Tag Archives: vegetable

The Superfood Ginger Roasted Cauliflower (Recipe)

(cc) Michelle Cowden
(cc) Michelle Cowden

Cauliflower is one of the world’s healthiest foods and with only 26 calories per cup, this power house vegetable not only packs a nutrient punch but will also help keep your waistline slim. Cauliflower is not only low in calories but also provides you with an array of antioxidants, anti-inflammatories and fiber. No wonder I was salivating when I walked by the cauliflower. My body was craving all the nutrients in this amazing vegetable. If you just allow your body to speak to you, it will tell you what it really needs in order to feel good. I’m not talking giving in to the mind’s idea of cravings but the body’s idea of cravings. You know what I’m talking about. If I listen to my mind, I would consume cookies for breakfast, lunch and dinner but if I listen to my body, it tells me what I need to eat.

Since I was recovering from being sick, my body was craving Vitamin C. It wasn’t until I looked into the nutrients of cauliflower did I realize there was 86% of the daily recommended vitamin c in one cup of cauliflower! This vegetable is amazing. You can use it to make an amazing soup, substitute it for mashed potatoes or even roast it.

Want to boost your immune system even more? Pair cauliflower with ginger. Ginger is an amazing anti-inflammatory spice. A little bit goes a long way to helping you alleviate arthritis, nausea, or detox when you have the flu or cold. And so I listened to my body as it craved vitamin C and other anti-inflammatories and came up with this amazing recipe. Thanks to Wakaya, I was able to create this amazing roasted cauliflower dish.

Ginger Roasted Cauliflower

Serves 4 side dishes or 2 main dishes

1 head cauliflower, trimmed and cut into florets

1 tablespoon of olive oil

1/2 teaspoon of Wakaya Ground ginger

1/4 teaspoon salt

  1. Heat oven to 375 degrees
  2. Put all ingredients in a baking sheet sprayed with olive oil
  3. Roast for 25-30 minutes


Soy: Is it Safe for Me? A Cautionary Tale for People and Planet

shutterstock_121423399-e1361475949317I came across an article this week, written by Barry Boyd, MD, a board certified oncologist and hematologist, that does an excellent job of summing up, once and for all, the myths and facts around soy as it relates to breast cancer.  Fortunately, I think we’ve finally gotten to a point in science that we can confidently stand on one side of the fence when it comes to soy and this issue.  If you’re at all confused about soy and breast cancer, I recommend you give his article a read.

But, before you go and grill up your next soy veggie burger, you should know that there’s another cautionary tale to be told about this plump little legume.  It turns out much of the soy we eat today is not plump or even all that soy-like.  Thanks (or not) to advances in food technology, much of the soy we eat today is either genetically modified, washed and extracted with a neurotoxic petro-chemical, or both.  So, with Dr. Boyd’s talents for history telling as inspiration, allow me to tell you a bit of a story…

Soy is actually quite a deserved celebrity when it comes to beans.  It’s an excellent source of soluble and insoluble fiber, contains heart healthy unsaturated fats, and is a rare vegetarian source of complete protein (a protein is considered complete when it matches the composition of the protein found in an egg).  If you’re a vegetarian, finding complete sources of protein is a big deal.  It’s also planet friendly as it’s grown domestically and has a much smaller carbon footprint than eating an equivalent amount of protein from an animal source (thus the veggie burger reference).  Maybe it’s because of all these positive attributes that soy has been such a point of focus for food scientists.  The fact that it’s a subsidized crop that US farmers are heavily incentivized to grow in mass quantities doesn’t hurt either.

Although all the aspects of a soybean are compelling, it’s really the protein that’s become a focus for the packaged food industry.  High protein diets are a bit of a nutrition fad if you haven’t noticed.   Although most of us have stepped back in recent years from the extremes of the Atkins Diet, more still seems to be better and what better ingredient to bump up protein levels in food than inexpensive and abundant soybeans?

So then, it should be no surprise that soy can be found in almost every packaged foods category.  From crackers to energy bars, ice cream to frozen waffles, soy boosts the protein levels of an incredible number of foods and can be found in more than 60% of processed foods in the marketplace today.

But here’s the thing: just as protein is an established fad, fat is an equally established phobia.  Mother Nature rarely creates food without a balanced mix of nutrients – some fat, some protein, some fiber and likely some antioxidants thrown in for good measure.  Ten grams of protein and zero grams of fat?  Nope, not found in nature and certainly not in a soybean.  So, to meet our demands for protein without all the scary fat, scientists developed a method to separate the two. Hexane is a petro-chemical that is drilled out from deep down in the earth.  When washed over soybeans it causes the fat to separate from the protein.  It’s incredibly efficient at what it does, much more so than mechanically pressing out the oil (the way expeller-pressed oils are extracted).  What you get at the end of the hexane washing process are two new ingredients, isolated soy protein and soybean oil.

Hexane is a pretty scary chemical. The Environmental Working Group classifies it as… [read the rest on KeeganSheridan.com

The Perfect Gluten-Free Dessert with a Secret Ingredient

brownies-blue2sm-682x1024Calling all sweet tooths! Brownies are a dessert staple – right after cake, ice cream and pie. There are so many variations of the brownie recipe that it can be difficult to carve out your own, but after many attempts I think I’ve done it.

It took a while to get this recipe right, but I found that spinach, of all things, is the key. Not only does it add a little nutrition to the treat but it also helps keep the brownie moist. I’ve also added Cardomom, which is a bit of an exotic spice. If you don’t have it in your cupboard you can skip it, but I think it rounds out the taste nicely. Oh, and these brownies are also gluten-free! Does it get any better than that?

Perfect Gluten-Free Spinach Brownies

makes @16 brownies

Serve with Almond Milk



Preheat the oven to 350ºF.

Line an 9×12-inch baking pan with parchment paper.

Steam the spinach until wilted (about 2 minutes).

 In a mixing bowl whisk together the raw cacao, almond meal, sorghum flour, salt, cinnamon, cardamom and baking soda.

 Put the maple syrup and the spinach in a blender and blend until pureed.

 Make a well in the center of the mixing bowl and add the beaten eggs, vanilla extract, sesame oil and maple syrup-spinach mixture. Beat on low-medium for two minutes, until the batter begins to come together. At first it will seem thin but keep beating until it thickens and becomes smooth and glossy. It might seem a little soupy to you but that is ok. It will come together in the oven.

Pour the batter into the prepared baking pan.

 If you are adding nuts, stir in the nuts by hand. Even out the batter with a silicone spatula.

 Stud the top with some dark chocolate chips and press in slightly.

 Bake in the center of a preheated 350ºF oven for 30-35 minutes, or until the brownies are set. The top will crack, like a flourless chocolate cake. You will know it is done when a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.


Originally posted on my website, TappsTips.com 

My New Favorite Super-Vegetable Of The Week: Kale, Kale, Kale

A lot of people I know don’t cook with kale, or even know what this vegetable is. Unless you are a health food store junkie or an avid reader of vegetarian recipes, kale is one of the best-kept secrets of the vegetable world. And once you are inducted into the amazingness of eating kale, there really is no turning back.

Kale is not an ubiquitous kitchen staple compared to more common vegetables like carrots and onions, but it should be. As a type of cabbage, it is very high in anti-oxidants and has antiflammatory properties. This dark-green and leafy vegetable is also chock loaded with beta carotene, vitamin K, vitamin C, and calcium.

In addition to its stellar nutrition resume, kale is simply a delicious and versatile vegetable that can be prepared in a number of ways. You can eat it raw in a salad, bake it into crisp chips, sautee it with onions, add to soup or use as a lettuce replacement for burgers, sandwiches and spring rolls.

Hail kale. I’m a fervent neophyte of the kale, and I invite all of you to join the movement to eat more kale.

Several delicious kale recipe ideas are listed below.

– Baked kale chips recipe from All Recipes. You won’t believe how ridiculously easy this is to make. Just rub with olive oil, add a shake of salt, and stick in the oven for ten minutes to treat yourself to a crisply baked snack that gets addictive fast. Perfect for veggie-hating kids and the inner veggie-hating child of big adults.

Dehydrated kale chips recipe from We Like It Raw. Do you have a dehydrator? Instead of baking kale leaves, you can dehydrate them to enjoy this veggie in chip form. The plus side of this method is that you will enjoy more of the nutrients found in raw form, as vital enzymes in raw vegetables get destroyed in high heat.

– Kale salad with pine nuts, currants and Parmesan recipe from Epicurious. Sick of your usual lettuce or spinach salads? Raw kale saves the day with its crisp crunch and slightly bitter flavor.

Sauteed kale recipe from Food Network. A simple, super-easy and super-healthy vegetable side-dish that is an instant crowd-pleaser for your next lunch or dinner.

– Kielbasa kale stew recipe from All Recipes. Though kale can easily stand on its own as a side dish or salad, it also makes for a great addition to a main dish, such as this potato stew recipe.

– Kale and olive oil mashed potatoes from 101 Cookbooks. Want to add more nutritional punch to this standard American sidedish? Duh, add some kale.

PHOTO (cc): Flickr / ex.libris

Don’t Let Good Produce Go Bad: Tips For Storing And Freezing Your Fruits and Vegetables

Every Saturday morning, I go shopping at the San Francisco Ferry Building farmer’s market, and I always go home with a dizzying array of colorful peppers, perfect peaches, gorgeous greens, and a host of other things I can’t wait to cook over the course of the week. Sure enough though, by Wednesday afternoon, my kitchen is always covered with greenish, mushy lumps formerly known as my dinner. I toss the wilted, moldy masses in the compost bin and sigh, “Well, there’s another ten bucks down the drain.”

Cooking with fresh produce is satisfying, whether it’s from a farmer’s market or a neighborhood grocery store, but trying to use it all before it goes bad can drive a person crazy. It seems that so many things I buy end up going bad before I have a chance to use them, and that’s money right down the drain. Making everything last through the week doesn’t take superhuman feats of kale coddling; it just takes more commonsense shopping habits and more efficient storage techniques.

Veggies, Veggies Everywhere … But What to Do with Them?

One of the greatest temptations of the market is just to buy whatever looks tasty, but what’s a shopper to do when everything looks good? With every vendor offering samples and freebies to entice you to buy, it’s not hard to go home with a random assortment of vegetables without any plan or timeline for how to utilize them. One of the best things to do to minimize produce waste is to come up with a meal plan—and stick to it. Knowing what you’d like to cook keeps you on track to buy only the things you need, and not just the things that sound good now. <p>

Once you have a rough idea of your meals, arrange them so that the most perishable items get used right away, and let sturdier veggies wait until the end of the week. Cook leafy greens, corn in the husk, and fresh herbs right away. Potatoes, carrots, celery, onions, leeks, garlic, broccoli, and bell peppers can last longer without going bad. Thin-skinned fruits like peaches, plums, or apricots often only last a few days, but fruits with a rind or husk like pomegranates, citrus fruits, and avocados are hardier. When buying meat, pay attention to how it’s packaged to determine how long it will keep. Any meat (especially seafood) that’s wrapped in plain paper from a deli counter or that arrives in a baggie should be used within a day or two. Vacuum-sealed products will last longer, usually up to a week.

Having a meal plan also helps you to know how ripe your produce needs to be throughout the week. Only buy ripe produce for meals you’ll cook within a day or two of shopping. For subsequent meals, buy vegetables that are still slightly green or a bit firm. For example, don’t buy perfectly ripe avocados on Monday if you’re planning to make guacamole on Saturday. Buy under-ripe ones and allow them to mature at home. Although it’s tempting to buy only the most perfectly ripe fruits and vegetables, buying items that haven’t reached their peak can minimize waste.

Cool It with the Refrigerator

Once you get your vegetables home, how you store them has a huge effect on their longevity. Grocery stores minimize food loss by keeping their items perfectly preserved until purchase, and some of their techniques can be replicated at home. As long as you don’t live in a hot or arid climate, most produce should be stored at room temperature, not in the refrigerator. Storing food in the refrigerator stops the ripening process, and can damage its flavor and texture. Keep the majority of produce out on the kitchen counter, away from light and heat, and never store food in a sealed bag—make sure that plastic bags are perforated, or better yet, keep produce in ventilated bowls or in brown paper bags. Sealing food in bags can cause food to rot because of the carbon dioxide buildup in the bag.

In addition, fruit produces ethylene gas, which speeds ripening, so separate fruits from vegetables to prevent the fruit from causing a chemical reaction that makes the veggies rot more quickly. Apples are the main producers of ethylene (with the exception of Granny Smith and Fuji varieties), but all fruit produces the gas in some quantity. Tomatoes, mushrooms, and potatoes should always remain on the counter in a bowl or brown paper bag, and onions and garlic should be stored in the open, to allow ventilation and prevent rotting.

Fruit can start out on the counter, but once ripe, moving it into the refrigerator will keep it at its peak for a few more days. Avocadoes, peaches, plums, pluots, and pears can ripen on their own before being refrigerated. Some experts recommend refrigerating apples right away, to keep them from becoming mealy or ripening too fast.

Some vegetables can tolerate the refrigerator right from the start, as long as the temperature is between 32 and 36° F. The “crisper” drawer is intended to be the most humid place of the refrigerator, which vegetables love. If your crisper allows for humidity control, make sure it’s set for about 95 percent, and keep carrots, celery, herbs like basil or dill, and lettuce in the drawer. Cut the green stems off carrots or other root vegetables right away, because they can leach moisture. Lettuce is one of the few foods that can be washed before storage. Rinse it in cold water and store tightly wrapped in a plastic bag.

For most other perishable foods, don’t wash until right before you use them, because extra moisture on fruits and vegetables can cause them to rot more quickly. If your crisper has no humidity control or doesn’t provide enough moisture, feel free to take out the drawers and use the extra space for other products, and when you need to store vegetables, just keep them on one of the top shelves, which are usually a bit warmer and moister than the rest of the refrigerator. Wilted or wrinkly vegetables are usually a sign of deficient humidity, and discoloration and browning are usually a sign of chill damage, so adjust your refrigerator accordingly.

In a perfect world, we’d all have the money and time to browse through the market, leisurely planning the day’s meal. In reality, most of us have to stock up for the week, risking that some items won’t survive to be enjoyed. Better planning and better storage can maximize the amount of fresh foods that we eat, while minimizing the amount of food (and money) we toss away.

By Alison Ford for DivineCaroline.com

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