Joni Sare, cooking instructor

How to: a Comprehensive List of Food by Color


This list of food by color includes veggies, meats and seafood. Cooking with color is used for a variety of reasons:

1) Presentation: the look of the dish needs to be appealing.
2) Nutrition: different colors inherently provide different nutrition.
3) Texture: different colors often times means different textures

The images below are here to showcase the use of color in a dish, however, please also take note of the size, shape and texture of the food.

Examples of food by color


Orange Ginger Glazed Beets with Orange Segments

RED, purple, pink
  • Fish, seafood
  • Tomatoes
  • Red cabbage
  • Eggplant
  • Red Peppers
  • Red onion
  • Chard stems (red)
  • Purple Kale
  • Beets
  • Radicchio
  • Red Leaf Lettuce
  • Red beans
  • Red Quinoa
  • Red Lentils
  • Dulse (seaweed)
  • Olives

Roasted zucchini, crinkle cut carrots, new potatoes

Yellow, orange
  • Bell peppers (yellow, orange)
  • Potatoes (yams, sweet potatoes)
  • Squash (Butternut, winter squash, pumpkin)
  • Carrots
  • Lentils (yellow, orange)
  • Corn / polenta
  • Red Palm Oil
  • Yellow Miso
  • Fruit (pears, lemons, oranges, grapefruit, etc)

Sauteed peas, snap peas, spinach

  • Leafy greens (spinach, arugula, kale, chard, collards, bok choy leaves, napa cabbage leaves, etc)
  • Parsley, cilantro, fresh herbs
  • Lettuce
  • Green beans
  • Green peppers
  • Green onions /scallions (stalk)
  • Celery
  • Tomatios
  • Asparagus
  • Broccoli
  • Brussels sprouts
  • Avocado
  • Chives
  • Peas
  • Fennel stalks
  • Artichokes
  • Lentils
  • Sprouts
  • Olives
  • Limes

Coleslaw: cabbage, carrots, celery, scallions, black pepper


Seared sole with herbs

White, tan
  • Chicken
  • Pork
  • Fish, seafood
  • Pasta
  • Onions
  • Shallots
  • Jicama
  • Turnips
  • Rutabagas
  • Kohlrabi
  • Radish
  • Celery root
  • Jerusalem artichokes
  • Burdock
  • Fennel bulb
  • Cabbage (green and Napa)
  • Bok choy bulb
  • Endive
  • Green onions /scallions (bulb)
  • Bitter melon
  • Cucumbers (peeled)
  • Carrots (white)
  • Leeks (leaves)
  • Cauliflower
  • Zucchini (peeled)
  • Hearts of Palm
  • Chestnuts
  • Grains (rice, quinoa, millet, amaranth, buckwheat, teff, etc)
  • Beans (chickpeas/garbanzo, aduki, pinto, lentils, etc)
  • Coconut
  • Seeds (sesame, chia, etc)
  • Nuts (almonds, pecans, etc)
  • Broth (bone broth, veggie broth)

  • Hummus
  • Sour Cream
  • Yogurt
  • Miso
  • Milk (cow, nuts, soy, etc)

Flourless chocolate cake with balsamic glaze, lemon curd, mint, and smoked black pepper

Black, dark
  • Beef
  • Lamb
  • Black sesame seeds
  • Black mustard seeds
  • Black beans
  • Black olives (but, I recommend avoiding these due to the chemicals used to make them)
  • Seaweed
  • Sauces (soy, oyster, black bean, etc)
  • Chocolate (Dutch-process will provide a very dark brown/black color)
  • Aloe vera juice
  • Lemon juice
  • Lime juice
  • Coconut juice
  • Broth
  • Oils

Orange Ginger Stir Fry

Now that your plate and brain are full of the foods of the rainbow, you are ready to make my easy “Orange Ginger Stir Fry. It is better than Panda Express’s Orange Chicken!

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