Sep 252012

Roasted Potato, Onion and Cauliflower

Last Sunday was a special day…we celebrated my brother-in-law, Matt’s, birthday! We all hopped in the boat to head over to Whitey’s Fish Camp for lunch – was it not a gorgeous day? The mullet were jumping, it wasn’t too hot and Saturday afternoon I had gotten four hours of cleaning done on the house so we would come home to a nice, clean place.

While we were at Whitey’s, the discussion turned, as it usually does around me, to food.  The fact that my Matt and sister-in-law, Kathryn love potatoes but would like to cut back on the carbs.

Roasted Potato, Onion and Cauliflower

I had to jump to the defense of the potato.  If eaten in moderation, it is so much better than eating a processed, white carb out of a bag from the vending machine.

Tip: If you are working on making a switch to eating healthier foods but still love your white carbs, eat a potato.  You can poke a few holes with a fork, wrap it in a wet paper towel and put it right in the microwave at work – about 3 minutes for small potatoes and 4 1/2 minutes for medium.  I like this tutorial for detailed instructions.

As for the nutrition, just look at what your getting when you swap that potato for potato chips out of the vending machine!  This is a great graph from World’s Healthiest Foods.

Nutrients in
1.00 each baked (173.00 grams)
Nutrient%Daily Value
vitamin C    27.6%
vitamin B    627%
potassium   26.4%
tryptophan 21.8%
manganese  19%
fiber             15.2%
Calories      (160)8%

For those of you that still want to cut your carbs and get even more nutrients into your diet, I have the recipe for you!  Roasted potatoes and onions is one of my family’s favorite recipes, so this time, I tried mixing in the cauliflower – this is for you Matt and Kathryn!

Here is the nutrient profile on the Cauliflower.

Nutrients in
1.00 cup raw (107.00 grams)
Nutrient%Daily Value
vitamin     C 85.9%
vitamin     K 20.7%
folate         15.2%
choline      11.1%
vitamin     B 610%
potassium 9.1%
fiber          8.5%
mang.       8.5%
molybd.    7.1%
vitamin     B 57.1%
trypto.      6.2%
phosph.    4.7%
protein     4.1%
magnes.   4%
vitamin    B 23.5%
vitamin    B 13.3%
vitamin    B 32.7%
iron          2.5%
Calories  (26)1%
This mixture came out so well – we may even have a new favorite. I loved the tender cauliflower along with the creamy potato. You won’t miss the extra potatoes!

Roasted Potato, Onion and Cauliflower

  Roasted Potatoes, Onions and Cauliflower

Serves 6
Vegan, Gluten Free
Printable Recipe


1 Tbsp olive oil
1 small head cauliflower
1 Russet potato
1 large onion
1/4 – 1/2 tsp salt (to taste)
1 1/2 tsp granulated garlic
Fresh ground pepper, to taste


1. Preheat oven to 375F; chop cauliflower, potato and onion into bite size pieces; mix all ingredients in a large bowl, (start with 1/4 tsp salt).

2.  Bake 30 minutes; set broiler to high, broil 3 to 5 minutes or until potato and cauliflower and browned and tender. Taste, and adjust seasoning as necessary.


Nutrition Facts
6 Servings
Amount Per Serving 

Calories 68.8
Total Fat 2.4 g
Saturated Fat 0.3 g
Polyunsaturated Fat 0.3 g
Monounsaturated Fat 1.7 g
Cholesterol 0.0 mg
Sodium 113.1 mg
Potassium 325.4 mg
Total Carbohydrate 10.9 g
Dietary Fiber 2.3 g
Sugars 0.3 g
Protein 1.9 g

Vitamin A 0.2 %
Vitamin B-12 0.0 %
Vitamin B-6 12.0 %
Vitamin C 48.8 %
Vitamin D 0.0 %
Vitamin E 1.7 %
Calcium 2.0 %
Copper 3.7 %
Folate 8.9 %
Iron 3.0 %
Magnesium 4.4 %
Manganese 8.5 %
Niacin 3.2 %
Pantothenic Acid 4.2 %
Phosphorus 4.9 %
Riboflavin 2.6 %
Selenium 0.9 %
Thiamin 4.4 %
Zinc 1.9 %

*Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your daily values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.

Jul 192012
You’ll be tempted, but resist the urge to add any oil or butter with this recipe if you use all fresh ingredients. Just try it and see what happens.  Let your seasonal veggies shine through and enjoy the real flavors that each adds.  Every layer is perfectly delicious in itself – roasted tomatoes become sweet and tangy, potatoes become buttery, onions caramelize and corn turns even sweeter with roasting.
This is an easy recipe but since there are a fair amount of steps I chronicled it in photos.
Tomatoes and Onions – Ready for Roasting
Potatoes and onions – just in the oven
….and corn lined up for roasting.
Corn – finished roasting and kernels removed


Roasted tomato and potato trays
Ready to top with mashed potatoes.
Complete dish before going into the oven for final baking.
**Stop here if you are making ahead! Cool, refrigerate, and bake the next day.
I am not an oil free vegan, but I do see the benefits of cutting back on refined oils because in the process of refining most oils, many of the nutrients, vitamins and minerals are stripped away when it is heated- similarly to how white flour and sugar is refined.  It is definitely important to incorporate fats into your diet for cognitive function and digestive health etc. – but leaning towards healthy, un-processed and plant based fats, such as avocados, seeds and nuts is the best way to go.
The next best thing to plant based fats is organic, cold pressed oils. These are are non-genetically modified and have gone through a very minimal heating process. Some examples are cold pressed extra virgin olive oil, flax seed oil and avocado oil.
Many times reason for refining oils is to increase the smoke point.  This is the point in heating when the oil turns to vapor and the begins to decompose, loose even more nutrients, acquire free radicals and may even gain some cancer causing compounds. It is best to not heat oils above smoke point.
So what oils are best to cook with?  I found so much contradictory information out there that I finally went to Cleveland Clinic’s website and found the following chart:

High smoke pointBest suited for searing, browning and deep frying (although the latter is not a recommended practice where heart health is concerned).

Oil % Mono % Poly % Sat Nutrition Notes
Almond 65 28 7 Distinctive nutty flavor
Avocado 65 18 17 Sweet aroma
Hazelnut 82 11 7 Bold, strong flavor
Palm 38 10 52 High in saturated fat. Not recommended
Sunflower 79 7 14 Seek out high-oleic versions, which are higher in monounsaturated fat
“Light” olive/refined olive 78 8 14 The more refined the olive oil, the better its all-purpose cooking use. “Light” refers to color

Medium-high smoke pointBest suited for baking, oven cooking or stir frying.

Oil % Mono % Poly % Sat Nutrition Notes
Canola 62 31 7 Contains low levels of omega-3
Grapeseed 17 73 10 High in omega-6
Macadamia nut 84 3 13 Bold flavor
Extra virgin olive 78 8 14 Best-pick oil
Peanut 48 34 18 Great for stir frying

Medium smoke point Best suited for light sautéing, sauces and low-heat baking.

Oil % Mono % Poly % Sat Nutrition Notes
Corn 25 62 13 High in omega-6. High-oleic (monounsaturated fat) versions coming soon
Hemp 15 75 10 Good source of omega-3. Keep refrigerated
Pumpkinseed 32 53 15 Contains omega-3
Sesame 41 44 15 Rich, nutty flavor. Keep refrigerated
Soybean 25 60 15 High in omega-6
Walnut 24 67 9 Good source of omega-3
Coconut 6 2 92 High in saturated fat. Not recommended

No-heat oils* Best used for dressings, dips or marinades.

Oil % Mono % Poly % Sat Nutrition Notes
Flaxseed 65 28 7 Excellent source of alpha-linolenic acid,
a form of omega-3
Wheat Germ 65 18 17 Rich in omega-6. Keep refrigerated

*Toasted sesame, extra virgin olive and walnut oils also work well.

Now that your head is spinning with all the information about oils – deciding to forgo fats in a meal or two every now and then is perfectly fine – simply grab a handful of almonds as a snack earlier or, if you like, add some nuts or seeds into the dish!
Tip:  Using an oil mister is going to prevent your foods from sticking and at the same time using a fraction of a teaspoon.
Roasted Summer Veggie Shepherds Pie with Corn, Tomato, Onions and Quinoa
Serves 8


3 ½ pounds mixed potatoes
2 sweet onions, divided
2 pints cherry tomatoes
4 fresh ears corn
Sea salt and fresh ground pepper
2 Tbsp gluten free flour (or any flour)
2 cups vegetable broth, divided
2 Tbsp fresh thyme & chives (or any herbs you like)
1 cup dry quinoa

1. Preheat oven to 400F.  Chop potatoes and one onion.  Lay out four baking sheets, spray with organic olive oil cooking spray (or your Misto). Top two sheets with potatoes and chopped onion. Quarter and slice second onion.  Place on third tray with tomatoes.  Cut off silk on top of corn only and place on 4th.  Sprinkle salt on tomatoes, onions and potatoes.  Place all trays in oven, bake 45 minutes, remove corn from oven and toss the remaining three trays. Place all but corn back in oven for additional 10 minutes.
2. Rinse quinoa and add to small pot with 1 ½ cups veggie broth. Bring to a boil, reduce heat and cover.  Simmer 15 minutes; remove from heat and let sit an additional 5 minutes
3. Place cooked potatoes and onions from first two trays in a food processor and pulse until it becomes the texture of a rustic mashed potato.  Taste and re-season.
4. Mix the 2 tbsp flour and ½ cup veggie broth in a medium bowl; stir in tomatoes, onions, thyme/chives and cooked quinoa.  Shuck corn and cut kernels off cob; add to bowl and mix all well.  Taste and re-season if necessary.
5. Spray a 2 Qt baking dish with cooking spray.  Spoon tomato mixture into baking dish and top with potato mixture.  Press potatoes evenly.  (**You can cool and refrigerate for one day at this point.  Simply bring back to room temp and cook as directed.)
6. Place baking dish in preheated 400F oven for 20 minutes or until heated well throughout. Turn broiler to high and brown top, about 3 minutes.

Nutrition Facts
8 Servings
Amount Per Serving

Calories 235.8
Total Fat 2.1 g
Saturated Fat 0.1 g
Polyunsaturated Fat 0.3 g
Monounsaturated Fat 0.2 g
Cholesterol 0.0 mg
Sodium 17.8 mg
Potassium 761.6 mg
Total Carbohydrate 49.2 g
Dietary Fiber 6.2 g
Sugars 3.7 g
Protein 7.4 g

Vitamin A 6.2 %
Vitamin B-12 0.0 %
Vitamin B-6 23.0 %
Vitamin C 55.1 %
Vitamin D 0.0 %
Vitamin E 1.2 %
Calcium 2.3 %
Copper 10.1 %
Folate 12.0 %
Iron 18.1 %
Magnesium 12.5 %
Manganese 16.8 %
Niacin 11.3 %
Pantothenic Acid 7.8 %
Phosphorus 31.9 %
Riboflavin 47.6 %
Selenium 1.4 %
Thiamin 13.9 %
Zinc 4.2 %

*Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your daily values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.

Jul 052012
Cajun Fu Fingers with Roasted Summer Squash and Tomatoes and Creamy Spiced Mustard on the Side

With this being my second tofu post in a row I got to thinking about all the negative press that soy gets – so I googled “is soy safe” and there is a LOT of info out there.

I looked for reputable sources and found a great article at the Mayo Clinic where many of the claims are rated according to the amount of scientific evidence available.

The claims that have the most scientific evidence are that soy tofu is high in protein and is an acceptable source and secondly that it can reduce blood levels of total cholesterol and low density lipoprotein as well as triglycerides.
A while back I had also come across an article in Eating Well by Amy Patural that stated soy can cut down on hot flashes in menopausal women and can decrease the chances for prostate cancer in men by 30%.  The concerns about breast health, according to Mark Messina, Ph.D., adjunct associate professor at Loma Linda University and executive director of the Soy Nutrition Institute, are also unfounded.  In fact, kids that eat one serving of edamame or tofu per day decreased their chances for breast cancer by 50% later in life – however there was no benefit for adults.

Another Eating Well article states; Researchers still don’t know whether isoflavones—the compounds in soy that act as weak estrogens in the body—spur the growth of tumors by acting like estrogen or prevent breast cancer by competing with the breast’s natural estrogen. Scientists who looked at the effect individual isoflavones from soy had on breast-cancer cells in test tubes have found both results.”

The bottom line is that one to two servings per day – such as half cup of edamame or one cup of soy milk, is good for you; however, do keep in mind that genetically modified soy is in almost all fast food (the burgers and buns) and in most processed foods. Check the labels for soy ingredients. You might be eating more than you think and it’s best to eat everything in moderation – especially if you are eating anything genetically modified.

The supporters of GMOs state that there is no evidence that GMO foods can hurt us; however, they don’t take into account the increase in food allergies over the years that have increased in direct correlation with the development of GMO crops.
My suggestion is to always choose organic in the case of ingesting soy to ensure you aren’t eating any genetically modified organisms.
Cajun Fu Fingers with Roasted Summer Squash and Tomatoes and Creamy Spiced Mustard on the Side
Cajun Fu Fingers with Roasted Summer Squash and Tomatoes and
Creamy Spiced Mustard on the Side
1 Block organic extra firm tofu, pressed and cut into sticks
1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
1/3 cup unsweet non-dairy milk
1/4 tsp Cajun Seasoning blend
3/4 cup crushed flake cereal or breadcrumb
Roasted Veggies
1 cup cherry tomatoes
1 summer squash
1/2 onion
Cajun Seasoning blend
Spiced Mustard
2 Tbsp reduced fat Vegenaise
2 Tbsp coarse ground mustard such as Grey Poupon
Cajun Seasoning blend, to taste
1. Preheat oven to 400F.  Mix vinegar and non-dairy milk (I used unsweet almond) in a small bowl. Dip tofu sticks in, season with Cajun seasoning and roll in cereal or breadcrumb.  Place on baking sheet prepared with cooking spray.
2. Place veggie mixture on separate tray prepared with cooking spray.  Spray tops of veggies with cooking spray; sprinkle with Cajun Seasoning.  Place both tofu tray and veggie tray into oven for 20 minutes, flipping halfway through.
3. Meanwhile mix spiced mustard blend in a small bowl. 
4. Serve 1/4 tofu, 1/4 veggie and 1 tbsp spiced mustard per plate.

Nutrition Facts
4 Servings
Amount Per Serving

Calories 188.0
Total Fat 10.3 g
Saturated Fat 1.1 g
Polyunsaturated Fat 4.5 g
Monounsaturated Fat 3.3 g
Cholesterol 0.0 mg
Sodium 372.4 mg
Potassium 313.1 mg
Total Carbohydrate 14.0 g
Dietary Fiber 3.1 g
Sugars 3.4 g
Protein 13.4 g

Vitamin A 2.6 %
Vitamin B-12 0.0 %
Vitamin B-6 9.4 %
Vitamin C 10.0 %
Vitamin D 3.1 %
Vitamin E 6.5 %
Calcium 14.9 %
Copper 11.7 %
Folate 13.3 %
Iron 27.2 %
Magnesium 25.6 %
Manganese 58.8 %
Niacin 4.7 %
Pantothenic Acid 4.6 %
Phosphorus 23.1 %
Riboflavin 5.3 %
Selenium 18.4 %
Thiamin 21.5 %
Zinc 14.2 %
*Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your daily values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.

May 102012
One more reminder….only a few days left to enter the giveaway. 
There is still time to win!
Gorgeous Parsnips from KYV Farm
Parsnips are a root vegetable related, not shockingly, to the carrot.  They are a bit sweeter and are great for soups or casseroles such as this gratin.  I’ll admit that we have been roasting potatoes almost daily since I pulled out three boxes of ‘em at our farm pot luck and I was eager to do something new with them.   This mixture of root veggies came out so well that it’s now going to be a regular in our rotation.

The inside of the gratin is nice and soft and I cranked the broiler for the last few minutes to get the outside nice and crisp, almost like chips.  The texture of KYV farm potatoes is so buttery that you don’t need to add any butter and the onions, carrots and parsnips add nice sweetness.
Roasted Parsnip, Carrot, Potato and Onion Gratin

Roasted Parsnip, Carrot, Potato and Onion Gratin

Serves 8
Vegan, Gluten Free


4 lbs root veggies, sliced thinly with a mandolin – I used a variety of potatoes, parsnips and carrots
2 large onions, sliced thinly with a mandolin
1/4 cup olive oil
1 tsp sea salt


1. Preheat oven to 375F.  Slice all veggies thinly with a mandolin.  Mix with sea salt, and olive oil in a large bowl.  Pour into 9×13 inch baking dish.  Bake 1 hour then set broiler to high for 4 to 5 minutes.

Estimated Nutrition Facts
8 Servings

Amount Per Serving
Calories 260.4
Total Fat 7.2 g
Saturated Fat 1.0 g
Polyunsaturated Fat 0.7 g
Monounsaturated Fat 5.1 g
Cholesterol 0.0 mg
Sodium 324.1 mg
Potassium 1,097.7 mg
Total Carbohydrate 46.1 g
Dietary Fiber 7.2 g
Sugars 5.4 g
Protein 4.9 g

Vitamin A 55.1 %
Vitamin B-12 0.0 %
Vitamin B-6 32.6 %
Vitamin C 77.7 %
Vitamin D 0.0 %
Vitamin E 8.0 %
Calcium 5.6 %
Copper 15.2 %
Folate 18.0 %
Iron 10.7 %
Magnesium 16.1 %
Manganese 25.8 %
Niacin 13.1 %
Pantothenic Acid 9.8 %
Phosphorus 16.0 %
Riboflavin 6.3 %
Selenium 2.4 %
Thiamin 14.7 %
Zinc 5.2 %

*Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your daily values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.
Apr 252012
Welcome back to Wine Down Wednesday where I review a vegan dish paired with two different wines from Broadbent Selections.

For an ideal pairing we look at wines that compliment the flavors of the Roasted Moroccan Carrot dish; cinnamon, coriander and cumin.

The wines chosen to pair are
Weinert Carrascal (2007), Argentina and
Spy Valley Sauvignon Blanc (2011), New Zealand.
The Dish
At the recent Tour de Farm I picked up a gorgeous bunch of carrots, sweet onions and a few bags of potatoes – when I got home Moroccan flavors came to mind.  It would be perfect with the variety of veggies and the mixture of spices; cinnamon, coriander and cumin to compliment the natural sweetness of the carrots.  Outside there is parsley growing in my herb garden and I had some tofu and raisins on hand to round out a perfect meal.

Details about the wine.
Spy Valley Sauvignon Blanc (2011), New Zealand
Spy Valley is crafted by the Johnson Estate, a family owned winery located in Marlborough, New Zealand.  It is one of the youngest wineries I have reviewed – founded in 1993.  Overlooking the vines are two huge, white domes – a facility that gathers information on satellite communications for the US and New Zealand – hence the name, Spy Valley.

Both the wines and vineyard are certified sustainable by the New Zealand Winegrowers Sustainable Wine Growing Program which is audited each year.   Most of the Sauvignon Blanc is grown on beautiful, sunny river terraces along the Omaka River and the grapes are fermented in steel barrels.

 Weinert Carrascal (2007), Argentina
Weinert’s first vintage was made in 1977 and the Carrascal is a blend of Malbec, Merlot and Cabernet Sauvignon and is fermented in an underground cellar in oak French casks. The name, Carrascal, comes from the place in Mendoza where many of the wineries came together to bottle their wine in clay amphora factories.

Here is the rating info.


Category #1 – How well my dish turned out.
Category #2 – How well I like the wine.
Category #3 – Pairing notes – How well this wine pairs with the dish.

Rating Scale

Bleck -This wine is pretty bad.
Ho Hum- I could drink it if I was at a football game and there was nothing else in the cooler.
Nice -Good table wine. I would keep this in the wine cooler if it was a good value.
Yum – This is good, I would pay a fair bit more and have it for a special occasion.
Damn that’s Good – Self explanatory.
** We will use the same terminology for how the dish turned out and how well it paired.

Category #1 – The Dish

Rating of YUM. I was so pleased with how this dish turned out. Moroccan food has lots of fragrant aromatics, a melody of flavors that has good balance, with no spice overpowering the others. The result is spicy, sweet and satisfying even without a lot of fat. Roasting the vegetables imparts a touch of caramelization on the outside and for anyone new to tofu this is a perfect dish to start with – the spices coat the tofu well and the outside turns a touch crispy. I can’t wait to try this again with new vegetable variations.

Category #2 – The Wines

Sauvignon Blanc, Rating of YUM. Apricot and tropical flavors, tangerine/citrus and a sweet grassy/herb-y taste. A touch sweet, it would be great for a steamy night in Morocco (or Florida).

Carrascal, Rating of Nice. Spice, coffee, deep plum, raspberry/raisin. Bold with a nice smooth finish.

Category # 3 – The Pairing

Sauvignon Blank Rating of YUM. Going back to that steamy night in Morocco-I can picture myself sipping this wine and eating this piquant dish while sitting on a decorative pillow on the floor with lots of rich fabrics draped around. Ok back to reality.

Red Rating of YUM. The red intensified the mixture of spices and the sweet raisins. It complimented the dish well and made it shine. It was a bit richer than I have been drinking lately but if you like a bold but well balanced red this will be perfect.

Where to buy
All the wines will be for sale locally at the Grotto in San Marco. You can contact Mitch Woodlief, with questions and pricing (please call first to ensure they have the wine in stock) and anyone outside the Greater Jacksonville area can contact E-MAIL:
PHONE: US +1 415-931-1725. 

Roasted Moroccan Carrots and Tofu

Inspired by Cooking Light, Roasted Moroccan Spiced Grapes and Chicken, April 2012
Serves 4
Vegan, Gluten Free, Dairy Free


1 large onion, chopped
1 bunch (about 6 medium) carrots, chopped (I used KYV Farm)
2 small potatoes, chopped (KYV Farm)
1 block tofu, pressed and cut into cubes

Seasoning (get this ready first)
1 Tbsp olive oil
3/4 tsp each salt, black pepper, ground cumin, ground coriander
1/4 tsp cinnamon
1/8 tsp red pepper

1/3 cup fresh parsley
1/4 cup raisins


1. Preheat baking dish in oven to 450F. 

2. In a medium bowl mix seasoning mix with a whisk.  Add onion, carrot and tofu; toss to coat.

3. Remove heated dish from oven and spray with cooking spray; spoon carrot mixture over evenly.  Bake 45 minutes or until veggies are browned and tender; tossing halfway through.
4. Divide mixture over four plates, top with raisins and fresh parsley.

Nutrition Facts
4 Servings
Amount Per Serving

Calories 247.2
Total Fat 11.2 g
Saturated Fat 1.6 g
Polyunsaturated Fat 4.5 g
Monounsaturated Fat 4.3 g
Cholesterol 0.0 mg
Sodium 521.7 mg
Potassium 1,024.4 mg
Total Carbohydrate 39.0 g
Dietary Fiber 8.2 g
Sugars 10.3 g
Protein 16.5 g

Vitamin A 230.7 %
Vitamin B-12 0.0 %
Vitamin B-6 26.4 %
Vitamin C 52.5 %
Vitamin D 0.0 %
Vitamin E 5.3 %
Calcium 62.8 %
Copper 25.8 %
Folate 17.3 %
Iron 23.7 %
Magnesium 23.2 %
Manganese 68.7 %
Niacin 11.7 %
Pantothenic Acid 6.7 %
Phosphorus 26.7 %
Riboflavin 11.2 %
Selenium 21.6 %
Thiamin 19.8 %
Zinc 13.2 %

*Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your daily values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.