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A Breakdown of Cooking Oils and a Roasted Summer Veggie Shepherds Pie with Corn, Tomato, Onions and Quinoa

Posted Jul 19 2012 5:41am
You'll be tempted, but resist the urge to add any oil or butter with this recipe if you use all fresh ingredients. Just try it and see what happens.  Let your seasonal veggies shine through and enjoy the real flavors that each adds.  Every layer is perfectly delicious in itself - roasted tomatoes become sweet and tangy, potatoes become buttery, onions caramelize and corn turns even sweeter with roasting. 


This is an easy recipe but since there are a fair amount of steps I chronicled it in photos. Tomatoes and Onions - Ready for Roasting

Potatoes and onions - just in the oven

....and corn lined up for roasting.

Corn - finished roasting and kernels removed
 
Roasted tomato and potato trays

Ready to top with mashed potatoes.

Complete dish before going into the oven for final baking.
**Stop here if you are making ahead! Cool, refrigerate, and bake the next day.

I am not an oil free vegan, but I do see the benefits of cutting back on refined oils because in the process of refining most oils, many of the nutrients, vitamins and minerals are stripped away when it is heated- similarly to how white flour and sugar is refined.  It is definitely important to incorporate fats into your diet for cognitive function and digestive health etc. - but leaning towards healthy, un-processed and plant based fats, such as avocados, seeds and nuts is the best way to go.
The next best thing to plant based fats is organic, cold pressed oils. These are are non-genetically modified and have gone through a very minimal heating process. Some examples are cold pressed extra virgin olive oil, flax seed oil and avocado oil.

Many times reason for refining oils is to increase the smoke point.  This is the point in heating when the oil turns to vapor and the begins to decompose, loose even more nutrients, acquire free radicals and may even gain some cancer causing compounds. It is best to not heat oils above smoke point. 
So what oils are best to cook with?  I found so much contradictory information out there that I finally went to Cleveland Clinic's website and found the following chart: High smoke pointBest suited for searing, browning and deep frying (although the latter is not a recommended practice where heart health is concerned).
Oil% Mono% Poly% SatNutrition Notes
Almond65287Distinctive nutty flavor
Avocado651817Sweet aroma
Hazelnut82117Bold, strong flavor
Palm381052High in saturated fat. Not recommended
Sunflower79714Seek out high-oleic versions, which are higher in monounsaturated fat
"Light" olive/refined olive78814The more refined the olive oil, the better its all-purpose cooking use. “Light” refers to color

Medium-high smoke pointBest suited for baking, oven cooking or stir frying.
Oil% Poly
% Mono% SatNutrition Notes
Canola62317Contains low levels of omega-3
Grapeseed177310High in omega-6
Macadamia nut84313Bold flavor
Extra virgin olive78814Best-pick oil
Peanut483418Great for stir frying

Medium smoke point Best suited for light sautéing, sauces and low-heat baking.
Oil% Mono% Poly% SatNutrition Notes
Corn256213High in omega-6. High-oleic (monounsaturated fat) versions coming soon
Hemp157510Good source of omega-3. Keep refrigerated
Pumpkinseed325315Contains omega-3
Sesame414415Rich, nutty flavor. Keep refrigerated
Soybean256015High in omega-6
Walnut24679Good source of omega-3
Coconut6292High in saturated fat. Not recommended

No-heat oils* Best used for dressings, dips or marinades.
Oil% Mono% Poly% SatNutrition Notes
Flaxseed65287Excellent source of alpha-linolenic acid,
a form of omega-3
Wheat Germ651817Rich in omega-6. Keep refrigerated
*Toasted sesame, extra virgin olive and walnut oils also work well.


Now that your head is spinning with all the information about oils - deciding to forgo fats in a meal or two every now and then is perfectly fine - simply grab a handful of almonds as a snack earlier or, if you like, add some nuts or seeds into the dish!
Tip:  Using an oil mister is going to prevent your foods from sticking and at the same time using a fraction of a teaspoon. Roasted Summer Veggie Shepherds Pie with Corn, Tomato, Onions and Quinoa
Serves 8
Ingredients

3 ½ pounds mixed potatoes
2 sweet onions, divided 2 pints cherry tomatoes 4 fresh ears corn Sea salt and fresh ground pepper 2 Tbsp gluten free flour (or any flour) 2 cups vegetable broth, divided 2 Tbsp fresh thyme & chives (or any herbs you like) 1 cup dry quinoa
Directions
Preheat oven to 400F.  Chop potatoes and one onion.  Lay out four baking sheets, spray with organic olive oil cooking spray (or your Misto). Top two sheets with potatoes and chopped onion. Quarter and slice second onion.  Place on third tray with tomatoes.  Cut off silk on top of corn only and place on 4th.  Sprinkle salt on tomatoes, onions and potatoes.  Place all trays in oven, bake 45 minutes, remove corn from oven and toss the remaining three trays. Place all but corn back in oven for additional 10 minutes. Rinse quinoa and add to small pot with 1 ½ cups veggie broth. Bring to a boil, reduce heat and cover.  Simmer 15 minutes; remove from heat and let sit an additional 5 minutes Place cooked potatoes and onions from first two trays in a food processor and pulse until it becomes the texture of a rustic mashed potato.  Taste and re-season. Mix the 2 tbsp flour and ½ cup veggie broth in a medium bowl; stir in tomatoes, onions, thyme/chives and cooked quinoa.  Shuck corn and cut kernels off cob; add to bowl and mix all well.  Taste and re-season if necessary. Spray a 2 Qt baking dish with cooking spray.  Spoon tomato mixture into baking dish and top with potato mixture.  Press potatoes evenly.  (**You can cool and refrigerate for one day at this point.  Simply bring back to room temp and cook as directed.) Place baking dish in preheated 400F oven for 20 minutes or until heated well throughout. Turn broiler to high and brown top, about 3 minutes.

Nutrition Facts
8 Servings
Amount Per Serving Calories 235.8
Total Fat 2.1 g
Saturated Fat 0.1 g
Polyunsaturated Fat 0.3 g
Monounsaturated Fat 0.2 g
Cholesterol 0.0 mg
Sodium 17.8 mg
Potassium 761.6 mg
Total Carbohydrate 49.2 g
Dietary Fiber 6.2 g
Sugars 3.7 g
Protein 7.4 g


Vitamin A 6.2 %
Vitamin B-12 0.0 %
Vitamin B-6 23.0 %
Vitamin C 55.1 %
Vitamin D 0.0 %
Vitamin E 1.2 %
Calcium 2.3 %
Copper 10.1 %
Folate 12.0 %
Iron 18.1 %
Magnesium 12.5 %
Manganese 16.8 %
Niacin 11.3 %
Pantothenic Acid 7.8 %
Phosphorus 31.9 %
Riboflavin 47.6 %
Selenium 1.4 %
Thiamin 13.9 %
Zinc 4.2 %

*Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your daily values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.
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