Monday, March 10, 2014

It's All About Color!

Cathi DiCocco with some of the colorful food we got to eat!
by Mary Haberman 

On Thursday, March 6th, Cathi DiCocco, professional chef (and Bethel treasure) showed some two dozen participants how to think about food choices, especially the nutritional values of colorful vegetables, whole grains, citrus and spices. As she talked, we watched and learned her methods of chopping, chipping, slicing, and stripping vegetables of every color that are part of her "Culinary Color Wheel."

"Pigments that give fruits and vegetables their bright color represent a variety of protective compounds for our better health," Cathi explained. For example, greens, such as spinach and kale, provide folate for healthy cells. The red of tomatoes are providing lycopene, and the yellows and oranges, vitamin C. Many of the vegetables, and some spices, are excellent antioxidants. Whole grains and beans provide essential fiber.

Cathi put together a delicious Mexican concoction (later sampled by the participants) that included everything she had talked about, plus spices for "zingers." A Waldorf salad, using roasted grapes (amazing), walnuts and local apples topped off her demonstration.

Throughout, she stressed the need to get close to what is natural - organic, unadulterated and local - when possible.

This presentation - her time, food and skills - all were Cathi's community service contribution, and we were, and are, most appreciative.

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