Friday, May 27, 2016

Welcome Guest Jolene Navarro and her Roasted Blue Cauliflower

Hello, Yankee Belle Café. I’m Jolene Navarro and I’m honored to be a guest. Thank you Cate Nolan for hosting me today.

I was going to share one of my smoothies, (I have become an addict) but roasted cauliflower has popped up in four separate conversations this week. I’m going to share the recipe that has my teenage boys mad when they come back for seconds, but it’s already gone. Yes, I have had to start roasting two heads of cauliflower to keep everyone happy.

It’s really simple, which is key in my life. I teach High School art and write just about every day.  The boys have been known to fix it on their own when I’m on a deadline.

There are many nutritional experts that say cauliflower, along with broccoli is one of the healthiest foods nature provides.
Here are a few reasons why: It is an excellent source of vitamin C, vitamin K, folate, pantothenic acid, and vitamin B6. It is a very good source of choline, dietary fiber, omega-3 fatty acids, manganese, phosphorus, and biotin. Additionally, gives us a dose of vitamin B2, protein, vitamin B1, niacin, and magnesium. WOW – if you’re not eating it you should be, right?

I have been known to chop it up into a smoothie.

 The trick is we want food that excites us and taste good. That’s why it has become a favorite in our house.

We use purple cauliflower when we find it, but any color works.

Why purple? It has the same nutrients found in white cauliflower. However, purple cauliflower will provide you with a couple of other nutritional benefits. The purple color come from a subtype of flavonoid compounds called anthocyanins, (trust me it’s good) which is reported to regulate your blood lipid and sugar levels and body weight, (what’s not to love about that?) It may also help to lower your cancer risk.

Here is how we cook Roasted Parmesan, Parsley & Purple Cauliflower is the Casa de Navarro.
A head (or two) of Purple Cauliflower
1 tsp fresh Parsley (or two)
1 tbsp olive oil for each head
Salt to taste (I love grinding Himalayan Pink Sea Salt)
Freshly grounded black pepper
½ cup or a cup of shredded Parmesan cheese
Preheat oven to 400
Slice the cauliflower florets like mushrooms. Toss in the olive oil, parsley, salt and pepper. Make sure each slice is coated. I use a stone, but a cookie sheet will work (parchment paper makes it a bit crisper if you use a cookie sheet ad easier clean up - yay).  Spread them out evenly.
Place in the oven. At 45 minutes turn over and sprinkle cheese over the slices. Let cook for another 5 to 10 min. It is meant as a side dish, but it also makes a great snack.

                Maybe share it with family and friends over the Memorial Day weekend.

There is one last think I want to share with you. Because Memorial Day is upon us, I’m sharing a page from my grandfather’s WWII diary. Forrest F. French kept a diary during his time serving with 7th Div. Co. K 184th Infantry. Okinawa. He return home but was killed in an accident way before I was born, but because of his ( illegal ) diary I got to know him a bit and a little of the men he served with. Many didn't make it back home. These words are straight from his diary. 

May 18 1945.
Everyone calls me Tex or Eagle Eye. As it seems I am one of the best shots in the Co. I have my name Texas Kid carved on my rifle. The new guys can't seem to understand yet why we are cleaning our rifles and oiling them all the time. They will soon find out that it is your most dearest friend when we move up. 
May 25, 1945. 
I got a piece of grenade in my right thigh, but it just barely stuck in. Has rain for three days non-stop. We have to go back about 2 miles for ammo and rations. Snipers all along the way back. Wish they would get them cleaned out.
May 28 1945
We will push off to take the cliffs this noon. It is going to be rough as we have to cross a wide valley. Will be at their mercy. As they will be above us. Don't know how much longer I will last.
June 5 1945.....I am now in charge of the squad. I wish I weren't for it is a great responsibility. Only 5 of us are left. 

Have a blessed weekend and remember the ones that gave all.

A seventh generation Texan, Jolene knows that, as much as the world changes, people stay the same. Good and evil. Vow-keepers and heart breakers. Jolene married a vow-keeper who showed her that dancing in the rain never gets old.
She uses her art degree to teach inner city kids about the world and they teach her about life. 
When she’s not in the studio or hanging out with her family, she loves creating worlds of strong heroes and powerful heroines who find love in spite of the obstacles they face. (Actually even then she’s getting ideas for the next story) She is currently working on her sixth Clear Water Book for Harlequin’s Love Inspired. Her fourth book, A Soldier’s Surprised Family, will be released August 23
Jolene can be found online, where she loves to make new friends and chat about life.
Jolene's books:

The Soldier’s Surprise Family - September 2016
A Texas Christmas Wish, Love Inspired - October 2015
Lone Star Holiday & Lone Star Hero   now available


  1. How precious is that diary? Oh my word, I can skip the food altogether for a real life glimpse into Tex's view of WWII.

    Thank you so much for sharing that, Jolene! It's an eye-opener and an amazing bit of American history from one who served.

    May God bless our military and the world with peace through strength.

    1. I saw a FB post earlier that quoted Gen. James Garfield speaking at Arlington (before he was President):

      "For love of country they accepted death..."

      I think Jolene's grandfather really brought that home in his diary entry.

      Isn't that so obvious in the words

  2. I got goosebumps reading those diary entries. What a treasure for your family.

    I've never heard of purple cauliflower! Must hunt it down. And I've never roasted it either so I'll give this recipe a try for sure. Sounds delish -- and nutritious. But in a smoothie? Blech!

    1. LOL I was wondering about that but Jolene puts so many wonderful flavors in her smoothies that I figure it blends in.

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  5. Thank you. I have read it several times. Two of my children have used it for school projects.

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  7. Welcome, Jolene! Amazing recipe! I can't wait to make it! I have a head of cauliflower in the fridge as we speak. :)

    Thanks for sharing the diary. So moving to read your grandfather's words. Thank you to all our service men and women!

  8. P.S. I deleted some comments that duplicated for some reason. :)

  9. So what plan do all of you have for the weekend?

    We have all the kids coming home to help clear out the house before our move. Getting rid of lots of old toys and lots of junk.

    1. Writing writing and more writing.

      Hit up COSTCO this morning so we have plenty of food. Now I can play with my characters.

      Only other writers would understand why that feels like a vacation, right?

  10. Jolene, I had no idea there was a nutritional difference in purple and white cauliflower. Makes me wonder if the same is true for the golden yellow cauliflower. I'm definitely making this recipe. Thanks for sharing.

    Thanks, too, for sharing those bits of your grandfather's diary. They are powerful in their simplicity.

    Nancy C

    1. Nancy, you had me curious too so I went and looked it up. I found this:

      Everyone is familiar with the white cauliflower, but there are purple, orange, and yellow cauliflower varieties, too. Although all these cultivars have some nutritional characteristics in common, they also show some interesting differences when it comes to cauliflower's health benefits. Purple cauliflower, for example, gets its rich purple color from anthocyanins, flavonoid pigments that also give red cabbage, purple carrots, and many berries their purplish hues – and their extraordinary health benefits. Yellow and orange cauliflower varieties, on the other hand, get their bright colors from carotenoids, vital nutrients that help keep your skin, mucous membranes, and eyes healthy. To learn all about how eating white, yellow, and purple cauliflower florets can boost your health, keep reading.


    2. Wow there is quite a difference! Thanks for sharing your research, Cate :-)

      Nancy C

    3. I remember in High School in Home Edc. we were taught to eat the rainbow - the different colors offered different nutrients. I guess she knew what she was talking about. lol

  11. I'm sorry I'm late. I had to do yard work before it hit 90 degrees. YUCK!. I have never ever seen purple cauliflower. I loooove cauliflower. This looks delicious! Thanks for sharing that diary entry! Perfect start to the holiday weekend. XXXX And you are an inspiration with your walking (as seen on FB! ).

    1. Feeling you on the 90 degrees. We went from 50s earlier in the week to 88 yesterday. UGH. No time for the body to adjust.

      Up side is I only want cold drinks and no food.

    2. I'm living on iced coffee.

    3. It is harder to find - our local HEB carries all the colors but they sell out of the purple really fast.

  12. Plans for the weekend. Copy edit/line edits hit my in box earlier. Quiet weekend to work on those. Cooking on the grill so no dishes. My idea of fun!

    1. Sounds like my idea of fun too, Tina. When my editor posted on FB earlier this week about weekend plans, I replied 4 glorious days with my story.

      Starting now!

      Happy editing.

    2. Happy Writing back at cha!!

    3. Cate I saw her post and I thought about tell her -I'm using the weekend to dig into my one last time before sending it to her, but it made me feel like the kid in school that reminded the teacher to call for the homework. lol

    4. LOL, Jolene. I sort of thought that too.

  13. PURPLE cauliflower!!! That is so pretty!