Color On The Plate

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Ring in the New Year in colorful style by celebrating the range of hues available in good-for-you food. Add lots of vegetables, lean proteins and legumes for a well balanced diet.

And don’t forget that there’s no need to shun pasta to eat well. Ditch the regular stuff and replace it with whole-wheat or gluten-free pasta from a variety of brands, or try DeBoles organic handmade pastas made with Jerusalem artichoke flour.

Bon delicious appétit!

Whole Wheat Pasta With Artichoke Pesto And Grape Tomatoes(Serves 4 to 6)1 to 1½ pounds whole-wheat pasta

12-ounce package frozen artichoke hearts, thawed and well drained, using 2 cups for pesto and remaining hearts cut into eighths

1/2 bunch flat leaf parsley leaves, washed, tough stems removed

1/2 bunch watercress, washed, tough stems removed

1/2 cup fresh basil leaves, washed

Grated zest of 1 lemon

2 cloves garlic, smashed

1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, to taste

1/4 cup toasted pine nuts

2/3 cup extra virgin olive oil

12-ounce box extra fancy petit pois, defrosted

1/2 pint cherry tomatoes, halved

1 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheeseTo prepare:Working in the food processor fitted with the steel blade, combine 2 cups artichoke hearts, parsley, watercress, basil, lemon zest, garlic, pepper and pine nuts.

Process until the mixture is well chopped, scraping down the sides of the bowl.

With the machine running, add enough oil through the feeding tube until the mixture is thick and smooth.

Taste and adjust the seasonings.

Bring a large pot of salted water over high heat to a boil.

Add the pasta and cook, stirring every now and then until the pasta is al dente, or according to the package directions.

Drain, reserving about 1 cup of the cooking water.

Transfer pasta to a large bowl and keep warm.

Add well-drained peas and chopped artichoke hearts to the pasta and toss.

Add enough artichoke pesto to coat the pasta.

Add reserved pasta water, tomatoes and cheese.

Toss to blend, taste and adjust seasonings.

Serve warm or at room temperature.New Year’s Good Luck Kale And Black And Red Kidney Beans With Preserved Lemons(Serves 6 to 8)2 24-ounce bags frozen chopped kale defrosted, drained, and squeezed dry

1 large yellow onion, chopped

4 large cloves garlic, minced

2 to 3 pinches red pepper flakes

Olive oil, for sautéing

Freshly ground black pepper, to taste

15½-ounce can red kidney beans, drained

15½-ounce can black beans, drained

2 tablespoons chopped preserved lemons (found in gourmet stores or see recipe below)

1 to 1½ cups vegetable or chicken stock

Brunch option:

6 eggsTo prepare:Coat the bottom of a large, heavy skillet with oil and cook over moderate heat.

Add onion and sauté until soft and translucent, about 8 to 10 minutes.

Add garlic and red pepper flakes and sauté until aromatic.

Add drained beans and sauté until the beans are heated through, about 10 minutes.

Stir in the kale.

Season to taste with black pepper, adding a bit more oil if necessary.

Sauté until heated through.

Stir stock and preserved lemons into the mixture and bring to a simmer.

Taste and adjust the seasonings as necessary.

Brunch option: If using an ovenproof skillet, make six indents in the kale and drop an egg into each “nest.”

Place in 400 degrees oven and bake until the eggs are set, about 5 minutes, and serve at once.Preserved Lemons4 lemons, scrubbed

2/3 cup sugar

7 tablespoons kosher salt

1 teaspoon crushed coriander seeds

1/4 teaspoon turmeric

1 whole clove

3 cups of hot cooking liquid

1 quart glass heat-proof jar, with new lid, sterilized with boiling waterTo prepare:Scrub lemons under running water.

Place in a large non-reactive saucepan and cover with water.

Cover the pan and bring to a boil.

Boil until the lemons are softened, about 10 to 12 minutes.

Transfer lemons to a bowl of ice water and reserve the cooking liquid.

Using a sharp paring knife, deeply score the lemons lengthwise 4 times, as if to quarter them but keeping them intact.

Transfer the lemons and any accumulated juices into the clean jar.

Measure out 3 cups of the hot cooking liquid into the saucepan over high heat and whisk sugar, salt, coriander, turmeric and clove into the liquid until the sugar is dissolved.

Pour the brine over the lemons all the way to the top of the jar.

Seal the jar, bring to room temperature, and refrigerate for at least 2 weeks or up to 2 months.Chicken Breasts, Eggplant, Peppers, Onions, And Tomatoes(Serves 4 to 6)6 boneless skinless chicken breasts, pounded thin

Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste

4 large cloves garlic, minced

2 large yellow onions, thinly sliced

1 medium eggplant, washed, halved and thinly sliced

2 to 3 red, orange or yellow bell peppers, cored, seeded and thinly sliced

1 bunch flat-leaf parsley, chopped

1/2 bunch fresh basil, chopped

Extra virgin olive oil, for drizzling

28-ounce can plum tomatoes, coarsely chopped and juices reserved

1/2 cup dry vermouth

Optional: 1/3 cup freshly grated Pecorino cheeseTo prepare:Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

Coat the bottom of a large, deep baking dish with olive oil.

Pound the chicken even.

Season with salt and pepper and rub garlic on the meat.

Drizzle with oil, sprinkle with some parsley and basil and set aside.

Working in layers, scatter onions on the bottom of the pan, then add the eggplant.

Sprinkle with salt, pepper, garlic and herbs.

Drizzle with oil.

Top with peppers, onions, eggplant and peppers, then sprinkle again with salt, pepper, garlic and herbs.

Add chopped tomatoes, poking them into the vegetables.

Add 1 cup of the tomatoes’ juices.

Top the vegetables with the chicken.

Drizzle enough vermouth over the whole affair until the juices come up halfway in the pan.

Cover with parchment paper and aluminum foil and bake until the chicken juices run clear when pierced with a fork, about 25 minutes.

Remove the foil and parchment paper (sprinkle cheese over the whole affair if using) and continue to bake until the chicken is brown on top and the vegetables are tender, about 10 minutes longer.

Serve warm from the oven.

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