Colleen Patrick-Goudreau’s cookbook Color Me Vegan: Maximize Your Nutrient Intake and Optimize Your Health by Eating Antioxidant-Rich, Fiber-Packed, Color-Intense Meals That Taste Great celebrates the incredible natural beauty of plant-based foods.
Just flipping through it pages and taking in their spectrum of hues energized me! In keeping with its title’s theme, each of Color Me Vegan’s eight chapters focuses on plant foods of different colors.
The differences lie in the phytochemicals all plants produce as protection against pests and disease. But phytochemicals also benefit us, as Patrick-Goudreau explains in her Introduction:
Consuming an assortment of plant foods… means taking in a variety of healthful properties, which affect different parts of our bodies… Lycopene found in tomatoes …concentrates in the prostate gland of men. Lutein and zeaxanthin… found in spinach and corn … concentrate in the retina and lens of the eye, contributing to a reduce risk of cataracts and macular degeneration. This is why color variety is important.”
Adding to the fun are 150 recipes complete with little-known facts and fascinating cooking tips. Take this tidbit from Drunken Beans (Frijoles Borrachos):
“Most people have seen cooked pinto beans, which boast a pink color, but before they’re cooked, the reason for their name is more obvious: their beige background is strewn with reddish brown splashes of color making them look ‘painted’ which is what pinto means in Spanish.”
She also notes that one cup of cooked pinto beans contains nearly 60 percent of the recommended daily intake for fiber.
In Chapter 4, “Color Me Green: The Pigment of Life,” Patrick-Goudreau recommends consuming a pound of greens every day. But she looks beyond leafy greens to green veggies (and even fruits, nuts and seeds!):
“Among the artichokes, asparagus, broccoli rabe, asparagus, broccoli rave, Brussels sprouts, celery, cabbage, collard greens, cucumbers, edamame, fennel, green onion, green beans, green bell peppers, jalapeño peppers, kale, limes, lettuce, okra, peas, spinach, Swiss chard, and zucchini squash, you will find such fruits as avocado, cucumbers, green grapes, honeydew, and kiwi; nuts such as pistachios; and seeds such as pumpkin.”
Color me Vegan is SO much more than a cookbook! It’s also a colorful extension of the author’s philosophy of joyful veganism.
I’ve given it a prominent place on my kitchen shelf — and I recommend you do the same!