It’s not just adults who are all caught up in starting off the new year with healthy habits. Last Tuesday we helped kick off Wellness Week at PS20 by hosting a Wellness in the Schools Cafe Day in the cafeteria. We wanted to serve a sample of something healthy and zero waste to the 500 students, so we put together a colorful and brightly flavored mix of super foods that are in season and called it a Crunchy Rainbow Salad.
Sprouts were a key ingredient since they are fresh and locally available in the winter. Since we used a mix of lentil and mung bean sprouts they added protein to the dish along with all their minerals and enzymes that are released through the sprouting process. More importantly, they added a major crunch factor.
To bulk it up and give some carbohydrates we added local Kamut grains. This is one of the ancient grains that is better for those with gluten intolerance. It is also high in protein, minerals, and fiber. However, the flavor is also delicious, as it inherently has a buttery, fragrant cinnamon taste when cooked.
For the zero waste element and more crunch we added rainbow carrot peels pulled from the PRINT kitchen prep line. Also we used apples (with the peels) and some dried cranberries for a touch of sweetness and more color and texture.
As a dressing we made a simple local cider vinaigrette with olive oil and honey. Cider vinegar has so many health properties, boosting the immune system and contributing healthy probiotics, it was an easy choice for our Wellness Week dish.
With so many ingredients some of the adult volunteers worried that the kids would turn up their noses, but nearly every one who tried it liked it! Many of them came back for seconds and even thirds!
So if you are kick-starting a healthy year with your own Wellness Week, here is the recipe for our Crunchy Rainbow Salad and some information on sprouting at home if you have dried grains and legumes to put to a new use in your pantry.
RAINBOW CRUNCHY SALAD
1 cup Kamut, farro, or unhulled Barley
2 cups mixed sprouts (lentil, clover, sunflower, etc)
1 carrot, shredded with grater or peeler
1 apple, diced
1/2 bunch kale, chiffonaded
1/4 cup cider vinegar
1/2 cup olive oil
2 Tbs whole grain mustard
2 Tbs honey
1/2 cup dried cranberries or raisins
Salt and pepper
Boil 4 cups water in a sauce pan, add a pinch of salt, then add the 1 cup Kamut or other grain. Bring to a low simmer and cover. Cook for appx 40-60 mins deepening on the grain, continue to check for doneness. You want them to still have a chew and be a bit al dente.
Meanwhile, shred your carrot on a box grater or with a peeler. Then dice apple. Then roll up kale leaves and thinly slice into ribbons or chiffonade.
Make vinaigrette: in a bowl, whisk the cider vinegar, mustard, honey and salt & pepper. Then slowly drizzle in the olive oil and continue whisking until emulsified.
Drain the grains of any remaining water in a colander, then spread on a baking sheet or large plate to cool in the fridge (unless you want to eat the salad right away warm).
Once grains are cool, about 20-30 mins, toss them in a large bowl with the shredded carrot, apple, kale, craisins. Then add some of the dressing to taste (any extra will keep in the fridge for 3 days). Salt and pepper the entire salad to taste and enjoy!