Rainbow Salad Bowl
EVENT: SHHH COOKING SECRETLY
THEME: SUMMER SALAD
RAINBOW SALAD BOWL
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.
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 Kakdi. Shobha 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.
- I love making Baked Falafel Salad Bowl served with Tahini Yogurt Dressing. Protein comes from the falafel.
- Burrito Bowl Salad – I like to serve this salad with quinoa instead of the usual rice and replace the tortilla with just a few crunchy tortilla chips.
- Veg Protein Burrito Bowl – I serve brown rice in this Mexican flavored Salad, replacing meat with chickpeas.
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.
- Gluten Free
- For Vegan version use vegan yogurt
- For Satvik friendly salad omit onion
RAINBOW SALAD BOWL
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.
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