Note: After doing research for â€œColor Me Healthy,â€ a food demonstration I gave last month at The Wellness Community, I spotted a book on the topic of the color of foods and their nutrient value. I had one book called The Color Code, which I did review on November 7th, but wanted to see more information, so I sent for a review copy of Color Me Vegan by Colleen Patrick-Goudreau.Â Since I had reviewed her previous book, The Vegan Table, earlier this year, I knew it would be excellent, and I was not disappointed.
On the cover of Color Me Vegan is a statement that sums up the purpose of this well-organized, educational cookbook: Maximize Your Nutrient Intake and Optimize Your Health by eating Antioxidant-Rich. Fiber-Packed, Color-Intense Meals That Taste Great. And the author does just that. The Introduction sets the tone for the book, covering topics such as, Why Eat by Color? and What are Phytochemicals? The answer to the first question revolves around the fact that plants contain the intense colors we need to support healthy eating habits. The colors represent nutrients we all need that animal products do only secondhand, since they eat the plants. The answer to the second question addresses the importance of phytochemicals (also called phytonutrients), substances in fresh foods that protect our health and can be used to fight illness.
The first five chapters are appropriately labeled by the colors of the Rainbow from: Color Me Red to Color Me Blue/Purple. Additionally, Patrick-Goudreau has also included Color Me White/Tan and Color Me Black/Brown. While they may not be part of the rainbow spectrum in the sky, they are part of the pigment palette for recipes since grains, beans, seaweed, black olives, etc. fall into these categories. The last chapter is entitled Color Me the Rainbow and includes recipes using all the colors from the previous chapters. There are 150 colorful recipes in all.
There is a color band (ex. a green band for the chapter on green foods) at the top of each chapter that indicates the main color in the recipe. This acts as a guide to the reader who wants to scan different color recipes. As with Color Me Vegan, the author includes tidbits of valuable information on each recipe page, as well as a page at the end of each chapter on how to include more of that food color in your diet.Â Finally, each chapter includes starters and salads, soups and stews, sides, main dishes and desserts for each of the colors.
I made one recipe over the holiday weekend to serve to a few friends who came for hors dâ€™oeuvres before going out to eat. I chose Olive Salad and my guests loved it. In fact, one of them asked for the recipe, so I know itâ€™s a winner!Â (See recipe below)
Color Me Vegan, is published by Fair Winds Press and is available at bookstores or from Amazon.com by clicking on the icon below.
Olive lovers will relish this easy salad that is a perfect appetizer or meal starter.
Â¾ cup (170 g) pitted black olives, drained
Â¾ cup (170 g) pitted kalamata olives, drained
Â¾ cup (170 g) pitted green olives, drained
1 jar (6 oz. or 170 g) marinated artichoke hearts
1 small red onion, chopped
3 scallions, finely chopped
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 tablespoon (9 g) capers, rinsed
Â¼ cup (60 ml) red wine vinegar
2 teaspoons finely chopped fresh or 1 teaspoon dried oregano
2 teaspoons finely chopped fresh or 1 teaspoon dried parsley
2 teaspoons finely chopped fresh or 1 teaspoon dried basil
1 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
Â½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
Place all ingredients in a large bowl and toss to combine.Â Place in the refrigerator to let the flavors marry for as little as 1 hour or as long as one week. Serve as an appetizer at a dinner party, as a side for a casual meal, or as a sandwich condiment or spread for crackers (see below).
YIELD: 12 servings, about Â¼ cup (60 g) each
SERVING SUGGESTIONS AND VARIATIONS
To prepare as a condiment or spread, pulse the olives and artichoke hearts in a food processor before adding the rest of the ingredients and storing in the fridge. It will be much more â€œspreadableâ€ and appropriate for a sandwich or crackers.
PER SERVING: 132 Calories; 12g Fat (80.2% calories from fat); Ig Protein; 6g Carbohydrate; 2g Dietary Fiber;Â O mg Cholesterol; 536mg Sodium
Compassionate cooksâ€™ tip: I prefer using fresh olives, choosing the best from the olive bar at my local grocery store. If you opt for canned olives, as a guide, Â¾ cup is about how much is in the typical 5- or 6- ounce (140- or 170-g) canof olives.
My Note: This recipe comes from the Color Me Brown/Black chapter and has what I consider more unusual, exotic recipes.