Color Your Day

March 8, 2016 at 5:32 pm Leave a comment


Over the past few posts I have highlighted some of the benefits of the phytochemicals that give color to plant foods.  These benefits are many and there are likely even more protective and healthy attributes of phytochemicals that we have not yet discovered.

If you ate green vegetables every day, you would help your liver with detoxifying your blood, you’d be helping to fight free radicals and you would be helping your immune system.  But if your plate were only green, you’d be missing out on the benefits of reds (improving cardiovascular health), blues/purples (powerful antioxidants), oranges, yellows, and whites.  This is why it is important to incorporate an abundance of colors into your diet each day.


Berries on your breakfast oatmeal or yogurt.  A lunchtime salad with greens, red peppers, mushrooms, eggplant, and yellow squash.  For dinner, have red lentils with a variety of colored vegetables.


I often include an array of colors in a meal by roasting vegetables.  A favorite recipe of mine is adapted from Miso-Maple Roasted Roots, which I found on the Food52 website.  I add extra-firm tofu to this recipe and, voila, I have a complete meal.




Miso-Maple-Roasted Roots

Serves 4

1 carton (14oz) Extra-Firm Tofu, cut into 1/2 chunks

2 pounds root vegetables, cut into 1/2 inch pieces (carrots, parsnips, turnips, rutabagas, sweet potato, beets.  I often add butternut squash for more color and flavor, even though it is not a root vegetable.)

2 tablespoons miso paste (white or yellow)

2 tablespoons maple syrup

2 tablespoons rice vinegar

1 tablespoon soy sauce

2 tablespoons canola or grapeseed oil

  1.  Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F.  Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
  2. Whisk together the miso, maple syrup, rice vinegar, soy sauce, and oil.  Toss the sauce with the cut-up root vegetables, coating them well.  Transfer the vegetables to the baking sheet.
  3. Place tofu in the bowl that had the miso sauce and gently stir to incorporate the rest of the sauce onto the outside of the tofu pieces.  Gently spread the tofu on top of the vegetables in the roasting pan.
  4. Roast, turning periodically, for 30 to 40 minutes, or until the vegetables are soft (but not mushy) and caramelized.



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