Tomorrow we are hosting the Heath Gourmet Club (27 years of serving ourselves) February dinner. Since it is Valentine’s Day the theme had to be love. I sent out word that our entree will be chicken with citrus and amaretto – the amaretto supplying the love. I suggested that in addition to thinking of aphrodisiac foods which did at least once on an earlier Valentine’s Day, there were many ways of thinking about food of love. They could favorites foods of the beloved. They could be pink and red foods. They could be heart healthy foods.
Then, this morning when I made my daily visit to Garden Rant I found that Susan Harris’s brain was already on that track – except she doesn’t know about the Gourmet Club dinner. She linked to Jennifer Huget’s column in The Washinton Post all about the health benefits of pink and red foods!
One of my grandson’s learned about Eating His Colors in school, a program that points out the benefits of deeply colored fruits and vegetables. Beets are one of my favorite red foods, possibly my Swedish genes kicking in. We always ate beets boiled or pickled, but recently I’ve been roasting them. Delicous. Pretty soon I’m going to try to eat them shredded and raw.
Red bell peppers are full of Vitamins A and C, and antioxidents. I love them. Is that because of my Italian genes?
Red quinoa is a seed, not a grain, but it a nearly perfect protein, with the essential amino acids. I had my first quinoa at a church pot luck. It has a mild flavor and works well with other herbs and vegetables in a casserole.
Watermelon, like tomatoes, has lycopene and Vitamins C and A. The redder and riper the more nutritous. When we lived through our Beijing summers (and remember Beijing is essentially a desert) I could not have survived without the watermelon vendors on nearly every street corner. Nothing quenched my thirst like watermelon. I always wondered if they had something that balanced my electrolytes.
And who ever imagined that red raspberries and cherries were really good for you, not just luxurys? Cherries have a special place in my heart because they also mitigate tendencies towards gout!
So on this Valentine’s Day I’m thinking of my own true love, and my red vegetables.