Eat the colours of the rainbow - I'm sure you've heard this before, but why?
Each colour of the fruits and vegetables carries its own set of unique disease-fighting chemicals called phytochemicals. It is these phytochemicals that give fruits and vegetables their vibrant colour and of course some of their healthy properties.
Red fruits and vegetables are coloured by a natural plant pigment called lycopene. Lycopene is a powerful antioxidant that can help reduce the risk of cancer and keep our heart healthy.
The plant pigment anthocyanin is what gives blue/purple fruits and vegetables their distinctive colour. Anthocyanin also has antioxidant properties that protect cells from damage and can help reduce the risk of cancer, stroke and heart disease.
Carotenoids give this group their vibrant colour. A well-known carotenoid called Betacarotene is found in sweet potatoes, pumpkins and carrots. It is converted to vitamin A, which helps maintain healthy mucous membranes and healthy eyes. Another carotenoid called lutein is stored in the eye and has been found to prevent cataracts and age-related macular degeneration, which can lead to blindness.
Green vegetables contain a range of phytochemicals including carotenoids, indoles and saponins, all of which have anti-cancer properties. Leafy greens such as spinach and broccoli are also excellent sources of folate.
White fruits and vegetables contain a range of health-promoting phytochemicals such as allicin (found in garlic) which is known for its antiviral and antibacterial properties. Some members of the white group, such as bananas and potatoes, are also a good source of potassium.
I have created a recipe that can incorporate many colours with minimum effort. If you have two stoves in your kitchen, this dish can be prepared in 10 minutes because we are using some powerful tools and ingredients that can support busy people eating healthily
The boiling time of the pasta is 7-8 minutes so you can chop up the carrots and saute it while you are boiling the pasta and assemble this when the pasta is ready.
At FoodCraft, we have a wide range of pasta. Low-carb, wholegrain, gluten-free and grain-free pastas. In this recipe we have used Biona's Organic Wholegrain Spelt Spaghetti but you can replace the spelt pasta with your choice of pasta to fit this into your dietary preference. (They come in different colors too!)
Immunity Spaghetti (Vegan)
Prep time: 10 minutes
200g, Pasta of your choice
1 tsp., Natural Salt (to boil the pasta)
1/2 Tbsp.+ 1 Tbsp., Olive Oil
2 Tbsp., Pine Nuts
1/2 cup., Vegan Feta Cheese (about 150g)
1/2 cup., Clearspring Organic Red Cabbage
1 tsp., Dried or fresh thyme (optional)
1/2 cup., Iliada Organic Green Olives
- In a large pot, put 3L of water and bring it to a boil. Add 1 teaspoon of natural salt into the pot and boil the pasta for 7 to 8 minutes. Give the pasta a stir from time to time so it doesn't stick together.
- While the pasta is boiling, prepare the toppings. Julienne the whole carrot. If you are using organic you don't need to peel the skin. Using a shredding tool will help you chop up your carrot in a minute.
- Transfer the carrot in a mixing bowl and toss it with olive oil so that it will stop the carrot from oxidizing.
- Chop up the vegan feta cheese and set aside.
- Heat up the frying pan and toast the pine nuts for a few seconds till they get a light brown colour. Set aside.
- Add the carrot to the heated frying pan and saute it for about 1 minute and if should look like the photo. Turn off the heat and leave the carrots in the frying pan. We will toss this with the pasta once the pasta is cooked.
- When the pasta is ready, drain the water away and toss it in 1 Tablespoon of olive oil.
- Add the pasta to the frying pan together with the cooked carrots and give it a toss ( no need to heat the pan here!) You can also add half of the vegan feta cheese here. Depending on the saltiness of your cheese you might want to add a pinch of salt to your pasta here. Taste the pasta and see if any additional salt is necessary here.
- Plating time! We are going to create the layers of colours. First, divide the pasta in 2 portions and place the pasta with the carrots and vegan cheese onto the plate.
- Open a jar of red cabbage and sprinkle this on top of the pasta. This will add extra fiber and anthocyanin packed with antioxidant properties without added extra calories! You can store the the jar in the refrigerator after opening. I love adding this to my dish when it needs a bit of colour!
- If you have fresh thyme sprinkle it onto the pasta. If not dried thyme will work well too!
- Top the dish with the rest of the vegan feta cheese.
- And throw in some green olives for some extra green color and flavors!
- And last but not least, top your dish with the toasted pine nuts and serve!