Tag Archives: kohlrabi

Old & New World foods for June & July

Oh, the wonders of the internet!  I’ve ordered some speciality food items online to play with. From the New World, native blue corn hominy and New Mexico Green Chile powder. From the Old World, heirloom dried beans, most of which originated in Europe, Asia and Africa.

Big, dappled Spanish Tolosna beans (pic from Purcellmountainfarm.com).

Big, dappled Spanish Tolosna beans (pic from Purcellmountainfarm.com).

I’m particularly excited to try patterned  beans that hold their color & shape when cooked, and that apparently have distinctive flavors.  Hefty bags of dark fat Scarlet Runner, purple-brown-white Appaloosa, dappled Spanish Tolosna and inky Black Beluga Lentils are in transport this very minute. We’ll see how they cook up! 

California’s Rancho Gordo restaurant & celeb chef is the leading US gourmet heirloom bean proselytizer. Its retail site has very useful detailed descriptions of each bean’s taste. North Bay Trading Co in Wisconsin — yay, a local regional source! — sells organic beans, dried fruit & veg in bulk as does Purcell Mountain Farms in Idaho, which also carries lots of other products.

So here are the DDoW dishes for the next few weeks. It’s your turn to shop online — order DDoW right here. 

[GUIDE:   V= vegan, GF= gluten-free, and P = paleo. 99% dishes have no soy or added sugar.]

June 17 – 21

Roast Parsnip Carrots w/ Rosemary ready to be delivered to DDoW clients (my pic).

Roast Parsnip Carrots w/ Rosemary ready to be delivered to DDoW clients (my pic).

1) Roast Parsnips & Carrots w/ Rosemary (V, GF, P).  Enjoy hot, warm, or cold. Great for breakfast (why not?), on salad greens, mixed with a grain, topped with a fried/poached egg. Extend by adding to a soup or stuffing into burritos & quesadillas.
2) Quinoa & Spring Veg Soup w/ Fennel Pistou (V, GF, P).  A light lemony soup made with whatever’s avail at the Farmers Market such as peas, asparagus, spinach. Pistou is herb garlic paste.

June 24 – 28

An heirloom bean ordered from Purcell Mountain Farms.com  (their pic).

Appaloosa heirloom bean from Purcell Mountain Farms.com (their pic).

1) Heirloom Bean Salad (V, GF). Mottled Appaloosa and other colorful legumes plus purple cabbage in a Dijon Tarragon vinaigrette.
2)  Chermoula Potato Salad (V, GF). My favorite Moroccan paste transforms bland potatoes. It’s not hot-spicy but has such an in-your-face intensity you can’t call it mild, either.  See recipe (scroll down a few recipes).


Imagine blue hominy & white beans swimming in a deep red stew!  (photo from web.)

Imagine blue hominy & white beans swimming in a deep red stew! (photo from web.)

1) Red White & Blue Posole (V, GF).  Medium-spicy pepper & tomato-based stew with blue corn hominy and white beans! 

2) Firecracker Slaw w/ Cilantro Lime Vinaigrette (V, GF, P).  Same as my regular Firecracker Slaw except w/ a different vinaigrette. Lots of shredded crunchy veg & apples makes the perfect picnic side. No dairy means it can sit out for hours, and, it’s low-fat.

July 8 – 12

1) Sesame Barley & Veg Salad (V, contains gluten.)Barley is wonderfully chewy and nutty. Sesame dressing may contain a little peanut butter, too.
2) Minted Daikon & Edamame Salad (V, GF, P, contains soy).  Fresh mint, garlic and rice vinegar make a terrific vinaigrette for refrigerator pickles and green salads. Maybe Kohlrabi if it’s avail.

July 15 – 19

Arroz con gandules, a Puerto Rican staple.

Arroz con gandules, a Puerto Rican staple (pic from Wikipedia).

1) Arroz Con Gandules (V, GF). Puerto Rican national dish of rice & beans punched up by capers & olives. I may substitute another legume for the traditional pigeon peas.
2) Market Surprise.  Green Beans? Cukes? Cold Cucumber Soup? With this late onset of summer, it’s hard to tell what will be at market.

Coming Next: Chile Verdura featuring authentic New Mexico Green Chile, Black Beluga Lentil & Beet Salad, another funky heirloom bean dish, Turkish Tomato Wheatberry Soup….


Pretty in Pink

Assembled salad of seasonal veg & albacore tuna. (My photo.)

Here in the Twin Cities, we are still in the first phase of summer vegetables, where most veg are green, white or red-pink. Although, yellow zucchini are now out.

Albeit not the ‘riot’ of color of late August, these veggies still make for beautiful dishes. And the neat thing about white — cauliflower, kohlrabi, daikon & radish, potato — is that they turn a brilliant pink when marinated with beets or purple cabbage. Plus (I’m stretching it a little but) you’re benefiting from the purple veggies’ antioxidants that have literally rubbed off.

The fuschia rectangles in the center of this pretty salad are chopped kohlrabi marinated with mint vinaigrette & a bit of raw beet. Starting from top are sliced cauliflower, cooked beets, kohlrabi, thin slices of red onion and chunks of albacore tuna, on a bed of romaine & spinach. The pink vinaigrette was then drizzled on top.

Any vinaigrette will do. Just drop a bit of raw beet in the jar and a couple hours later, it’s pink. I like fresh mint vinaigrettes. Mint goes with everything and is an especially nice counterpoint to big bold tomatoey BBQ summer flavors. It’s avail, grows like a weed and is cheap — so use it!

Kohlrabi is from the cabbage family and therefore contains particularly beneficial antioxidants. Best when 3″ in diameter. Unfort, the purple ones are not purple inside!

About Kohlrabi:
A versatile white cruciferous vegetable that has made a recent comeback after decades. When I’m at the Farmers Markets doing demos, as I’ll do tomorrow, Sun July 15th at Kingfield FM (see previous posting), it’s the Minnesotans over the age of 50 who recognize this strange orb.

They say, “oh, we used to eat those straight out of the garden when we were kids!”, or “my dad loves them”. Those under age 50 say, “I wondered what those were? how do you eat it?”

Why? Because kohlrabi were never in grocery stores, the only place where many of us Minneapolitans encountered vegetables in their natural state.

So now we can get acquainted with this mild-mannered, kid-friendly vegetable. It’s part of the cabbage family and grows on top of the ground, with stalks and leaves above it, the reverse of broccoli. Apparently you can eat the leaves but I haven’t tried that yet (the ones available at markets are de-stemmed).

I say it’s like apples but not apple-flavored. Its texture is just like medium-crunchy apples while the taste is like very mild broccoli stalks, neither sweet nor bitter. Very neutral. Which lends itself to snacking as is (peeled) and being combined with sharper flavors.

Why then bother, you might say? Because kohlrabi is — surprise — good for you.  High in fiber, low in calories, and filling. Great munchy texture. Doesn’t get caught in your throat like raw carrots, either.

Nutrition Info: As a member of the cruciferous family, Kohlrabi is high in immune-boosting antioxidants. Cruciferous veg are often called “cancer-killers”.  For instance, kohlrabi packs 140 percent of your daily need of vitamin C into a one-cup, 40-calorie serving. In addition, kohlrabi provides more than 4 percent of your daily requirement of several B vitamins in a standard one-cup serving.

We all know Vitamin C is important, but, did you know, your body cannot store it, so you must replenish your body’s supply continually. And, iron absorption is improved in the presence of vitamin C.

This leads me to Beets + Kohlrabi combinations, besides the fact they’re pretty together. Beets contain about the same amount of Vitamin A as carrots, the main reason carrots are considered so nutritious. However, beets offer — drum roll, please — 6 TIMES MORE IRON than carrots. Yoo hoo women & girls!

Therefore, eating Beets & Kohlrabi together enhances absorption of iron so important to those of us of the female persuasion. So, Power up the Pink!

See my Recipe page for a very easy Minted Asian Kohlrabi Salad, which make great ‘refrigerator pickles’. By the way, this dressing has no oil.

Enjoy kohlrabi in any dish you would use cucumber, celery or apples:

  • obviously, chopped into any and all salads. Try tuna/egg salad.
  • raw snack sticks
  • grated raw, in salads, slaw, or on top of noodle soups like Japanese radish.
  • pickled with ginger or dill
  • stir-frys
  • steamed with butter. Herb butter. Mmmm.
  • roasted
  • stews and soups

    Baked kohlrabi chips! Shredded kohlrabi in muffins!  I’m sure you can think of fun variations, too.



Appearing Live, with Knives, Near You!

Aunty Oxidant at Kingfield Market in So Mpls. That’s kohlrabi in front.

You have 2, repeat, 2 chances to see me demo fresh healthful salads at Farmers Markets this weekend!  Come get free tips, recipe cards and, of course, free food samples.

FRIDAY JULY 13TH, 4.30 – 6.30pm at West Broadway market, on Broadway at Bryant Ave North (few blocks from Hwy 94 Broadway exit). This new-ish satellite market is improving food access in a neighborhood that sorely needs it.

SUNDAY JULY 15TH, 10.30am -1pm at Kingfield market on Nicollet (4300 block across from Anodyne Cafe). This one is aimed squarely at kids. My Lil Locavores show features skits about nutrition and invites kids to make salads w/ me, using craft scissors!

Kohlrabi is from the cabbage family and therefore contains particularly beneficial antioxidants.

July 1st’s demo at Kingfield was great!  People enjoyed Raw Beet & Beet Green Salad in 2 different vinaigrettes and Minted Asian Kohlrabi Salad, then went home with recipe cards to make them at home.

Thanks to Erik Brown Realty for sponsorship of Kingfield’s “The Veggie Butcher” demo series, and for kindly stepping in as #1 chopper.

See Recipe page for these dishes & vinaigrettes and more.

Locavoracious 2

Aunty Oxidant makes Firecracker Salad at the Moving Planet MN350 event at the State Capitol, St Paul, 09-24-11

Saturday was an incredibly beautiful day to be outside, talking to people about sustainable agriculture and buying local, and handing out samples of fresh raw salad made from vegetables I had just bought at the farmers’ market that morning. 

I was exhibiting at the Moving Planet MN350 event in St Paul, one of thousands held simultaneously around the globe to advocate for progressive climate- change policies and actions.

[Guess What? I made it into the Twin Cities Daily Planet article about this event! Mainly a decent photo of me and the salad.]

 I chopped and chatted all afternoon. People snarfed up Firecracker Slaw (see recipe), made with all raw veggies, harvested the day before. This gorgeous salad is sweet & spicy, earthy and crunchy, and features carrots, beets, apples and red onions doused in a smoky chipotle vinaigrette. I also added kohlrabi and cabbage, which stretched it out and added even more crunch.

Kohlrabi puppets

Kohlrabi is very very mild and reminds one of tender broccoli stalks, or of jicama without the sweetness. It’s a good low-cal crunchy filler to add to any salad or stir-fry, or just to eat raw like carrots. I like to make “refrigerator pickles”, Asian-style, with chopped fresh mint, garlic and rice vinegar.

Demos & Classes

Aunty Oxidant and kids making salads at Farmers' Market (photo by Sharon Ramirez)

THIS SUNDAY Aunty Oxidant (that’s me) and the Little Locavore show ride again! I will be demo-ing healthful salads at the Kingfield Farmers Market, one of the best markets in town! Come see me at 10.30am down at 4310 Nicollet Ave, Mpls. It’s open every Sun 8:30 am -1 pm.

I am planning to make — with kids’ assistance — Firecracker Slaw, a gorgeous tasty salad of shredded raw beets, carrots, kohlrabi and apples tossed in a chipotle vinaigrette. It’s sweet & spicy, crunchy & filling and very ‘clean’. FULL of vitamins, antioxidants and fiber fiber fiber. 

Firecracker Slaw: the prettiest slaw you've EVER seen! (my photo)

As my clients and readers know, I am all about Fiber. Fiber is the key to a healthful food lifestyle and a healthy body. It improves heart-health by removing cholesterol & fat from your system, cleans out your colon and makes you feel better. Fiber comes from — surprise — natural whole grains, beans, veggies and fruits, which also contain vitamins and antioxidants. So there you go.

This week I taught a cooking class at the new Rice Street Teen Center run by St Paul Parks & Recreation Dept. My audience was St Paul teens and the topic, unbeknownst to them, was Healthful Snacks. It was a little challenging to come up with dishes that I thought teenagers — vs adults — could easily and inexpensively make at home, ie with readily available, cheap ingredients and short prep times.

This was the resulting lesson plan:
  • fresh salsa w/ market veggies
  • “Texas caviar” aka black bean, corn & veg salad w/ pineapple & lime juice dressing
  • pineapple cream cheese & banana quesadillas
  • banana, peanut butter & craisin balls rolled in sunflower seeds.
The nine teens divided into four teams to make the above, which we served with tortilla chips. We diced fresh green peppers, tomatoes & onions, minced jalapenos, garlic & cilantro and then divided these in half to use in both vegetable dishes. Corn (from frozen), fresh diced cukes and 2 cans of black beans made up the rest of the bean salad. Canned chunked pineapples were strained and mashed with cream cheese, while the pineapple juice went into the bean salad. 

It was lots of fun and the teens took many containers of food home. My next class at Rice Street is in mid-Sept. With the same goal of making easy & inexpensive healthful foods, I’m thinking about Seasoned Oven-fried Potato, Sweet Potato, Rutabaga and Zucchini Spears. Roasting is a wonderful & easy cooking method as well as a healthier (low-fat) way to enjoy root veg. Plus root vegetables are cheap and feed a crowd — you can buy 5# of potatoes for the price of a lg bag of Tater Tots.  So wish me luck! 
I’ll be posting soon about a series of cooking classes that I’m offering at Inver Grove Hts Community Center. They are scheduled on Thursdays from mid-September thru October, to coincide with the mini- Farmers’ Market held in the center’s parking lot! 

If you have any suggestions for foods/dishes that appeal to teens and kids, please include in a comment on this blog, or, email me at tracyksyue@yahoo.com. Thank you!

“Before” photos

For tomorrow’s last Mpls Farmers Market “Little Locavore” show of the season, the kids and I will be making and offering samples of Vegan Wasabi Kohlrabi Herb Potato Salad. We’ll also serve more of last week’s hit Ruby Chocolate Beet Bundt Cake, this time with an icing.

So far, I have only the “Before” photos. Tomorrow, I’ll get pix of the finished products and some feedback from market audience.

New red and purple potatoes!

New red and purple potatoes!

Batter for Ruby Chocolate Bundt cake

Batter for Ruby Chocolate Bundt cake

I’ve been making versions of this vegan potato salad for parties I’ve catered (mentioned in previous posts), but, I have not yet demonstrated it at the Farmers Market shows. Besides boiled potatoes, it includes chopped red onions, celery, radish or kohlrabi for crunch, all bound together by a creamy tofu herb dressing.

It’s vinegary yet creamy, has little crunchy bits to contrast with smooth potato, and tastes of fresh herbs. A delightful,  “lite”, low-fat,  non-dairy version of traditional potato salad.

Tomorrow, for fun, I’m going to mix red and purple new potatoes and add a bit of wasabi to the  dressing, for a little kick. This wasabi dressing is excellent for coleslaw and sliced veggies of any sort. Very refreshing!

Kohlrabi Rhymes with Wasabi

 At the Mpls Farmers Market yesterday, Aunty Oxidant sang a duet with Plain Jane Kohlrabi about how beauty and goodness come from the inside.  [Sure, Jane is pale green and has antennae, but she contains much more antioxidant vitamins A & C and minerals than other more colorful vegetables her size. Plus, she can claim the proud heritage of the Cruciferous Clan, that hardy band of guerrilla fighters, reputed to have fought off roving cancerous cell attacks, and, most famously, freed ye old township of Artery from the Siege of Cholesterol.]  

Meanwhile, back at the Market…. Eager and talented volunteers Vivian, Amaya and Marley used kids’ scissors to dice up slices of kohlrabi, while the slightly older Ethan and Isabelle learned to use paring knives in a grid fashion.  

To make the mint vinaigrette, they plucked fresh mint leaves from stems, peeled a smashed garlic clove, poured a cup of white balsamic vinegar into mini-processor, added a pinch of salt, and pulsed for two choruses of “Happy Birthday to Vivian” (whose birthday is on Aug 27th!). Then the sous chefs tossed it with the diced kohlrabi, spooned the lovely green-flecked salad into little paper cups and served it to admiring adults.

[We used white balsamic this time; it’s mellower and less sour than rice vinegar but still fairly sweet and kid-friendly.]

Admiring adults commented “delicious”, “refreshing and tart”, and “0 points in Weight Watchers!!”  ‘Nuff said.

Isabelle and Vivian really liked the plain kohlrabi, in fact. It tastes like a very mild radish and is fun to crunch. Being bland, it will take on the flavor of whatever it accompanies, and, in its raw form, add crunch and a light ‘clean, grassiness’.

TODAY, inspired by how Kohlrabi rhymes with Wasabi, I am going to make yet another version of this salad, this time with kohlrabi, shredded carrot, rice vinegar, garlic, cilantro, and a dab of wasabi paste. I bet this goes really well with smoky grilled meats. I will report on results anon.