I like pretty things. Maybe not what you’d consider traditional ‘pretty things’ but really I like color. And texture. And diversity. Maybe it’s the sign of a short attention span. Or because I’m a Gemini. When I was asked to develop two recipes for Glam Media’s Foodie.comfree, online back to school cookbook Family Flavors, I wanted to incorporate all these things; color, texture and diversity. I’m excited by the first visual of a good looking food and wanted to relate that in this dish.
The cookbook is designed to aid the back to school madness that sets in at meal time, providing recipes that can be made in less than an hour, with less than 10 ingredients, appealing both to children and adults. The concept of ‘Eating the Rainbow’ leapt to mind. Despite sounding possibly like the objective of a 1960’s acid trip, eating the rainbow is a nouveau goal of consuming foods of all colors in a day. Each color group of produce bears different nutrients and eating all of them affords positive variability in one’s diet.
Both my children have always taken lunch to school due to our inability to eat gluten but the younger enjoys ‘Rainbow Day’ at school for all students who eat for free from the school cafeteria salad bar, getting a sticker if they eat foods of all the colors of the rainbow. Somehow making it a goal and involving the sticker gets kids very excited about eating produce that may normally cause noses to be turned up.
For my recipe contribution I loved the idea of a slaw, made quickly and simply with the aid of a food processor, dressed in a way that might add more nutrition as well as taste-appeal while using as many of the rainbow colors possible. Adding the fruit to a simple balsamic vinegar dressing, sweetened by honey keeps the slaw fresh and the flavors familiar though unexpected in this dish. The sunflower seeds give it a crunch I love. With honey being a natural preservative as well as the vinegar, the dressing will remain fresh in the refrigerator for three weeks able to use it on lettuce and fruit salads too.
And I think it’s very pretty. Don’t you?
CRUNCHY CONFETTI SLAW with FRESH STRAWBERRY-PEACH BALSAMIC DRESSING
To keep the slaw crunchy, keep the slaw and dressing separate, mixing just before serving. If you have extra undressed slaw it can be kept in an airtight container in the refrigerator for another use and dressed when needed. I used fresh fruit to make the dressing however if you desire to make it out of season it could be made with frozen, thawed fruit since it is pureed into the dressing.
Serves: 8 – 1+ cup servings
Preparation time: 20 minutes
· ½ small head Green Cabbage
· ½ small head Purple Cabbage
· 2 large Carrots, trimmed and scrubbed
· 2 cups Strawberries, hulled
· 2 small-medium Peaches, peeled and pitted
· 1 tablespoon Honey
· ¼ cup Safflower or other vegetable oil (NOT Olive Oil)
· ¼ cup Balsamic Vinegar
1. Using the grating disk in a food processor, grate the green cabbage, purple cabbage and carrots. Transfer them into a large bowl and set aside.
2. In a blender combine the strawberries, peaches, honey, oil and balsamic vinegar. Pulse until it liquefies into a dressing.
3. Toss the amount of desired dressing into the slaw (note: the dressing recipe will be more than most will need for this volume of slaw to apply it slowly, toss and add more if desired to meet your personal preference). Add 2 tablespoons of sunflower seeds on top of each serving.