One of the best pieces of healthy-eating advice I was ever given was to incorporate a rainbow of colors into my daily diet. Doing so provides the body with a wide and diverse variety of essential nutrients. Plus, it looks beautiful! I especially love going to salad bars and piling my plate with all the different colors. I also love putting meals together that incorporate a rainbow, and presenting them in a way that showcases their beauty. Below, some photos of rainbow meals or dishes that I’ve prepared and enjoyed. Thinking about them makes me happy on these cold winter days…

A mango and tomato salsa that Dad and I made last summer, tossed with lime juice, finely chopped onion, and cilantro–SO fresh and delicious!

I bought these absolutely gorgeous groceries and just had to arrange them nicely in a bowl…here we have avocados, lime, lemon, tomato, mango, fresh basil on the left, and fresh cilantro on the right. Pretty sure I was making guacamole that afternoon!

A typical snack for A.Cook…delicious sugar snap peas, baby carrots, and grape tomatoes. YUM.

And finally…

My rainbow of roasted potatoes! Despite the dark picture, I’m sure you can see that this dish contained red, yellow, and purple potatoes! I had never had purple potatoes before this, and though I found them a little starchier and less enjoyable than the others, it won’t stop me from eating them in the future, because really, how can you not love a naturally purple food??

Chilly Enough for Chili

Well, I am home in NJ for a week to celebrate M’s high school graduation (which takes place tomorrow night!) and to see my grandmother, who flew in from England for the occasion.  This means several things for the next few days: 1) alot of cooking, 2) alot of food in general (especially on Saturday when we’re having a party); 3) alot of fun (I believe Yahtzee is on the agenda for later this evening!).

Since moving to Boston, I’ve only been home a handful of times, and only twice in the past semester.  This is a pretty big change for me and for my family, because during college, as well as for the two years I worked afterward, I could come home from NYC whenever I wanted.  Anyway, a look at my old posts will show anyone how much I enjoy being home and cooking with my dad, and tonight was the first time in a while that we were able to get back into the kitchen together.   So we were pretty pumped, and this morning we spent some time standing in front of the refrigerator trying to decide what we wanted to make.  Then Mom made it easy for us by suggesting (read: demanding) that we make a vat of veg chili.  Normally in June, chili wouldn’t come to mind, but since it is raining and in the 60’s here, it seemed totally logical.  Sigh.  But anyways!

A big bowl of awesome


Chili is one of the easiest and most common vegan dishes around, and I think part of its appeal is that you don’t even need a recipe to make it!  This evening’s concoction included pinto beans, black beans, crushed tomotoes, veg broth, roasted poblano peppers, corn, mushrooms, zucchini, and of course onions (one white and two small red) and garlic.  And topped with cilantro, obviously.

I also made my favorite vegan cornbread from Post Punk Kitchen to go with the chili.

Funny enough, this cornbread was one of the first vegan recipes I ever made, way before I knew of PPK or its writers, or really anything at all!  Every time I’ve made it, it was delicious.  This time, it was slightly different, as I used white vinegar with a pinch of sugar in place of the cider vinegar, and I also used some masa that Dad had on hand instead of regular old cornmeal.  The result was delicious, soft, and slightly creamy cornbread.  The biggest difference was that I had to bake it for about 55 minutes (rather than the 30-35 the recipe calls for).  But it was really good!!

Lastly, Dad and I whipped up a salsa from some green tomatillos we picked up at a local grocery store today. 

Displayed with Gran’s garnishes!


The salsa also includes some fresh tomato, red onion, fresh cilantro, lime juice (and a bit of zest too!), and a drizzle of agave.  We ate it on crackers, but we’re going to make it again for M’s party on Saturday and probably serve it with tortilla chips.

And as a bonus, here are some extra pics of my fun family time from today:

Farley waiting patiently for dinner to begin

Me and my pup (with scary eyes!!)

Bailey observing us all (with some disdain…?)

Dad and his mum, and Farley of course!

I haven’t made any definite plans yet, but I’m sure that I’ll end up whipping up a few dishes for Saturday, so I’ll probably have some more stuff to post then!