Category Archives for "Vegetables"

My Favorite: Cauliflower

My favorite vegetable this week is cauliflower. I have it just about every day. Yesterday I had it in cauliflower bacon hash for breakfast and at dinner I love Mexi-cauli Beef. It’s already in the oven along with broccoli and carrots to roast for dinner.

The Bomb Mashed Cauliflower 

  • 1 large head of cauliflower
  • ¼ cup cashews
  • ¼ cup water or coconut milk

In a large pot with a tight fitting lid, steam the cauliflower and cashews in water until cauliflower is tender. Drain water and transfer cauliflower mixture to a food processor or blender. Add coconut milk and puree (in small batches, if needed). Top with butter, salt and pepper to taste.

Stay tuned for more of my favorite cauliflower recipes! 🙂

Asian Slaw

Deb from Concord loves to experiment with new recipes. She received this one from a friend out west. This Asian Slaw recipe combines the tang of rice wine vinegar with the sweetness of mangoes, the slight zing of scallions, and the crunchiness of cabbage.

  • 2 cups shredded cabbage
  • 1/2 cup shredded carrots
  • 3 medium scallions, chopped
  • 1 mango, not fully ripe, diced
  • 3 tablespoons rice vinegar
  • 1/2 lime, juiced
  • 1 tablespoon low sodium soy sauce (or tamari for gluten free)
  • 1 tablespoon peanut oil
  • 1 teaspoon black and white sesame seeds

Combine the cabbage, carrots, scallions, and mango. Toss together in a large bowl. Prepare the dressing by whisking together the rice vinegar, lime juice, and soy sauce. Slowly whisk in the peanut oil. Pour the dressing over the cabbage mixture and toss to coat. Let it sit at least 15-20 minutes to let the dressing soak in. Serve sprinkled with sesame seeds.

I made this and my family loved it too. I grilled up some chicken and used this as a side dish. It was even better the next day.

Enjoy great food that is great for you,
Coach Nancy

Are You Sensitive (to food that is)? [Infographic]

Could giving up make you feel better?

Dean Carlson, Pn2


True story. I had been eating the same breakfast almost every day for a couple years. Greek yogurt with a scoop of UMP whey protein mixed in. It was my favorite! High protein, really tasty, and so quick and easy to make. What I didn't know is that it was also the cause of some of the "intestinal distress" I was having at times.


And then we did our first "21-Day Detox", which is really more accurately called an elimination diet. The purpose is to remove some foods that are associated with allergies and sensitivities, and then gradually add them back in and see what happens. What I found out after adding dairy back in is that it made me really sick! My stomach was not happy at all. And I confirmed it was not a "one off" situation by trying to add it back more than once, and each time things didn't go too well.

It's a possibility that you also have a food sensitivity, and like me, you don't even know it. 

There are a wide variety of foods that can contribute to sensitivities, two of the more common being dairy and wheat, but also certain citrus fruits, nightshades (ask Tom Brady), and even certain spices and sweeteners.

So what?

Well, food sensitivities can affect anything from your general health, your skin, even your mood. And they are not necessarily benign, as the GI issues they can cause can create a damaging cascading effect on the rest of your body.

Elimination diets seek to "hunt down" what might be causing the issue by removing certain foods, temporarily, and then slowly reintroducing them. Like me, you might find a certain food make you feel pretty ucky. Other times you may notice other symptoms, such as a runny nose, which can often happen when reintroducing wheat. Hmmm....

Take a look at the infographic below, and then Print This Guide and see if an elimination diet might be a good idea for you.

Sound like a daunting task? Knowing what to do isn't always easy, but we can help you make sense of it. Contact Us Here to find out how The Grateful Plate nutrition coaching works, and why nutrition coaching can help smooth out the rough spots.

You can also check out the accompanying article by our friends at Precision Nutrition: Food sensitivities and intolerances: How to do an elimination diet.  for a more in depth study of elimination diets.

You po-TA-to I po-TOT-o. Who wins? [Infographic]

There is no debate!

Dean Carlson, Pn2


I'll raise my hand and plead "guilty", because I too have been caught up in this debate. The reality is that choosing between sweet potatoes and "regular" potatoes is like choosing between a BMW and a Mercedes. I think most of us would be happy with either. So it's even cooler when we don't have to choose and can have both!


It's really easy to get caught in the weeds when we are talking about what we "should" and "shouldn't" eat. 

We are bombarded daily with seemingly contradictory "evidence" that this or that food is good or bad.

So it's really no surprise that something as humble as the potato got caught up in one of these fierce discussions. I mean it seems to make sense that since potatoes are one of the dreaded "white" foods, like bread, pasta or rice, that avoiding them is probably better.

And if the only way you are eating potatoes is in the form of french fries, you probably are better off keeping them off your plate. 

But both white and sweet potatoes, as part of a balanced and intentional diet, provide a great variety of nutrients and are just plain tasty!

Download this infographic from my friends at Precision Nutrition to learn more and find out when you can and should consider adding them to your nutrition plan.

Pretty cool huh? Share this infographic with your family and friends by downloading it here.

Want to learn more?

Most of us know that getting enough sleep, moving more, eating well and stress management are important for looking and feeling great. But often there is a gap between knowing and doing, right?

At The Grateful Plate, we help you close that gap and make it easier in the context of an already too busy, stressful life. Check Out how we help people stop dieting and start living healthier lives, one step at a time.

Garlic Roasted Broccoli

I love broccoli, but I can't eat it plain every time! This is a great way to add some flavor to your broccoli but still keep the prep and cook time simple. It comes out delicious!

  • 2 heads of broccoli, cut into florets
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 5 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon pepper
  • 1 teaspoon lemon juice
  • Pinch of red pepper flakes (optional)

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.

In a large bowl, toss the broccoli florets with olive oil, garlic, salt, and pepper. Spread the broccoli in a single layer on a rimmed baking sheet. Bake until florets are tender enough to pierce with a fork and the edges are browning, about 15 minutes. Turn once halfway through the baking process and add red pepper flakes, if using. After baking, squeeze lemon juice liberally over the broccoli before serving.

Karalynn’s Super Scrumptious Kale Chips

My daughter has fallen in love with kale chips. Brookford Farm’s CSA program delivers a large bag of kale to us each week. Before it even gets into the house, she is asking to make kale chips. Since they take about 15 minutes to make, the kale chips at our house will be devoured in less than 45 minutes after it arrives fresh at our door. In short, my kids love them!

  • 1 large bag of kale, washed
  • ¼-½ teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1-2 tablespoon olive oil

Heat oven to 350 degrees. Prepare the kale by taking the large rib out of each leaf. We do this by holding the leafy part of the plant and pulling the stem up towards our hand until it breaks off. Depending on the size of the leaf, we might break the leaf in two pieces.

Lay the leaves out so that none are overlapping each other on a cookie sheet. Drizzle olive oil across the leaves and then use your hands to mix the olive oil around on the kale. Again, lay out the leaves so they aren’t overlapping each other. Sprinkle garlic powder on top. You’ll have to judge how much you want to your taste. Bake for 10-15 minutes or until the leaves are crispy. My kids eat them right off the pan as soon as they are cooled!

Simple Garden Tomatoes

Right now is the perfect time for some tomatoes fresh out of the garden! Pick a few of your own and dress them up with this simple but delicious recipe!

  • 3 garden fresh tomatoes (or however many desired)
  • Olive oil
  • Mrs. Dash’s Garlic & Herb seasoning

Slice tomatoes and lay out on plate or serving dish. Brush on olive oil with a pastry brush. Sprinkle on Mrs. Dash’s Garlic & Herb seasonings (all Mrs. Dash seasonings are salt free). Cover and let sit for 30 minutes to an hour at room temperature.

Smoky Cauliflower Hummus

This hummus has a great smoky flavor and is sure to be a favorite. Try this as a dip for cucumbers and carrots or as a spread for your favorite burger this summer.

Smoky Cauliflower Hummus

  • ½ head cauliflower, trimmed and cut into 2-in. florets (about 4 cups florets)
  • 4½ tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, divided 
  • 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • 2 teaspoons kosher salt, divided
  • ½ teaspoon ground cumin
  • ¼ teaspoon red chili flakes
  • 2 garlic cloves, smashed and peeled
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 3½ tablespoons well-stirred tahini (sesame seed paste)

Preheat oven to 450 degrees. Put cauliflower florets in a large bowl and add 1 tablespoon oil, the paprika, ½ teaspoon salt, the cumin, chili flakes, and garlic. Toss to coat thoroughly.

Spread florets evenly on a large rimmed baking sheet and roast for about 18 to 20 minutes, stirring once, until florets are cooked through and a little crispy. Let cool.

Put ½ cup water in a blender with roasted cauliflower and garlic, lemon juice, remaining 3 tablespoons oil, the tahini, and remaining 1½ teaspoons salt. Blend, adding more water if needed and scraping sides often, until you have a creamy purée, about 4 minutes. Taste and add more salt or lemon juice if you like.

Spoon into a serving bowl and sprinkle with a pinch of smoked paprika. Make up to 3 days ahead and chill in an airtight container.

Introducing You to Jicama

Did you know that I am not normal? And maybe you aren’t either!

And I mean that in a good way.

I’m not normal in the sense that I want to be the best version of the healthiest me I can be. I am constantly looking for ways to challenge myself to become better.

Sadly, that's not normal.

Most people just coast through life not wanting to put in the time or effort to be the best.

Unfortunately, most people coast through life accepting their health as unchangeable. They do what is typical in our society - eat too much, sit too long, go for the easy way out.

I enjoy physical activity! I prep food every week. I care what goes into my body. And I'm guessing but I probably eat more than the average person when it comes to vegetables.

I don't have any hard data on this, but just by talking with hundreds of people, I would guess the average person consumes less than two servings of vegetables per day.

And most of those are the same ones, over and over again.

A lot of people just don't know what or how to cook certain foods.

My biggest challenge doing this over the computer is that while I can tell you all about a certain vegetable, I can show you what it looks like, I can even tell you what is great about a certain veggie... until I can get you to experience it, it’s just to ‘weird’ to even think about.

I’m going to introduce you to jicama today. Just to say it seems a bit odd, but think of the first letter as being an “H”. It looks a bit like an odd shaped potato. In fact you would peel it like a potato and the inside reminds me of a white potato. BUT the similarities stop there. It tastes different, in fact ,you can eat it raw or cooked.

Jashbrowns are a favorite way to cook jicama for rockstar Jennifer.

I peel the jicama, which is a root vegetable, and then slice it into thin French fry shapes. I add these to a taco salad so that I have crunch without a taco shell. My kids love it this way too.

Check out this recipe highlighting jicama paired with cucumbers as a side dish.

Jicama Cucumber Salad with Chili Dressing

  • ¼ cup cider vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon avocado oil
  • 2 teaspoons minced onion
  • 1-1½ teaspoons chili powder, plus more for garnish
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • 2 cups diced peeled jicama
  • 1 medium English cucumber, peeled, seeded and diced
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh mint

Puree vinegar, oil, onion, chili powder and salt in a blender until smooth. Toss jicama and cucumber with the dressing in a large bowl; stir in mint. Refrigerate for about 30 minutes. Sprinkle the salad with more chili powder before serving, if desired.

A simple concept - eat five servings of vegetables every day. I’m hoping I’ve given you enough education so that jicama doesn’t feel so weird when thinking of vegetables. By adding jicama to your grocery list, you can up your vegetable count.

To your best health,
Coach Nancy

Make Two Lists

Everyone knows that vegetables are good for you. Medical professionals are always shouting out the goodness of adding more and more vegetables to your nutrition plan. These lists are your reasons for eating more vegetables. I gave you some ideas but don’t copy my list, create your own.

Each list has a purpose. Each list is real and true.

On one list, identify the grievances, the fears, and challenges with adding more vegetables to your day.

  • People will look at you strange in the grocery store
  • Some vegetables are expensive
  • I don’t know how to cook all the vegetables sold in the store
  • I might not eat it before they go bad
  • My family is going to complain

It's all legitimate, it's all real. Don't hold back.

On the other list, write down the benefits, advantages and opportunities you have when more vegetables are on your plate each day.

  • Your plate will have a lot more color with each vegetable
  • New recipes are exciting to make and try
  • You’ll be eating foods that are full of vitamins, minerals, and fiber
  • Veggies tend to have a significant lower number of calories compared to bread, pasta and rice
  • Learning new things will keep your brain engaged as well as be good for your body
  • Your family likes new adventures so they’ll be supportive
  • Dropping a few pounds or more is your goal and will most likely be result of better eating habits
  • You’ve been wanting more energy and this is one way to work on that

Now, take one list and put it in a drawer. Take the other list and tape it up on your refrigerator. Read the list in the drawer once a month or once a year, just to remind you that it's safe and sound. Read the other list every day.

The daily list will determine what you notice, how you interpret what you see and the story you tell yourself about what's happening and what will happen.

You get to pick which list goes where.

Picking your list is possibly the most important thing you'll do all day.

To your best health,
Coach Nancy