They say we need to “eat the rainbow” everyday. Getting the full spectrum of colorful fruits and veggies into your diet daily will help increase and insure your intake of a variety of phytochemicals and nutrients our bodies need to perform optimally. Well, this salad will definitely send you on your way over the rainbow. Add some red (purple) cabbage and carrots and I think you’ll have the whole spectrum! I used swiss chard here, but you can use any of a wide variety of greens. Spinach, kale, and beet greens are all good substitutions too. Beans and brown rice are not only good sources of plant protein, but they are very high in fiber too. This salad is great served cold, room temp or warm, and is great for parties. Sometimes its nice to have a healthy, colorful alternative to the traditional holiday party fare. Have leftovers? Wrap it up in a blanched collard leaf or toasted whole wheat pita, and you’ve got a great lunch on the run!
3 cups cooked brown rice
2 cups (or 1 14.5 oz. can) black or pinto beans, drained and rinsed
½ red bell pepper, seeded and diced
1 medium tomato, seeded and diced
1 small zucchini, diced
2-3 scallions (green onions) green parts only, thinly sliced
1-2 cups frozen corn (or one can, drained)
1 bunch Swiss Chard, tough stems removed, and chopped into small pieces
½ avocado, diced
2-3 Tablespoons rice wine vinegar OR balsamic vinegar
salt and pepper to taste
Place all ingredients in a large bowl and toss to combine.
TIP: If you want, you can put all of the veggies in first, leaving the greens for the top layer. Then warm up the rice and beans and place them on top of the greens. Then toss to combine. This will help wilt the greens a little and warm up the salad a bit too. Can be served warm or cold.