Ah, springtime, well almost. I think the first official day of spring is March 20th this year. A perfect time to start Spring Cleaning. And of course the first place I started cleaning out was my freezer and refrigerator. I found all of the ingredients for this super easy and yummy Rainbow Salad with a Raspberry Yogurt Vinaigrette dressing already in my kitchen.
Here is an easy and tasty way to get you and your family to Eat a Rainbow today. Eating the full rainbow of foods regularly helps give your body the nutrients it needs. They not only provide vitamins, minerals, and fiber, but naturally colored foods contain phytonutrients. These powerful phytochemicals are the disease-fighting substances that also give fruits and vegetables their array of colors.
My youngest child, Sierra, doesn’t have all of her molars yet, so chewing or grinding lettuces or other green leaves is a bit of challenge. I noticed that when I shared my salads with her, she would eat everything but the lettuce. So I decided to make her a “leaf-free” salad.
This is a simple yet versatile dish. It can be a jazzy side dish to grilled chicken or fish. Or add a boiled egg or bits of turkey and nuts and make it a complete meal. The great thing about this Rainbow Salad is that you can use any fruits and vegetables that you have left over to make it. While cleaning out my freezer, I found a couple of bags of frozen organic peas and corn. I was able to use the last two strawberries in the basket. I had half a cucumber and half an avocado from yesterday’s lunch. And the rest of the ingredients came from the fridge and pantry. My daughter loves sliced black olives and dried cranberries, so those went in. We needed more “colors” of the rainbow to finish it off. I added a Roma tomato and a few blueberries. AND some of my favorite citrus fruits are in season. Have you heard of Cara Cara Oranges? They taste like a delicious cross between an orange and a grapefruit. I HAD to put those in. I also usually add carrots and bell peppers, but we ate all those with last night’s dinner. Finally, I added a boiled egg for some protein.
Assembly of this salad couldn’t be easier though there are a few steps. First is to gather your ingredients. Second, I blanch the frozen and firmer vegetables. This thaws the frozen peas and corn, and softens the firmer veggies like broccoli and carrots, making it a perfect texture for Sierra. Next, I cut up the rest of the ingredients into uniform, bite-sized pieces. Then I toss everything into a bowl, add my favorite dressing and a tablespoon of Greek yogurt, and MIX. I had just enough left over raspberry vinaigrette dressing, that I made with my awesome Vitamix, from yesterday’s lunch to use in this salad. I like to add a tablespoon of Greek Yogurt for creaminess. My littlest helper was ready to dive in before we finished making this Rainbow Salad.
As I said earlier, this is a very versatile salad. You can adapt it to fit any of your specific dietary or taste preferences. Don’t like raspberry vinaigrette? Use Balsamic vinaigrette, or ranch dressing, or a yummy yogurt curry dressing. Paleo diet? Substitute the Greek yogurt it with coconut milk yogurt or almond milk yogurt. Vegan diet? Use tofu instead of boiled eggs. Soy free? Use nuts or beans for protein. Low carb diet? Use only vegetables and low carb fruits. You get the picture. Enjoy!
Suggestions, tips, or improvements? Leave me a comment!
- 1/2 Roma Tomato
- 2 strawberries
- 1/4 cup orange segments
- 2 Tablespoons frozen peas
- 2 Tablespoons frozen corn
- 1/2 ripe avocado
- 1/4 medium cucumber
- 1/2 cup broccoli florets
- 1/4 cup blueberries
- 1/4 cup dried cranberries
- 1/4 cup sliced black olives
- 1 boiled egg
- 2 Tablespoons Raspberry Vinaigrette Dressing
- 1 Tablespoon Greek yogurt
- Blanch the frozen peas and corn, and the broccoli for 3 to 5 minutes depending on your desired tenderness.
- Cut the strawberries, tomato, orange, cucumber, and avocado into uniform bite sized pieces.
- Add these to a large mixing bowl.
- Add the olives, blueberries, cranberries, raspberry vinaigrette, and yogurt.
- Toss well to mix evenly.
- Slice egg and add to top of salad.
- Salt and pepper to taste.