If you’re looking a delicious protein source this simple Pumpkin Seed Pâté from Becoming Raw maybe the perfect solution. One serving of this pâté contains 15 grams of protein, which is more than a 2-ounce hamburger or veggie patty.
But why is it purple? Well, the powerful phytochemicals packed into fruits and vegetables offered up this interesting surprise when I added a purple carrot rather than an orange one to the ingredients in my food processor. It didn’t affect the flavour but it did make for a more interesting presentation.
With this colour-me-confused moment, I started thinking about the importance of consuming a range of colourful foods.
It is really easy for most of us to fall into a routine of eating the same things week in and week out. I know we are creatures of comfort, we crave the familiar, especially when life gets busy or stressful. However, consuming a variety of whole foods really helps to ensure that we get the full spectrum of vitamins and minerals that we need.
I love cookbooks and food blogs as a great source of inspiration to try a new recipe, new ingredient or new cooking technique. (On her blog, Mandee challenged herself to highlight meals focused on a different ingredient each week for 13 weeks). Doing cookbook reviews for the Toronto Vegetarian Association and here on my blog, has pushed me to experiment with flavour combination that I never would have imagined on my own. Through the process, I’ve learned a lot about creating delicious meals, working with a broad range of spices, fruits and vegetables. When I talk about ramps, fiddle heads or durian most of my friends look at me with a blank stare. But I know many of you share my passion for understanding what different foods can offer as fuel and as a source of pleasure for our palates.
Most weeks I eat a rainbow, but I can easily fall into a rut where each colour is being contributed by the same reliable source, for example:
Green: Kale & Broccoli
Yellow: Summer squash (yellow zucchini)
White – Cauliflower
Over the last few weeks I’ve found myself reaching for a little more variety, including:
Red: Bell Peppers, Tomatoes, Raspberry, Strawberries & Beets
Green: Dandelion Greens, Kohlrabi, Asparagus, Nappa Cabbage, Bok Choy, Cilantro, Parsley, Avocado
Orange: Bell Peppers, Oranges, Melon, Mango
Purple: Blueberries, Purple Carrots, Figs, Red Cabbage
Yellow: Bell Peppers, Nutritional Yeast, Corn
White – Nuts, Seeds, Celeriac, Daikon, Jicama
We are drawn to vibrant colours in the foods we eat. Packaging of processed foods tries to entice us by leveraging our natural inclination toward brightly coloured fare.
The diversification of our diet serves a similar role that it does in our finances. It provides protection (covers your bases), increasing the chances that you will get the resources (vitamins, minerals or money) you need. We don’t always know exactly what our bodies need so selecting foods of all different colours improves the chances that we’ll satisfy all of our nutritional needs.
If you’re vegan and do not consume fortified foods I do suggest supplementing your diet with a good source of B12, such as nutritional yeast.
What 3 foods do you regularly rely on for flavour and nutrition? Have you added something new in the last month? Does it vary by season?
Have you ever eaten the same meal so much that you had to take a break from certain ingredients? I’ve heard from many young vegans who eat PB and J everyday until the could no longer stand the smell of peanuts.
Do you have a favourite cookbook that you turn to for inspiration when your meals start to lose your lust for making dinner?
Last night I did 55 minutes on the bike at a 95-98 RPM cadence – followed by a 5 minute run (just to loosen up those legs).
Tonight I did a 9km run with about 5 short hill repeats.
I’m feeling a little tired but it is more mental then physical – you know, work stuff!
I have just two more days of my Becoming Raw review. I plan to share one more recipe. Let me know if you have a request. Otherwise, I’ll pick my favourite from the month to share on Friday.