Dr. LJ on Bloom TV: Roasted Vegetable Garlic Pasta

Watch Dr LJ with host Carissa Galloway of the new lifestyle show, “Bloom”
Vegan dish – can be modified to Vegetarian, Paleo, Keto Lifestyle

Although the standard time for a cooking segment on TV is 5 minutes, as a TV chef that’s not a lot of time to explain everything that you’d like to about your recipe.  I hadn’t done these in a long time, mainly because the prep time is long (you have to have both before and after versions and bring every single thing to the station), but when a new wellness & lifestyle program was launching here in Tampa, they asked me to appear as their vegan chef.  Considering that I was already used to the kitchen set they share with Daytime TV, I felt ready to get back in front of the camera.

This is a dish I make often for “vegan newbies” and it makes a hearty and welcome dish at potlucks, as it tastes good even if not super warm.

Some helpful pointers:

  • Make sure to start roasting the cauliflower first.  You can leave that one uncovered.  When it starts getting slightly browned, add the Brussel sprouts, but make sure to cover those (lid or aluminum foil) as they will get overly brown and bitter.
  • Dot the TOPS of the vegetables with oil as well so that they get even more fragrant, roasty and brown.
  • Nutritional yeast can easily be found now in Trader Joe’s and health food stores probably have it in the bulk bins for a hefty discount.  Here is a great recipe and TV appearance I did for Daytime TV also with this fabulous ingredient.
  • Just peel off the papery outer layer of the garlic bulb and cut, not the back, but the pointed part, so that the cloves are partially exposed.  This will imbue fragrance and flavor without overwhelming the flavor.  If you put in the cloves unpeeled they will overcook and turn bitter.
  • Sumac is actually made from the flower of a fruit.  It is used a lot in Middle Eastern cooking, particularly Iran. Here’s a nice article about it.  You can order it online or find it in specialty food stores.


Dr. LJ’s Roasted Vegetable Garlic Pasta

Dr. LJ’s Roasted Vegetable Garlic Pasta

Serves 2 main meal – 4 for side dish


1 box of pasta-of-your-choice (we prefer gluten free*)
1 head cauliflower
1 small bag of brussels sprouts
Dozen whole mushrooms
1 head garlic
4-6 TB coconut oil or avocado oil (or combination of both)
2 TB. capers, drained
2 TB. olive oil
Salt and Pepper to taste¼ cup nutritional yeast (available at health food stores or online)

Optional:  paprika for sprinkling on finished dish.

*can also substitute with spiralized zucchini or shirataki noodles for keto and paleo meals


Preheat the oven to 405 degrees.

Wash the Brussels sprouts and slice off the bottom stem portion.  Set aside.

Wipe the mushrooms with a damp cloth

In a roasting dish, cover the bottom with half of the coconut or avocado oil. (2-3 TB)

Wash the cauliflower well and remove stem – break into large to medium pieces (they will break down after roasting)   Place in the dish with mushrooms (leaving room for sprouts, which will be added later)

Rub off the very outer layer of the skin but leave the rest on. Cut the very front off of the garlic head to expose the top of the cloves and place in roasting dish.

Drizzle another tablespoon or two over the vegetables and add salt and pepper to taste.

Roast for 40 minutes until the cauliflower begins to brown and break down.

Add the brussels sprouts, sprinkle with more oil and spices — and cover the dish – roast another 20-25 minutes until the brussels sprouts are soft and easily mashed.

While the vegetables are roasting, prepare the pasta and drain.

Mash the vegetables.  You can also cut the mushrooms into smaller pieces.

In a sauté pan on medium heat add the olive oil but don’t let it get too hot.  Squeeze in a few of the roasted garlic cloves, depending on your preference.  Add the capers, then add the pasta.  Add in the roasted vegetables until everything is warm and coated.

Place into serving dish and toss with nutritional yeast.**   Sprinkle with paprika or sumac  to add color and flavor.

**For vegetarian you can replace with grated parmesan or romano cheese.

Let me know what you think once you’ve tried this.  It’s a family pleaser!

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