The Conundrum of Chili Powder vs. Chili Powder

A particular terminology duplication has arisen in modern American cookery, and I’m at a bit of a loss on how to resolve it.

In ordinary USA recipe parlance, “chili powder” has come to denote a particular spice blend. Go to any grocery store, or even most dollar stores, and you will see offered among the spices “chili powder” which is not, for certain, powdered chilis. Perhaps powdered chili pepper might make up one component of the spice mixture, but those chilis are unlikely to be very hot since most mainstream American palates run to the mild side (certainly, mainstream Pittsburgh tastes do). This chili powder is, in fact, a blend of spices intended for Mexican and Tex Mex recipes, popularized and mainstreamed more than anything by recipes for the quintessential Tex Mex stew, itself called Chili.

Chili Peppers

Chili Peppers

I have nothing against spice mixes, certainly. As a hobby cook of some conscientiousness, I do like to make my own spice blends when it is practical to do so, especially when a particular blend is not easy to come by in a form offering consistent quality and/or value. Berbere, the standard spice blend for Ethiopian recipes, as an example, is not readily available in grocery stores, and those that do offer it usually do so at a high price, and purchasing a blend online incurs added expense of shipping and the ever-present risk that one’s favorite retailer will discontinue the specific brand of berbere mixed spices that the chef has come to rely upon throwing all of her tried-and-true Ethiopian-style recipes into flux and chaos… rather than tangle with all these contingencies, I make my own so that every batch of Mesir Wat will be the same as the last.

Other blends produce fewer stumbling blocks and thus fewer qualms on my part with using the pre-mixed grocery store blend. Badia makes a good line of spice mixes, including a turmeric-centered curry powder, cajun seasoning, chili powder, etc. I do have a preferred recipe for making my own chili powder (which I will share below), and my own recipes for various differing styles of curry powder, such as garam masala, which should never be confused with other types of curry powders, such as the turmeric-based powders or the Madras powders, etc. But sometimes, a gal just wants grab a jar of spice mix and measure, without going to the trouble of pre-mixing her own blend. By now, I have a pretty good sense, for the sake of my own tastes, when using my homemade blend makes the difference and when throwing myself on the mercy of a commercial spice company makes little to no difference.

And so, I have no qualms with recipes calling for spice mixes, chili powder among them, as it affords the chef a simple opportunity to choose either a homemade spice blend or a store-bought mix. The problem with “chili powder” is that there is an ingredient by the same name that shows up in recipes: namely chili peppers that are powdered.

Powdered Chili Peppers

Powdered Chili Peppers

I’ve become pretty good over the years at telling which type of “chili powder” a recipe is calling for. A recipe for Indian or Thai curry is probably calling for powdered chili peppers, whereas a Mexican, Spanish, Cajun, mainstream American cuisine recipe, quick & easy recipe, etc. are probably calling for the spice blend. This duplicative term bothers me the most as a recipe author; when I post recipes online containing the spice blend called “chili powder” I always feel that I have to clarify in some way. I more often find myself making recipes with chili powder, rather than powdered chilis, and yet I always feel that I have a responsibility to clarify as the writer of a given recipe.

This sense of responsibility, this commitment to clarity makes me wish to solve this terminology impasse in an easier, more efficient way. I suppose I could use the distinction indicated above, chili powder vs. powdered chilis. But this division would really only work for people who follow my recipes close to enough to know I had pre-established this distinction. The term “chili powder” is so well-established in both meanings out there in the world of recipe writing, that I would still feel the need to clarify every time I included “chili powder” in a recipe. What is the elegant solution here? What can I call “chili powder” to make it clear that I mean the spice mix, and not powdered chilis?

I am open to suggestions!

Component Spices for a Chili Powder Blend

Component Spices for a Chili Powder Blend


5 tablespoons paprika
1 tablespoon oregano
3 teaspoons unsweetened cocoa powder
2 teaspoons cumin
1 teaspoon ground coriander
1⁄2 teaspoon cinnamon
1⁄4 teaspoon allspice

Combine all ingredients in a container. Mix well. Use in recipes calling for the spice blend chili powder.

Parmesan Risotto with Cauliflower Rice

One of the staples of my recipe collection is risotto. I don’t always make it according to the “rules” (I often use long-grain instead of arborio rice, don’t hate me!), but slow-cooked skillet rice in a creamy, broth-based, wine-based sauce is perhaps second only to pasta with cheese sauce in my kitchen repertoire. It is a recipe that’s easy to change up, use a different cheese, add some vegetables (or occasionally fruit!), toss in some nuts, try a different spice mix… risotto is endlessly adaptable and delicious, but it sure as heck is not low carb.

My collection of successful cauliflower “rice” recipes continues to grow: Cilantro Lime “Rice,” Cauliflower Jambalaya, Tabbouleh Salad, Vegetable Biryani, Mexican Rice, etc. Is cauliflower “rice” risotto a real possibility? My greatest successes with substituting cauliflower for rice have come with dishes where I keep the cauliflower raw — it stays crispy, doesn’t leak too much water into the dish, doesn’t become slimy. I’ve encountered some cauliflower “rice” risotto recipes online, but they involve cooking the “rice” in the same manner one would with a traditional risotto, and I just can’t imagine that working out okay without facing the same consequences I’ve experienced when cooking cauliflower “rice.” Would it be possible to make the risotto as a sauce, sans cauliflower first, and then add the raw cauliflower at the end?

I set to finding out.


6 cups cauliflower rice
2 tablespoons butter
1 onion, chopped
2 teaspoons minced garlic
1/2 cup white wine
3 bouillon cubes
1/2 cup cream or half & half
2 cups shredded parmesan or other white italian cheese
salt & pepper to taste

Rice your cauliflower. Fold into a clean kitchen towel and set aside.

Heat butter in a skillet. Saute the onion and garlic until softened. Add the white wine and bouillon cubes. Simmer until the cubes are dissolved and wine reduced by half. Add cream, cheese, salt and pepper. Simmer over low heat until cheese is melted. If the cheese gets clumpy as it melts, use an immersion blender to smooth it out. In the end, the cheese sauce should be thick and somewhat tacky, a good layer sticking to the spoon as you stir.

Allow to cool a bit. Still in the cauliflower rice. If you want to heat the rice up a bit, put the entire risotto mixture in a large, shallow casserole and heat uncovered in the oven at low temperature (200 or 250) until heated through. Serve with your favorite Italian meal and enjoy!

This dish actually turned out quite well. It’s not true risotto, of course, but it is a reasonable and tasty substitute.

Paella-style Spanish Yellow “Rice”

In searching for interesting recipes to transform into tasty cauliflower “rice” dishes, I keep running into paella. I gather from the recipes I’ve seen that paella is similar to jambalaya in that it aims at being a one-pot meal, a single plate with rice, delicious spice mixes, vegetables, seafood and meat all together in one harmonious blend of flavors.

This time, however, I wasn’t looking for a one-pot meal, but rather an accompaniment, and all the ingredients in a true Paella would have been overkill. I nosed around online and found some recipes for simpler, Spanish rice that was saffron-based, rather than tomato-based. Comparing simpler yellow rice recipes with paella recipes, I came up with the following for using cauliflower “rice” to make a light and flavorful side dish.

As usual, I divide up the ingredients in stages of preparation to keep the raw ingredients and cooked ingredients separate.


1/4 cup cilantro, chopped
juice of one lemon
1 tablespoons oil
2 garlic cloves, minced

1/4 cup white wine
generous pinch saffron

1 tablespoon oil
2 onions, chopped
3 garlic cloves, minced
2 red bell peppers, chopped
2 bouillon cubes
1 teaspoon paprika
1 cup peas, frozen

2 large or 3 small roma tomatoes, chopped, fresh
6 cups cauliflower, riced
salt and pepper, to taste
lemon wedges

Combine the cilantro, lemon juice, oil and garlic cloves from the first segment of the ingredient list. Set aside.

Add the saffron to the white wine in a small bowl or cup. Allow to steep.

From the third ingredient segment, heat the oil in a medium skillet. Saute the onions, garlic and bell peppers until softened. Crush the bouillon cubes. Add to the skillet along with paprika and the saffron wine mix. Simmer for a few minutes and then add the peas. Heat through and then remove from burner and allow to cool.

Meanwhile, combine the cauliflower rice, tomatoes, salt and pepper. Add the cilantro mixture and stir until well-distributed. Once the skillet mixture is cooled off a bit (I like it to be close to room temperature), add it to the rice and stir once again until combined. Garnish with lemon wedges and enjoy!

Spicy Tomato Soup

Looking for something easy, tasty and low-carb that I could make in a large batch to take for lunches at work, I adapted a few soup recipes into the following. I’ve been enjoying it for a few weeks now!


1 onion, chopped
2 teaspoons minced garlic
2 green onions, chopped
4 cups broth, beef or chicken
1 (28oz) can crushed tomatoes
1 (24oz) jar prepared salsa
2 tablespoons cilantro, or cilantro chutney
1 teaspoon cumin
1 teaspoon chili powder (the spice mix for making for chili)

Combine all ingredients in a large saucepan or stockpot. Simmer on medium low for 30 to 40 minutes, stirring occasionally. Process with an immersion blender for a puree-style tomato soup, or leave as is for a chunky-style soup. Garish with extra cilantro. For a hearty twist, top with shredded cheese and/or sour cream. Enjoy!

Pork Adobo

About halfway through the week, I asked my dad what meat he wanted to use as the base of our meal for the coming weekend. This has become somewhat of a ritual, as he often has opinions on what meat he wants me to use based on preference and what in his freezer should be used sooner than later… and I like to spend a bit a my downtime throughout the week researching new and exciting recipes featuring said meat.

This week he said pork. I’m always game for pork. Researching pork recipes, however, is a more challenging task than other meats. I knew he had a pork loin that he wanted me to use, but when searching for pork on my favorite recipe page,, a simple search yields recipes using every part of the pig! Bacon recipes, shoulder recipes, ham recipes, sausage recipes, etc. There is just such a wide variety of pork preparations and types of pig-related meat that sifting through the recipes becomes a greater challenge than, say, for chicken or beef.

My first instinct, however, was pretty simple. I wanted to do a pulled pork. Alas, but most pulled pork recipes are BBQ oriented. This is not necessary a problem, as I much enjoy BBQ sauce and combining it with pork is always a good idea. However, almost every BBQ recipe I found included mass amounts of sugar. Not just a couple tablespoons — copious scoops of sugar! Even vinegar-based Carolina BBQ called for enormous quantities of brown sugar. My current low carb regimen is not forgiving enough for copious sugar, so most pulled pork was out of the question.

And then I encountered Adobo. I’ve been meaning to try Adobo for some time now, though such intention had faded to the eaves of my brain. Many Adodo recipes included zero sugar, some just a small amount. Thus, a pulled pork Abobo seemed just the thing! Now, traditionally, Adobo meats (chicken seems a common choice, as well) aren’t necessarily “pulled” or shredded at the end. I simply added that wrinkle since my original inclination had been such.


2 tablespoons cooking oil
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 medium onion, chopped
2 lbs pork, cut into cubes
1/2 cup apple cider vinegar
1/2 tablespoons soy sauce
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon pepper, or more to taste
2 bay leaves
1 tablespoon brown sugar (optional)
water, if cooking stovetop

Heat cooking oil in the base of a saucepan or of a crockpot on high. Add garlic and onion. Saute until onions are softened. Add vinegar, soy sauce, salt, pepper and bay leaves. Many traditional recipes like to use whole peppercorns. I simply used fresh ground. Add the brown sugar, if using.

Sugar was not a frequent addition in the recipes I looked at, and so I included it only optionally. I, personally, used one teaspoon, rather than one tablespoon. The teaspoon for tablespoon reduction is a common lower-carb fix I use when recipes call for small amounts of sugar, flour or corn starch. In the case of sugar, I figure recipes calling for a mere tablespoon are only looking to add a hint of sweetness anyway, and in the case of flour or cornstarch, it is for their thickening properties; I’ve found they actually work well enough in smaller quantities with just a little more time and attention to sauce reduction.

Cover and simmer the pork in the adobo mix until it reaches desired tenderness. 3-4 hours on high in the crockpot, 7-8 hours on low. If simmering stove-top, you may need extra water to keep the pork moist as it cooks. Shred, if desired. Serve with a favorite rice dish (or cauliflower “rice” dish).

I was pleasantly surprised how well this recipe turned out considering how few ingredients and seasonings went into it. Normally I gravitate toward dishes with strong flavors and/or complex spice mixes, but this recipe proved to showcase just the right mix of a few tasty ingredients.

Kofta and Tahini Cream

One of my favorite meals in Middle Eastern cuisine is kofta, that is, spiced meatballs. But achieving the right balance of herbs and spices, the right consistency and flavor making these at home has thus far eluded me. Today I give it another go!

My first attempts failed because I tried to go TOO low carb and reduce the breadcrumbs way too much. That was before I understood the true importance of a well-hydrated breadcrumb to making good meatballs. Since then, I’ve struggled with the spice mix. I like kofta that are cinnamon-forward in flavor, so I always make sure to include a larger portion of cinnamon. The problem is that I have such a vast spice cabinet that it is tempting to add so many more spices in this category… cardamom, cloves, nutmeg, mace, coriander seed, etc. etc. I think I have to hold back and simplify my kofta so that the flavors I like best are the ones most prominently featured.

Spiced Kofta and Tahini Cream

Spiced Kofta and Tahini Cream


1/3 cup breadcrumbs
2 eggs
1 lb ground meat
2 cloves garlic
2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1⁄2 teaspoon allspice
1⁄2 teaspoon salt
1⁄2 teaspoon pepper
1 spring onion, chopped or snipped
2 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro or fresh parsley or fresh mint, or all three

Preheat oven to 350. In a medium-sized bowl, beat the egg into the breadcrumbs with a fork. Let stand at least ten minutes to allow the egg to hydrate your breadcrumbs. Add the meat, garlic, spices, salt, pepper, onions and herbs. Let stand at least another ten minutes to allow the flavors to meld.

Form the meat mixture into meatballs, patties, or log-shapes. Place in a shallow baking dish. Bake at 350 for 25 minutes. Serve with tahini cream (below) and/or hummus.

One of my favorite dressings for kofta is tahini cream:


4 tablespoons sesame tahini
4 tablespoons sour cream or yogurt
4 tablespoons cream or half & half

Combine all ingredients in a food processor, or with an immersion blender. Chill. Serve as a dressing for kofta meatballs, above.

Parmesan Roasted Turnips

My low-carb diet persists, and so does my search for new and different vegetables to substitute for all my favorite carbs. I wrote recently about my rediscovery of the rutabaga; it is quite impossible, really, to be reminded of the rutabaga without also being reminded of turnips… after all, fundamentally every description of a rutabaga compares it to a turnip.

Turnips are much easier to come by, and so when I struck out into the city in search of rutabagas, I naturally encountered turnips first. In fact, only two grocery stores I went to had rutabagas, but nearly all had turnips. I purchased turnips as a contingency for my Bolognese recipe, planning to spiralize them if a rutabaga could not be procured. But after finding the latter, I decided to try a different recipe with the turnips I had collected along the way.

Parmesan Roasted Turnips

Parmesan Roasted Turnips


2 large turnips (or 2 lbs. of small ones)
1/4 cup olive oil
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
salt and pepper, to taste
1/3 cup grated Parmesan cheese

Preheat oven to 475.

Peel and cut turnips into cubes or wedges. In a plastic freezer bag, combine turnips, nutmeg, salt and pepper. Seal bag and toss ingredients together.

Spread oil- and spice-coated turnips in a large, shallow casserole dish (should be large enough that turnips can be spread in a single layer). Sprinkle with Parmesan cheese. Roast for 10-15 minutes. Flip turnips so that they get roasted on the other side. Roast for another 10-15 minutes until golden brown. Serve and enjoy!

This recipe turned out well, tasty in a simple no-frills kind of way. I was actually surprised at just how potato-like the turnips were. It gives me many ideas for future recipes involving turnip substitutions for potatoes!

Cilantro Lime “Rice” and Coconut “Rice”

I’ve found that one cauliflower can produce an awful lot of “rice,” especially when it’s on the medium to large side. Depending on the specific plant, I might get 8 or 9 cups of rice out of one head. a162f4b9a88b367e05177701d620261aAs a result, I’ve been splitting my “rice” and using the produce of one head for more than one recipe.

This past weekend, I made myself some favorite Thai-inspired dishes, Pumpkin Curry and Squ-oodles with Peanut Sauce. As an accompaniment to these two dishes, I riced my cauliflower and used the 8 cups of “rice” it produced to make two dishes.


juice and zest of one lime
1 tablespoon oil
1/2 teaspoon salt
fresh ground pepper, to taste
2 tablespoons chopped cilantro or cilantro chutney
2 spring onions, chopped
4 cups cauliflower rice

Rice your cauliflower; fold in a clean kitchen towel and set aside.

Zest your lime, then juice it (fruit is easier to zest fully round, and easier to juice without the peel). Combine zest, juice, oil, salt, pepper, cilantro or chutney, and onions in a bowl. Add 4 cups of cauliflower rice and stir until the green ingredients are evenly distributed. Enjoy chilled as a salad, or warmed to eating temperature as a side dish.

This dish was pretty predictably delicious. It is, after all, very similar to the basic ingredients in my favorite coleslaw recipe. It was a perfect accompaniment to the curries.

Two "Rice" Dishes, Coconut and Cilantro Lime

Two “Rice” Dishes, Coconut and Cilantro Lime


1 tablespoon oil
1 medium onion, chopped fine
1 teaspoon minced garlic
1/2 cup white wine
7 oz coconut cream
4 cups cauliflower rice
salt & pepper, to taste

Rice your cauliflower; fold in a clean kitchen towel and set aside.

Heat the oil in a small saucepan. Saute the onion and garlic. Add the white wine and coconut cream. If your onion was not chopped small enough (my eyes are very sensitive to onion and I can only get a few cuts in before they burn so badly I can’t be in the same room with the onion), you may want to puree the sauce with an immersion blender as it thickens. Simmer, stirring often until reduced into a thick, almost tacky, sauce. Allow to cool; it should be close to room temperature before adding the cauliflower.

Stir in the cauliflower rice. Season to taste. Serve and enjoy.

This recipe was a bit trickier. It is based on the concept of coconut-cooked rice that Sabrina introduced to me. Essentially, she cooks rice in an equivalent amount of coconut milk to the amount of water usually required. It has the welcome effects of lowering the glycemic index and adding flavor. I’ve been wanting to do something similar with cauliflower rice for awhile. In fact, it was the first recipe I tried with cauliflower rice. The problem was that I treated the cauliflower rice like regular rice, and it ended up wet and slimy.

With my new-found cauliflower rice expertise, I realized that I had to keep the cauliflower raw and crispy in order for this recipe to work. The key here was taking the time to reduce the sauce. Too much liquid will make this dish runny or soupy. The sauce needs to be thick enough that it will stick to the cauliflower. That’s why I describe it as tacky, sort of like paste or glue. It is also important not to add the cauliflower when this sauce is still hot. The cauliflower will release a bit of liquid if you put it in a hot sauce, making it less than crisp and defeating — at least in part — your efforts at liquid reduction.

Having taken these precautions, I must say that the dish turned out wonderfully, just as I had hoped, a worthy substitute for Sabrina’s Coconut Rice.

Beef Bolognese

Sometimes recipe searches lead to unexpected places. In my ongoing search for new ideas to fuel low-carb recipe substitutions, I encountered a recipe for Beef Bolognese with spiralized rutabaga noodles. This recipe rang two distant bells of memory for me.

First, I have certainly heard of Bolognese before, but it is one of those continental recipes that has, over the years, simply buzzed along the outskirts of my recipe radar. In general, I’m don’t actively search for new Italian recipes, simply because I have a pretty thorough existing repertoire in that cuisine category. Bolognese is essentially Italian meat sauce, which is perhaps as non-novel an Italian recipe as one could imagine. Having stumbled upon this particular recipe, however, I found myself intrigued by the spice mixture. In addition to the typical Italian green spices like parsley and oregano, it also included cinnamon and cloves. The addition of these more fragrant dark spices to more traditional Mediterranean tomato sauce is a combination I’ve enjoyed before in Greek Pastitso. Upon further investigation of Bolognese recipes, I found that some included nutmeg as well as other ingredients that intrigued me. Also, I found recipes for Bolognese both with ground beef and the stew beef, the latter variation a timely upgrade, as my dad had requested I incorporate a beef roast into our meal this past weekend.

Second, the use of spiralized rutabaga turned out to be something of a eureka moment. Many years ago, when I was in high school, I hunted down a rutabaga and some other atypical root vegetables to try out a particular recipe back when I was on a 90’s-style low-fat healthy eating kick. At the time, my tastes were not terribly well-evolved and I found myself slightly off-put but the difference in flavor between the rutabaga and a typical white potato. Without even tasting them anew, I immediately knew that my current adult palate would welcome these atypical root vegetables, such as rutabaga and turnips… especially when I discovered how relatively low they are in carbs. Rutabaga is only 9g/100g and turnips a measely 6g/100g. That’s even better than the 12g/100g in the butternut squash that forms the basis of my newly beloved squ-oodles! Both these vegetables have a similar consistency to butternut squash in that they are more substantial than the flimsier and more likely to spoil zucchini. They are also cheaper and easier to prepare for spiralizing than butternut. They can both be peeled simply like a potato and there are no seeds to carve out. Once my backyard supply of butternut squash runs out, I’ll need a more cost effective alternative to keep me through the winter, and both are worthy candidates.

As follows is my Beef Bolognese, a compilation of my favorite aspects of all the Bolognese recipes I evaluated online. I served it over spiralized rutabaga (rutab-oodles!), but it could certainly be served with any spiralized vegetable or with regular pasta.

Beef Bolognese with rutab-oodles!

Beef Bolognese with rutab-oodles!


2 tablespoons bacon fat
2 onions
3 cloves chopped garlic
2 stalks celery
1 (28 ounce) can chopped tomatoes
1 (6oz) can tomato paste
1 cup beef stock or one boullion cube
1 cup red wine
1 tbsp dried parsley
1 tbsp paprika
1 tsp oregano
1/2 tsp dried thyme
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
dash ground clove
dash ground nutmeg
2 lb beef, ground or cubed
2 bay leaves
salt and pepper, to taste

Heat bacon fat in a medium-large saucepan, or in the bottom of a crockpot. Add the chopped onion, garlic and celery. Saute until soft.

Add the tomatoes (discard liquid if using a crockpot) and tomato paste. Add the beef stock if using a saucepan, or a beef bouillon cube if using a crockpot. Add the wine and spices up to and including the nutmeg. Process with an immersion blender, if desired, to puree the vegetables into a smooth sauce.

Add the beef cubes after pureeing, and then the bay leaves, salt and pepper. Cover and simmer on low fire (in crockpot, low or high is fine, depending on how soon you want it to be ready; generally 4 hours on high or 8 hours on low) until beef is done. Ground beef simply should be cooked, cubed beef should be done enough to shred easily with a fork.

Serve over pasta or vegetables. Garnish with parmesan cheese.

Carbs and Calories in Vegetables, and other ingredients

As I contemplate how to lower the carbs in favorite dishes by using substitutions like spiralized vegetables for noodles or chopped up cauliflower for rice or potatoes, I find it useful to look up precisely how many carbs are in these vegetables. Sometimes I’ve been quite surprised! My preconception of how carb-tastic (or not) a particular vegetable may be sometimes takes me by surprise.

VegetablesIt started when I picked up a small sack of sweet potatoes, intending to spiralize them into lower-carb noodles for serving with a favorite cheese sauce. I was right at the start of my new low-carb diet, and I was excited and proud of myself for finding a great compromise: a vegetable I really liked to substitute for the pasta I was craving. Just out of curiosity, though, I looked up sweet potato nutritional facts… as it turned out they are LOWER-carb, but actually not that far away from pasta itself.

As I continue to look up various vegetables and other foods, I find myself back-tracking a lot (“… wait, what was the carb count on that again?”), so I’ve decided to make a compendium. I make no claims to super accuracy here; this compendium is just the result of my casual research on Google, and when necessary, other nutritional info and calories counting sites. If anyone begs to differ on any of these items, by all means, let me know and send me some more reliable research.

In this compendium, I use as my baseline 100g of each food item. I have found it very enlightening to equalize the amounts of each item, since the serving sizes many nutritional charts use vary widely from food to food. I want to know how the EXACT SAME amount compares. I also like to use 100g, because the carb counts are also listed in grams, so mathematically it boils down to a percentage. It helps me to consider what percentage of any food is carbs for purposes of comparison/contrast.

Finally, I’ve also included the calorie count for the same amount of each item (yes, calories, I unfortunately haven’t forgotten about you completely… sigh…). Some foods, it turns out, may not be so far away in carb content, but have a bigger deficit in calories. Butternut squash vs. white potatoes, for instance. They aren’t miles away in carb count, but the calorie difference is quite a gulf! I’m going to start this compendium as a scaling list from low to high, but I hope eventually to duplicate it in alphabetical order, as well.


100g lettuce 2.9g 1.3g 1.6g 15
100g celery 3g 1.6g 1.4g 16
100g zucchini 3.1g 1g 2.1g 17
100g yellow summer squash 3.3g 1.1g 2.2g 16
100g white mushrooms 3.3g 1g 2.3g 22
100g radish 3.4g 1.6g 1.8g 16
100g cucumber 3.6g 0.6g 3g 16
100g spinach 3.6g 2.2g 1.4g 23
100g calabash bottle gourd 3.7g 0.5g 3.2g 15
100g tomato 3.9g 1.2g 2.7g 18
100g asparagus 3.9g 2.1g 1.8g 20
100g portobello mushroom 3.9g 1.3g 2.6g 22
100g daikon radish 4.1g 1.6g 2.5g 18
100g bell pepper 4.6g 1.7g 2.9g 20
100g cauliflower 5g 2g 3g 25
100g eggplant 6g 3g 3g 25
100g cabbage 6g 2.5g 3.5g 25
100g kohlrabi 6g 3.6g 2.4g 27
100g turnips 6g 1.8g 4.2g 28
100g pumpkin 6g 0.5g 5.5g 26
100g green beans 7g 3.4g 3.6g 31
100g scallion 7g 2.6g 4.4g 32
100g broccoli 7g 2.6g 4.4g 34
100g strawberries 8g 2g 6g 33
100g onion 9g 1.7g 7.3g 40
100g brussel sprouts 9g 3.8g 5.2g 43
100g rutabaga 9g 2.3g 6.7g 38
100g delicata squash 9g 4g 5g 40
100g acorn squash 10g 1.5g 8.5g 40
100g blackberries 10g 5g 5g 43
100g carrot 10g 2.8g 7.2g 41
100g beetroot 10g 2.8g 7.2g 43
100g edamame, cooked 10g 5g 5g 122
100g butternut squash 12g 2g 10g 45
100g kabocha squash 13g 3.6g 9.4g 60
100g apples 14g 2.4g 11.6g 52
100g blueberries 14g 2.4g 11.6g 57
100g peas 14g 5g 9g 81
100g pears 15g 3.1g 11.9g 57
100g coconut 15g 9g 6g 354
100g peanuts 16g 8g 8g 567
100g shallot 17g 3.2g 13.8g 72
100g white potato 17g 2.2g 14.8g 77
100g parsnip 18g 4.9g 13.1g 75
100g ginger 18g 2g 16g 80
100g fava beans, raw 18g 8g 10g 88
100g sweet corn 19g 2.7g 16.3g 86
100g sweet potato 20g 3g 17g 86
100g black beans, cooked 24g 8g 16g 130
100g cooked pasta 25g 25g 131
100g garbanzo beans, cooked 27g 8g 19g 164
100g yams 28g 4g 24g 118
100g white rice, cooked 28g 0.4g 27.6g 130

Am I missing something? I wracked my brain for as many vegetables as I could think of, plus a few other things for comparison, but if there’s anything I forgot, I’m happy to add it. Let me know in the comments section and I’ll add in a detail line.