A Balanced Vegetarian Diet Is Good for All

A balanced vegetarian diet is healthy and nutritionally adequate at any stage of life, including pregnancy, lactation, infancy, childhood, adolescence and for athletes, according to the American Dietetic Association. The same is true for a vegan diet. The association added that by reducing saturated fat and cholesterol and increasing fruit, vegetables, whole grains, nuts, soy products, fiber and phytochemicals (good-for-you plant chemicals like carotenoids, polyphenols and protease inhibitors), vegetarian and vegan food plans can help prevent and treat some diseases.

A balanced vegetarian diet can meet nutritional recommendations, the association said. Sometimes, supplements or fortified foods can provide useful amounts of important nutrients.

Incorporating a host of high-fiber, nutritious food like blackberries, tomatoes, cauliflower and carrots, Stuffed Cabbage with Cherry Tomato Basil Sauce and Pureed Cauliflower is an excellent addition to a balanced vegetarian diet. Inspired by the Meatless Monday movement, Franklin Hospital chefs Domingo Martinez and Daniel Davis created the entree with Janice Raymond, RD, and Michelle Milgrim, RD, for this year’s North Shore-LIJ Ultimate Chef Challenge.

Preparation time: 17 minutes. Cooking time: 25 minutes.

Serves 4. Serving size: 4 oz stuffed cabbage, 4 oz cherry tomato basil sauce, 2/3 cup pureed cauliflower.

Per serving: 263 calories, 3 grams of fat, and 34 mg of sodium.

Ingredients, Stuffed Cabbage:

16 oz Tempeh

1 cup Blackberries

1 tsp Olive oil

1 each Cabbage, to boil and use 4 leaves

½ each Carrot, sliced

Ingredients, Cherry Tomato and Basil Sauce:

5 cups Cherry Tomatoes

2 Tbsp Olive Oil

2 tsp Basil

Ingredients, Pureed Cauliflower:

2 cups Cauliflower Florets

½ cup Water

1 tsp Vegetable Base

Ingredients, Garnish:

½ cup Blackberries, whole

Directions, Stuffed Cabbage:

Quarter cabbage, core and take off outer leaves.

Put in boiling water until soft but crunchy (about 20 to 25 minutes).

Remove and place under bowl until ready to use.

Boil tempeh (water to cover).

After 20 minutes add 1 cup of blackberries and continue to boil until tempeh is soft and tender.

Drain and mash together. Cover and let sit.

Boil carrot slices until soft, drain and let it cool down.

In a small pan, heat olive oil and dill and sauté carrot slices.

Directions, Cherry Tomato and Basil Sauce:

Add olive oil on to pan and heat on medium flame.

Add cherry tomatoes and basil and sauté for 5 to 7 minutes.

Pureed until smooth and plate.

Directions, Pureed Cauliflower:

Boil ½ cup of water.

Add vegetable base to boiling water and stir.

Add cauliflower florets and cook for 20 to 25 minutes.

Blenderize cauliflower with boiling water until smooth.


Plate 2/3 cup cauliflower pureed on one side.

Peel off 4 cabbage leaves.

In each leaf, place ½ cup of tempeh and blackberry mixture and roll.

Cut diagonally in half and place over cauliflower.

Place ½ cup cherry tomato basil sauce on the other side of the plate.

Garnish with 3 blackberries and 2 Tbsp. of carrot slices.

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