My new favorite go to meal is a fusion of many favorites – fresh vegetables, grilling, and tasty food that is also vibrant and energizing! We’ve dubbed it a vegetarians dream, the Veggie Power Tower!
Depending on the cooking method and the particular food, cooking can either enhance or destroy the nutrient availability in food. High temperature cooking is likely to drastically reduce availability of most water-soluble vitamins. Boiling in particular will leach out lots of vitamins from your vegetables. On the other hand, fat-soluble vitamins do just fine with boiling.
I usually lightly steam my vegetables, about 10 minutes max, such that they are still crisp, but warm and obviously no longer raw. Sometimes with greens, I’ll do a quick boil, bringing water to a boil, then dropping kale or mustard greens in for a minute, then draining. Obviously this isn’t an optimal method for vitamin retention, so I might rethink this practice a bit, opting instead for steaming.
Now, with soups and stews, you get vitamins and minerals leaching out into the stock, but then you eat the stock. It’s a win-win of improving the digestibility of the vegetables while also getting the nutrients, with the exception of those broken down by the heat of cooking.
Cook Time: 40 Min. • Serves: 1 • Calories: 292 • Total Fat: 4 grams • Protein: 11 grams
Sweet and savory, fun and filling, I have been stacking my lunches all week.
This works warm with freshly steamed and grilled components. Cold or room temperature is also good, especially on a warm Saturday while sitting in the sun with your favorite four legged friend.
- 10 Fresh Asparagus Spears
- 2 oz White Onion
- 3 oz Fresh Pineapple
- 1.5 cup Fresh Cauliflower Florets
- 1 Medium Sized Sweet Potato, skin removed
- 2 Fresh Basil Leaves
- .5 tsp Sesame Seeds
- 3-4 Sprays Olive Oil
- Salt and Pepper to Taste
- Preheat over to 400F, puncture the sweet potato with a fork all over then wrap with tin foil and bake in the oven for about 30 minutes.
- Steam the cauliflower for about 3-4 minutes so that it’s still got a lot of crunch in each bite. Strain and then set aside.
- Using different water, steam the asparagus lightly, about 4 minutes until the spears turn bright green. Strain and then set aside.
- Mash up the sweet potato with the basil and a dash of salt and pepper.
- Spray with olive oil and grill the onion rings and pineapple for about 4 minutes on each side until they begin to char lightly.
- Start making the tower with a base of steamed* cauliflower.
- Next up, top the cauliflower with the sweet potato basil mash.
- Top that with a slice of grilled pineapple*, the grilled onion rings*, and lightly steamed* asparagus.
- Then sprinkle the sesame seeds generously over the dish for more great flavor.
*I have also grilled all ingredients using a flat griddle over the stove.
Look below for all the nutrition facts as well as a break down of the nutrition for all the ingredients!
|Ingredient||Linked To Nutritional Value||Cal||Fat||Carb|
|10 Each asparagas||Asparagus, fresh, spears||40||0||8|
|2 Ounce-weight onion||Onion, white, fresh, sliced||22.7||0.1||5.3|
|3 Ounce-weight pineapple||Pineapple, fresh||42.6||0.2||11.2|
|1.5 Cup cauliflower||Cauliflower, fresh||40.2||0.5||8|
|2 Each basil||Herb, basil, leaf, fresh||0.3||0.1||0.1|
|.5 Teaspoon sesame seed||Seeds, sesame||6.1||0.5||0.2|
|.5 Teaspoon olive oil||Oil, olive, extra virgin||21||2.4||0|
|.8 Teaspoon salt||Salt, Kosher, coarse||0||0||0|
|1 Each sweet potato||Sweet Potatoes, dark orange, ckd w/o skin, med||114.8||0.3||26.8|
|.8 Teaspoon black pepper||Spice, pepper, black, ground||4.7||0.1||1.2|
Love to hear you thoughts below!