Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Purple tastes delicious.

So we decided that it would be a great idea to make a dinner of all purple ingredients. Because purple is a fantastic color. Because purple foods are often the cooler versions of normal foods (like cabbage or potatoes, even onions.) And because doing it sounded like a really fun plan. So here is how we did it, so you can make your own purple meal if you like.

We diced up three little purple potatoes and three big beets. Peeled the beets, washed the potatoes, coated them with olive oil and roasted them at 400 degrees, stirring every 10-15 minutes until they were tender.

We browned some ground beef (not purple, we know), drained it, sauteed a purple onion (also diced and then added the beef, some salsa (also not purple, but delicious) and a drained, rinsed can of black beans, (sort of purple) and a can of refried black beans (more purple), with some little shavings of beet, to make everything look more purple. Add cayenne and cumin to taste. We stirred that up til everything was hot and well mixed and vaguely purple.

We cooked half of a purple cabbage just in water in a pan until it was softer, very dark purple, and still a little bit crunchy.

Then we mixed the roasted root vegetables, the taco-y stuff and the cabbage in bowls together and ate it with blue corn chips. And it was beautiful and amazingly delicious. We thought about finishing off with a mixed berry smoothie, but none of us felt like it after all the deliciousness.
We're already scheming for our next color meal. Green? Perhaps with a spinach pasta, a salad with avocado, a fruit salad with kiwi fruit, green grapes and granny smith apples? Or orange with butternut squash, carrots, sweet potatoes, oranges, and perhaps a pumpkin pie or something for dessert? Wouldn't this be great to do with kids? I know of a lot of kids who only like white foods. Like Bread. Or Rice. Or mashed potatoes. Wouldn't it be great to start them early and cook lots of colorful foods? Have a week of color meals? Or every once in a while just have a purple meal?

At Labyrinth we sell a lot of beautiful cookbooks, many of which seem to be as much about the photography as they are about the food. One in particular is arranged by color and is called "Ripe" and goes through fruits and vegetables at their peak of ripeness, and gives one recipe for each ingredient. It's sort of a funny book, self-indulgently beautiful, and more expensive than I think is necessary, but it is nice to look at, and makes me want to cook more intensely colorful meals.

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