1. Celebrate Holi with a vitamin rich plate of colour!

    Today (8th March 2012) is the start of Holi – the Indian Festival of Colour.  It marks the arrival of Spring and is probably one of the most energetic and lively festivals.  You could have your own Holi celebrations at home using colour as a guide to your menu choices.  It’s a healthy way to make sure you’ve got a good balance of vitamins.  Here are some simple ideas by guest blogger Urvashi Roe aka @BotanicalBaker from a selection of Great British Chefs recipes…

    Blog post byUrvashi Roe 

    The start of Holi – the Indian Festival of Colour - marks the arrival of Spring and is probably one of the most energetic and lively festivals.  It’s a time to forget castes and status and lose inhibitions. A time of hope and new beginnings. 

    People celebrate by throwing “gulal” (coloured powders) at each other in remembrance of the fun Lord Krishna used to have teasing the “gopis” (female cowherds).  The colours all have their own significance.  Red is for purity as well as strength and power. Blue signifies happiness and calm.  Green represents vitality and nature. Yellow brings brilliance and warmth.  White is for truth and courage and finally grey represents retirement and peace.  The only colour not thrown is black as it is for sorrow, evil and depression. 

    The celebrations are loud and raucous with lots of street music, dancing and bonfires.

    There are a few celebrations taking place in the UK which mimic the revelry in India.  If you live close to London there are celebrations this weekend at the Hare Krishna Temple/Bhaktivedanta Manor in Watford

    You could however have your own Holi celebrations at home using colour as a guide to your menu choices.  It’s a healthy way to make sure you’ve got a good balance of vitamins.  Here are some simple ideas from a selection of Great British Chefs recipes…

    Green foods are rich in vitamins A, C and E and leafy ones also contain iron. 

    Watercress Soup by Shaun Rankin

    Watercress and Poached Salmon Salad by Tom Aikens

    Red/Purple/Pink foods contain lycopene which is a natural pigment and also thought to be one of the most powerful carotenoids for fighting cancer.

    Beetroot and Tarragon Salad by Marcus Wareing

    Picked Beetroot and Feta Salad by Tom Aiken

    Yellow/Orange foods are high in betacarotene which is the plant form of vitamin A. This supports good eye health and night vision and boosts the immune system.  Orange and yellow citrus fruits are great sources of vitamin C which is vital for healthy skin and absorbing the iron in our diet.

    Mango Sorbet by Galton Blackiston

    Carrots with Tarragon by Paul Heathcote

    John Gregory’s Yellow Mussel Curry

    Blog post for Great British Chefs by Urvashi Roe.  

    What are your favourite colourful & vitamin rich food?  Which dishes make the most of them?  We’re discussing these questions over on Great British Chefs Facebook Page