What Color Is Your Food?I missed the first week of summer school - funeral and stuff. So I am combining Red and Orange - it is summer school after all.
Several of my Two for Tuesdays Co-hostesses are serious Mark Bittman fans. I think it may be an obsession, but don't tell them I said so. So when I was deciding my color posts I wanted to "try out Bittman"
There are so many amazing red fruits and vegetables but really for me Tomatoes are King! So I have been pouring through my How to Cook Everything by Mark Bittman and his Kitchen Express for tomato recipes that I wanted to make.
The first recipe that caught my eye was Mussels in Tomato White Bean Sauce - unfortunately I have no mussels. But I do have a can of oysters - whadya think? Should I give it a try? Or wait for the mussels - which I have never cooked with. (I am looking forward to learning how to cook it through Cheeseslaves Online Surf & Turf Course - click here for more info -oh yeah that was a shameless plug)(She is giving one free course to one of my readers a $120 value)
Here is the recipe - you decide and tell me in the comments.
Mussels in Tomato - White Bean SauceCook a clove or two of minced garlic in a couple TBS of olive oil over low heat for about two minutes or until fragrant. Add a large chopped tomato (a couple of canned ones are OK), two cups of drained precooked or canned white beans, and tow to four pounds of mussels. Cook, covered, for about five minutes, or until all the mussels open (discard those that don't) Sprinkle the mussels with chopped parsley and serve with lemon wedges and good crusty bread.
He suggests that a handful of Spanish chorizo gives it an extra boost.
In the mean time I will just keep eating my tomatoes on toast with mayo and salt and pepper!
Now for Orange - there are some amazing fruits and veggies that are orange - apricots, melons, tomatoes, yams, sweet potatoes, peaches, oranges just to name a few. Oh and mangos and pumpkins. Oh the list goes on and on of amazing sunshiny food.
Apricot - Braised Lamb ChopsIn a food processor, make a paste from a handful of dried apricots, some lemon juice, a bit of onion, a tsp of ground coriander, and a clove of garlic. Salt and pepper not too thin lamb chops and sear them in olive oil for about two minutes on each side until browned; remove and set asidc. Add the apricot mixture to the pan along with a splash of white wine and bring to a simmer. Put the chops back in the pan, cover; and braise for about five minutes - they should remain pink inside. Serve, drizzled with the braising liquid.
Ok, I don't have a food processor - I used my blender. I think this is delicious but I will probably not make it again because of cost. I do think the apricot sauce would taste amazing on pork chops or chicken that my family loves!
Don't you just love the way he gives a recipe - all familiar like?
Just in case you were wondering WHY you should be eating more colorful foods (and I copied a list of a lot more red and orange (and yellow - cause it is in the list and shares nutrients).
Red fruits and vegetables are colored by natural plant pigments called "lycopene" or "anthocyanins." Lycopene in tomatoes, watermelon and pink grapefruit, for example, may help reduce risk of several types of cancer, especially prostate cancer. Lycopene in foods containing cooked tomatoes, such as spaghetti sauce, and a small amount of fat are absorbed better than lycopene from raw tomatoes.
Anthocyanins in strawberries, raspberries, red grapes and other fruits and vegetables act as powerful antioxidants that protect cells from damage. Antioxidants are linked with keeping our hearts healthy, too.
These are some examples of the red group:
- Red apples
- Red cabbage
- Pink grapefruit
- Red grapes
- Red peppers
- Red potatoes
Orange/yellow fruits and vegetables are usually colored by natural plant pigments called "carotenoids." Beta-carotene in sweet potatoes, pumpkins and carrots is converted to vitamin A, which helps maintain healthy mucous membranes and healthy eyes. Scientists have also reported that carotenoid-rich foods can help reduce risk of cancer, heart disease and can improve immune system function.
One study found that people who ate a diet high in carotenoid-rich vegetables were 43 percent less likely to develop age-related macular degeneration, an eye disorder common among the elderly, which can lead to blindness.
Carotenoids also may be good for your heart. One study found that men with high cholesterol who ate plenty of vegetables high in carotenoids had a 36 percent lower chance of heart attack and death than their counterparts who shunned vegetables.
Citrus fruits like oranges are not a good source of vitamin A. They are an excellent source of vitamin C and folate, a B vitamin that helps reduce risk of birth defects.
Some examples of the orange/yellow group include:
- Yellow apples
- Butternut squash
- Yellow peppers
- Yellow summer or winter squash
- Sweet corn
- Sweet potatoes
- Yellow tomatoes
- Yellow watermelon