Red cabbage or Pink cabbage

We harvested our first red cabbage this week!  Look what a pretty cabbage it is.  But it's definitely a pink cabbage, not a red cabbage.  Who ever named them red cabbages?  Pretty, pretty pink! Or is it purple? or Magenta? Or Fuchsia? Or violet? or.....



I made a coleslaw, of course - as we eat a lot of coleslaw in this household.



Along with the "pink" cabbage there are:

  • spring onions/scallions
  • sugar snap peas
  • raisins
  • carrots
and a dijon mustard  fat free dressing.

It was delicious as well as colorful!



Today  I used the coleslaw in coleslaw tacos, topped with hemp seeds.  


So what color was the last "red" cabbage you ate? Red? Pink? Purple?

Cabbage is a cruciferous vegetable, and the red/pink color shows its full of anthocyanins, which are anti-oxidants and also anti-inflammatory. Cabbage also has anti-cancer activity, but it's consuming a variety of vegetables that has the most health benefits....as shown in this video:




So don't forget to eat a rainbow a day
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Quick and easy rainbow dinner

An easy dinner for me is a baked potato or jacket potato as we say in England. This might be a sweet potato or a regular potato.  But since we are growing our own potatoes now, I can't say any of our potatoes are "regular". They are way too good for that!

Throw something on top of the potato - and ta da! A quick, easy, healthy dinner.



The other day I made a chopped salad to go on the potato - and by the side of the potato.  It included:

  • cucumber (home grown)
  • yellow heirloom tomato
  • mint (home grown)
  • spring onion
  • sugar snap peas
  • pea shoots
  • chioggia beets (home grown)
  • green figs
  • pomegranate seeds
and then drizzled with pomegranate balsamic vinegar.


It was delicious and so attractive too.  Red, yellow, green, pink, blue, and white. Eating a rainbow a day is important as different phytonutrients are seen in different colored plants, so eating a rainbow of colors ensures that you get a good variety of phytonutrients.

One last thought about my potato. Eating our homegrown potatoes has shown me what a floury potato really is.  I've seen the descriptor in recipes of floury or waxy potatoes - but I've never thought it that obvious.  The white potatoes we are growing are the most floury potatoes I have ever eaten! They really taste of flour!!  Unfortunately I don't know what variety they are as we planted a mix of red white and blues!
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Vibrant Quinoa Salad

I made this lovely green quinoa salad for some friends last week, when they visited for lunch.


It is very easy to make and seems so perfect for springtime with the lovely green colors.  It tastes nice and fresh with the lemon juice and mint.

Give it a try and let me know what you think:

Ingredients:
1/3 cup quinoa
2/3 cup water
4 scallions/spring onions, finely chopped
1 avocado, diced
1 lemon, juiced
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1/2 cup frozen green garbanzos
1/2 cup frozen green peas
1/2 bunch mint, chopped
1/4 cucumber, diced

  1. Rinse the quinoa in a sieve to remove the bitter coating.
  2. Bring the water to a boil in a small saucepan and add the quinoa.  Reduce the heat to a simmer, cover and cook for 20 minutes. When its cooked, the quinoa should still have a little crunch.  Rinse in cold water and drain thoroughly.  Place in a large bowl.
  3. Put the green garbanzo beans and peas in boiling water and cook briefly for about 5 minutes. Drain and rinse in cold water.  Add to the quinoa.
  4. Add the rest of the ingredients and toss well. Serve.
  5. Will keep in the fridge for a couple of days. Can be made in advance.
You can obviously add whatever vegetables you like to this dish. I like the green garbanzo beans - as they are new in the stores here, so its good to find a nice dish for them...but you could use sugar snaps or edamame or another vegetables instead.  You could also try celery, or green pumpkin seeds or green pistachios.


The dish provides a good protein source and calcium from the quinoa, and plenty of different phytonutrients from the vegetables and lemon.  The cumin is rich in phytoestrogens and may help with osteoporosis and diabetes.
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Add some color to your life - Chioggia beets

Look at this salad! Isn't it just a feast for the eyes with all these colors?



The prize ingredient is Chioggia beets.  I only heard about them recently so bought one to try in my salad.  You just eat it raw, thinly sliced and it puts a big smile on your face because it looks so happy there on the plate or in the bowl!


I remember being excited the first time I saw golden beets -but now, they seem positively boring compared to Chioggias!  The Chioggia beet came from an Italian coastal town called Chioggia (!), near Venice.  The beet has been around since the early 19th century and tastes a little sweeter than a red beet. 

As well as looking great, beets have lots of fiber, potassium, iron, folic acid and B vitamins.  The pigment that gives them their great color is called Betacyanin and is a powerful antioxidant.

Obviously, as well as slicing them raw in salads, you can sauté them with greens, roast them, pickle them, add them to soups etc etc, however the stripes fade a little with cooking.


They are going to be a regular in my colorful house from now on! Let me know if you try them.  Maybe I need to grow some....
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Salad Days

To me, and possibly also my family, when I hear the expression "Salad Days" it takes me back to when I was a teenager and our involvement in a production of the musical of that name.  I always wanted to sing one of the songs in that musical "Summer and Sunshine and falling in love".  It wasn't because I was falling in love or anything like that - I just loved that song.  But that was sung by the lead, so I never did get to sing it.


The title of the musical refers to the expression "salad days" meaning a "youthful time, accompanied by the inexperiences, enthusiasm, idealism, innocence or indiscretion that one associates with a young person", or the "heyday when someone is at their peak".


Well, maybe my youth passed a little while ago, but at the moment it seems that every day is a salad day here at home.  This is because all our lettuces are growing sooooo well in our new raised beds, that we have salads - or at least green leafy veg, at every lunch and dinner, and often breakfast too, if we put them in a smoothie!



We have one crispy green lettuce, one red lettuce, cilantro, parsley, a European lettuce - that looks like grass (not our favorite) and some arugula.  It is all so vibrant and tasty when picked 5 minutes before you eat it.  Yum, yum. It makes me feel like I'm in my salad days!



I think maybe when I go out to pick my salad for dinner tonight, I'll have to sing "summer and sunshine" to the plants!!  What do you think?



Are you enjoying your salad days and getting lots of green leafy vegetables in your diet?  Green vegetables are low in calories and get the majority of their calories as protein.  When more of your protein needs are met from green vegetables, you get the benefit of ingesting a huge amount of critical, life-extending micronutrients.  Scientific research has shown a strong positive association between the consumption of green vegetables and a reduction of ALL the leading causes of death in humans. So make this summer your "salad days" and feel like you are in your heyday.
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12 ways to eat more vegetables

Remember - March is National Nutrition Month and time to "shape up your plate".  So today, I'll offer some suggestions of how to increase your intake of vegetables.  I think vegetables are the most important part of our diet.  They give the body so many nutrients, vitamins, minerals, phytochemicals and impact the body in many ways - so it's always good to try and eat good quality vegetables.


Here are 12 ideas you may want to try to increase your veggie intake and move towards eating a plant based diet:

  1. Eat a salad at both lunch and dinner.  For one of these meals, you can make the salad the main entree, and for the other, you can have it as an appetizer or a side dish.
  2. Substitute raw vegetables for crackers or bread. For example, cut up carrots or cucumber or celery or bell peppers and serve those with hummus or cheese.  Or instead of bread for a sandwich, put the filling on a slice of lettuce or kale or collard greens and wrap it up like a tortilla wrap.
  3. Join a CSA - community supported agriculture - and get a box of vegetables from a local farmer every week.  Some weeks you'll have something you've never tried before, so it'll encourage you to be creative and try new recipes and ideas.
  4. Prepare more than one days worth of vegetables at a time. For example, if you are roasting vegetables to have with dinner one night - roast a full large pan and save the others for adding to soups or stews or reheating later in the week.
  5. When you plate your meal, give yourself double the amount of vegetables you normally would, and then select a smaller portion of something else - like meat - to compensate.
  6. Drink your vegetables.  I ingest a large portion of vegetables by using them in green smoothies. The smoothies taste like fruit instead of vegetables so this method is great for  everyone - even those who say they don't like vegetables.  It's also an easy way to get vegetables into breakfast.
  7. Add extra vegetables to soups. If you are making your own soups or using prepared soups, just throw in a few more veg - like a handful of spinach, some mushrooms, some sun-dried tomatoes.There are lots of choices.
  8. Chop up vegetables to add to your grain dishes, for example cut up peppers, cucumbers, fresh leafy herbs, onions, chives, and add them to your rice or quinoa dish.
  9. Make a salad dressing out of veggies - blending an avocado with cucumber and lemon juice, for example.
  10. Keep a bag of raw veggies cut and cleaned in the fridge for quick snacks when you are hungry.  Take the bag in the car with you when you drive if you are going to be late having a meal.
  11. Try growing sprouts indoors by a window.  It's fun to watch them grow and then add them to salads and sandwiches.  They are a great source of enzymes and so help digestion.
  12. Plant a vegetable plot in your garden - doesn't matter how small - can even be a single plant pot. You can also grow vegetables indoors if you don't have a garden.When you grow your own veggies, you'll enjoy them even more, knowing the care you've given them.
Photo by Zdenko Zivkovic


Do you have other good suggestions? 

Now go eat some veg!
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