This veritable vegetable smorgasbord combines all of my favorite produce, all of which is sourced from the Bay Area food shed, as purveyed by Rainbow Grocery Coop. Combined with Japanese soba noodles and pumpkin seeds, this plate teems with the perfect combination of grains, fibers, fats, and–well, colors!
An important rule of thumb when eating whole foods is to incorporate multiple colors onto your plate, ensuring a wide range of vitamins and minerals. Proper food combining is the single-most important objective when I prepare a meal. A little balance goes a long way, in terms of optimal health and deriving satisfaction from a meal.
Avocado: These puppies grow on a massive tree in my friend’s backyard in Oakland, just groaning with this splendorous, green fruit that begs to be plucked from the branch. While eating more than one avocado a day is ill-advised, its creamy, decadent flesh provides healthy HDL cholesterol and reduces heart-clogging LDL cholesterol. Um, did I mention that they are so utterly far-gone in terms of deliciousness?
Purple Cabbage: A major detoxifier with maximum effect, cabbage not only provides substantive roughage for your digestive tract, it also works at a deeper enzyme level. Studies indicate that cabbage’s phytonutrients encourage genes to increase production of a detoxifying enzyme that helps the body eliminate harmful compounds.
Broccoli: Already established as my end-all-be-all food-of-the-year, broccoli is in the same cruciferous vegertable family as cabbage. It provides similar benefits, with the added bonus of being extra-delicious with sea salt and fresh-ground pepper.
Heirloom Tomatoes: Most often grown by small-scale farmers with seeds passed down from generations of farmers, these tasty tomatoes don’t taste like the genetically-modified, perfectly-round, uncannily uniformly red, tennis ball-tasting (double entendre intended) you find at the supermarket. Pick ’em up at a roadside farm stand, a farmers’ market, or a local market or food coop.
Carrots: Hollah! Cancer-fighting cartenoids. And, when juiced, they become liquid heaven.
Soba Noodles: Soba is somethin’ else. A Japanese buckwheat noodle, soba offers a slightly-nutty, somewhat-sweet, and rich, creamy taste. Topped with flavorful pumpkin seeds (often called pepitas and beneficial for men, as research indicates that pumpkin seeds are a prostrate-cancer preventative) and calcium-rich Cowgirl Creamery cottage cheese, this side dish provides a perfect complement to this vegetable-teeming entree.