WRITTEN BY LISA BORG-ANDERSON
Have you ever heard someone say “make your plate a rainbow”? I have said it a lot to my patients and this is the perfect time of year to implement this principle. Fall is an amazing time of year as the days cool and the leaves begin to crisp changing into a magical world. As you can guess this is my favorite time of year. It’s also easy to create wholesome meals full of nutrients and flavors.
So instead of explaining all of this in detail, I have come up with a warm, hearty dish to give your taste buds an idea of what I really mean and why it’s so important to your body to have this balance.
This rainbow plate is inspired by one of my favorite grain bowls that I cannot get enough of in the DC area. It’s a Mediterranean inspired as I am from Malta it’s fitting, to say the least.
There are a couple of components that need to be figured out first - what kind of grain do you like? And what system are you working on supporting the most?
Here are some suggestions based on organ systems but since it is the fall I suggest doing brown rice or quinoa as your primary grain.
Then add in beans or some millet as desired for taste.
Next, what are the veggies that you want to add? For this dish I added:
Keep the squash separate and drizzle maple syrup on it after placing on a cookie sheet to roast. Mix everything else and add it to a bowl. Mix with olive oil, salt and pepper, and place on a cookie sheet.
All roasted on a cookie sheet with olive oil and salt and pepper…except the squash which I added a little maple syrup and I almost inhaled the whole thing before the salad was finished.
I also added some fresh baby greens to support the liver and add some freshness to the warm salad with a lemon vinaigrette and fresh goat cheese, roasted baby beets and some nuts to this rainbow plate recipe. Other ideas would be to add in chopped green onion, chives or parsley on top.
During the fall, we need to support our digestive systems-the spleen and the stomach specifically. The stomach stores the food we eat and begins breaking the food down while the spleen (digestive function including the enzymes which is controlled by the pancreas).
In traditional Chinese medicine (TCM), we also say that the spleen digests thoughts and processes emotions. Much like the physical act of digestion we think, or in many cases, overthink and this action can damage digestion. Symptoms of a poor digestive function can be seen in gas/bloating, tiredness after meals, cravings for sweets, diarrhea or undigested food in stools, inability to fall asleep or worrying.
Combinations of roasted veggies, grains and dressings will be sure to become a staple during the fall. Creating balanced meals full of rich minerals, vitamins and flavor is so important to a healthy transition to cooler weather.
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