“My child is a picky eater.”--this is perhaps one of the most common statements we make about our kids. And it’s often the result of our frenetic pace of modern lifestyle--we consume fast, processed, and packaged food instead of whole grains, fruits and vegetables for ‘convenience’. And we inadvertently teach this ‘convenience’ to our children, who absorb as much knowledge as they are exposed to. So it is really important for us parents to help expand their palette by introducing them to rich varieties of whole foods and natural flavors. One of the easiest and most fun ways to do this is to color-code food with your kids. Make your next trip to the farmers market or grocery store a color-coding trip. And then invite your kids in the kitchen to clean, peel, chop, and cook the colorful foods with you.
Need some inspiration? We’ve got it for you--we photographed three color-coded food groups--purple, pink and black, and created three easy and delicious recipes for each group. Today, we are introducing the first group: purple.
Many purple-colored fruits and vegetables contain a certain antioxidant (the magical substance that cleans up free radicals in our bodies to help us look young and live healthier) called anthocyanin. It’s the flavonoid pigment that gives fruits and vegetables their blue, purple, or red hues.
Below is a delicious summer noodle salad recipe created by our super talented friend, Selina, using three purple vegetables--purple kale, purple daikon radish, and purple microgreens.
PURPLE KALE & BUCKWHEAT NOODLE SALAD - 2 servings
1 small bunch of purple kale
½ english cucumber
1 small purple daikon radish
½ cup purple radish microgreens
2 bundle buckwheat noodle
½ cup yuzu ponzu
1 jalapeno pepper
1 tsp sesame oil
1 tsp toasted sesame seeds
Make salad dressing first by mixing yuzu ponzu (I used store bought), finely chopped jalapenos, sesame oil, sesame seeds. If you think ponzu dressing is a bit too sour, you can add little bit of sugar.
Cut off the tough stem part of kale and roughly chop to blanch in boiling water. I usually leave it in hot water for 2 minutes (heat off) then drain and wash in cold water. Peel off cucumber skin to cut in vertically to remove the seeds before slicing them thin. Scrape off the dirt on the daikon radish or use a vegetable brush to clean then thinly slice them. Personally, I like them pickled ahead of time.
Bring a pot of water to boil, add salt to cook the noodles about 7 minutes. Best to follow instructions on the package not to overcook them. Rinse in cold running water then strain.
Toss all together with the ponzu dressing until everything is evenly coated, add microgreens on top, sprinkle sesame seeds before serving.
Images taken by Hamee Ha Photography.