One of my favorite ways to celebrate holidays is to have "themed meals". A few years ago, we started the Red/Pink Dinner in honor of Valentine's Day. Knowing what I know now about red dye (specifically all the synthetic dyes that are put in foods in the U.S. but yet banned in the U.K. and other countries), I will have to make a few improvisations and adjustments so as not to contaminate my family with red dye. This is just one of many articles you can find about the harm from food dyes, especially for children.*
However, I'm looking into natural food dyes and I'm delighted to have found these sites that sell safe, natural dyes, one of which is in Oregon!
SAFE Food Colorings:
India Tree Natural Decorating Colors are concentrated liquid vegetable colorants. Seattle, WA. www.indiatree.com
Chocolate Craft Kits & Natural Dyes, Portland, OR.
Shop Bakers Nook Saline, MI
Nature's Flavors Orange, CA.
Here is a How-To on making Homemade Food Colorings (for Easter eggs)
I generated a list of red and pink foods to help inspire others to come up with their own All-Red Valentine's Meal.
A little disclaimer...please forgive the photo quality as they were taken with a phone, long before I ever dreamed of writing a blog and posting them online.
Red Velvet Cake
Watermelon Salad (4 cups watermelon cubes, 1 cup feta cheese crumbles, 1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley or basil, 2 Tablespoons olive oil, 3 Tablespoons lime juice and 1 Tablespoon red wine vinegar)
Smoked Salmon sprinkled over pasta
Spaghetti with Marinara Sauce and Meatballs
Salmon such as our favorite Grilled Asian Salmon
This Mediterranean Chicken Pasta Dish
Pasta Salad with Cherry Tomatoes
Hot Pepper Jelly poured over a cream cheese block served with crackers
Pizza shaped into a heart or with the pepperoni shaped into a heart
Calzone with Marinara Sauce
Chocolate Dipped Strawberries
Sorbets or Ice Creams
Frosted cookies, cakes or cupcakes with red or pink coloring
Cherry pie, razzleberry pie, raspberry pie, strawberry pie (gosh, I love pie!)
Various fruit salads with cherries, raspberries, watermelon, strawberries
Cherry or Strawberry Jello - colored salad or homemade finger jello made from red juice and Knox gelatin
Red Potatoes (although I think they look more purple than red)
Red Velvet Cheesecake
What other red or pink foods am I forgetting?
What would your red meal look like?
*Here's a quick video about food dye consumption.