by Shayna M.
With the close of Pride Month last month, we continue to celebrate and be inspired by all of the stripes found on the Pride flag, and all of the people who are represented by this flag, throughout the year.
Moved by the symbolism and importance of the Pride flag, the Progress Pride flag, and the advocacy and awareness evoked, creative cooks might like to try filling a plate with colorful foods that nourish the body and honor community members.
As a continuation of the Rainbow Pantry suggestions offered in the spring, let’s round out our colorful plates to include all hues of the Pride flag! Below are ideas for additional colorful pantry preparations.
Black: Nori Seaweed
For a quick snack, toast nori sheets in a pan briefly on each side, until crisp. Lightly oil a bowl, add favorite seasonings, and gently toss the nori in the bowl, allowing it to break up into smaller, manageable pieces.
Heat oats in a conventional oven, toaster oven, or on a stovetop in a single layer, until fragrant and golden brown. Depending on the method used and the amount of oats, they will take anywhere from 5 to 15 minutes to cook. If unsure, check on the oats regularly as they toast. Once golden brown, toss the oats with a little honey or maple syrup, a pinch of salt, and cinnamon, if on hand. As the mix sits and cools, the oats will harden into crunchy bites. Use this to put on top of fresh or canned fruit or yogurt.
Pink: Canned or Frozen Shrimp
A great ingredient for an instant meal! Once drained and cooked (if frozen), toss shrimp with some vinegar or citrus juice and seasonings, allowing to marinate and soak up the flavors. Use a lettuce leaf as a wrapper for a light summer snack or meal. Fill the lettuce with the prepared shrimp, a vegetable such as shredded carrot, and toasted nuts or seeds if you like. Drizzle with a little soy sauce, chili sauce, sriracha, or anything else that is preferred and on hand.
Light Blue: Blue Corn Maseca
Maseca, or instant corn masa, can be found in blue, yellow, or white varieties and can be used for all kinds of recipes—including fresh tortillas! To make tortillas, mix maseca and water (a bit more maseca than water) until a soft dough comes together. Roll dough into small balls, and flatten. This can be done by putting the dough in a folded piece of plastic wrap and rolling over the plastic wrap with a rolling pin or plastic cup. Cook the tortillas in a pan for about 30 seconds on each side. Keep tortillas warm while the others cook, by wrapping the cooked tortillas a cloth towel.
White: Canned Potatoes
Try preparing roasted potato croutons for your next salad. Drain and rinse a can of potatoes, and slice potatoes into small squares. Toss in a small amount of oil and roast in the oven or toaster oven until golden browned and crisp. Roasted potato squares add texture and heartiness to salad.
What additional colors and ingredients can you think of or find in a kitchen pantry?
For colorful food inspirations, check out some of our Free Library ebooks for intergenerational readers.
Rainbow Stew by Cathryn Falwell is a picture book that many of our younger Nourishing Literacy students have enjoyed listening to during visits to the Children’s Department. This story is about children who help harvest vegetables with their grandfather on his farm, which they use to cook and eat together, and it also includes a recipe.
The Forest Feast for Kids by Erin Gleeson is a beautiful book with ideas for preparing fruits and vegetables simply, but with special care and attention. Erin Gleeson incorporates her artwork throughout the visual recipes.
The Edible Rainbow Garden is written by Rosalind Creasy, an accomplished gardener and author who works with Hidden Villa, an educational farm for youth, intergenerational groups, and adults. This book features illustrated gardening tips and ideas for planning a garden with colors in mind, and it also contains garden-based family-friendly recipes.
Some of our ebooks that feature pantry foods include the following:
The Can Opener Gourmet by Laura Karr is a cookbook filled with ideas for canned foods, with a focus on wholesome, nourishing meals.
What sorts of colorful foods are you thinking of cooking up? How can you use what is already on hand to make satisfying and nourishing dishes?
As we gather around our virtual communal table, we acknowledge and appreciate the Pride flag that has inspired our recipe ideas, and most importantly, the important people who the flag represents, our LGBTQIA+ community members.