Clean Eating Recipes,  health focused recipes,  Herbs/Spices/Condiments,  Recipes,  side dishes,  Vegan,  Vegetarian,  What I'm Reading Now

Clean Eating with Indian-Spiced Roast Cauliflower

I’ve been kind of quiet on the blog for a few months. Frankly, I had a rather huge disappointment in not being able to finally swing opening my own cafe/bakery in December and it kind of took the wind out of my sails for a while. But in embracing that there will probably be a someday when it will work (just not now)  I have to learn a little patience which is a good lesson for me- I guess. I continue to work on figuring it out and hopefully the economy will improve in the meantime. Silver lining lookout anyway 🙂 Blast!

So I continue to work part time for now and have decided that now is also a really good time to work on any habits that I want to change and to improve my fitness level so that I can pass my Referee Skating Skills Test in the coming months.

I’ve been working on cleaning up my diet off and on for a few years now. I waffle and then I waffle 🙂

A few years ago I gave up sugar, white flour and any kind of processed food for a month and it was a real surprise for me. First of all, after the first few days I  really wasn’t feeling any cravings for sugar or any kind of junk.  Then I started to focus more on putting nutrition into my meals rather than what I was missing out on. Finally I really felt great- my skin glowed and I had loads of energy. So why didn’t I stick with it? 

Well, let’s face it- it’s harder to eat at restaurants and be social and show your love through the food you make with Ezekiel bread and roast beets than it is to do whatever you want. So I need general guidelines with a small percentage of flexibility. I need some leeway also because if I am too strict I rebel and lose my motivation altogether. Silly me.

 So I’m back on the clean-eating and rummaging through my brain for creative ways to add nutrition, not sabotage any one’s health and yet still do the baking and cooking that I love. And I’m giving myself a 20% pass to have a treat now and then. I think that could be the answer. Clean up my recipes or simply have the treat and then go back to eating well and don’t make a habit of it.

I recently bought some of Tosca Reno’s cookbooks- I think there are nine or ten of them now. I purchased “The Eat-Clean Diet Recharged!” and “The Eat-Clean Cookbook” and they seem to me to be a  really well thought out, common-sense approach to healthy living. Clean eating is a concept born from the body-building weight training community. It involves eating lean protein, complex carbohydrates and healthy fats, avoiding white sugar and nutritionally devoid foods  and consuming small regular meals to keep your energy levels high and your body able to handle demands for fitness training and health. It’s real food and a lifestyle more than a diet-which greatly appeals to me.

I also like Dr. Joel Fuhrman’s ” Eat To Live” program which focuses on nutritional density. I’ve mentioned it before and it really makes sense to me. Plus I like the “24 Hour Turnaround” by Jay Williams, PhD and the “Body for Life” program by Bill Phillips and Michael D’Orso- they encompass clean eating, strength and interval training and a common sense approach to a healthy lifestyle. These all ask for about 80% eating clean, nutritious, whole foods and give you a 20% flexibility that amounts to one day or 4 meals a week that maybe are less than stellar. Bill Phillips writes about how there are both physiological and psychological needs to have this once a week change up in what we eat just like rest is important to building fitness. Our bodies need to be reassured that they are not starving- that there are abundant calories available so that they don’t need to conserve energy in the form of fat reserves. And we need to look forward to a celebration or a splurge without guilt. It’s easier to be motivated to eat well if you know you don’t have to give up every treat that comes along for the rest of your life. Not doable for me for sure.

I believe that I can really do this because:

  1. I care about what I put into my body.
  2. I care about eating good and delicious food.
  3. I love to cook!- Duh!
  4. I REBEL at strict rules and formula diets that exclude nutrient groups.
  5. I don’t do well with deprivation!
  6. I enjoy moving and feeling good after regular exercise.

I’m excited that my sister, Tonya, is doing this with me from several states away. We’ve both noticed how our energy levels have improved already and how we don’t even want to eat white flour foods or sugar- awesome! Eat clean for a while and then eat some junk food and see how crappy you feel. It’s amazing! We’re checking in on the exercise too and although I had a little setback, injuring my ankle yesterday, we are both ramped up to get completely fit and healthy. I am looking to swim or cycle for a while instead of walking for my cardio- and I can strength train off of the ankle – until it heals. But you know- I would have used my injury as an excuse to stop not so long ago. Yay- for the power to change your life!

Here is an awesome snack or side dish that I cooked up the other day, spices are a great addition to your whole nutrition dishes:

Roasted Cauliflower with Indian Spices

  • 1 head of raw (organic if possible) cauliflower
  • extra virgin olive oil
  • Garam Masala*
  • Madras Curry Powder
  • tiny pinch of Sea Salt

Preheat the oven to 375F. Wash the cauliflower, drain it well in a salad spinner or using a clean dish towel. Break the cauliflower apart into florets, place into an oven safe low sided casserole or baking dish. Drizzle with a bit of  extra virgin olive oil and sprinkle evenly with several pinches of Garam Masala, Curry Powder and a tiny bit of sea salt. Roast for about 15-18 minutes but leave it a bit crunchy.  Eat as a side dish or a snack – it is so yummy! Good warm or cooled.

Garam Masala

  • 2 Tablespoons whole green cardamom pods
  • 2 Tablespoons whole coriander seeds
  • 2 Tablespoons whole cumin seeds
  • 1 – 4inch cinnamon stick
  • 1/2 Tablespoon whole cloves
  • 1 teaspoon whole black peppercorns
  • 1/2 whole nutmeg, grated
  • 3 bay leaves, crumbled

Preheat the oven to 325F. Grind everything together finely in a spice grinder or coffee grinder dedicated to your spices- or you can use a mortar and pestle but work in small amounts and combine afterwards. Put the ground spices onto a baking sheet lined with parchment and roast for 8 to 10 minutes or until toasted and fragrant, cool and store in a tightly covered container in a dark, dry place.

Eat Well, Be Well!


I am a writer, artist, gardener, obsessed cook/baker and recipe lover. I spend my time finding new ways to enjoy my life and try to encourage everyone around me to do the same. I like creating a cozy, warm, comforting and inviting atmosphere and hope to share some of that here. Hopefully, I get to learn from others who share my interests too.


  • Cristie

    Gabi, It was very interesting reading and so look forward to meeting you tomorrow at the bake sale. Eating healthy is a choice I’m working towards as well.

  • Marie

    It’s so hard to have a food blog and wanting to eat healthy. I try to make at least 2 or more veg meals a week, I haven’t had beef in 7 mths. Portion control is so important and being accountable for everything you put in your mouth, I’m trying to be more aware.

    I’m confident your dream cafe/bakery will come true for you someday. Keep visualizing it!

  • Joanne

    Good for you. Agree with everything you said. The diet is everything and flexiblity is the key.

    The recipe looks great. I love Garam Marsala

  • Jeff Machado

    I make this all the time except I pulse it in the food processor to the size of rice grains. It’s a great sub for the high calorie, no nutrition white rice. Of course one can also vary the flavors to keep it interesting. It’s about 20 calories per serving. Cook it a little longer and puree as a replacement for mashed potatoes.
    Go Gabi!

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