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Colorful Veggie Fajitas

February 7, 2011

We have a bunch of untouched vegetables in our fridge, so I decided to saute them together and make some fajitas. At some point in my life, someone gave me sage advice to combine as many possible colors of vegetables for one meal. The theory is that the more colors, the more variety in nutrients. I have no idea if this is true, and I could easily ask several of my friends who are professional nutritionists, but really I don’t want them to debunk it. I love the idea of a colorful vegetable dish. For this reason, we enjoyed rainbow fajitas, which included orange carrots, red carrots, red onions, spinach, arugula, grape tomatoes, avocado, and purple cabbage. Cooked in kosher salt, pepper, lime juice and olive oil, the veggies topped homemade black re-fried beans and a sprinkling of cheese (optional). They were pretty amazing.

It is not only important to have a variety of vegetable colors, but to acknowledge that many vegetables come in a large variety of shapes, sizes, and colors. I have to thank our new veggie delivery service Washington Green Grocer, because they inspired me with the multi-colored carrots they sent this week. As a history teacher, I know two stories about the typical orange hue of the carrots,  one is right and the other has been proven false. One story is that there are a variety of colors of carrots, but that the orange carrot became popular under the rule of William of Orange. His wide breadth of leadership over the Netherlands and Great Britain allowed for the wide preferance of the color orange. As an Irish citizen, which isn’t a huge fan of William of Orange, I must tie my loyalty to the Republic, and support other colors of carrots. I am slightly kidding here. Carrots do appear  later in British history, thus my second story.  During WWII, the British did not want the Germans to know why they were able to shoot down so many German planes. Instead of revealing an advancement in military technology, they broadcasted that the British pilots were eating more carrots, due to Vitamin A and their orange color, to improve their vision.

Serafina grabs, then eats, a red carrot.

Which story is correct?


Red Carrots from Washington Green Grocer

The second one. I know, crazy huh?

It is true, that at some point the orange carrot became the mainstay in cuisine, but people are not sure why. Something to consider is how big agri0business effects the types of foods we eat.  Our big business agricultural industry streamlines products to be cost efficient. However, I wonder what nutrients we miss from the lack of variety? Anyways, embrace color  and variety with your veggies. Your meal will be tastier, and your body healthier. Now, I don’t think you will be seeing German planes, but you will at least will be diversifying your diet.


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