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Taste The Rainbow: 45 Recipes to Boost Your Health with Every Bite

I am sure you have heard the saying, “eat the rainbow”, but do you know what it means? It represents the fact that significant nutrition resides in fruits and vegetables, and each color (the actual pigments in the produce makes the difference) brings its own range of phytonutrients.

Not only is there a world out there of incredible flavors and textures, but of varied nutrition as well. Dietitians suggest that we eat across the rainbow of fruits and vegetables to maximize our nutritional intake. We have 45 recipes for you to help you along your colorful way. Get ready for Cream of Tomato Soup with Grilled Cheese Croutons, Vegan Kale Pesto, Roasted Pumpkin Quinoa Salad, Grilled Corn Salad, our beloved Eat-The-Rainbow Slaw, and so many more.

Embracing the Rainbow: The Significance of Colors

Rainbow food.
Image credit Vector Tradition via Shutterstock.

The concept of “Eating the Rainbow” isn’t merely about aesthetics; it’s a testament to the nutritional richness that nature offers. Each color in fruits and vegetables signifies the presence of specific phytonutrients, antioxidants, and vitamins essential for our well-being.

Health Benefits of Green Foods

Graphic for green foods.
Photo credit: Dédé Wilson.

Green fruits and veggies contain lutein, which can help prevent cataracts, as well as other antioxidants that inhibit the action of carcinogens (cancer causing compounds). Choose from avocados, broccoli, Brussels sprouts, cabbage, collard greens, kale, green kiwi, peas, spinach, and fresh green herbs like basil, parsley and cilantro. 

Kale Pesto

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Photo credit: Dédé Wilson.

Our Kale Pesto happens to be vegan – taking advantage of “cheesy” nutritional yeast. The body of the pesto if made up of the expected basil but with hearty kale and flat-leaf parsley as well, which lends balance to the other two bold greens. I do like my pesto with pine nuts, which this uses, but I do provide options for other nuts and seeds. Get the recipe.

Loaded Kale Chips

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Photo credit: Dédé Wilson.

Kale chips are a great snack but can be quite pricey at the store. We show you how to make them at home – and this version is loaded with flavor. Get the recipe for Kale Chips.

Spinach Salad With Hot Bacon Dressing, Chicken & Strawberries

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Photo credit: Dédé Wilson.

This Spinach Salad with Hot Bacon Dressing is a fantastic warm-weather dinner, or a very hearty lunch. The salty blue cheese, sweet strawberries, tender chicken and crisp bacon are a combo you will want to revisit again and again. Get the recipe for Spinach Salad With Hot Bacon Dressing, Chicken & Strawberries.

Brussels Sprouts Salad

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Photo credit: Dédé Wilson.

Looking for a salad that’s really different? This Brussels Sprouts Salad with smoked almonds, pomegranates, and a simple, tangy vinaigrette fits the bill. The shaved Parmesan cheese is optional. Without it, the salad is vegan, your choice. Get the recipe for Brussels Sprouts Salad.

Green Kiwi Smoothie

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Photo credit: Dédé Wilson.

You know how chic restaurants and bars have a signature cocktail? This Green Kiwi Smoothie is ours. It’s green. It’s smooth, sweet and tart. Nutritious, too! It features our beloved kiwi and the color wakes us right up. It’s also packed with vitamins A and C and fiber. Get the recipe.

Simmered Collard Greens

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Photo credit: Dédé Wilson.

There is a reason why simmered collard greens are a classic. Tender greens, flavored with garlic-infused oil and scallions in vegetable broth. Get the recipe for Simmered Collard Greens.

Health Benefits of Red Foods

red foods.
Photo credit: Maki Ochoa via Canva.

Red fruits and vegetables contain the carotenoid lycopene, which is a potent scavenger of gene-damaging free radicals. They appear to protect against prostate cancer, as well as heart and lung disease. Choose from beets, cranberries, raspberries, red grapes, red peppers, strawberries, tomatoes, and watermelon.

Roasted Beet Yogurt Dip With Walnuts

Roasted Beet Dip.
Photo credit: Dédé Wilson.

Dive into the vivid flavors of our Roasted Beet Yogurt Dip, where roasted beetroot meets creamy yogurt and crunchy walnuts. This vibrant dip is not only visually stunning but also packed with earthy goodness and a hint of freshness from parsley. Get the recipe for Roasted Beet Yogurt Dip With Walnuts.

Cream of Tomato Soup with Grilled Cheese Croutons

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Photo credit: Dédé Wilson.

Elevate your soup game with our Cream of Tomato Soup, complete with grilled cheese croutons bobbing around in a sea of rich, velvety tomato goodness. It’s comfort in a bowl with a delightful twist. Get the recipe for Cream of Tomato Soup with Grilled Cheese Croutons.

Strawberry Yogurt Granola Pops

pops.
Photo credit: Dédé Wilson.

Popsicles for breakfast? When they are a combination of yogurt, fruit, and granola, we say why not? You will need a popsicle mold for this recipe. Get the recipe for Strawberry Yogurt Granola Pops.

Roasted Gnocchi

Roasted-Gnocchi-With-Tomatoes-Basil-Arugula-on-oval-white-dish.
Photo credit: Dédé Wilson.

Have you ever oven-roasted prepared gnocchi? You will never boil them again! This one-pan wonder will blow you away. Juicy roasted tomatoes, fresh arugula and basil, along with gluten-free potato gnocchi are so much more than a sum of the parts. Get the recipe for Roasted Gnocchi.

Cranberry Salsa

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Photo credit: Dédé Wilson.

This Cranberry Salsa blew our minds and our palates, and we couldn’t stop eating it. Finely chopped fresh cranberries, scallion greens, cilantro, chiles, lime, sugar and salt come together to be more than a sum of their parts. Tart, crunchy, a tad sweet, a hit of hot and spicy; juicy too. Try this. Trust us. You will be thrilled. Get the recipe.

Fresh Strawberry Tart

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Photo credit: Dédé Wilson.

If you love fresh strawberries and want to make a dessert, look no further. These berries are kept fresh and nestled in a buttery crust. The glaze is made from additional puréed and strained berries. It’s strawberries maximized! Get the recipe for Fresh Strawberry Tart.

Sparkling Ginger Cranberry Punch

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Photo credit: Dédé Wilson.

This gorgeous punch is a combination of and, believe it or not, brewed black tea! Get the recipe.

Health Benefits of Orange & Yellow Foods

Yellow and orange foods.
Photo credit: freestocks.org via Canva.

Sunny yellow and orange produce contain beta cryptothanxin, a carotenoid, which supports intracellular communication, could help prevent heart disease, and can help with night vision! Choose from bananas, cantaloupe, carrots, clementines, corn, oranges, papaya, pineapple, pumpkin, sweet potatoes, tangerines, yellow peppers, and winter squash, such as butternut and kabocha.

Spicy Smoky Pumpkin Soup

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Photo credit: Dédé Wilson.

This recipe uses pure canned pumpkin, with your choice if vegetable broth or chicken stock as the base. Begin with scallion greens sautéed in garlic-infused oil; smoked paprika lends smokiness. A little half-and-half provides extra creaminess. Get the recipe for Spicy Smoky Pumpkin Soup.

Carrots & Parsnips with Dijon Butter & Dill

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Photo credit: Dédé Wilson.

Tender yet crisp earthy root vegetables, roasted to bring out their sweetness, with Dijon mustard for an unexpected tang. The combination of dill and coriander might seem unusual – but it works! Get the recipe for Carrots & Parsnips with Dijon Butter & Dill.

Cantaloupe, Cucumber & Burrata Salad with Mint

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Photo credit: Dédé Wilson.

Salads don’t have to rely on leafy greens this Cantaloupe, Cucumber and Burrata Salad with Basil & Mint will certainly convince you! Sweet melon, cool crunchy cucumbers, shreds of magenta radicchio, fresh basil and mint and creamy burrata cheese. All drizzled with a light vinaigrette. This is an unexpected and welcomed addition to summer cookouts. Get the recipe for Cantaloupe, Cucumber & Burrata Salad with Mint.

Sweet Potato Tacos with Black Beans

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Photo credit: Dédé Wilson.

Our Low FODMAP Sweet Potato Tacos with Black Beans are a perfect vegetarian dinner packed with flavor, texture, and color! Just look at the images. Even meat eaters go crazy for these – and when you drizzle with the Avocado Lime Crema? You’ll be in Tex-Mex heaven. And if you use a vegan yogurt for the crema, they are easily made vegan! Get the recipe for Sweet Potato Tacos with Black Beans.

Carrot Ginger Soup

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Photo credit: Audrey Inouye and Lauren Renlund.

Creamy, yet not too rich. This lovely soup is balanced with the sweet, earthy flavor of carrots with the spark of ginger. Get the recipe foCarrot Ginger Soup.

Roasted Kabocha with Crispy Quinoa Crumbs

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Photo credit: Dédé Wilson.

Our Roasted Pumpkin Quinoa Salad is hearty enough for a main dish at lunch, or add a small amount of roasted meat, chicken, fish, or tofu for dinner. The quinoa is protein-packed and easy to cook. Combined with fresh herbs and nuts and fresh, juicy pomegranate seeds, this is a memorable salad. Company-worthy. Get the recipe for Roasted Kabocha with Crispy Quinoa Crumbs.

Grilled Corn Salsa

grilled-corn-salasa-in-wooden-bowl-with-side-of-corn-chips.
Photo credit: Dédé Wilson.

Whole ears of corn, grilled (get them a bit charred), kernels scraped off the cob and combined with cilantro, lime, cherry tomatoes, and simple seasoning. You can even add black beans. Get the recipe for Grilled Corn Salsa.

Mashed Sweet Potatoes with Candied Spiced Pecans

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Photo credit: Dédé Wilson.

Super smooth and satisfying Mashed Sweet Potatoes with Candied Spiced Pecans! The sweetness from the rich orange sweet potatoes, and crunch from candied pecans spiced with ground cinnamon and ginger create the perfect savory, yet sweet, side dish. Great with turkey, but we also enjoy this dish year-round. Get the recipe for Mashed Sweet Mashed Sweet Potatoes with Candied Spiced Pecans.

Asian Tofu Noodle Papaya Salad

Asian-Tofu-Noodle-Papaya-Salad-on-a-gray-plate-against-dark-background.
Photo credit: Dédé Wilson.

This nutritious salad has so many incredible flavors, colors, and textures intermingling: Tofu, papaya, brilliant orange crunchy carrot, tons of rich, deep green from basil, cilantro, mint, arugula, and watercress – and noodles! Get the recipe for Asian Tofu Noodle Papaya Salad.

Vegan Root Vegetable Soup

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Photo credit: Dédé Wilson.

Potatoes, parsnips, and carrots puréed make a creamy soup, with no added dairy. It all starts with sautéing scallion greens in garlic-oil. And only 5 minutes of prep and about 35 minutes of simmering. Get the recipe for Vegan Root Vegetable Soup.

Root Vegetable Tian

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Photo credit: Dédé Wilson.

Our Root Vegetable Tian combines potatoes and parsnips, beets and sweet potatoes. Sliced thinly, arranged in a baking dish, drizzled with extra-virgin oil, sprinkled with salt, pepper, dried thyme and a little Parmesan (or left out to make the dish vegan), this spectacular side-dish will enhance your weekday roast chicken – or make for a holiday meal or festive get-together. Get the recipe for Root Vegetable Tian.

Health Benefits of White & Brown Foods

white foods.
Photo credit: Dédé Wilson.

Photo credit: Klang Lumpikanon via Canva. The onion family contains allicin, which has anti-tumor properties. Other foods in this group contain antioxidant flavonoids like quercetin and kaempferol. Choose from garlic, cauliflower, daikon radish, leeks, mushrooms, onions, and parsnips (eating to your digestive tolerance, of course).

Halloumi Portobello Burgers with Caramelized Onions

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Photo credit: Emmeline Kemperyd.

These Halloumi Burgers are certainly “extra everything” – topped with mashed avocado, a whole portobello mushroom, crumbled chèvre cheese, peppery arugula and sweet caramelized onions. Easy to make and a sure crowd pleaser! Get the recipe.

15-minute Garlic Butter Shrimp Pasta

Garlic Shrimp pasta.
Photo credit: Emmeline Kemperyd.

This 15-minute Garlic Butter Shrimp Pasta is an irresistible combination of tender shrimp, al dente pasta, and flavorful garlic butter sauce. Follow this simple recipe to create an effortless meal that blends the best of seafood and pasta into a delicious dish the whole family will love. Get the recipe.

Garlic Parmesan Sauce

Garlic sauce.
Photo credit: Emmeline Kemperyd.

Make this flavourful Garlic Parmesan Sauce in just 15 minutes, using everyday ingredients you probably already have in your kitchen. A delicious sauce to mix with pasta, serve on top of pizza, or dip chicken wings in. Get the recipe.

Slow Cooker Sriracha Honey Garlic Pork Chops

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Photo credit: xoxobella.

These slow cooker sriracha honey garlic pork chops make a great dinner any day of the year. They’re easy crockpot pork chops which are sweet and sticky, Chinese inspired, and totally delicious. If you are craving honey garlic pork this is a recipe for you! Get the recipe.

Health Benefits of Blue & Purple Foods

blue and purple foods..
Photo credit: Dédé Wilson.

Blue and purple foods contain powerful antioxidants called anthocyanins believed to delay cellular aging and help the heart by blocking the formation of blood clots. Choose from blueberries, blackberries, purple cabbage and eggplant. And don’t forget purple potatoes!

Smoked Trout Nicoise Salad with Purple Potatoes

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Photo credit: Dédé Wilson.

Sounds fancy, doesn’t it? But the smoked trout is a purchased product, and the rest of the salad is easy to make. It is quickly assembled, after you have made the jammy hard-boiled eggs, boiled the potatoes and beans and made the salad dressing. This colorful composed salad is perfect for a warm weather main dish. Get the recipe for Smoked Trout Nicoise Salad with Purple Potatoes. 

Kale Quinoa Salad with Blueberries & Feta

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Photo credit: Dédé Wilson.

This salad has it all going for it. The title says it all: Kale Quinoa Salad with juicy blueberries, tangy feta, and toasted pecans. Hearty enough for a main-dish lunch. Get the recipe for Kale Quinoa Salad with Blueberries & Feta.

Mixed Berry Terrine

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Photo credit: Dédé Wilson.

Our Mixed Berry Terrine is the perfect choice when you want a gorgeous dessert that is light, low calorie, low fat and absolutely packed with fresh fruit flavor. It is based on unflavored gelatin dissolved in just enough liquid to hold all of those strawberries, blueberries and raspberries together. You can make it in a loaf and unmold it, as we did here, or make it even simpler in a clear glass bowl. Get the recipe for Mixed Berry Terrine.

Eggplant Dip

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Photo credit: Dédé Wilson.

This Eggplant Dip is made from roasted eggplant, tahini, lemon juice and garlic-infused olive oil. We love it as a dip or as a sandwich spread. The pomegranate seeds are optional, but add a bright, fresh, juicy texture and flavor! Get the recipe.

Lighter Eggplant Parmigiana

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Photo credit: Dédé Wilson.

Are you looking for a quick and easy, light eggplant Parmesan? With no breading and reduced calories? This Lighter Eggplant Parmigiana is the recipe for you. We like this version as a side dish. Get the recipe for Lighter Eggplant Parmigiana.

Potato Eggplant Curry

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Photo credit: Dédé Wilson.

Our Potato Eggplant Curry is an easy-to-make dish that you can tailor to your desired heat level. Along with the two main vegetables it also features tomatoes, mustard seed, cumin, coriander, fresh ginger, and cayenne. Get the recipe for Potato Eggplant Curry.

Eating In Technicolor

Eat the rainbow.
Image credit elenabsl via Shutterstock.

Let’s look at some recipes that combine several fruits or vegetables, for technicolor nutrition and presentation, all in one dish.

Light & Crunchy Carolina Slaw

Carolina-slaw.
Photo credit: Dédé Wilson.

Sometimes you might like a vinegary, light slaw with no mayonnaise or creamy based dressing. This Light & Crunchy Carolina Coleslaw is just that. It is super crunchy and as colorful as a rainbow featuring both green and red cabbages, carrots, green, yellow and red bell peppers with a light dressing of vegetable oil, vinegar, celery seed and a little tarragon, as well as sugar. Get the recipe for Light & Crunchy Carolina Slaw.

Asian Chicken Salad

Asian-Chicken-Salad-in-wooden-bowl-plate-and-wooden-serving-implements-in-background.
Photo credit: Dédé Wilson.

Cabbage, bell peppers, carrots, cucumbers, and a flavor-packed dressing with soy sauce, fish sauce, brown sugar, peanut butter, lime juice, and sambal oelek create a hearty salad. Super quick to make when using a rotisserie chicken. Get the recipe foAsian Chicken Salad.

Kale, Carrot & Apple Salad

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Photo credit: Dédé Wilson.

Have you heard that you have to “massage” your kale to make a good kale salad? We have nothing against a hands-on approach, but this recipe offers you an alternative technique that makes prep easier. The slightly bitter kale is balanced by the earthy carrots and sweet apple, dressed with a simple olive oil vinaigrette with a touch of Dijon mustard and maple syrup. This is an economical, simple salad. Get the recipe for Kale, Carrot & Apple Salad.

Rainbow Winter Slaw

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Photo credit: Dédé Wilson.

Hankering for fresh veggies mid-winter? Indulge in our Rainbow Winter Slaw, a colorful salad bursting with flavors. With pale green cabbage, dark green kale, purple/red cabbage, bright orange carrots, and glistening ruby-colored pomegranate seeds, it’s a true celebration of the rainbow. Get the recipe for Rainbow Winter Slaw.

Vegetable, Pasta & Bean Soup

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Photo credit: Dédé Wilson.

Want a hearty plant-based soup that has tons of fiber and protein? Look no further than this soup with many kinds of vegetables, vegetable broth, pasta, and beans. We have a recipe for the broth, but you can use purchased as well. Get the recipe for Vegetable, Pasta & Bean Soup.

Eat-The-Rainbow Slaw

Eat-the-Rainbow-Slaw-in-a-footed-glass-bowl-with-poppy-seed-dressing-alongside.
Photo credit: Dédé Wilson.

Kickstart your colorful eating journey with our vibrant Eat-The-Rainbow Slaw, a symphony of colors featuring yellow squash, orange carrot, red pepper, purple cabbage, blueberries, and green kale. This visually stunning dish isn’t just about aesthetics; it’s a powerhouse of nutrients, complemented by a delightful Poppy Seed Dressing. Get the recipe for Eat-The-Rainbow Slaw.

Grilled Vegetables

Grilled-vegetables-on-a-large-platter-held-by-a-woman-in-a-dress.
Photo credit: Dédé Wilson.

Nothing beats the smoky goodness of grilled vegetables! Indulge in a platter of squash, peppers, eggplant, and more, charred to perfection and bursting with flavor. Get the recipe for Grilled Vegetables.

Kale Salad with Roasted Butternut Squash and Pomegranate

kale-salad-with-butternut-squash-and-pomegranate.
Photo credit: Dédé Wilson.

Transitioning to a kale salad adorned with roasted butternut squash and juicy pomegranate seeds. This hearty dish combines the earthiness of kale, the sweetness of squash, and the burst of flavor from pomegranate, all tied together with a mustardy vinaigrette. Get the recipe for Kale Salad with Roasted Butternut Squash and Pomegranate.

Greens with Kumquats & Pomegranate

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Photo credit: Dédé Wilson.

Enter a realm of freshness with our greens ensemble featuring radicchio, butter lettuce, frisée, kale, kumquats, and pomegranate seeds. A splash of Red Wine Vinaigrette elevates the flavors, offering a tantalizing experience for the palate. Get the recipe foGreens with Kumquats & Pomegranate.

Roasted & Glazed Carrots

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Photo credit: Dédé Wilson.

Experience the allure of rainbow carrots roasted to perfection and glazed with a hint of sweetness. These tender delights, adorned with a subtle sheen, are not just a feast for the eyes but also a treat for the taste buds. Get the recipe for Roasted & Glazed Carrots.

Vegetable Latkes

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Photo credit: Dédé Wilson.

Looking for a twist on classic potato latkes? Try our Vegetable Latkes, featuring a 50/50 blend of starchy russet potatoes and zucchini, carrots, or beets. These crispy delights are sure to brighten up any meal. Get the recipe for Vegetable Latkes.

Author

  • Dede Wilson

    Dédé Wilson is a journalist with over 17 cookbooks to her name and is the co-founder and managing partner of the digital media partnership Shift Works Partners LLC, currently publishing through two online media brands, FODMAP Everyday® and The Queen Zone.

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