Meals for monotaskers – Savory recipes with beets, broccoli, carrots and cauliflower |

Meals for monotaskers – Savory recipes with beets, broccoli, carrots and cauliflower

When I talked to my friend on the phone the other day, she asked if I’d hold while she answered another call. Apparently she didn’t hear me yell “No!” When she finally came back on the line, she told me to wait while she took brownies out of the oven.

Call waiting, car phones, over-booked engagement calendars: we’ve become a culture of frenzied multitaskers! Because monotasking has become as anachronistic as powdering one’s wig, I’ve founded Meet Only Monotaskers!

I don’t know many monotaskers, so I’ve cooked up the following quiz to locate other members of this endangered species. If you score at least three points, you’re eligible to come to the next MOM! meeting. A score of 10 or more: let’s do dinner!

Harvest 1 point if:

• You don’t use a car phone. Add 2 points if you don’t even have one. Earn 5 more if you drive a bike instead of a car.

• You don’t drink your morning coffee in the car. Get 3 additional points if you don’t own a plastic coffee cup that fits in your car’s drink holder.

• You don’t listen to a Walkman while exercising. Reap 1 point for honesty.

• You don’t read the newspaper while watching TV. Gain 7 points if you don’t own a TV.

Whatever your score, focus on these sumptuous savories.

Roasted Beet Salad

(Serves 4-6)

Latent beet fanatics sit at every table. Whenever I serve these, I’m astounded that we never have leftovers.

4 medium beets, cut in wedges with the skins on

1/2 cup walnuts, toasted

2 healthy handfuls of salad greens

1 avocado, sliced thinly

2 hardboiled eggs, cut in wedges


Whisk together:

6 tablespoons olive oil

4 tablespoons lemon juice

2 tablespoons Dijon mustard

1 teaspoon honey

Put the beets in a glass pan with 1-inch of water on the bottom. Cover with foil and bake in a 375 F oven for 1 hour until the beets are easily pierced with a fork.

Let them cool. Skin the beets, cut the wedges in bite-size pieces, and toss with the dressing. Arrange the greens on a platter and spoon the beets over them.

Sprinkle the walnuts on top. Garnish the platter with the avocado and eggs. Just writing this recipe thrills my taste buds.

Roasted Broccoli with Dijon Sauce

(6 servings)

As long as you’re putting roasted beets on the table, say “yes” to roasted broccoli, too. This dish gets two thumbs up in my family.

1 large head broccoli (about 11Ú2 pounds)


Whisk until smooth:

11/2 cups non-fat plain yogurt

2 tablespoons Dijon mustard

1 tablespoon lemon juice

1 tablespoon pressed garlic

1 teaspoon dried dill

Salt and pepper

Break the broccoli into bite-size florets. Put them on a lightly greased baking sheet and bake in a 375 F oven for 20 minutes until tender. When the broccoli’s done, pour on the sauce and stir. Swoon eating this hot, cold, or at room temperature.

Cauliflower Puff

(Serves 4-6)

Monotasking is easy when you love what you’re doing. A little whipping, lots of stirring; while making this dish, even a ringing phone can’t pull me away.

4 eggs

11/2 cups low-fat milk

1 cup sharp cheddar cheese, grated

1 head cauliflower, cut in florets and steamed until tender

6 scallions, sliced in Os

3 cloves garlic, pressed

1 tablespoon dried oregano

1 tablespoon caraway seeds

Salt and pepper

Separate the eggs. Whip the yolks until they’re a pale lemon color. Add the milk and continue to beat well. Add the cheese, cauliflower, scallions, and spices and stir.

With clean beaters, whip the whites until stiff and then gingerly fold them into the veggie mixture until everything is well incorporated. Pour into a lightly greased 10-inch deep-dish glass pie pan.

Bake for 40 minutes at 375 F until the pie browns and is firm in the center.

Carrot Muffins

(Makes 12)

Shy about baking? This recipe may bring you out of the pantry.

2 cups white flour

1 tablespoon baking powder

3/4 cup grated carrots

1/2 cup minced pineapple (canned is enticingly easy)

2 eggs, beaten

1 cup pineapple juice

3 tablespoons non-fat vanilla yogurt

5 teaspoons butter, melted

1/2 cup honey

1/2 cup raisins

1/2 cup walnut pieces


Whip together:

6 ounces Neufchatel

2 tablespoons honey

Stir the dry ingredients together. Add the carrots, pineapple, eggs, juice, yogurt, oil and honey and mix well. Stir in the raisins and walnuts. Pour the batter into a lightly greased muffin tin. Bake for 20 minutes at 400 F until the centers spring back when lightly touched. For an extra touch of protein and glamour, slather slightly cooled muffins tops with spread.

I’m off to my weekly MOM! meeting. Sure hope I meet more of you near-extinct specimens there.


Ronnie Paul is a freelance writer and vegetarian chef. She can be reached at

Support Local Journalism

Support Local Journalism

Readers around Grass Valley and Nevada County make The Union’s work possible. Your financial contribution supports our efforts to deliver quality, locally relevant journalism.

Now more than ever, your support is critical to help us keep our community informed about the evolving coronavirus pandemic and the impact it is having locally. Every contribution, however large or small, will make a difference.

Your donation will help us continue to cover COVID-19 and our other vital local news.


Start a dialogue, stay on topic and be civil.
If you don't follow the rules, your comment may be deleted.

User Legend: iconModerator iconTrusted User