By Team Dirty
Mar 12, 2022,
Rainbow Crunch Topping has taken our Facebook group by storm for the last few months. Why the excitement? This colorful veggie confetti is:
- Easy to throw together
- Raw and full of nutrients
- Incredibly versatile
- Beautiful to look at
- Super tasty to boot
You can add it to salads, soups, wraps, sandwiches, serve it over grains, or eat it all by itself.
This tasty topping is interesting for another reason, too. It was created by our amazing Lead Facebook Moderator, Sandrina Redfearn. She first started making it for herself, but when she posted about it in the group, members knew they wanted in on this rainbow goodness!
We went straight to the source to learn more about this fun and versatile topping. Here’s what Sandrina had to say.
Why did you create Rainbow Crunch Topping?
Sandrina: My body thrives with diverse nutrients, and I’m always trying to chop and store various veggies to have them ready for my Big Ass Salads throughout the week. It annoys me to have all the little containers in my fridge and I hate dishes.
How do you use it?
S: I make a BIG batch with crunchy veggies chopped small and I add it to my salads, primarily, but also to soups or stews and wraps—basically, anywhere I can to easily add more veggies to my meals. And the crunch of it all is wonderful! I love crunchy textures in my food and how easy this makes it.
Why did you name it Rainbow Crunch Topping?
S: The bright colors. It’s beautiful!
How did you discover Clean Food Dirty Girl?
S: Many, many, many (many!) years ago, a Facebook friend shared a recipe from Bold Vegan (Clean Food Dirty Girl’s original name). I liked the recipe, so I started reading Molly’s blog posts and joined the Facebook group. I loved the camaraderie and the learning we all did together, and I still do!
If you were a vegetable, which would you be and why?
S: Ha! Artichoke! I take some time to get to know, I can be a little intense and have lots of layers, but I’m right tasty when you reach my heart.
Any advice for someone beginning their plant based journey?
S: Find what works for you! Try to prioritize your health and your needs. Here are some things that continue to help me:
- Have food ready! Emergency muffins and purse potatoes can be your best friend.
- Limit your access to items you don’t want to eat. I don’t bring them into my house. So, if I want to eat it, I have to actively go out and find it.
- Eat delicious food! Simple is good, and that’s my jam MOST of the time, but I can’t go for long without food that will make me dance with joy—it leaves me at risk for cravings. Plant Fueled Life recipes give me that happy mouth!
- If you eat something that’s not plant based, don’t worry! There’s another meal coming up! Find your motivation, your why. It helps me to pause and think, “Why do I want to eat that? How will it make me feel? Is there something else I can eat?”
- Have fun with your food. Try something new, make changes to a recipe, and share your delight with folks who get it!
What do you find most interesting about the Clean Food Dirty Girl Private Facebook group?
S: I really love it when I can help someone—it makes my day! We have so many interesting people in the group worldwide, and everyone has a story to tell. The kindness our group members have for one another is truly touching.
Rainbow Crunch Topping ingredients
You can switch up which veggies to use as much as you’d like, this recipe is super flexible.
When choosing which veggies to use, opt for firm, crunchy ones and skip any leafy greens or wetter veggies like cucumber and tomato. Here are some veggies we love to use:
Beets: golden, red, candy cane are all fun
Broccoli: use the stems, not the florets
Brussels sprouts: trim the root and discard any loose outer leaves
Carrots: choose rainbow carrots for a punch of color
Cabbage: any color
Cauliflower: the florets tend to be firmer and drier than broccoli, so feel free to use them
Celery root (celeriac)
Fennel: use the bulb, not the fronds
Green beans: the firmer the better, try not to use any super-soft varieties
Radishes: any variety, we especially like daikon
Color can be an excellent indicator of nutritional content, so try to choose a wide range of colorful veggies—this will ensure that you have nutrient diversity. Didn’t someone say variety is the spice of life? It’s definitely true here. Choose as many yummy veggies as you want!
Let’s make our Rainbow Crunch Topping
Choose your veggies, then wash and dry them very well. The drier, the better. Water will cause your crispy veggies to go limp and start to break down. Starting with super dry veggies will ensure our crunchy topping stays that way and lasts a long time.
Once your veggies are nice and dry, peel them if you’d like (it’s not necessary for most), and trim any ends or soft leafy bits.
If you don’t compost but want to reduce waste, throw those odds and ends in a container and freeze until you have enough to make veggie stock.
After trimming, chop your veggies to roughly the same size. The smaller and more uniform your veggies are when you begin, the more uniform they’ll be after processing. However, this recipe is all about fast and easy, so unless it will break your sweet little perfectionist heart, we say roughly chop your veggies into something loosely resembling 2-inch pieces.
Now break out your food processor and fit it with the S-shaped blade. Start dropping in handfuls of your prepped veggies and pulse until you have something resembling chunky confetti or the size you prefer. Smaller pieces are fine, but be careful not to overprocess or the veggies will be mushy. Pulsing is key here.
Depending on the size and make of your food processor, you’ll likely need to process in batches. Don’t overload your processor as it will leave large unprocessed chunks.
If you don’t have a food processor or you like to go old-school, you can chop your veggies by hand, but we wouldn’t exactly call that quick or easy. You do you, bugaboo!
Toss your processed veggies together to mix them up and you’re ready to start putting your Rainbow Crunch Topping on everything!
Storing and using your topping
We like to keep the topping in glass jars in the fridge. That way, it’s easily accessible and you can grab it, shake it over your meal, and pop it right back into the fridge. The jar also keeps the humidity and moisture levels right so that the topping keeps for about 5–7 days, possibly longer if you’ve used very firm dry veggies.
What can you use the Rainbow Crunch Topping on? Whatever you want!
We like it on:
- Baked potatoes
- Veggie bowls
- Veggie burgers
Or pretty much anything that would benefit from a fresh and earthy crunch.
It’s basically a ready-made salad. Just toss over lettuce, add the plant based dressing of your choice, and dig in!
You can even throw it into something before you cook it for an extra nutrient punch with minimal effort. Rainbow mashed potatoes, anyone? Toss some Rainbow Crunch Topping into the same water or steamer that you cook your potatoes in and then mash everything together.
This amazingly versatile recipe is your new kitchen secret weapon. Thank you, Sandrina, for sharing your magical creation with us.
We want to hear how you use it. Let us know in the comments below.
Choose however many of these you like
- beets (any variety / peeled or unpeeled)
- broccoli stems (do not use the florets, they are too soft and tend to hold water)
- brussels sprouts (discard loose outer leaves)
- carrots (peeled or unpeeled)
- cabbage (any variety)
- cauliflower (stems or florets)
- celery root (celeriac) (peeled or unpeeled)
- chayote squash (peeled or unpeeled)
- fennel bulbs (do not use the fronds)
- green beans (any variety is fine, but firmer is better)
- kohlrabi, peeled
- parsnips (peeled or unpeeled)
- rutabaga, peeled
- radishes (any variety / peeled or unpeeled)
- sweet potato (any variety / peeled or unpeeled)
- turnips (peeled or unpeeled)
- any other firm, crunchy veggie that's not leafy nor has a high water-content (like tomatoes or cucumbers)
- Wash and dry your veggies very well. It's essential that they're as dry as possible.
- Peel (if necessary), trim, and roughly chop all of your veggies into roughly 2-inch pieces.
- Fit your food processor with the S-shaped blade and, working in batches, add your veggies to the food processor. Lock the lid in place and pulse until the pieces are small and uniform, resembling chunky confetti. Do not overprocess or veggies will become mushy. After processing, empty veggies into a large bowl.
- After all of your vegetables are processed, toss together in the large bowl.
- Store in glass jars in your refrigerator and use to top your favorite foods for a yummy, nutritious punch.
May your life be a rainbow of possibilities!
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