Boost your diet with color |

Boost your diet with color

Chef Mick
Chef Mick

Written history goes back about 10,000 years, but the human species has existed for several million years. Mankind has been slowly and carefully tailored by a diet of meats, veggies, grains and fruits. However, in the last hundred years or so, our food options have grown to include processed, fast, and convenience foods. Is this what our bodies need?It’s simple. If you want to eat healthy, you need to buy more fresh veggies and get into the kitchen. Save fast and packaged convenience foods for emergencies, focusing instead on preparing a wide variety of colorful fresh vegetables to serve with your lean meats and whole grain dishes. Not only will this enhance your health, your example may help your kids and grandchildren live a healthier life. Women and children should eat five servings of fruits and veggies each day, and men should have nine servings. When choosing produce, you’ll get the greatest value if you pay attention to their colors. Deeply hued fruits and veggies (such as blue/purple, green, white, yellow/orange, and red) are naturally packed with a wide range of vitamins, minerals and phytochemicals that your body needs to maintain good health, energy and protect itself from disease. Here is a guide to eating your colors, and some tasty recipes. – Buon Appetito – Salùte! Chef Michaelangelo (Mick) Rosacci and family own and operate Tony’s Meats & Specialty Foods and Tony Rosacci’s Fine Catering in Littleton and Centennial. For more recipes, visit for The WeekThis recipe is a lifesaver at mealtime! Start with any combination of veggies, precooking them for use in a wide variety of preparations.

1 pound purple or other baby potatoes2 pounds carrots1/2 bunch broccoli1/2 bunch cauliflower1/2 pound green beans1 pint Brussels sprouts8 ounces sugar snap or snow peas1 each yellow and red bell pepper1 tablespoon kosher or sea saltFill your largest pot half full of water and bring to a boil. Wash veggies and cut into large, two-bite pieces (makes it easy for picky eaters). Once water is boiling, add 1 tablespoon salt and start adding veggies from the longest cooking to the quickest – but don’t overcook! Potatoes need a total of about 10 to 15 minutes, and snow peas, peppers or mushrooms need only 1 to 2.Drain veggies in a colander and immediately shock in a large bowl of ice water. Keep veggies in refrigerator for up to one week. With the work done, you can whip up all sorts of quick veggie dishes in minutes. Heat with reduced stock and serve with a touch of butter. Serve at room temperature with dressing, sauté in a little olive oil, etc. Use your imagination! – Chef Mick Rosacci, Tony’s Meats & Specialty FoodsSliced Portabello Salad

2-4 Portabello mushroomsBalsamic Vinaigrette (or your favorite)6 ounces mixed baby spring greens (enough to serve 4)2-4 ounces chevre, feta, or bleu cheese 1 tomato, cubedpitted olivesGreen onionsRemove stems from Portabello mushrooms and clean with a moist cloth. Brush entire mushroom with vinaigrette or olive oil, salt and pepper. Roast, broil or grill until softened, then slice into thin strips and transfer to 4 serving plates. Toss greens in vinaigrette and place on top of warm mushrooms. Decorate with tomatoes, onions, olives and crumbled cheese. Serve with a crusty loaf.- Chef Mick Rosacci, Tony’s Meats & Specialty FoodsSautéed Fresh GreensFresh greens such as collards, kale, chard, and mustard are inexpensive and extremely healthy.

3 pounds collard greens 1 cup ham pieces3 tablespoons vegetable oil 1 quart hot water or stock1-2 teaspoons salt 1 teaspoon sugar (optional)Wash and remove the stems and any bad spots, then chop or shred. Cook the ham pieces slowly in the oil until crisp. Add the water and simmer for about 10 minutes. Remove the ham and set it aside. Add the salt, sugar and collard greens to the pot. Turn the heat to medium-high and bring the water to a boil. Reduce heat to low and simmer slowly, adding a little hot water as needed to keep them moist, until they are tender (30-45 minutes). Add back ham and serve. 6 to 8 servingsRoquefort, Pear, Raspberry and Walnut SaladToss spring greens in raspberry or French vinaigrette and display on individual plate decorated with slices of fresh pears, plums and raspberries. Top with crumbled French Roquefort (or another quality bleu) and a few roasted walnuts or pecans.To roast nuts, place raw walnuts or pecans on a baking sheet and roast at 350 degrees until sizzling, beginning to brown and very aromatic – 5-10 minutes.Beet and Orange Salad4 pounds trimmed beets (without tops), unpeeled

1 tablespoon red wine vinegar 12 oranges, rind and pith cut free with a serrated knife and sections cut away from the membranes 1 teaspoon freshly grated orange zest 1/3 cup fresh orange juice 1/4 cup sugar 1/2 cup distilled vinegar 1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper 2 red onions, thinly sliced Chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley, for garnishIn a pot, combine the beets with the red wine vinegar and enough cold water to cover them by 2 inches. Bring to a boil, lower the heat, and simmer until tender, about 40 minutes. Drain the beets and let them cool. (The beets may be cooked 1 day in advance and kept covered and chilled.) Peel the beets and cut them into 1-inch wedges. In a small saucepan, combine zest, orange juice, sugar and vinegar and boil the mixture until it is reduced to about 1/4 cup. Let the mixture cool. In a large bowl, whisk together the orange mixture, oil, and salt and pepper to form a smooth dressing. Add the beet slices, orange segments and onion and mix until well combined. Let stand at room temperature, or refrigerate for up to 6 hours, to let the flavors come together. Transfer to a serving bowl and garnish with the parsley.Yield about 8 servings.

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