Seeing Purple: Purple Potatoes and TV with a Mission

| December 11, 2009

One of my favorite books as a child (and still is today) is Harold and the Purple Crayon.


For those of you who are not familiar, it’s the story by Crockett Johnson of little Harold who uses his purple crayon to draw his adventures – it’s a lovely story about imagination, creativity, and making possibilities real.

Well, art, media, and food are all mediums for turning the imagination into reality. Harold, in fact, has now become a TV show for children. One great site capitalizing the power of media to create and imagine and educate is Fooditude. They are an up and coming food TV show for kids to get them aware of where their food comes from and how to eat better.

Another site you MUST check out is SnagFilms. They have HUNDREDS of documentaries you can watch for free, including Super Size Me and the Future of Food (if you haven’t seen these, YOU MUST IF YOU CARE!)

Take 45 minutes to watch this…it’s important…about why we are getting fat as a nation just by eating what is often offered out there are “food:”

My own purple creation to pay more attention to the source of my food came in the form not of a crayon, but of a sweet potato. Yup. It’s purple. Not orange.


In Stokes County, North Carolina, there is a movement to promote rural economic development through the Stokes Purple Sweet Potato. I found this at Whole Foods, and this wonderful, LOCAL produce both honors the region’s agricultural heritage and local entrepreneurship. Since it’s getting cold, I figured I’d create my own dish with my own purple crayon, er, potato,…and since it’s not a traditional gumbo, I’m calling it Gumby.

It’s super easy, perhaps not the prettiest dish when it first comes out, but it’s so cool and delicious. Just check out the colors.


Purple Sweet Potato Gumby

1 purple sweet potato
1 regular sweet potato
1/2 pound chorizo sausage (you can do sweet or spicy but I like it SPICY!)
1/2 pound ground turkey
10 cloves whole garlic, softened in olive oil
Chicken stock
Salt and pepper
1 cup orzo
1/4 cup sliced shiitake mushrooms
2 cups chicken stock

1. Preheat 350F.
2. Slice potatoes into thin slices and layer on bottom of casserole dish.
3. Cut sausage into 1 inch slices and layer on top
4. Season turkey (can use turkey breast) with salt and pepper and layer with the sausage
5. Add garlic cloves
6. Add chicken broth (just enough to cover)
7. Bake for about 45 minutes until done
8. Meanwhile, make orzo with chicken stock with mushrooms
9. When casserole is done, add orzo.

The casserole will come out somewhat liquid-y since the juices from the sausage and turkey will be running, but don’t worry! The orzo will soak all those juices up and even turn a little purple!


Sweet potatoes are loaded with antioxidents, not to mention they are so sweet and yummy (even for people like me who hated veggies for so long;they are a fantastic way to get some good vitamins!). This is also a fun way to get kids excited about their food while being aware of the source of your food – who doesn’t like purple food?

Imagine we could take our little purple crayons and create a world where  we honored where our food comes from, where everyone has something GOOD to eat….

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About the Author (Author Profile)

With a flair for spontaneity, pizzazz, creative excellence and her own unique sense of aesthetic grace and perspective, we have our very dear friend, Belinda (or B, to some of us). Although an incredibly accomplished professional and career woman, B’s down-to-earth approach and demeanor transcends all scenarios, communities and people. She manifests, in her day-to-day, the essence of the word “Zomppa” as demonstrated by her extraordinary commitment to creating sustainable and positive change for us and future generations to come. She’s asked for a dog every year since she was five. Check out Belinda’s work on global education research and coaching: or more about her portfolio

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  1. Holiday 2009: Know Thy Limit | Zomppa - Food, Meet People | December 28, 2009
  1. Christine says:

    WOW! I have never seen purple sweet potatoes, I’m intrigued and impressed!