Kohlrabi Slaw with cherries

2016-07-04 12.08.54One of the cool things about using a CSA provider is getting “surprise” veggies you have not cooked previously.  A few weeks ago, Kohlrabi showed up in our box.  Luckily, she sent this recipe along with them.  Kohlrabi are part of the cabbage family, and have an odd sputnik look to them.  (OK, that dated me…)  Here’s a recipe that not only uses them, but is DELICIOUS!  Want a twist on coleslaw?  Here it is, but first, a rundown of the benefits of eating Kohlrabi.  Low in fat, high in fiber, potassium, and a ton of Vitamin C, and they are in season now!

This recipe is low in net carbs (watch out for the dried cherries, if you eat a lot, it will increase the carbs, and they are yummy!)

 

Kohlrabi Cabbage Cherry Slaw with Maple Lemon Dressing

kolrabislaw.nutritionIngredients:

1 T coconut or avocado oil
¼ cup sunflower seeds
2 medium bulbs Kohlrabi
2 cups shredded green cabbage
1/8 cup dried cherries, I used dried tart cherries
small fistful of coarsely chopped fresh dill (can use dried, 2 tsp)
Dressing:
¼ cup avocado oil or extra virgin olive oil
1½ to 3 tablespoons pure maple syrup (use less for less carbs)
juice of 2 lemons
zest of 1 lemon
1 clove garlic, minced
¼ tsp. sea salt
freshly ground black pepper to taste

Place 1 tbs. of coconut or avocado oil in a skillet. Sprinkle with salt.  Toast the sesame seeds until lightly brown.

Remove the long stems from the kohlrabi. Then, trim away the thick green skin until you reach the light green to white part that is free of tough fibers.  Shred the kolrabi and the cabbage. I use my food processor, but you can also shred them in the medium holes of a box grater.

Combine the kohlrabi, cabbage, cherries, sunflower seeds, and dill in a large serving bowl.

In a small jar with a tight-fitting lid or a blender, combine the olive oil, maple syrup, lemon zest, lemon juice, garlic, salt, and pepper. Shake to thoroughly combine.

Pour the dressing over the salad and toss to coat well.  Let sit for about 20 minutes before serving. Enjoy!

For more info on kohlrabi, click the pic below:

kohlrabi

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Black Bean and Corn Salad

blackbean.mainI love this salad for a few reasons:  it uses all that is summer, it provides protein, and it can be made ahead.  In fact, it is BETTER if you let it sit for a few hours in the frig.  We can make a batch of this and it keeps a few days in frig. Not to mention it is really pretty!

If you are staying away from all carbs, omit the corn and add some diced jicama.

Ingredients

1 cup fresh cooked corn (I used two cobs), cooled and cut (can use frozen organic corn also)

4 green onions or scallions (white parts only) chopped fine OR ¼ cup finely diced red onion

1 can (16 ounces) organic black beans

1 small handful (½ small bunch) of chopped fresh cilantro (or basil if you don’t like cilantro)

1 pint grape tomatoes, sliced in half or quarters (cut large cherry tomatoes into quarters)

~ 20-30 green olives, sliced in half

Dressing:

  • 4 tbsp. lemon juice (can use lime also, but I prefer lemon)
  • ½ tsp. ground cumin
  • ½ tsp. ground coriander
  • ¼ tsp. cayenne pepper
  • 4 tbsp. extra virgin olive oil or walnut oil
  • ½ tsp. ground sumac (optional, but adds a nice burst of lemony flavor)
  • 2 tsp. honey, to taste
  • pinch salt

Finely chop onions.  Drain and rinse the black beans. Add the beans, corn and onions and cilantro to a large mixing bowl.   Stir.  Dressing: In a small glass jar (or bowl), add the lemon juice, cumin, coriander, and cayenne pepper and oil.  Shake or whisk together. Add honey to taste, you may not need it all, you want the dressing to not taste sweet, but honey cuts the vinegar, and helps mellow it out.

Pour dressing over black bean mixture. Stir and put in refrigerator.  Makes a great side dish to grilled veggies or meat, or atop a salad.

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Eileen’s “Tastes Like Summer” Salad

quinoa.123I threw together this salad today that was inspired by a salad we created in the cooking class at Food As Medicine recently.  Using what’s fresh, I gave it a new spin.  Similar to tabbouleh, it makes a great side dish, we had it with lamburgers one night and local wild rice brats on July 4th.  Yes, this does have a few carbs, but good ones. As you make this, keep in mind that any ingredient can be modified.  If you hate cilantro, leave it out, if you adore basil, add more.  If you are addicted to spicy, add some.  You cannot screw this up!  Just go slow and keep tasting it until you like it.

Summer Quinoa Salad

½ cup quinoa, rinsed and cooked (I used white quinoa variety)
1 cup red seedless grapes, halved
1 handful parsley, stemmed and chopped
1 handful cilantro, chopped (stems are ok, they have same flavor as the leaf!)
1 small bunch of basil
1 handful mint, stemmed and chopped
¼ Cup Olive Oil (up to ¹/3 cup if needed)
¼ cup Fresh Lemon Juice (up to 1/3 cup if needed)
¼ red onion, diced or 4 green onions sliced thinly
2 tsp. coriander
½ tsp. fresh ground black pepper or aleppo red pepper
½ tsp. cumin
1 tsp. sumac (optional:  but this middle eastern spice adds a great lemony flavor)*
1 tsp. sea salt
1-2 T honey, to taste

It is best if you hand chop these, it really doesn’t take long.  BUT, if pressed for time, you can put all the fresh herbs in the food processor and pulse CAREFULLY with the pepper until small.  One pulse at a time, or you’ll have paste. Add the cooked quinoa and raw green onion or red onion.  Now the fun begins.

Put all the spices in front of you.  Start with a little salt, olive oil, and lemon juice.  Stir it up, taste it.  Now add the coriander, the cumin, sumac and the pepper.  Taste it again.  You may want more cumin (I like the way this tastes with more coriander, but that is a personal preference).  If it is too tart, add honey, if it isn’t “wowing” you or tastes bland, it may need more salt.  Too spicy?  Add a bit of oil or honey.  Keep working, stirring until you get the taste you want.  Do not be afraid of spices, they are your friend!

I’ve made this twice last week.  The grapes make it much more interesting that the usual tabbouleh type salads.  Today I added julienned kale for a larger salad.  Options: Add cooked chicken, tofu or fish for a meal.  Add chopped apple, or berries.  Don’t be afraid to experiment.

Have fun!  Happy Summer!

PRINTABLE RECIPE HERE

LINK: * Why you should have sumac in your spice cabinet.

Quinoa Options:

Go to jovial.com for more info or to order wheatberries

Instead of quinoa, use Einkhorn Wheatberrys. You can’t eat this if you have gluten intolerance, but I make an exception in our diet for Einkhorn Wheat, which is MUCH less reactive and if you only have it once/month, won’t disrupt your insulin and sugar levels.

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Shallot Vinaigrette

shallot.dressing2I have resorted to making most of my salad dressings these last several years because salad dressings have lots of hidden SUGAR.  Just look at your favorite dressing, many have HFCS in them (high fructose corn syrup) and most are full of preservatives.

Here’s an easy dressing that is worth the prep time (~15 min) and will last about a week in your frig. Everyone who has had it raves about it, so I think I’m on to something.  If, when you’re done it is too vinegary, just add a bit more oil or a teaspoon of honey.

This is an adaptation of JJ Virgin’s recipe.  It is helpful to have a really good blender for this recipe.  You cannot create it without one.

2016 update:  I also want to add that this recipe can change VASTLY if you have huge shallot bulbs.  See my notes below.  A friend made this when I first posted it and it was awful, but her shallot bulbs were HUGE.  I use small shallot bulbs, the size of a garlic clove.  You can use the big ones, you just have to size them down.   PRINTABLE COPY

Ingredients:

3-5 shallot bulbs (the size of a garlic clove – if you have huge ones, use ½ or 1 and add more) finely chopped (at least quartered) start with 3 small and you can always add more, but they vary in intensity
½ cup champagne vinegar (or your favorite, but NOT balsamic, it is too strong)
2-3 T dijon mustard (depending on how much you like the mustard flavor to be strong or weak)
2 T capers, including liquid
½ teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 cup walnut oil (my favorite oil for salad dressings, be sure it is fresh and keep it in the frig)
honey if necessary (see below)

Place all ingredients in the blender. I usually start with vinegar, capers and shallots. As you can see here, I have 4 “bulbs”, which I’ve trimmed the outer skin.

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Then add mustard and salt. Finally, add oil.

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This will create a light yellow dressing that coats lightly and tastes much more interesting that the usual vinaigrettes!

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You may need to tweak this due to the vinegar or the shallots, which can vary in intensity.

If when you taste the dressing it is too vinegary,  add 1-3 tsp of honey  and check again.
If it still feels to vinegary, you can add a bit more oil.  Don’t be afraid to taste it!
It should be tangy and taste faintly of mustard.  If you like things spicy, you can add more pepper, or even a few drops of Tabasco.

CLICK HERE FOR A PRINTABLE PDF OF THE RECIPE

New Age Waldorf Salad

Waldorf Salad got its name from the Waldorf  Hotel in NYC.  It was very famous in the early 20th century when salad was a block of iceberg lettuce with Thousand Island (Russian) dressing and maybe a tomato garnish.  I’ve created, based on recipes in the Ultrametabolism Cookbook, and others I’ve seen, a mayo-less and somewhat healthier Waldorf salad.  You can experiment with fresh herbs, I especially like tarragon in this one, it goes very well with the fennel, which gives it a sweet flavor, with a crunch similar to celery.

Ingredients:

3 apples, diced – I use gala, but you can use any firm fleshed apple, I don’t peel
1 bulb fennel, diced
3 stalks celery hearts, diced (the lighter, less bitter inside stalks of a celery bunch)
1 cup toasted walnut pieces (just pop in a pan and toast until they begin to brown, set aside)
½ cucumber, preferably english, peeled, seeded and chopped
2 Shallots, grated or diced very, very fine
2 handfuls of golden raisins (optional)

Dressing:

¼ cup walnut oil*
~ 1 – 2 T of  Balsamic syrup OR regular white balsamic vinegar, 2-3 T
juice of ½ lemon, preferably fresh
1 T fresh chopped tarragon leaves, or 1 teaspoon dried
Salt, freshly cracked pepper

waldorf.webMix everything together except for dressing ingredients.  Using an empty jar, make dressing.  Shake and taste.  If it is too vinegary, add a pinch of Stevia or raw honey, if it is too oily, add another teaspoon of Balsamic.  Shake it up and taste again.  If it is slightly sweet, but you can taste the bite of vinegar, you’re ready to dress the salad.

Mix all ingredients in a bowl.  Serve chilled or room temp.  Best if it has about an hour or so to sit and combine flavors, but you can serve immediately if time doesn’t allow.  Will keep in frig for about 3 days.  This is great as a lunch entrée on a bed of greens, or as a side dish.

Variations:  Add a bit of curry powder, add a cup of diced firm tofu, add dried cherries, coconut or currants, or cooked chicken.
Keep in mind the walnuts are your protein source in this, so adding meat isn’t necessary.
* Keep all nut oils in the refrigerator, they spoil (go rancid) quickly.

Printable Waldorf Salad Recipe

 

 

Cucumber Radish Salad

Radishes were never big on my “have to have list”.  As you can see by the photo below, these are the tiny, spring radishes that you can find at the Farmer’s Market, where I found these last June.  Together with small cucumbers (I buy the mini kind, packaged in 5/6 to a package and fairly symmetrical in size), these make an unbelievably yummy, crunchy salad.  If you can’t get miniature cukes, use english or regular.  If you use larger cukes, cut in half lengthwise and seed them first.  Then cut into moons.  Worth it.  Also, if you have time, sprinkle some salt on them, let them drain for 30 minutes, rinse and towel dry.  The more water you can get out makes them crunchier.

Cucumber Radish Spring Salad

Spring Cucumber Radish Salad

Dilled Cucumber Radish Spring Salad

 

  • 4-5 mini cucumbers (or 1 English or 1 large regular)
  • 1 bunch of spring radishes (you can use any radish, the key is slicing them THIN)
  • 2-3 tablespoons rice vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon mirin (do NOT use mirin that contains corn syrup, use REAL mirin — Eden Foods makes a nice one)*
  • 2 teaspoons toasted sesame oil
  • sea salt
  • fresh snipped dill weed (you can use dried, but fresh is better), approx 1 T fresh minced
  • 1-2 tsp honey, to taste, depending on how sweet you want it

*if you can’t find mirin without corn syrup, use a bit more rice vinegar

Instructions:

  1. Wash the radishes and cucumbers. Trim off the ends. Thinly slice the radishes.
  2. Peel the cucumber (optional). Halve the cucumber lengthwise if using large ones and seed them (don’t need to seed mini ones, as you can see in pic). Then thinly slice into circles or half-moons.
  3. Place in a bowl, add rice vinegar, and sesame oil and dill weed.  Salt and agave to taste.
  4. Serve room temp or chilled, your preference.  You can add small thin slices of red onion to this also.

This makes a fabulous first course, or a side dish to grilled fish, or meats.