Rainbow Salad Bowl

June 30, 2020mayurisjikoni
Blog post




A bit about the group:

Members of this group give their partners two secret ingredients according to the theme decided and prepare a dish. Once the dish is ready we add the photo only and other members try and guess the secret ingredients. Towards the end of the month the secret is revealed when we share the recipe link. This month’s theme SUMMER SALAD was suggested by Kalyani. Kalyani’s blog has a variety of recipes right from South Indian Dishes to other world cuisines.

My Partners

For this theme I had two partners,  Seema who blogs at Mildly Indian and Shobha who blogs at Shobha’s Food Mazaa.

Seema’s blog is full of recipes tried out from every place that she has visited or lived in. Seema gave me cucumber and black pepper as my ingredients. Initially was planning to make a simple cucumber salad but Rainbow Salad came up as a light meal option. I requested that Seema uses olive oil and mint in the salad that she prepares. Using those ingredients she prepared …

While Shobha didn’t give me ingredients to prepare my salad with I gave her peanuts and green chilis. Using those ingredients she made a traditional  Maharashtrian salad – Khamang KakdiShobha has her own vlog which you must check out. Just search ShobhasFoodMazaa on You Tube.

What are Summer Salads?

Well basically salads that are prepared using vegetables, fruits and herbs available during summer. Different countries have different ingredients available during summer. While strawberries and other berries are predominantly summer fruits for countries in the temperate zone, in India is available in abundance during winter.  As for me practically the whole year in Mombasa is hot and humid so basic salad ingredients are available throughout the year. Having said that, during the really hot months from December to March buying fresh salad leaves is a nightmare as by the time they get here, most of them are wilted.

Another description of Summer Salads is salads that are enjoyed during the hot season as light meals. Most people don’t want to be working over hot stoves for hours in humid kitchens. Summer salads are not only nutritious, refreshing but also filling.

What is a Salad Bowl?

Salad bowls are usually several salad ingredients like vegetables and fruits all served with some kind of carbohydrate or protein rich food. Salad ingredients are arranged in a bowl along with rice, meat, legumes, millet, quinoa or couscous and served as a light meal.

Ingredients used for a Salad Bowl can easily be served as a mixed salad which are filling and nutritious.

Salads that you can enjoy as a light meal:

  • My favorite salad is Greek Salad/ Horiatiki because I love feta cheese and its a meal on its own.
  • I love the texture of pearl couscous and try and make a Mediterranean Perl Couscous Salad whenever I get the pasta. Yes the real Israeli Pearl Couscous is a pasta.
  • Sprouted Moong Salad is my way of enjoying the full health benefits of sprouted moong – in a more fun and easy way.
  • Kalyani’s Pear and Pomegranate Salad is just the right balance of fruits and veggies that I enjoy.
  • Sometimes I crave for salads with Indian flavors and Kalyani’s Kosambari (Cucumber Salad) is just right as it has tempering of mustard seeds, a bit of asafetida, curry leaves and fresh coriander.
  • Whenever I get some brahmi leaves I’d definitely want to try out Seema’s Grape and Brahmi Salad.
  • Peanut and Fruit Salad is what I make when I want some Indian spices in a salad and it makes a flavorful salad with both mango and avocado added to it.
  • I love trying out new recipes and I’m so glad that I made Pear and Brie Salad when my son bought it for me to try out.
  • Strawberry Green Bean Salad is a very refreshing and healthy salad to enjoy during the summer time with a Poppy Seed and Orange Dressing.
  • I’d love to try Shobha’s Spicy Thai Green Papaya Salad but without the fish sauce. I love the salad.

What is a Rainbow Salad?

Don’t how the term rainbow exactly originated but a rainbow salad is a mixture of vibrantly coloured ingredients. One tries to incorporate all the colors of the rainbow into a salad. The flavors of a rainbow salad with vary according to the ingredients and dressing used.

  • Violet – The closet ingredient that comes to violet is red cabbage, purple yam, purple cauliflower.
  • Indigo – Not a huge list but usually indigo fruits or vegetables come with an overtone of black so ingredients like blueberries, blackberries, black olives, black beans, plums are a good choice.
  • Blue – not too many choices, but again blueberries fall in this category, blue corn, juniper berries.
  • Green – there is no shortage of choice here – broccoli, salad leaves, green pepper, green beans, peas, avocado, cucumber, kiwi are just a few examples.
  • Yellow – Sweet corn, yellow sweet pepper, yellow tomatoes, yellow zucchini, yellow chickpea lentils, turmeric, grapefruit, some mangoes are common yellow salad ingredients.
  • Orange – Orange fruit, carrot, pumpkin, peaches, nectarine, orange sweet pepper, tangerine, mangoes all fall in this colour group.
  • Red – Tomato, beetroot, cherries, kidney beans, red sweet pepper, apples, strawberries, raspberries, watermelon are a few examples.

Do you see how easy it is to put a few ingredients together to create a colorful rainbow salad…appealing, vibrant, tempting and healthy? You don’t have to include all the  colour groups, a few are enough.

Ingredients for Rainbow Salad Bowl:

  • Carrot – peeled and cut into cubes, julienne or shredded
  • Cucumber – I prefer using English Cucumber as the skin is soft and digestible. Dice it or slice it.
  • Red cabbage – shredded or grated or chopped thinly.
  • Beetroot – can use raw or cooked. I roasted mine. Cut into tiny cubes or grate it.
  • Sweet Pepper – use any colour you like. Either cut into small pieces or slices.
  • Chickpeas – tinned or cooked at home. If you cook them at home you need to soak them overnight in warm water. Next day drain out the water, add fresh water and cook with little salt in a pressure cooker till done. Usually 3-4 whistles does the job.
  • Tomatoes – can use any of your choice. Baby ones or normal tomatoes. If using baby ones, leave them whole or cut into halves. If using a normal tomato, dice it.
  • Salad Leaves – any of your choice. Can also use baby spinach. I used lettuce as I didn’t get other salad leaves.
  • Onion – can use white, red or yellow. Cut it into slices or dice it. Can also use spring onion.
  • Avocado – ripe avocado, cut it into slices or cubes.
  • Mint Leaves – fresh mint leaves or use any fresh herbs of your choice.
  • Yogurt – plain thick yogurt.
  • Lemon Juice – use fresh lemon juice or can use a good vinegar.
  • Salt – I used Himalayan Pink Salt. Use any of your choice.
  • Black Pepper Powder – according to your taste.
  • Za’atar Spice Mixture – I’ve used ready made. You can replace it with any hereof your choice.

Dietary Tips:

  • Gluten Free
  • For Vegan version use  vegan yogurt
  • For Satvik friendly salad omit onion
  • Vegetarian


Colourful, healthy, crunchy, filling and delicious, enjoy Rainbow Salad as a light meal or serve it as a party salad.
5 from 17 votes
Prep Time 15 minutes
Total Time 15 minutes
Course Light Meal, Salad
Cuisine American, British
Servings 2


For The Rainbow Salad:

  • ½ cup peeled and diced carrot
  • ½ cup diced cucumber
  • ½ cup shredded red cabbage
  • ½ cup diced beetroot
  • ½ cup diced sweet pepper
  • ½ cup cooked chickpeas
  • 8-10 baby tomatoes, cut into halves
  • 1 cup chopped or torn greens salad leaves
  • ¼ cup sliced onion
  • 1 cup diced avocado
  • 8-10 fresh mint leaves

Za'atar Yogurt Dressing:

  • 1 cup plain thick yogurt
  • 1 tbsp lemon juice
  • ¼ tsp salt
  • ½ tsp black pepper powder
  • 1 tbsp za'atar spice blend


Preparation of the Rainbow Salad:

  • If you're serving as a bowl meal then get two bowls ready.
  • Layer the bottom with the chopped or torn salad leaves.
  • Arrange the chopped ingredients and chicckpeas in both the bowls.
  • If serving as a party salad it is best to mix all the salad ingredients in a big serving bowl.

Preparation of Za'atar Yogurt Dressing:

  • Gently whisk all the ingredients for the dressing.
  • Serve the dressing on the side or drizzle it on top of the salad.


  • I've used roasted beetroot. You can use it cooked or raw.
  • I used lettuce leaves as I didn't have mixed salad greens. Can also use baby spinach.
  • Can replace the chickpeas with other legumes like beans,sweet corn, or grains like quinoa, couscous, rice, etc
  • I've used English Cucumber that doesn't need to be peeled.
  • Use normal chopped tomatoes if you don't get baby tomatoes.
  • Don't have za'atar spice mixture, then replace with a herb of your choice.
Keyword gluten free, healthy food, healthy meal, party salad, salad, vegetarian

Pin for later:

A little request:

If you do try this recipe then please either

  • add a comment below,
  • send a picture to my email mayuri.ajay.patel62@gmail.com
  •  tag me as #mayuri_jikoni on Instagram
  • or tag me on Twitter as #Mayuri1962


  • Shobha Keshwani

    July 1, 2020 at 1:25 pm

    5 stars
    Love the idea and the name of this salad. As colourful as a rainbow. Wecan use any dressing we like and relish it. The zaatar dressing must have given a lovely flavour to it.

    1. mayurisjikoni

      July 1, 2020 at 5:43 pm

      Thank you so much Shobha, yes that’s the charm about this salad use colorful ingredients and dress it they way you like.

  • Rafeeda – The Big Sweet Tooth

    July 2, 2020 at 7:37 am

    5 stars
    I left out a little “wow” when I saw the picture on the group. What a wonderfully beautiful looking salad! There is so much depth of flavors and textures once you mix the bowl with the dressing and have it. Absolutely lovely… Totally loving your range of recipes and how your photography is getting better and better…

    1. mayurisjikoni

      July 2, 2020 at 8:05 pm

      Thank you soooo much Rafeeda, yes trying to pay more attention to photos. As for the salad it is a perfect meal on its own and zaatar flavour is awesome.

    2. The Girl Next Door

      July 6, 2020 at 6:24 am

      5 stars
      This is a ‘rainbow’ salad for sure! Such pretty colours!

      I can imagine the beautiful textures and flavours of this salad. Love the za’atar yogurt dressing you have used here, especially. 🙂

      1. mayurisjikoni

        July 6, 2020 at 3:16 pm

        Thank you so much Priya.. it is a colorful feast for the eyes and tummy too.

    3. Priya Vj

      July 6, 2020 at 8:02 pm

      5 stars
      Wow is the only word that comes to my mind first and next comes the wonderful balance of colors and nutrients that have been incorporated into this salad by adding a variety of ingredients. All in all a healthy salad

      1. mayurisjikoni

        July 6, 2020 at 9:23 pm

        Thank you so much Priya.

  • Poonam Bachhav

    July 7, 2020 at 2:00 pm

    5 stars
    What is not to like in this hearty healthy salad! Loved the rainbow colors you have tried to incorporate in the bowl. Addition of chickpeas is brilliant. With the zattar salad dressing, I am sure it must have been a flavorful treat.

    1. mayurisjikoni

      July 7, 2020 at 7:00 pm

      Thank you so much Poonam. I always feel that colorful salads are more appealing.

  • Preethicuisine

    July 10, 2020 at 9:11 am

    5 stars
    This Rainbow salad looks irresistible. Love the zatar spice yogurt dressing. This delicious and nutritious salad is a perfect light meal.

    1. mayurisjikoni

      July 10, 2020 at 5:37 pm

      Thank you so much Preethi.

  • Jayashree T.Rao

    July 10, 2020 at 12:59 pm

    5 stars
    This is a colourful salad, looks amazing with the vibrant colours. I can have this with every meal.

    1. mayurisjikoni

      July 10, 2020 at 5:35 pm

      Thanks Jayashree, whenever I add all the ingredients, it becomes a meal on its own for us.

  • sujitha

    July 10, 2020 at 1:50 pm

    What a colourful combination of veggies spread, love the vibrant colours, And the roasted beetroots looks very fresh. a must try salad thanks for the share.

    1. mayurisjikoni

      July 10, 2020 at 5:34 pm

      Thank you so much Sujitha. Enjoy the salad whenever you try it.

  • Renu

    July 12, 2020 at 8:47 pm

    5 stars
    As it is said that we need to eat food with different colours in our diets and this rainbow salad fits perfectly. Loving all the different veggies you have used and especially the use of red cabbage as many struggles to find recipes with it. I am all in for such a healthy meal.

    1. mayurisjikoni

      July 13, 2020 at 1:58 pm

      Thank you so much Renu, whenever I get red cabbage, I love to use it especially for salads.

      1. Shobana Vijay

        July 13, 2020 at 4:57 pm

        Awesome colourful salad with so many vegetables. Consuming everything in one shot is really awesome and interesting 👍

      2. mayurisjikoni

        July 13, 2020 at 7:16 pm

        Thank you so much Shobana, it makes a wonderful meal on its own.

  • Archana Potdar

    July 13, 2020 at 6:10 pm

    5 stars
    I am in love with the salad. The colours, the ingredients and the dressing!!! All are what we will enjoy a lot. Thanks, Mayuri one meal I will have no complaints from 3 members. Only will cook for FIL that is easy.

    1. mayurisjikoni

      July 13, 2020 at 7:14 pm

      Thank you so much Archana, if you have paneer lovers in the family replace the chickpeas with paneer.

  • Vasusvegkitchen

    July 15, 2020 at 2:38 pm

    5 stars
    Rainbow salad looks very colorful with very attractive pic di, each color veggie has it’s own taste and health benefit’s. Never heard about za’atar spice mix di, za’atar yogurt dressing surely adds good creamy taste to this salad. Bookmarking this rainbow salad to try soon 🙂

    1. mayurisjikoni

      July 15, 2020 at 3:16 pm

      Thank you so much Aruna. Za’atar is a spice and herb mixture that is quite popular in the Middle East. I love the flavors.

  • anu

    July 15, 2020 at 11:39 pm

    5 stars
    I like the concept of “Eat the Rainbow” and I make it once in a while. This rainbow salad is one that I can bookmark for sure. I never tried to use Za’atar spice in salads. I must give it a try. Great choice of dish.

    1. mayurisjikoni

      July 16, 2020 at 2:16 pm

      Thank you so much Anu. Ever since I ‘discovered’ za’atar love to use it whatever dishes I can.

  • Kalyani

    July 16, 2020 at 9:39 am

    5 stars
    wow @ two partners 🙂 and that’s a rocking , colourful salad there, Mayuri ! thanks for tne mentions on the salad varieties .. and I cant wait to try this soon (altho I am eyeing your horiatiki a lot) :p

    1. mayurisjikoni

      July 16, 2020 at 2:12 pm

      Thanks Kalyani..and try both as am sure salads is an everyday dish just like at my place.


    July 20, 2020 at 7:40 am

    5 stars
    Rainbow salad looks too appealing and colorful. Very healthy and nutritious salad with attractive veggies. zatar salad dressing is perfect to enjoy this salad as meal

    1. mayurisjikoni

      July 21, 2020 at 12:13 am

      Thank you so much Narmadha. Colours is what makes food attractive.

    2. Maria

      February 15, 2021 at 11:50 pm

      5 stars
      After months’ long indulgence in sweets and party food that begins from Christmas onwards, I know for sure that I need to eat salads now. And I need salads that are beautiful, fun and delicious just like your Rainbow salad bowl. It’s a complete meal with that lovely dressing – something I can eat quite often through the week.

      1. mayurisjikoni

        February 16, 2021 at 5:56 pm

        Thank you Maria, enjoy the salad when you make it. I too love having salads as a meal especially when its hot.

  • Sasmita

    July 28, 2020 at 7:00 pm

    This is a much colorful and crunchy salad which one can opt for a light meal sure !
    I simply in love with all the colored veggies you have added here. The za’atar spice mix is an awesome twist here.
    I would love to make sometime 🙂

    1. mayurisjikoni

      July 29, 2020 at 12:15 am

      Thanks Sasmita, its a very easy salad to put together, do try it.

  • Seema Sriram

    July 30, 2020 at 1:03 pm

    5 stars
    I often taught my kids to eat the rainbow, but neglected it for myself as I was too lazy to make a bowl for myself after all their dramas. Now, this image is one I am going to add to my list of must-dos. It is so beautiful that it will shake me up and get me going. Love it.

    1. mayurisjikoni

      July 30, 2020 at 5:05 pm

      Thank you so much Seema, go on pamper yourself as no one else will. Enjoy your rainbow salad.

  • Priya Satheesh

    July 30, 2020 at 9:49 pm

    5 stars
    Wow.. Chickpeas and Avocados! Such a delicious, colourful and nutritious salad. The addition of za’atar spice blend is quite interesting and the images looks so inviting. I love including salads for my breakfast and this seems to be my kind of dish to try it out.. Will try this combination soon.

    1. mayurisjikoni

      July 31, 2020 at 9:43 pm

      Thank you so much Priya. I’ve not considered having salad for breakfast unless there is a bit in my sandwich. Should think of salads for healthier breakfast.

  • Dr.Priyanka Salunke

    July 30, 2021 at 2:21 pm

    5 stars
    A simple yet appetizing and equally nutritious go with easily available ingredients plus what an attractive name 🌈🥗

    1. mayurisjikoni

      August 1, 2021 at 4:11 am

      Thank you so much.

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