!
Purple (red) onion
Red onions are full of sulfur compounds that protect the body from ulcers and various cancers. They can also fight bacteria in the urinary tract.
The most important of these compounds is called quercetin: an antioxidant compound that could provide protection against cancer, heart disease and allergies.
Jicama is a starchy root vegetable similar to a potato or turnip. It is slightly sweet, but it is low in sugar, making it a good carbohydrate choice for people with diabetes and others attempting a low-sugar diet.
Originally from Mexico, the jicama is sometimes also known as a Mexican turnip or yam bean.
Although the root is safe to eat, the rest of the plant, including the beans, are toxic.
Prebiotics are a type of fiber that the body cannot digest. Prebiotics support the growth of probiotics by providing them with food. Jicama is rich in inulin, a type of prebiotic fiber.
Jicama is good for digestion, has cancer fighting properites, may help treat and reverse diabetes, improves heart health.
The inulin in jicama can support bone health by retaining minerals in your bones, improving calcium absorption, and reducing bone loss.
Rainbow salad dressing
While eating raw veggies is great, let's be honest, we've got to lube them up a bit, am I right?
This dressing of mayonnaise, lime juice and cilantro is super simple. The creaminess combined with the tartness of the lime brings a tang to the veggies that make it easy to keep munching and crunching your rainbow salad!
I make my own mayonnaise from scratch, and you can find my homemade mayonnaise recipe here.
If you prefer not to make your own, that's ok - just try to find one that's not full of junk. Ingredients I look out for include sugar and soybean oil, which are common in store bought mayonnaise.
Make your mayo, toss your veggies, then go forth and eat the rainbow!
- 1 large jicama, peeled and thinly sliced
- 3 cups red, green and yellow bell pepper, thinly sliced
- 1 cup carrots, peeled and thinly sliced
- ½ cup shaved red onion
- ¼ cup green onions
- ½ cup mayonnaise
- 1 tablespoon lime juice
- 2 tablespoon fresh cilantro, chopped
- In a small bowl combine mayonnaise, lime juice and cilantro. Add salt and pepper to taste. Cover and chill until ready to serve.
- Slice jicama, carrots, and peppers into similar sized pieces.
- Shave the red onion using a mandolin or grater.
- Combine all vegetables in a bowl and toss to combine.
- Just before serving, add dressing and toss to combine.
- Garnish with sliced green onions and serve.
I julienned the carrots for this recipe, but if you don't have a julienne tool you can just as easily slice them thinly, or, even easier, just purchase shredded carrots!
I use this tool in the kitchen for shaving red onion, among other things. It's a great set for slicing and grating, and I love the container lid catching everything you're grating or slicing. I prefer a mandoline to get the onion slices as thin as possible, which reduces the potency of the red onion a bit.
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Nutrition Information:Yield: 6 servings Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 240Total Fat: 14gSaturated Fat: 2gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 11gCholesterol: 8mgSodium: 142mgCarbohydrates: 27gFiber: 12gSugar: 6gProtein: 3g