At the end of the rainbow lies … salad?

Theoretically I know that I should ‘eat the rainbow’ every day. But putting that into practice can be hard – especially if I’m chasing after the kids all day. Short of surviving entirely on soup & smoothies (which may not actually be a bad thing… but I digress) who has time to prep 7 different fruits or veggies each meal? 

I do. 

I mean I don’t think I do, but really when you take a look at how long it took to pull together tonight’s meal… well there really are no excuses.

Obviously I cheated – I bought spiralized summer squash, beets & sweet potato from the grocer. And the baked tofu was done by those clever folks at Wildwood. But the rest was me – and 30 minutes later I had a delicious and incredibly filling salad for 6 ready.

I started by throughly rinsing half a cup of red & white quinoa to get rid of its powdery residue (this removes that bitter flavor that the seed can sometimes have when cooked). I then cooked it, covered, in one cup of boiling water for 15 minutes.

While the quinoa was cooking I prepped the other salad ingredients, starting with my favorite: green & purple curly kale. I’ve waxed lyrical in previous posts about the demanding nature of kale prep & people have asked my why I bother doing anything beyond washing & deveining the leaves. The simple answer is – because salting & massaging the chopped leaves is the only way I can get my kids to eat it. Like with eggplant the salt seems to draw out some of the bitterness; while the oil massage breaks down that rigid cellulose structure so it’s more tender and ‘lettuce like’ to eat.

Once the greens are massaged & cooling off in the fridge I quickly steamed the summer squash, beets and sweet potato. I did these in separate batches so the beets wouldn’t bleed over the other colors.

Then it was just a case of slicing the red onion & cremini mushrooms and cooking them over low heat with a little olive oil. 

Once the quinoa was ready I stirred it through the kale – I find that the heat from the quinoa helps to soften the leaves even further and I’ll often put these two together before adding other ingredients in.

I pulled together the tahini dressing using a quarter cup of tahini, one tablespoon of rice wine vinegar, one teaspoon of soy sauce, one tablespoon of black chia seeds, one tablespoon of ground flax and enough water to make it into a runny sauce.

Then (finally!) to construct the salad I used the kale-quinoa mix as the base, arranged the other vegetables & tofu on top and finished the dish with sliced tomato, a wedge of avocado and a drizzle of the tahini dressing.

Voilà! Rainbow salad bowl… now if only I could convince the kids that we should eat it every night I wouldn’t have to think-up any more cunning ways to serve 7 differently colored veggies 😉

#vegan #kidfriendlyvegan #mindfuleating #wholefood #eatingtherainbow

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