Build a Rainbow Meal

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Eating the Rainbow is a real thing people, a real thing! 

One of the keys to making a kick-ass nutritious salad is making sure it’s chocked full of color. The easiest way to achieve this is to think about a rainbow when layering your salad: red, orange, yellow, green, blue/purple. I try to add at least one ingredient of each color to ensure a nutrient dense and varied meal. Below is just a quick reference of assorted veggies, fruit and grains.

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VEGGIES

Red: bell peppers, radishes, candy cane beets, beets, shallot
Orange: orange bell pepper, carrots, sweet potato, butternut squash
Yellow: yellow squash, banana peppers, yellow peppers, corn, beets, spaghetti squash, onion, yellow tomatoes
Green: lettuces, green onion, leek, fennel, zucchini, herbs, snow peas, green beans, broccoli, cabbage, celery
Blue/Purple: eggplant, purple cabbage, purple onion, raisins, purple asparagus, heirloom corn, heirloom tomatoes, endive, radicchio 

FRUIT

Red: pomegranate, apple, grapefruit, raspberries, strawberries, cherries
Orange: oranges, mango, papaya, cantaloupe, peaches, persimmons
Yellow: banana, pineapple, lemon, yellow pear
Green: avocado, lime, apples, grapes, kiwi, 
Blue/Purple: grapes, figs, blackberries, blueberries, raisins, plums

GRAINS/LEGUMES

Red: red quinoa, pinto beans, red lentils, red rice
Orange/Yellow: quinoa, millet, amaranth, yellow peas, garbanzo
Green: mung beans, green peas, 
Blue/Purple: black rice, wild rice, black lentils, black beans

EXAMPLE SALAD

Red: chopped beets and cherry tomatoes
Orange: shredded carrots, quinoa 
Yellow: spiralized summer squash (or shredded/chopped)
Green: spinach and chopped celery 
Blue/Purple: purple onion and shredded purple cabbage

And viola, your salad meal is complete! 

Since I eat a ton (and I mean a ton) of veggies, I sometimes make monochromatic meals as well. i.e., I pick an entire color, say red, and make a meal with only red foods (red cabbage, radicchio, purple onion, raisins, beets, and blueberries). It seems slightly OCD, I realize this, but it’s actually fun and somewhat of a creative escape. Moreover, it challenges you to think outside your typical produce haul and discover new & unique ingredients!

I hear people complain a lot about feeding children healthy and I’m like ‘make it a game for god’s sake!’ Here are some examples:

  • Hand each kid a card with a color on it and head to the grocery store. In the produce isle, let them pick 3 ingredients that correlate to their color. If you only have one child, then do it together and give them multiple color cards.
  • Section of your fridge into colors and buy baskets correlating to those colors (seriously, you can get this stuff for cheap at dollar stores or TJ Maxx). Make it a matching a game – produce to correct color basket.

If you install these habits into your children at an early age, they are more likely to stick with them as the grow up. There was a reason I was a kick ass babysitter in my younger days – Because I’m super fun! (I just laughed out loud, but really… I am) Make eating healthy enjoyable, not a burden!

If you follow me on Instagram, I often add weekly snap shots of my fridge. Here are two – Sometimes I chop everything up and put into containers (the salad bar fridge) or I place in bins for weeks where I’m doing lots of juicing. It’s peaceful to have a pretty fridge – PLUS, it’s a guaranteed way to make better eating choices!

collective

Send, snap, tweet, facebook, or insta your Rainbow creation @calliengland or @rawxies

xo
Callie

 

 

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