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JULY 2013 RECIPES

RAINBOW PASTA SALAD
(in Watermelon Bowls)

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INGREDIENTS:

2 cups of uncooked orzo (or other mini pasta)
Roasted cherry and grape tomatoes (red, orange, yellow), halved*
Roasted zucchini and squash (green and yellow), sliced thin
Fresh corn (from 1 or 2 ears)
1 Green bell pepper, sliced thin
1 Purple bell pepper ("Purple Beauty" Pepper)
1 Purple Onion (Bermuda), sliced thin
1 cucumber, diced
 
Watermelon, diced
Extra Virgin Coconut Oil (for roasting vegetables)
 
*NOTE:  Red shade vegetables (like tomatoes) should be cooked to release their phytonutrients.  These phytonutrients are "fat soluble", thus they should be eaten with some oil for the body to absorb them.
HONEY LEMON DRESSING:
1/4 cup honey
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
2 Tbsp. red wine vinegar
2 Tbsp. lemon juice
1/4 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. pepper
INSTRUCTIONS:
1.  Prepare pasta per package instructions.  Drain and coat with some olive oil (to prevent dressing from absorbing into pasta and drying it out).
2.  Create a grill "pan" using tin foil.  Halve cherry and grape tomatoes and drizzle with coconut oil.  Roast over grill (350F degrees) until the tomatoes are carmelized.
3.  Cut zucchini and squash lengthwise in 1/4 inch slices.  Drizzle with coconut oil and place over grill until pieces are softened.
4.  Slice remaining vegetables and toss all vegetables with pasta.
5.  Add 3/4 of the dressing (reserving some to serve alongside).
6.  Slice watermelon as desired.  Remove center of watermelon, slice into small pieces and add to salad.
7.  Place pasta salad into watermelon "dish."

"Eat the Rainbow!" is a recurring theme in our classes.  Many children are picky eaters and when it comes to vegetables, some children will only eat their favorites (like carrots, broccoli, or corn).  We applaud children for eating as many vegetables and fruits as possible on a daily basis, however, we teach children that it is equally important to eat a variety of different colored vegetables and fruits.  While all vegetables and fruits have thousands of nutrients in them (called "phytonutrients"), there are unique phytonutrients in each colorshade family that benefit the body in different ways. So, blueberries have different phytonutrients than tomatoes, which have different phytonutrients than bananas, etc.  To get all of the nutrients our bodies need to prevent disease and keep us healthy, it is important to eat as many different colored vegetables and fruits as possible.  To help children remember that variety is important, we provide each child in our program with an uncolored rainbow (along with clouds representing whiteshade vegetables).  Each time that a child eats a vegetable or fruit, the child adds that color to the rainbow.  Over the years, we have found that children have fun shopping with their families so that they can find vegetables and fruits to color their rainbows.

This month's pasta salad recipe is designed to get children to "Eat the Rainbow" and to learn how to select seasonal produce.  We have chosen only vegetables that are currently in season, which can be swapped out from month-to-month.  This recipe offers a great opportunity to visit a farmer's market to learn about what is growing locally each month, while it also allows your child to choose the different colored vegetables and fruits that appeal to them.

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