Eating a Rainbow

Living in Florida in the summer you see a lot of rainbows.  Afternoon showers combined with sunny skies make for the most beautiful rainbows over the rivers and ocean where I live.  Sometimes we even get lucky enough to see double rainbows, or several rainbows at the same time.

What does this have to do with eating and recipes you ask?  Well, the rainbow reminds me that we are supposed to eat a rainbow of colored nutritious foods every day.  When you look at the typical diet of chicken and french fries, pizza, meat and potatoes, what is lacking is the color and the color is the healthy nutrition.

Red fruits and vegetables have lycopene in them which is known to help reduce cancer risk.  Orange and yellow fruits and vegetables have carotenoids which helps with healthy eyes, improves immunity and reduces the chance of heart disease and cancer.  They are also good sources of vitamin A and folate.  Green fruits and vegetables are full of chlorophyll, lutein, and indoles which also help reduce the risk of cancer.  Blue and purple fruits and vegetables have anthocyanins which act as powerful antioxidants that protect cells from damage.

Here is my rainbow of colors that I created for dinner tonight.

Roasted sweet potato wedges.  Three bean salad.  Vegetable couscous with lemony cashew sauce.

Recipes

The sweet potatoes are simply cut into wedges and roasted.  That’s it.  Simple and delicious.  I didn’t put any salt or seasonings on them because I had dressings on the other two items but sometimes I like a little cayenne pepper and cinnamon on them or a touch of sea salt and cumin.

Three bean salad.  
kidney beans…black beans…chick peas…chopped green pepper…diced red onion…chopped carrots…chopped broccoli…corn.  Whisk together some olive oil and balsamic vinegar and toss with a dash of ground pepper and sea salt.

Couscous with lemony cashew sauce
I like to use pearl whole wheat couscous.  It is larger than most other couscous and has a hearty texture.  I simply cook it as directed (sometimes with water and sometimes with vegetable broth to give it some added flavor).  I lightly steamed some broccoli, carrots, yellow squash and cherry tomatoes and put them on top of the couscous.

My sauce was an experiment with my Vitamix and what I grabbed from the pantry and refrigerator.  I was going to make a sauce with tahini but then found out that I was out….oh no….so this is what I did.

1/3 cup raw cashews
1/4 cup olive oil
1/3 cup fresh lemon juice
1/4 cup liquid aminos
1/4 cup chopped red pepper
1/3 cup chopped onion
2 celery stalks

It may sound like a crazy combination but it turned out delicious.  Just blend it all together for about 1 minute and drizzle over the couscous and vegetables.

There it is, a healthy, colorful dinner.

-Kristen
Choosing healthy living over dying :)

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