You can’t beat a summer rainbow salad, with organic vegetables and salad leaves, it’s just so delicious to eat, so fortifying. A good salad, with fresh ingredients, a variety of colour and texture, and a tasty dressing, makes you feel amazing; while you’re making it, while you’re eating and afterwards; which is the key to all good food, that it should make you feel good before, during and after eating. The colours alone are so beautiful and uplifting, it is truly a rainbow salad.
My mother, (though she’d be sure to deny it) makes the most wonderful summer salads, they’re always big and full of interesting things, in a beautiful earthenware bowl, with so much care taken. Avoiding waste, she incorporates leftover grains (and pseudo-grains) and makes a salad filling, wholesome, and so good to eat as a meal in itself; with her own unique combinations. I cannot replicate my mother’s wonderful salads; our taste is different, our impulses different. I think everyone’s salads must taste different in some way; it never ceases to amaze me how so many variations, however subtle, can come from the same or similar things, how massive our ability is to perceive those subtleties, and how personal that perception is. And of course it’s true in all aspects of life.
We experience food on so many levels. So often the anticipation of and strong desire for food is connected to memory and identity, on many levels. It’s so cultural, and personal. In my experience if our relationship with food is off kilter, is too intense, too needy, and we are eating too many of the wrong things, this intensity can be due to the body lacking in minerals and vitamins of some kind. Incorporating salads like this into your diet may help if this is a problem for you, and is especially important if you are a coeliac (celiac), like me, and have difficulty absorbing nutrients leading to deficiencies. Foods like avocados are especially rich in nutrients, eat as many as you want to!
I try to keep things simple and more carefree these days, and my diet of whole foods has enabled me to do that, to be more mindful, and to focus on the reality of the food, of what and why I am eating. I used to have a lot of strong food cravings, they dominated my life for so many years, and now I am completely free of them, and I am certain this is due to having a diet mainly consisting of fruit and vegetables, and so gaining the balance of nutrients my body needs.
the whole foods I eat have liberated me and enabled me to have a straightforward and appreciative relationship with food.
For this rainbow salad, I am using my coleslaw recipe, with purple cabbage instead of white, which I had in the fridge ready, and adds a real depth of flavour and goodness.
I’m also using chickpeas (garbanzo beans), which I had to hand, and are always lovely to eat, but can be replaced by any other bean you prefer, perhaps a smoother bean like cannellini, which I love, or an earthier bean like the (apparently often under-rated) black-eyed bean.
The dressing is a simple honey and mustard, replace the honey with coconut sugar or your favourite natural sweetener for a vegan dressing, and add any fresh herbs you have to hand. Parsley, basil, or mint would all be lovely too. I am growing chives, so they were perfect for me, and really add to the dish with their beautiful hot onion flavour and anti-inflammatory goodness.
Celebrate the flavours you love in your rainbow salad, and your own way of doing things, whilst taking inspiration from the world around you ♥
- 6 radishes
- 1 Little gem lettuce/ several large green lettuce leaves
- Handful of sweetcorn kernels
- Handful of chickpeas (garbanzo beans, or bean of choice)
- 1/2 an avocado pear
- 2 tbsp chopped chives
- Purple coleslaw with sauerkraut - follow link for recipe
- 2 tbsp raw cider vinegar (if using non raw remember it's stronger)
- 1 tbsp fresh lemon juice1 tbsp cold pressed extra virgin olive oilpinch of salt, to taste
- 1/2 tsp agave, or other sweetener you like
- 1/2 tsp wholegrain mustard
Mix the dressing ingredients together thoroughly. Best left but good straight away. Stir before serving.
Wash, dry and chop the lettuce into shreds, scoop out the avocado, wash, chop, and assemble salad ingredients in a bowl or on your plate.
Pour the dressing over the salad just before serving.
This rainbow salad is lovely as it is, but so are so many variations; you can add or take away whatever you like, adjusting to what you have. Add a few crumbled walnuts, roasted seeds, some raw courgette (zucchini), sprouts, change the chickpeas (garbanzo beans) for black beans or whatever you fancy. I love raw freshly podded peas. Create a balanced and beautiful rainbow feast for the eyes and more!
If you are making more than you'll eat straight away, keep the dressing and coleslaw separate until serving.