For many years as I counseled patients about eating healthy, whether for heartdisease, diabetes, cancer, or general good health. I often heard people say thatthey were told not to eat any “white” foods. Surely we all know that foods ofdeep intense color are filled with lots of nutritional benefits. After all, thenutrients are what give the food its color in the first place. But does that meanthat ALL foods that are not colorful have no nutrition? Absolutely not!First and foremost we recommend a plant-based diet with lots of fruits,vegetables, and grains. Animal food should be limited and when included, shouldbe lean. Some of the white foods that should be avoided are sugar, salt, whiteflour, and full fat dairy foods. Healthy white foods are abundant in the grocerystore. Don’t forget the inside of many colorful fruits such as banana, apples,pears, and eggplants are white. Examples of other white foods with importantnutrition components are cauliflower, mushrooms, beans, potatoes, parsnips,turnips, jicama, and onions. These foods are good sources of vitamin C,potassium, iron, folic acid, copper, selenium, magnesium and othermicronutrients. Most of them are very low in calories and all of them are goodsources of fiber.
This week’s cooking studio featured a delicious potato soup that was fat free,lactose free, gluten free and strictly vegan. It was a hearty blend of potatoes withcarrots, celery, onions, herbs and spices. Everyone loved the white bean spreadas an alternative to the ever-popular hummus. This was also lactose free, glutenfree, and vegan, with just a touch of fat. The third dish sampled was a kasha pilafwith mushrooms as the featured white food. Kasha, which is toasted buckwheat,is gluten free and perfectly suitable for people with gluten sensitivity. It is ahearty side dish alternative to rice and is full of fiber with a rich nutty flavor. Thisrecipe did include one egg to coat the kasha to keep the grains separated so it isnot strictly vegan.Eat the foods of the rainbow and make your plate colorful, but you can alsoinclude some wholesome, worthy, white foods to enhance the nutritional andflavor profile of your diet.
Potato SoupMakes 3 quarts6-8 medium potatoes, diced 4 cups water5 carrots, peeled sliced 1/8 tsp pepper4 stalks celery, sliced 2 Tbsp chopped parsley1 large onion ½ tsp dill (fresh or dried)½ tsp salt• Combine all ingredients in large pot.• Cook covered until potatoes are soft, about 20 minutes.• Mash vegetables with potato masher until pureed or puree in blender.• If too thick, thin with some broth or a little milk if desired.From Jewish Standard Newspaper – January 1978
Simple White Bean Spread1 ½ Tbsp extra virgin olive oil1/3 medium onion, diced2 cans (15 oz) cannellini beans, drained and rinsed½ tsp salt½ tsp pepper½ c water30 prepared crostini½ c freshly grated Pecorino-Romano cheesechopped parsley• Heat oil in a small pot over medium heat, add onion and cook stirringoccasionally until golden brown (6-8 minutes)• Add beans, salt and pepper and cook for 2 minutes more• Transfer to food processor, add water and puree until smooth.• If spread seems too thick, add more water as needed• Spread warm bean mixture on crostini, sprinkle cheese and parsley over topand serve.• Spread can be made up to a day in advance, store in an airtight container inthe refrigerator and gently reheated before serving.From Whole Foods website
Kasha Pilaf with Mushrooms½ cup chopped onions½ - 1 cup chopped mushrooms½ c chopped celery¼ c chopped parsley2 cups broth or water¼ - ½ tsp salt if using water1/8 tsp pepper1 cup kasha1 egg• Sauté onions, celery and mushrooms. Set aside.• Heat liquid to boiling.• Lightly beat egg in bowl. Add kasha, stir to coat kernels.• Add egg coated kasha to large sauté pan. Cook over high heat 2-3 minutes,stirring constantly until egg has dried on kasha and kernels are separate.Reduce heat to low.• Add sautéed vegetables to kasha and quickly stir in boiling liquid.• Cover tightly, simmer 7-10 minutes until kasha kernels are tender and liquid isabsorbed.• Makes about 4 cups.From Wolff’s Kasha