Summer [Vegan] Rainbow Bowls
I’m sure you’ve heard someone (probably your mother) say to “eat your greens”. Green veggies are such an essential (and delicious, if you do it right) piece of a healthy meal and provide seemingly endless nutrients for our bodies to function best but what if I told you another color is even better?
Purple veggies are the unsung heroes of the plant world. They are full of antioxidants and pack more of a punch than your average green veggies (even of the same foods like green kale vs. purple kale)!
Where do purple vegetables get their color?
The deep purple reddish hue in vegetables comes mostly from high concentrations the antioxidant anthocyanin. What’s an antioxidant? I’m glad you asked. Antioxidants are little superheroes in your body that help fight free radicals (from things like pollution, sun exposure and even side-effects of exercise), and can help lower your risk of chronic diseases like cancer and heart disease.
So next time you’re at the market, look for the darkest veggies you can find instead of their green cousins. A few of my favorite purple vegetables are:
Purple bok choy
Also: purple veggies add a gorgeous color to your meals. And since we eat food first with our eyes, we’re more likely to enjoy food with our taste buds when we enjoy them aesthetically first. Meaning, you’ll probably end up eating more of those healthy purple vegetables when in a meal than if the same meal were made up of just green veggies. #foodforthought ;)
One simple way to get some purple veggies in to your diet is a delicious Summer [Vegan] Rainbow Bowl. This bowl is quick, healthy, colorful and delicious as well as totally plant-based. You can absolutely add some feta cheese crumbles on top to round out some of the flavor if you like!
1 bag of Trader Joe’s Ancient Grains mix (or 1 1/2 cups of your favorite grain)
1 can of black beans
1/2 head of purple cabbage
1 yellow bell pepper
1 bunch of dark leafy greens (red leaf lettuce is perfect)
1/2 bunch of cilantro
1 cup of cashews (or your favorite nut)
salt + pepper to taste
old bay seasoning to taste
optional toppings: feta, balsamic vinegar, salsa verde, aquafaba mayo (recipe here)
Cook the ancient grains according to the instructions on the bag (substitute vegan butter)
While the grains are cooking, chop pepper and lettuce in to bite-sized pieces. Slice the purple cabbage in thin strips and finely chop the cilantro.
When the grains are finished cooking, remove from heat and add the can of [drained] beans to heat. Season with salt + pepper to taste.
Heat a glug of olive oil in a shallow pan on medium-high heat and add the cashews. Season with salt, pepper, and old bay (or a dash of cayenne for some added heat) until just browned and crunchy. Remove from heat.
Toss everything together in a large bowl, sprinkle with cilantro and add your *optional toppings!