Get Your Beta-Carotene Here! not to mention flavonoids, potassium, vitamins…

Lovely winter veggies!

The winter is upon us – and yellow veggies are abundant in the market, glowing and ready for use! I happen to love pumpkin, maybe a legacy of my American dad’s luscious dark brown pumpkin pies served with a freshly churned vanilla ice-cream. And I love them roasted with garlic, onion, a sprig of rosemary in olive oil, sea salt and a spray of balsamic vinegar. Mix them with pasta, grated cheese, torn basil leaves, lemon-infused olive oil and salad leaves for a hearty winter pasta salad. We need to eat these yellow and orange veggies to build up our resistance to colds and flu!  Experiment with the different pumpkins, add in some sweet potato and a chilli flake or some ground cumin. Introduce your family to flavour and tell them to eat a rainbow. It’s good for your skin as well.  Yes, tweenagers and teens, you are what you eat, and what you eat is you!

Below our pumpkin, red onion and pasta salad. Hot or cold, it is a goodie. Some of us at the Food Forum are helping with our school winter fare, attempting to make loads of food in a classroom. We confess to having a few Jamie Oliver moments in the last weeks as we attempt to come up with a menu that is reasonably home-cooked, a bit healthy and a crowd-pleaser. One of the most frequently suggested ideas is to make hot dogs. Now, I am not a fan of this salty, very processed, creature. I know a lot of kids and adults are, but I like to help people try new things and think about where their food comes from.

There is little good to be said for the hotdog (when I was young, it was called a cheerio and was fat and red), a thin sausage encased in a white bun, often served with a sweet tomato ketchup. Sorry folks there are plenty of other places where you can find this cheap meat. And please do consider why it is cheap. Good for you it aint but if you really need to buy  one, then do buy an organic one, check its salt content and serve it with salad in a brown whole wheat bun! At least there will be some roughage there. Apparently there is a wonderful Australian butcher in Toronto who makes his own with real, organic beef – so if anyone does spot a good one here, then let us know!

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