Lemon cheesy roasted vegetables


I served my lemon tamari chickpeas from yesterday's recipe with lemon cheesy roasted veggies for dinner, so I thought I'd share that recipe with you too - even though its so simple, it hardly needs a recipe.


Often times however, people just roast veggies in oil but I love the addition of lemon juice and zest.

Ingredients:
Variety of vegetables cut into small pieces, with tougher veg cut smaller than soft veg - enough for a large baking sheet/pan.
2 tbs olive oil
3 tbs lemon juice
Grated lemon zest
1/4 teaspoon smoked paprika
Approx 1/4 cup nutritional yeast (heavy sprinkle - but optional)

Preheat oven to 415F. Mix the first 5 ingredients together on a large baking sheet, lined with a non-stick liner (see yesterday's post for my favorite).  Sprinkle heavily with nutritional yeast and gently mix.  Roast in the oven for 20 minutes then toss them around, adding another sprinkle of nutritional yeast, and roast for an additional 10-20 minutes.

Serve hot or cold.


The veggies I used were what was on hand: blue potatoes (I love blue potatoes!), red onion, multi-colored carrots, Brussels sprouts, and asparagus, but you can chose your favorites.  Think of a rainbow as you select however, trying to get lots of different colors. You can see from the photos that I got orange, yellow, green, and blue/purple in there, so plenty of color just on one dish.


If you aren't familiar with nutritional yeast, it brings a really cheesy flavor to dishes - so is perfect for those who are dairy free or vegan. It is also a great source of B vitamins so for those who are gluten free and not eating many grains, or anyone who isn't getting many B vitamins, adding nutritional yeast gives a real boost to your B vitamin levels.
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Quick and easy rainbow dinner

An easy dinner for me is a baked potato or jacket potato as we say in England. This might be a sweet potato or a regular potato.  But since we are growing our own potatoes now, I can't say any of our potatoes are "regular". They are way too good for that!

Throw something on top of the potato - and ta da! A quick, easy, healthy dinner.



The other day I made a chopped salad to go on the potato - and by the side of the potato.  It included:

  • cucumber (home grown)
  • yellow heirloom tomato
  • mint (home grown)
  • spring onion
  • sugar snap peas
  • pea shoots
  • chioggia beets (home grown)
  • green figs
  • pomegranate seeds
and then drizzled with pomegranate balsamic vinegar.


It was delicious and so attractive too.  Red, yellow, green, pink, blue, and white. Eating a rainbow a day is important as different phytonutrients are seen in different colored plants, so eating a rainbow of colors ensures that you get a good variety of phytonutrients.

One last thought about my potato. Eating our homegrown potatoes has shown me what a floury potato really is.  I've seen the descriptor in recipes of floury or waxy potatoes - but I've never thought it that obvious.  The white potatoes we are growing are the most floury potatoes I have ever eaten! They really taste of flour!!  Unfortunately I don't know what variety they are as we planted a mix of red white and blues!
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Eating a variety of fruit


One of the four food groups in a plant based whole foods diet is fruit (the others are vegetables, legumes and grains).  Fruit was the focus for our first meeting today with a new Food as Medicine group.


We spoke about the different phytonutrients in different fruits - from flavonoids, bioflavenoids, antioxidant activity, lycopene, carotenoids, anthocyanins etc and fiber, minerals, vitamins etc.   Then we cooked together to create a fruit based lunch. Here was the menu:

  • kiwi guacomole - adding two kiwi to one avocado gives a good boost in Vitamin C to the mix and also reduces the fat density
  • goldenberry chutney - this is a great tart chutney that you can use as a dip or spread or condiment.  Dried goldenberries are mixed with onion, jalapeno pepper, ginger etc to make a vibrant chutney
  • pear soup - made with sweet potatoes and pears, this is a great source of pectin fiber and carotenoids
  • rainbow salad with strawberry dressing - red lettuce with blueberries, cherries, blood oranges and the dressing of strawberries and vinegar
  • quinoa and goji berry salad - with spices of cinnamon, turmeric, cumin, cilantro....
  • raspberry crunch to go - a layered dessert (or breakfast) in a small pot with lid, made from buckwheat, raspberries, raspberry cream (made from raspberry flour and cashew nuts) and then a crunchy nut topping.

My favorites are the goldenberry chutney and the raspberry crunch.


We definitely all ate a rainbow in one meal!  Did you eat a rainbow today - ie fruits and vegetables from all colors of the rainbow? As I drove to the class, I even saw a rainbow. How fitting!
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Rainbow of Roasted Vegetables

Look at my lovely colorful dinner! Roasted veggies.


The cool pink and white stripes are chioggia beets.  If you roast them whole, they maintain their wonderful stripes inside. If you cut them before cooking, they lose their stripes.


Along with the beets are carrots, broccolini, mushrooms, roast parsnips (can't get enough of those) and then at the front of the picture are wonderful purple potatoes!


Nearly a rainbow of food in one meal. Do you eat a rainbow a day?  See the PCRM chart below which shows the cancer-fighting and immune boosting power of different colored foods.



The more naturally colorful your meal is, the more likely it is to have an abundance of carotenoids as well as other health nutrients.  Carotenoids are the pigments that give fruits and vegetables, such as carrots, sweet potatoes, and tomatoes, their bright colors.  Beta-carotene, lycopene and lutein are all different varieties of carotenoids that act as antioxidants with strong anti-cancer properties.
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Add some color to your life - Chioggia beets

Look at this salad! Isn't it just a feast for the eyes with all these colors?



The prize ingredient is Chioggia beets.  I only heard about them recently so bought one to try in my salad.  You just eat it raw, thinly sliced and it puts a big smile on your face because it looks so happy there on the plate or in the bowl!


I remember being excited the first time I saw golden beets -but now, they seem positively boring compared to Chioggias!  The Chioggia beet came from an Italian coastal town called Chioggia (!), near Venice.  The beet has been around since the early 19th century and tastes a little sweeter than a red beet. 

As well as looking great, beets have lots of fiber, potassium, iron, folic acid and B vitamins.  The pigment that gives them their great color is called Betacyanin and is a powerful antioxidant.

Obviously, as well as slicing them raw in salads, you can sauté them with greens, roast them, pickle them, add them to soups etc etc, however the stripes fade a little with cooking.


They are going to be a regular in my colorful house from now on! Let me know if you try them.  Maybe I need to grow some....
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Eat a rainbow a day

Do you eat a rainbow a day?

Eating a diet that includes lots of different colors is linked to lowered risks of obesity and chronic disease.  The natural colors of foods are aesthetically pleasing to the eye and incorporating different colors into your food plan offers more than just macronutrients and antioxidants.  The colors are connected to specific functions inside the body too.

  • Red foods like tomatoes and watermelon contain the antioxidant lycopene, shown to play a role in reducing the development of certain cancers and may by important for warding off heart problems.  
  • Orange foods like carrots and sweet potatoes are great sources of beta-carotene, a vitamin A precursor. When we eat orange beta carotene, it converts into Vitamin A in the body.  Eating orange fruits and vegetables can help our immune system and eyes to function better.
  • Yellow and green foods are packed with phytonutrients like lutein for eye health, chlorophyll to protect cells from damage, and folic acid, an essential nutrient for growth and development.  
  • Blue and purple foods are excellent sources of brain-protective antioxidants.  Eating blue berries and purple grapes can keep the mind sharp and focused.

Take a look at the chart above and see which color you don't normally eat on a daily basis and consider buying some of that color this week when you go grocery shopping.(The above chart includes brown in the rainbow! Not a usual rainbow color, I know - but useful for us to consider adding whole grains and legumes to each day.)

It's great if you can "eat a rainbow" each day - with at least one fruit or vegetable from each color of the rainbow.  See how well you normally do and try to improve it.  It would be fun to try and see how many colors you can combine even in one meal - can you get 5 colors or more in your next meal?


May your week be color full!
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