Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Eat a Rainbow

A meal lacking color is not as aesthetically pleasing nor as flavorful and nutritious as a meal bursting with green, orange, red, purple and more.

Yesterday, as in many previous posts, I made reference to the phytonutrient-rich properties of colorful vegetables.

Last week after posting information about food-pyramids, the ANDI food ranking list and tips for shopping on a budget for health and wellness, a friend remarked that sometimes food just seems scary!

That is, she said, if you deviate from the prescribed 5 servings of fruits and vegetables a day.

Prescriptive information can be scary; in fact, I think it's best used as a guideline rather than the formula.

When I googled "servings of fruits and vegetables per day," five did appear to be the number, but it did go as high as nine.

One food pyramid suggested 2-4 servings of fruit and 3-5 of veggies a day -- if you did eat the 4 and the 5 then you would be consuming 9 servings in total.

Frankly, I find the idea of the 2-4 and 3-5 servings not scary, but potentially daunting in its capacity to cause me to feel obsessive about counting and weighing and measuring my food, which is no fun.

I like color. And preparing my meals so that they are filled with a combination of green, purple, orange, red, yellow and white is a far easier, less neurotic way to ensure eating sufficient veggies and fruits.

And I like this fun little tune about color; it sure beats perusing pyramids and counting portions.

I also get quite excited by the art of coordinating vegetables and fruits so that the end result is a plate vibrating with interest, texture, flavor, and of course color.

The pic above is a plate of braised winter vegetables: leftover orange-yellow acorn squash from yesterday's meal, purple cabbage, curly green kale, and white and green spring onions.

I love the combination of the purple against the yellow-orange squash -- I probably wouldn't wear it, but it's gorgeous on a white plate!

For flavor, I tossed in a clove of peeled and chopped garlic and the same of a chunk of fresh ginger root, plus a couple rashers of Applegate certified-humane turkey bacon.

I served the veggies atop a portion of cooked quinoa (yesterday it was quinoa noodles) which I'd drizzled with olive oil, salt and pepper and then I poached an egg and set it in the middle (pic left).

This made for a rainbow-of-meal with who knows how many servings of veggies, but without a doubt plenty of color, and thus plenty of phyto-nutrients, and it included neutral-colored quinoa, a high-protein grain, plus a white and yellow Omega 3-rich egg.

Color: Eat it; it's good for you!

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