“Eat the rainbow” might sound like the title of a third-grade nutrition lesson, but it’s good advice for people of any age. Each fruit or vegetable has its own unique set of health properties, some of which actually impart color to food – for example, beta carotene shows up as yellow-orange, anthocyanin is blue-purple – so eating a colorful array of produce ensures you get a broad spectrum of nutrients. Plus, brightly hued produce makes food visually enticing on the plate.

This sandwich dishes up the full rainbow in each bite, piled in ROY G. BIV order between slices of hearty whole-grain bread. When choosing my layers, besides color, I also wanted a variety of textures and adequate protein, so I ultimately went with fresh tomatoes, grated carrot, avocado, sprouts, shredded purple cabbage, and a yellow-curried tofu salad.

Feel free to use this recipe as a template to build your own rainbow based on what you like or have around. Roasted or fresh red bell peppers would be delicious, any type of leafy green (raw or cooked), leftover steamed green beans, sliced purple radishes … you get the idea. The tofu salad is a simple, tasty mix of crumbled tofu made creamy with a touch of mayonnaise and seasoned with mustard, salt, pepper and curry powder, which also gives it a lovely yellow hue. Egg salad or a couple of slices of yellow cheddar would work well instead.

The tofu salad and grated vegetables may be prepped ahead, making the sandwich easy to pull together on a whim. Once you make it, it’s best to enjoy it right away, but if you are so inclined, do take a moment before digging in to snap what is sure to be an Instagram-worthy photo.

Rainbow Vegetable Sandwich with Curried Tofu Salad

Total time: 25 minutes


4 servings (makes 4 sandwiches)

This sandwich dishes up the full rainbow in each bite, with layers of colorful vegetables and a creamy, yellow curried tofu salad piled between slices of hearty whole-grain bread. Feel free to build your own rainbow based on whatever vegetables you like or have around, or swap out the tofu salad for egg salad or a couple of slices of yellow cheddar.

Storage: Refrigerate leftover tofu salad for up to 4 days.


For the tofu salad:

12 ounces extra-firm tofu


3 tablespoons mayonnaise (regular or vegan)

2 teaspoons yellow curry powder

2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice

1 1/2 teaspoons Dijon mustard

1/4 teaspoon fine salt, plus more to taste

For the sandwiches:


8 slices hearty whole-grain bread

8 slices beefsteak tomatoes (from 2 large tomatoes)

2 cups coarsely grated carrot (3 to 4 medium)

1 large avocado, halved, pitted, peeled and sliced

1 cup green sprouts (any type; may also use spinach or lettuce leaves)

1 cup thinly sliced purple cabbage



Make the tofu salad: Drain the water from the package of tofu, then transfer the tofu to a cutting board or plate and gently press between towels to get rid of excess water, about 1 minute.

Transfer the tofu to a medium bowl and crumble it into small pieces with your fingers. Add the mayonnaise, curry powder, lemon juice, mustard and salt and stir to combine. You should have about 1 3/4 cups.

Assemble the sandwiches: For each sandwich, place one slice of bread on each of four plates. To each sandwich, add 2 tomato slices, then 1/2 cup of the carrot, a scant 1/2 cup of the tofu salad, a quarter of the avocado slices, 1/4 cup of the sprouts or lettuce, and 1/4 cup of the cabbage. Top with the remaining slices of the bread, and serve.

Nutritional Facts per serving (one sandwich)

Calories 391, Carbohydrates 37 g, Cholesterol 4 mg, Fat 21 g, Fiber 10 g, Protein 18 g, Saturated Fat 3 g, Sodium 527 mg, Sugar 10 g

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