Eat Your Colors

Eat Your Colors

Written by Wren Bova this article was first published in VVMC's Vail Health Magazine spring 2016 edition. Free copies are available at newsstands throughout Eagle County.

As any home economics instructor will tell you a proper meal includes a balance of colors. That's not simply because it looks better though of course it does. It's one of the best ways to make sure you're consuming all of the nutrients your body requires to be healthy fight off illness and prevent future maladies. In terms of diets Dr. Dennis Lipton says before you consider portion sizes or how often you eat think about the food itself.

“The most important thing is what you are eating” he says. Vitamins and minerals impart specific colors to the foods they're in if you eat the rainbow you'll get all of the necessary nutrients. “I always tell people to eat food as close to the way it was picked as possible. Therefore local fresh food is always preferred” he says.

And that's a concept Game Creek Executive Chef Steven Topple agrees with. During his tenure as the executive chef at Beano's Cabin in Beaver Creek from 2006-2011 he helped make local and organic ingredients a top priority at all Vail Resorts restaurants. Raised by vegetarian parents Topple creates dishes with a wide range of fruits and vegetablesin addition to the expected protein mains.

“I believe you eat with your eyes first so making beautiful and colorful food is important” Topple says. Mix and match from the following dishes to create your own multi-hued meal.

Following are recipes using colorful foods that offer key nutrients.

GREEN

GreenFood

Granny Smith Apple Salad with Pistachio Golden Raisin and Kiwi Fruit Coulis.(This dish can be served with cooked apple or raw apple following is the raw apple option.) Serves 4

Ingredients
2 Granny Smith apples
sliced into thin rounds skin on but seeds removed
1 Granny Smith peeled and diced placed into lemon water while cooking
¼ cup toasted pistachiosskins removed
¼ cup golden raisins
1 cup apple cider
4 peeled kiwi fruitroughly chopped
½ cup fresh spinach

Preparation
1. In a small saucepan place the golden raisins with half of the apple cider. Bring to a boil remove from heat and add peeled pistachios.
2. Place the kiwi fruit and spinach into a blender with the other half of the apple cider. Purée until a smooth sauce has been made strain using a fine strainer.
3. To plate place a pool of kiwi fruit coulis on bottom of plate then place one apple slice and top with pistachio and golden raisins in a neat pile evenly distributed. Repeat twice more until an apple tower has been made. If you like garnish with a little sprig of mint on the final assembly. Serve and enjoy.

Hints about green:
-Raisins add a decadent flavor as well as fiber Vitamin B6 and riboflavin.
-In addition to adding some nice crunch unpeeled raw apples deliver Vitamin C and fiber.
-Though broccoli and spinach are easy and popular go-tos for green don't forget about kiwi a superfood that can double for dessert. It's full of Vitamins C E and K as well as fiber

 

PURPLE AND BLUE

PurpleFood
Juniper-Rubbed Elk Tenderloin with Red Cabbage Beet Walnut Rosti and Huckleberry Sauce. Serves 4

Elk Tenderloin
Note: If you can't find juniper substitute allspice.
4 6-ounce elk tenderloin portions
10 juniper berries
ground fine
¼ cup frozen huckleberries
½ cup beef demi glaze
2 tablespoons olive oil
Salt and pepper to taste

Beet Rosti
2 large red beets peeled and grated
2 egg yolks
10 walnuts slightly crushed

Cabbage
4 cups red cabbagefinely shredded
1 cup orange juice
2 cups red wine
1 juniper berry crushed

Preparation
1. Cook cabbage: Place ingredients into a small pan and cook for 25-30 minutes until cabbage is soft.
2. Preheat oven to 400F and a sauté pan to medium to high heat. Season elk with salt and pepper and juniper berry dust. Sauté in a drizzle of olive oil getting a nice even brown all over elk. Place into oven for 8-10 minutes for medium rare.
3. Make rosti: In a small bowl mix beets with salt and pepper egg yolks and a few crushed walnuts (save a few for later). Shape into small rounds. Cook in a nonstick pan with a little olive oil over medium heat. Crisp on first side about 2-3 minutesthen flip over rosti and make golden brown on other side.
4. Warm beef demi glaze with huckleberries.
5. To plate place beet rosti and cabbage in small mounds slice the elk into thin slices and add to plate.
Ladle on the huckleberry sauce sprinkle walnuts around plate for decoration.
Serve and enjoy.

Hints about purple and blue:
-Walnuts are rich in iron manganese phosphorus and magnesium.
-Beets and elk tenderloin are both great local ingredients.
-Beets are rich in folate manganese fiber and riboflavin. Elk tenderloin is a lean protein rich in Vitamin B12 as well as riboflavin iron zinc and copper.

 

RED 

RedFood
Chilled Watermelon and Tomato Gazpacho with Red Pepper Salsa Gazpacho
Note: Make soup 24 hours before serving it's best if the flavors have time to meld and develop. Serves 4

Ingredients
½ small watermelonpeeled and diced
3 large vine-ripened tomatoes diced
3 shallots diced
½ cucumber peeled and diced
1 jalapeño chopped with seeds remove if you don't like spice
1 red pepper seeded and diced
2 tablespoons white wine vinegar
4 tablespoons olive oil
Salt and pepper to taste Salsa
1 roasted red pepper peeled seeded and diced very small
1 shallot finely diced
1 teaspoon rice wine vinegar
1 teaspoon olive oil
1 tablespoon cilantro chopped
(Mix all ingredients in small bowl)

Preparation
1. Place all gazpacho ingredients into a blender and purée until very smooth. Strain using coarse strainer. Check seasoning and add more salt and pepper as desired.
2. In a small bowl mix salsa ingredients together.
3. To serve place gazpacho into a bowl and sprinkle with red pepper salsa.
Serve chilled and enjoy. 

Hints about red:
-Both watermelon and red peppers are good sources of Vitamins A and C.
-Tomatoes are a powerhouse food: lots of Vitamins A C and K fiber and potassium
-What's so great about Vitamin C? It helps protect against immune system deciencies cardiovascular disease prenatal health problems eye disease and even premature aging of the skin

 

ORANGE AND YELLOW

OrangeYellowFood
Seared Wild Salmon with Sweet Potato Carrot Hash and Yellow Pepper Coulis. Serves 4

Ingredients
4 6-ounce wild king salmon
skin on and deboned
2 large carrots peeled and diced
1 large sweet potatopeeled and diced
1 teaspoon cumin
2 teaspoons olive oil
1 tablespoon maple syrup
2 shallots peeled and diced
2 cloves of garlic peeled and crushed
2 yellow bell peppers seeded and diced
1 cup white wine (Chardonnay)
Salt and pepper to taste

Preparation
1. Preheat oven to 400F and sauté pan to medium-high heat. Season salmon with salt and pepper place into a hot sauté pan with a little drizzle of olive oil then place into oven and cook until desired temperature 10 minutes for medium rare and 14 minutes for medium.
2. In a small saucepan sweat the shallots garlic and yellow pepper in a little drizzle of olive oil. Once softened but not browned add the white wine and reduce by half. Season with salt and pepper add 2 tablespoons of water and blend until smooth and thick.
3. Blanch the sweet potato and carrot dice together in boiling water strain and cool. Sauté carrots and sweet potato in the olive oil with cumin salt and pepper. Add a little maple syrup to help with browningand remove from heat.
4. Place the sweet potatocarrot hash into the center of plate then place cooked salmon on top of hash spoon yellow pepper coulis around plate. Garnish with yellow pepper julienne if you like serve and enjoy.

Hints about orange and yellow:
-Salmon is rich in omega-3 fatty acids protein niacin Vitamins B6 and B12 and selenium.
-Carrots and sweet potatoes are good sources of Vitamins A B6 and C potassium and fiber.
-Why eat Omega-3 fatty acids? Omega-3s can curb stiffness and joint pain caused by inflammation. Additionally they can lower elevated triglyceride levels and help prevent some heart disease

_____________________________________________________

About Dr. Dennis Lipton Internal Medicine vvmc.com/internalmed
Dennis Lipton MD is a board-certified internist at Vail Valley Medical Center trained in the essentials of primary care and disease prevention and can help ensure patients receive the proper medical screening tests and immunizations. Learn more at vvmc.com/internalmed or by calling (970) 477-3090.