White veggies deserve praise for their health benefits, but often times they get slighted and pushed aside.  Let’s celebrate ivory-colored veggies this spring.  There are a ton of good reasons to eat the white ones like cauliflower, white button mushrooms, pearl onions – as well as jicama, parsnips and white potatoes.  They are good and good for you!  Today, I am highlighting . . .

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1. Cauliflower is my personal fave.  Not only is it ultra-low calorie with a a mere 25 calories per half-cup, but it’s a good source of fiber, vitamin C and folate.  It also contains sulforaphane and other compounds that fend off the growth of cancerous cells.   I love roasting the florets or baking cauliflower in large slices (like a steak).  This flowery crucifer is a popular veggie now – with pureeing it into macaroni and cheese, creamy soups and even making it to resemble rice in dishes appealing to the low-carb, calorie counters out there!

2. White Button Mushrooms are so versatile.  What I love about these fungi is that they absorb flavors well.  When roasted they add liquid to the dish and lock in moisture well.   Plus, white buttons are jam-packed with selenium, B-vitamins, potassium – and even vitamin D (if exposed to ultraviolet light during growth).   I like to slice up white buttons and dip them into hummus, yogurt dips, and baba ghanoush (an eggplant dip).

3. Pearl Onions are sweet and succulent.  These tiny, pearl-like (hence their name) members of the allium family, offer a whole host of nutritional goodness.  Their pungent odor that makes our eyes water is actually where their health benefits lie.  Their sulfur compounds are jam-packed with vital, plant-based flavonoids or antioxidants, which are believed to fend off everything from inflammation to viruses, cancer, infections, and bee stings!  So enjoy these little white beauties in everything from stews to soups to sauces to chilis — and roasted with other veggies.

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Roasted Rosemary Cauliflower, Mushrooms and Pearl Onions  

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Make 4 (1 cup servings)

Ingredients

1 medium head of cauliflower, stem removed and cut into florets

8 – 10 white button mushrooms, gently cleaned and sliced

1/2 cup pearl onions, peeled and quartered

2 Tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil or grape seed oil

1 Tablespoon smoked paprika

1 – 2 Pinches kosher salt

2 – 3 sprigs fresh rosemary

Directions

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.

Toss all ingredients together well in a large baking dish.  Place in the oven for 20 minutes.  Mix with a spoon and then put back in the oven for 20 additional minutes.  Remove from oven when cauliflower is soft when pierced with a fork.  Serve with a protein, such as baked tofu, fish, chicken or lean red meat.

Nutrition Information (per serving): Calories: 90, Total Fat: 7 g, Saturated Fat: 1 g, Trans Fat: 0 g, Cholesterol: 0 mg, Sodium: 43 mg, Carbohydrates: 6 g, Dietary Fiber: 2 g, Sugars: 3 g, Protein: 2 g

Enjoy eating simply,

-Vicki

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