Rainbow Salad

IMG_4021This is a beautiful salad.  I eat with my eyes first.  I always appreciate fun combinations of delicious ingredients.  When I started making this salad I had the red cabbage and the snow peas on the counter.  I felt uninspired and short on patience.  It was a long day and the last thing I felt like doing was making dinner.    Ever have one of those days?  Undoubtedly you have.  I opened the fridge for inspiration… I had just gotten groceries, so I knew I would find something good if I just put in the effort.

I started by boiling some water to quickly cook the snow peas.  In the meantime I chopped the cabbage.  I cooked the peas for about 3 minutes and used a spoon to take them from the boiling water, then shocked them with cold water.  I used the boiling water to pour over the cabbage.  It released an amazing amount of purple into the sink.  Pouring boiling water over cabbage softens it, and I find with red cabbage in particular, it makes it more vibrant, appealing and helps to prevent the whole dish from becoming purple.  I was going for all the colours of the rainbow, so chopped up some red and yellow peppers, shredded a carrot, thinly sliced up some green mango and some green onions. A beautiful combination.

As for dressing, I was going for an Asian feel.  I combined all of my ingredients in a small mason jar, and voila… a salad is born.

Here’s the recipe:

  • 1/2 head of red cabbage, shredded/chopped (pour boiling water over to soften)
  • handful of snow peas, trimmed and boiled for three min (then shocked in cold water)
  • 1 red pepper
  • 1 yellow pepper
  • 1 med carrot, shredded
  • 4 green onions, chopped
  • 1 green mango, peeled and sliced
  • 1 tbsp sesame seeds
  • 1/4c raw cashews

Dressing:

  • 3 tbsp olive oil
  • 1.5 tbsp rice wine vinegar
  • 1 small clove garlic
  • 1/2″ of fresh ginger, minced
  • 1 tsp miso paste
  • 2 tsp maple syrup
  • 1/2 tsp tamari

Combine all of the salad ingredients and toss with the dressing (start with half of the dressing, and add as needed).

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My kids really enjoyed this salad, even though they reminded me frequently that I missed adding something blue.  “A rainbow also has BLUE!!”.  Regardless of the missing blue, this salad was a keeper.  As we ate it, I thought about parents who dismiss vegetables outright for their kids.  “Susie doesn’t like vegetables”… or “I can’t get Jake to eat veggies”.  Putting a gorgeous and fun salad together, (and enjoying it yourself) can really help to bring fun into eating vegetables and make it a whole lot more appealing.

This beauty would go nicely with just about anything.  I was thinking that some nice garlic and ginger tofu would have made it a nice veggie meal, but again will save that one for next time.  We had ours with a Blue Goose rotisserie chicken (remember, I started this meal feeling very lazy).

Enjoy your own variation of this colourful salad one day soon.