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A Colorful Guide to Healthy Eating

Add a rainbow of nutrition to your diet with these bright and beautiful recipes.

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Contributing Writer

Eating a diet heavy in white and tan-colored foods—like meat, potatoes, breads, and pastas—isn’t just visually boring, it’s also nutritionally insufficient. You see, the brightly colored fruits and vegetables that lend themselves to vibrant and artistic plates also tend to be high in phytonutrients, vitamins, and antioxidants. These compounds help ward off disease and keep your body performing at its peak. The following five recipes from registered dietitian and best-selling book author of Eating in Color, Frances Largeman-Roth, are no exception. See—and taste—for yourself! Then share your brilliant, brag-worthy photos on Twitter or Instagram with us @LiveSonima and use the hashtag #SonimaEats for the chance of a regram!


1. Dried Cherry, Feta, and Red Quinoa Salad

The visuals: The deep mahogany of the red quinoa sets off the bright white feta, ruby-tinged radish, and garnet-colored tart cherries. The fresh cucumber adds an cool pop of green to this ancient grain salad.

The health payoff: The benefits of this dish are pretty attractive, too. The quinoa provides plant-based protein for active muscles, while the tart dried cherries offer anthocyanins, natural compounds that help reduce the inflammation caused by exercise. Radishes and cucumbers are both high in water content to help you stay hydrated.


1 cup dry red quinoa, rinsed
1/2 teaspoon salt, divided
1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
1/2 cup tart dried cherries
1 small seedless cucumber, halved and diced
1/2 cup diced feta cheese
3 radishes, sliced thinly


1. In a medium saucepan, bring 2 cups water and 1/4 teaspoon of the salt to a boil. Add the quinoa, turn the heat down to a simmer, cover and cook for 15 minutes until the water is absorbed. Remove from heat and fluff with a fork; set aside to cool.
2. Once the quinoa is cool, add it to a large serving bowl. Stir in the remaining 1/4 teaspoon salt, vinegar, cherries, and cucumber. Add the feta and radishes and gently combine. Serve or cover and refrigerate.

Yield: 4 servings (3/4 cup per serving)

2. Cashew Milk, Chia, and Oat Bowl with Pomegranate

The visuals: Ruby red pomegranate seeds standout on a creamy backdrop of chia and oats. The almond pieces add contrast, both visually and texturally. The consistency of this filling mixture is between muesli and chia pudding.

The health payoff: This dish is packed with ingredients to protect your heart. Creamy cashew milk and almonds are rich in monounsaturated fats, which research shows can help lower risk of heart disease and stroke. Oats are among the best foods for lowering bad cholesterol, and some research shows that pomegranate juice may slow the progression of atherosclerosis. Chia seeds contain ALA (alpha-linolenic acid), which has anti-inflammatory benefits, and they’re also high in fiber to support digestion and satiety.


1/2 cup chia seeds
1/2 cup old-fashioned oats
3 cups cashew or coconut milk
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon agave nectar or honey
2 tablespoons fresh or dried pomegranate seeds
1 tablespoon, plus 1 teaspoon chopped raw almonds


1. In a large bowl, combine the chia seeds and coconut milk. Whisk; cover with plastic wrap and chill for an hour or until ready to serve.
2. To serve, place about 3/4 cup of the chia-oat mixture in a bowl. Top with 1 1/2 teaspoons pomegranate seeds and 1 teaspoon chopped almonds. Enjoy!

Yield: 4 servings (about 1 cup per serving)


3. Shrimp, Avocado and Mango Salad

The visuals: Welcome to paradise! Everything about this dish beckons you to the tropics, from the bright lettuce to the rich avocado to the perfectly caramelized shrimp.

The health payoff: Known for its rich, buttery flavor, many people are surprised to learn that avocados are a good source of fiber, with 5 grams in each half. Shrimp are a good low-calorie source of protein, with just 84 calories and 20 grams protein per 3 ounces of cooked shrimp. And that gorgeous mango? It’s also a fiber superstar, packing in about 3 grams per cup.


1 pound medium shrimp, peeled and deveined (about 20 shrimp)
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/4 teaspoon chili powder
1/4 teaspoon Spanish paprika
3 tablespoons olive oil, divided
1 cup mango spears (about 1 large mango)
1 avocado, sliced
1 head Boston lettuce, rinsed and outer leaves removed

Lime Vinaigrette (makes 1/4 cup)
1 lime, zested and juiced
1 tablespoon olive oil
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
1/4 teaspoon ground cumin


1. Place the shrimp in a large zip-top plastic bag with the salt, pepper, chili powder, paprika, and 2 tablespoons olive oil. Refrigerate for 30 minutes or up to an hour.
2. While the shrimp marinate, make the vinaigrette. In a small jar, combine the zest and juice of the lime, oil, salt, pepper, and cumin. Shake the jar until the vinaigrette is blended and set aside.
3. Heat a large 10-12-inch skillet over high heat. Add the remaining 1 tablespoon olive oil to the pan and heat for 30 seconds. Add the shrimp and cook for 2-3 minutes per side, until completely pink and opaque. Remove from the pan and transfer to a plate.
4. To serve, place 3 lettuce leaves in a salad bowl or on a plate and top with 5 shrimp, about 3 mango spears, 2-3 avocado slices, and 1 tablespoon dressing.

Yield: 4 servings

4. Berry Bowl with Greek Yogurt

The visuals: The deep jewel-tone colors of the berries set against the pure white backdrop of the yogurt make for a pretty stunning way to start your day. The granola topper adds some dimension and crunch.

The health payoff: Yogurt is a well-known source of probiotics—the good bacteria that helps promote gut health and protect the immune system. Berries are a prebiotic food, which means they provide fuel for the probiotics to grow. This is a true symbiotic relationship—and totally delicious!


1 (5.3-ounce) container plain whole milk Greek yogurt
1/4 cup blackberries
1/4 cup blueberries
1 tablespoon ancient grain granola (such as Purely Elizabeth)


Scoop the yogurt into a serving bowl. Top with the berries and granola and enjoy.

Yield: 1 serving


5. Fried Egg Tartine with Goat Cheese and Heirloom Tomato Salad

The visuals: Food bloggers can’t get enough of eggs with their photogenic bright yellow yolks. The tangy red tomato salad is a welcome foil—on the plate and the palate—to the rest of the meal.

The health payoff: Eggs are one of the few foods that naturally contain vitamin D, which has numerous benefits including promoting calcium absorption and bone growth. The yolk of one egg contains 10 percent of the Daily Value for vitamin D. An ounce of goat cheese has 40 mg of calcium—not as much as a glass of milk—but it certainly helps contribute to our daily goal of 1000mg.


1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
4 slices sourdough bread, or gluten-free bread
4 ounces plain goat cheese, at room temperature
4 eggs
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
2 heirloom tomatoes, chopped (1 cup)
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
1 teaspoon aged balsamic
1 teaspoon extra virgin olive oil
basil for garnish, optional


1. Brush each slice of bread with ¼ teaspoon of the oil. Toast the bread in a toaster oven until crisp.
2. While the bread toasts, coat a large skillet with cooking spray and heat on high. Add the eggs, two at a time, and turn burner down to medium. Cook for 2-4 minutes, until the whites have set. Flip over and cook an additional 30 seconds. Transfer to a plate and repeat with remaining two eggs.
3. Spread 1 ounce of goat cheese over each slice of toast and top with a fried egg. Serve with 1/4 cup of heirloom tomato salad.

Yield: 4 servings



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