Eating With Your Eyes – A Feast of Colour
When people say we eat with our eyes, they’re not kidding. We’re visual beings and our sight has a huge role to play in how we enjoy our food. Research done on the matter said that the better looking a plate of food is, the higher the expectation is for that food to taste good. It’s also assumed that a more intricately plated dish requires more skill and better quality ingredients. Naturally, being able to see individual ingredients helps you discern each flavour and enjoy it more.
There’s also a healthy aspect to eating beautiful, colourful food. ‘Eating the rainbow’ is a trendy phrase being thrown about, and while it sounds silly, it really does have some weight. The term essentially relates to the idea that the more variety of colours of fruits and vegetables you eat, the better it is for you, because colours indicate an abundance of nutrients. In fact, some colours denote certain vitamins. Green veggies usually contain vitamins K, B and E. Purples are packed with C and K. Vitamin C, along with A, is also found in yellow and orange. It’s quite simple really, the more colours you eat, the more nutrients you take in.
With the weather looking grey and dreary, and bringing with it a susceptibility to flu and colds, we figured why not brighten things up a little? And if that brightening up brings along some nutrients, then we’re on to a winner.
Beetroot Cured Salmon, Radish and Red Onion Pickle with a Beetroot and Horseradish Cream
The mighty beetroot. It’s no meagre root vegetable. As part of the spinach family, they’re completely edible from leaf to bulb. The root itself is an excellent source of folic acid, fibre, manganese and potassium, while the leaves are packed with calcium, iron and vitamins A and C. The fibre in beetroot has been known to increase antioxidant enzymes, as well as the number of abnormal cell-fighting white blood cells. Salmon is delicious and nutritious, as an oily fish it is high in omega-3s, which assist in healthy brain functions. We love the rich tones of this seasonal dish, making this a perfect first course for dinner or even a light, wintery lunch.
Winter Naartjie, Thyme and Marigold Cake with Walnut Praline
Naartjies (and citrus in general), how would we survive a winter without you? We all know that naartjies are a great source of vitamin C, but did you know that they contain high levels of folate and beta-carotene? Well, they do, along with potassium and magnesium. When it comes to citrus, whatever ails you, they can cure. This cake is a celebration of winter, we love the suggestion to serve it slightly warm. It makes a great dessert after an equally wintry, slow-cooked dinner, possibly accompanied with a luscious blob of yoghurt. Never mind all the immune boosting ingredients in this cake, the appearance alone will perk you right up.
Asparagus, Pea and Goat’s Cheese Tart with a Green Herb Pastry and Herb Oil
Asparagus, surprisingly, is exceptionally good for you. In fact, it’s even believed to be able to help fight cancer. Asparagus is a particularly rich source of glutathione, a detoxifying compound that helps break down carcinogens and other harmful nasties like free radicals. This is why eating asparagus may help protect against and fight certain forms of cancer, such as bone, breast, colon, larynx and lung cancers. So it’s not only delicious, but really good for you too! And when it comes to peas, you can understand why mom was always trying to get you to eat them. They are one of the best ways to take in Vitamin K, and are also packed with manganese, dietary fiber, vitamin B1, copper, vitamin C, phosphorus, and folate (phew!). They are also a good source of vitamin B6, niacin, vitamin B2, zinc, protein, magnesium, iron and potassium, to name a few. This dish really is an ode to springtime, and is the best way to welcome warmer weather. So just when you think there is no end to winter, make this dish with first of the season asparagus and you’ll realise there is a light at the end of the tunnel.
When the craving for pizza hits, be sure to put this saucy little number together. If you needed some encouragement, you’ll be happy to know that yellow peppers are very good for you. One yellow pepper will get you to your daily vitamin C requirement, and also has high levels of skin boosting niacin and folate. Tomatoes are well known for their vitamin C levels, and their yellow counterpart is no different. They also contain loads of zinc, potassium and lycopene which has been linked to helping fight cancer. This pizza is a fun, flavoursome way to shake up your next dinner. We love that you get all the comfort of a pizza, with the chewy crust and cheesy accoutrements but not so much of the guilt. Plus all these healthy veggies are good for you. This is definitely a dish to put together the next time you’re feeling a little blue, the sunshiney colours will remind you sunshine and warmer days.