This time of year is all about colour. From the fun-filled festivities to the weather getting warmer, everyone’s in a great mood as the holidays draw closer. And, with summer in full swing, it’s time to turn to healthy, fresh meals that leave you feeling energised and ready to take on all those parties you’ve got planned.
So, what better way to welcome the holidays than with a Christmas salad recipe from food blogger Katerina from Once a Foodie? This easy rainbow salad has all the colours but none of the guilt. Vegan, nutritional and filling, this refreshing side salad will make the perfect accompaniment to all your festive barbies.
Over to you, Katerina!
Easy rainbow salad by Katerina | Once a Foodie
The first time I made this delicious holiday meal was on a Friday at lunchtime, when I was working from home, watching the kids, and trying to do endless other things at the same time. Mum life!
Staring into the fridge was like gazing into your wardrobe and seeing nothing to wear. Delicious Asian pork roast, but what veggies to serve with it? I looked again and came across a quarter of a lovely purple cabbage from the farmer’s market, carrots, corn and some lemon juice. That’s when I realised what I could make!
What you need to make this Christmas salad
From purple cabbage to olive oil, here are the essentials for this delicious Christmas salad recipe.
The foundation of this recipe, along with carrots. I just slice it finely with a knife. Purple cabbage is a great source of antioxidants and other beneficial plant compounds that help protect against cellular damage.
Grated in, carrots provide a fabulous shot of orange in this festive side dish. Carrots are a particularly good source of beta carotene, fibre, vitamin K1, potassium and antioxidants. They also have a number of health benefits such as they may help with weight loss and have been linked to lower cholesterol levels and improved eye health.
I like to grate them in, juice and all, for a mouth-watering layer of sweetness. Pears are rich in important antioxidants and dietary fibre, packing all of these nutrients in a fat-free, cholesterol-free, low-calorie package. Yum!
My favourites are mint and basil, which is what I have growing on my window sill at the moment, but feel free to use whatever herbs you want for a pop of green and to aid digestion.
Another excellent extra touch for sweetness, raisins are rich in fibre, vitamins and minerals. They’re naturally sweet and high in sugar and calories, but they’re beneficial to our health when eaten in moderation. On top of this, raisins can aid digestion, boost iron levels, and keep your bones strong!
What’s a rainbow without yellow? Corn is a good source of antioxidant carotenoids, such as lutein and zeaxanthin, which may promote eye health. It’s also a rich source of several vitamins and minerals.
The first ingredient in this simple but tasty dressing. Lemons contain a high amount of vitamin C, soluble fibre and plant compounds that give them a number of health benefits. Lemons may aid weight loss and reduce your risk of heart disease, anaemia, kidney stones, digestive issues, and cancer.
The second part of the zesty dressing. The predominant fatty acid in olive oil is a monounsaturated fat called oleic acid, making up 73% of the total oil content. Studies suggest that oleic acid reduces inflammation and may even have beneficial effects on genes linked to cancer. A true pantry staple!
Why I love this Christmas salad
I’ll be honest – when I first made this, it was supposed to be a filling for a sandwich, but I honestly devoured nearly the whole thing (I shared with the kids, otherwise it would have been 100% mine) straight out the bowl. It’s that good.
I’ve made it a few times since and just love the vibrancy of the colours. The textures, the sweetness which comes from the carrot, pear and the raisins and the sharpness from the lemon juice.
How I changed the recipe
The recipe for this salad was based on a recipe for flatbread sandwiches with hummus and carrot slaw which I found in The Green Kitchen at Home cookbook by David Frenkiel and Luise Vindahl.
While I was inspired by David Frenkiel’s recipe, I have given this recipe a twist of my own. The original recipe is slaw and uses onion instead of cabbage. We’re currently going through a phase of absolutely loving red (purple) cabbage in everything at my home, so I used that instead. I also added the pear and the corn but kept the dressing pretty much as is and used similar amounts of ingredients.
If you don’t already have The Green Kitchen at Home cookbook (or the other two Green Kitchen cookbooks), I can heartily recommend them – they have some wonderful recipes in them. I’m in the process of making a fermented cabbage recipe from this cookbook, so keep an eye out on my blog for that. So excited to be fermenting something at home (finally)!
- About 1/8 small head of purple (red) cabbage, sliced or chopped
- 1.5 – 2 small or medium carrots, grated
- 1 small ripe pear, grated
- a small handful of mint and basil leaves snipped with scissors into thin strips or chopped
- a small handful of cooked corn kernels
- a small handful (about 2 tbsp) of raisins
- 1.5 tbsp lemon juice
- 1 tbsp olive oil (I used olive oil infused with garlic)
- pinch of salt
- Place all ingredients in a bowl and mix together.
- Let the mixture sit for 5-10 minutes to let the flavours blend and fuse together.