Stuck for salad inspiration? Eat a rainbow!

Everyone knows that salad is good for you, and one of the best things about a salad is that you can throw pretty much anything in there.  If you find yourself reaching for the same few ingredients each time you make a salad, try ‘eating a rainbow’ instead! Think about choosing vegetables and fruit in lots of different colors, and not only will you guarantee a wider range of amazing nutrients, you may also surprise yourself with some delicious new flavor combinations.

Try a salad a day

If you feel like you or your family would benefit from a few more portions of fruit and vegetables, how about setting yourself a challenge to eat a salad a day? Swapping in a hearty salad instead of one of your main meals is an easy way to get all your recommended portions of veg in one sitting. A big, healthy salad will also be full of volume and probably take a while to eat, so you will feel satiated and fuller for longer. It makes it easy to decide what to have for that meal, and makes your other meals less stressful because you know your salad ticks the healthy box for the day.

The great thing about salads is that the options are endless. This recipe uses a base of spinach and cos for phytonutrients and fiber, but any leafy veg or crispy lettuce will do. For color, flavor, and texture we’ve added tomatoes off the vine, cool cucumber, and bright yellow bell pepper. All of these are full of antioxidants, vitamins, and minerals. Blueberries add some extra color, sweetness, and superfood status. You can practically feel your skin brightening as you eat it!

The soft-yolked egg on top is an excellent source of protein, but if you prefer, you can swap this for a couple of pieces of grilled halloumi, some bacon, or some nuts and seeds. Always try to add a source of lean protein to your salad for energy and muscle growth.

Making your own dressing is easy and takes your salad to the next level, increasing the satisfaction factor. A really quick and simple dressing uses olive oil and balsamic vinegar as a base, and a small amount of honey and mustard. But, just the like the salad itself, you can play with flavors depending on what you have on hand. Adding some fresh thyme instead of the honey and mustard is a tasty alternative.

Tell us your favorite salad combinations in the comments below!

IIN - rainbow salad ingredients

Rainbow Salad with Honey and Mustard Dressing (serves 1, or 2 as a side salad)

For the salad:

Handful of spinach

Handful of purple cos leaves

2 tomatoes

Half a yellow bell pepper

1/4 cup of cucumber

Half an avocado

1/4 cup of blueberries

1 egg

For the dressing:

4 tsp olive oil

1 tsp balsamic vinegar

½ tsp Dijon mustard

½ tsp runny honey

Salt and pepper to taste

Directions

  1. Boil an egg. For a large egg, boiling for 5 minutes, then turn off the heat and let it stand in the hot water for 3 minutes. This will result in a lovely runny yolk.
  2. Meanwhile, arrange the spinach and cos leaves in a salad bowl.
  3. Chop the tomatoes, pepper, cucumber, and avocado. Add everything to the bowl, along with a sprinkling of blueberries.
  4. To make the dressing, put all the ingredients in a small bowl or glass jar and stir well. Season to taste and drizzle over the salad when you are ready to serve.
  5. Allow the egg to cool slightly before peeling. Chop into quarters or slices and place on top of the salad.IIN - rainbow salad

Recipe Notes

  • Grilled halloumi or grilled chicken make excellent toppings, as an alternative to egg.
  • For a vegan version, simply leave out the egg and add some pumpkin seeds and cashew nuts for extra protein.
  • Instead of honey and mustard, add some fresh thyme and half a teaspoonful of sugar to the dressing for a different flavor.
  • The salad is best eaten immediately, but if you’re not serving straight away, leave out the avocado and dressing for now. The remainder can be refrigerated in an airtight container overnight.

Integrative Nutrition is the world’s largest nutrition school and Health Coach Training Program. Through our innovative, one-year online course, students learn the principles of health coaching, business skills, and over 100 different dietary theories with lectures by the world’s leading experts.

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