Spinach pasta with basil and feta.
Lisa M Baragiola

Powerhouse Vegetables – Part III

Powerhouse Vegetables – Part III

This is part III and the final blog of our powerhouse vegetables series. You may view previous posts in this series here and here. It is interesting to explore vegetables with a variety of colors, taste palettes, and nutrient value. Think about adding one or all of these to your weekly menu. Most importantly, have fun and keep an open mind.

Beets the Bright Delight

Beets are related to Swiss chard and spinach. They contain vitamin C, potassium, iron, manganese, and zinc. Beets are vibrant in color from phytonutrients which give them antioxidants that may reduce inflammation and fight cell damage. Several studies now suggest that nitrates found in beets may boost athletic performance. Preparation methods and beet recipes have become more diverse and delicious. Roast beets in the oven, grate for a salad, juice for a smoothie or blend with yogurt for a dip.

Asparagus the Low-Calorie Favorite

Asparagus is a member of the lily family and can be either green, white, or purple. It’s a flavorful, low-calorie vegetable. Asparagus contains vitamins A, C, K, and folate. Its’ antioxidants may have blood pressure lowering or anti-inflammatory effects. Asparagus makes a wonderful addition to salads, omelets, pasta or by itself as a side dish.

Sweet Potatoes the “Other Potato”

Sweet potatoes are an underground tuber and an excellent source of the antioxidant beta carotene which is the precursor to vitamin A.  Only 3.5 ounces of this vegetable provides the recommended daily amount of vitamin A. Sweet potatoes also have vitamins C, K, potassium, and fiber. Their potent antioxidants may provide health benefits such as reducing cancer risk and boosting eye health. This vegetable can be enjoyed boiled, baked, steamed, or fried.

Cauliflower the “Versatile Bunch”

Cauliflower is a cruciferous vegetable related to kale, cabbage, and broccoli. Despite its’ white color, it is an impressive source of vitamins C, K, and fiber. One cup of cauliflower provides 3 grams of fiber. Cauliflower also contains antioxidants that may have an anti-inflammatory effect which boosts immune health and reduces risks of certain diseases. Most importantly it’s versatile and can be used to replace grains and legumes. Utilize it as a substitute for rice, mashed potatoes, or pizza crust.

The Final Destination

I hope you’ve enjoyed reading this blog as much as I’ve enjoyed writing it. We’re amid an exciting time when preparation methods and recipes continue evolving around these powerhouse vegetables. Enjoy their healthful impact and flavor profiles. Check out our next blog during National Nutrition Month. To start, try this Moroccan Golden Beet Tagine recipe.

Moroccan Golden Beet Tagine

Ken Foland, Executive Chef, Events By FSC
This tasty dish is filled with vibrant colors and flavors.
Prep Time 30 mins
Total Time 1 hr 30 mins
Course Side Dish
Servings 4


  • 3 each medium golden beets, peeled and diced in large pieces
  • 2 each medium sweet potatoes, diced in large pieces
  • 1 each small yellow onion, peeled and diced in large pieces
  • 4 each garlic cloves, minced
  • 1/2 head cauliflower, cut into florets
  • 1 bunch green asparagus, cut into bite size pieces
  • 1 can 12 oz garbanzo beans, rinsed
  • 1 can 28 oz whole peeled tomatoes, hand crushed
  • 8 oz low sodium vegetable broth
  • 2 oz grapeseed oil
  • 1/4 cup golden raisins
  • 3 tsp harissa spice
  • 1 tsp ground cumin
  • 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp ground turmeric
  • 2 tsp kosher salt
  • 1 each lemon, juiced
  • 1 bunch parsley, roughly chopped


  • Heat a large heavy bottom pan with grapeseed oil, add onions and allow to cook until lightly browned.
  • Add minced garlic, and remaining vegetables, holding back the asparagus.
  • Add spices and stir, allow to cook for 3-4 minutes until fragrant.
  • Pour in tomato product, beans, golden raisins and vegetable stock. Simmer until vegetables are tender. Half hour before serving, add asparagus. Adjust for seasoning.


To serve: Fold in chopped parsley and lemon juice. Serve with couscous or basmati rice. 

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