Kohlrabi

CABBAGE, KOHLRABI AND RADISH SALAD

CABBAGE, KOHLRABI AND RADISH SALAD

It has been a while since my last blog entry. The main reason of my silence was a broken computer. It made me realise its importance in my life. Luckily none of my data was lost but to avoid further worries I am, from now on, going to back up everything.

My diploma firmly in hand I have finally started my nutritional therapy practice. For couple of weeks it felt as if I was drowning in paperwork. With true passion I hate filling out forms! It has all been worth it as I am up and running, eagerly embarking on a profession that fills me with joy.

One of my lecturers said that once you start seeing clients you get addicted to the feeling. Helping people truly is addictive. I believe that people are starting to realise that their health is in their hands and are seeking guidance.

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To kick off my new beginning here is a salad full of wonderful phytochemicals called glucosinolates. During chopping, grating and chewing glucosinolates are broken down to form biologically active compounds such as insoles nitriles, thiocyanates, and isothiocyanates. These phytochemicals have shown some potent anticancer properties. This salad has 3 different cruciferous vegetables so you can get a big dose of glucosinolates.

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CABBAGE, KOHLRABI AND RADISH SALAD
Big dose of raw cruciferous vegetables!

1 red onion
2 Tbs fruity vinegar (I used lingonberry)

1/2 white cabbage
1 kohlrabi
12-15 small red radishes (about 1 cup)
handful of pecan nuts

Dressing
juice of 1 orange
2 medjol dates
2 Tbs fruity vinegar (I used lingonberry)
2 Tbs olive oil

ingredients
  • Slice the red onion as thinly as you can, in a small bowl mix with the vinegar and a pinch of salt and let sit for at least 30 minutes, longer if you can.
  • Using a food processor (or a grater) grate the cabbage, kohlrabi and radishes.
  • Prepare the vinegar by blending all the dressing ingredients in a blender till smooth.
  • In a large bowl mix together the grated vegetables, onion, pecans and dress with the dressing.
  • Keeps well in the fridge for several days.
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WASABI KOHLRABI APPLE SALAD

WASABI KOHLRABI APPLE SALAD

After numerous bowl of courgette (zucchini) noodles I thought I should use my spiraliser on something else. Apples in a fruit bowl and a green kohlrabi in the fridge, I thought why not? Making apple noodles was very easy with a firm apple (not so easy when I tried it with a softer one...). The kohlrabi was easy until I got about 2/3 of the way and the spiky part of my spiraliser decided it didn’t want to cooperate any more. I did managed to get to the end with sheer determination... and without spiralising my own fingers...

Of course you could use a grater or one of those julienne peelers to prepare the kohlrabi and apple if you don't have every kitchen gadget going like I do. I love the long thin noodles spiraliser makes but the salad will taste fab whichever way it is prepared.

Apple and kohlrabi turned out to be a fantastic combination. The sweetness of the apple combined with the tart apple is a marriage made in heaven. The crucial thing is that the apple is tart and crisp. I have made this salad with a sweeter apple and it didn’t work as well.

Make the dressing first as the apple may discolour if left standing waiting to be dressed (or sprinkle with half the lime juice). You want to preserve the crisp colour of the salad. Garnished with black sesame seeds it looks quite striking. And will keep in the fridge for a couple of days. Serve it as you would coleslaw, or with a hunk of soya and ginger marinated baked tofu.


kohlrabi-apple

WASABI KOHLRABI APPLE SALAD

1 medium to large kohlrabi
1 large firm apple, preferably tarter one
juice 1 lime
1-2 tsp wasabi paste (according to taste)
1-2 tbs water (or more if the dressing seems too thick)
1 Tbs tamari
1 tsp coconut sugar (or coconut syrup)
2 Tbs almond butter
black sesame seed for garnish

  1. Combine the lemon juice, wasabi paste, water, tamari, coconut sugar (or syrup) and almond butter to make a dressing.
  2. Peel and grate the kohlrabi. I used my spiraliser for this job but a grater or food processor will work great too.
  3. Next spiralise or grate the apple.
  4. Place together in a large bowl.
  5. Pour the dressing over the apple and kohlrabi and mix well.
  6. Garnish with black sesame seeds.

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BULGUR WHEAT SALAD WITH CRUNCHY VEGGIES AND HERBS

BULGUR WHEAT SALAD WITH CRUNCHY VEGGIES AND HERBS

Couple days ago, Daily Mail ran a poll on their website. The question asked was: Is a vegan book aimed at children appropriate? (Unfortunately I am unable to find the exact words from the website but this is close enough) When I added my vote to the tally, there was about 10% more people convinced that veganism shouldn’t be taught to children.

The article that started this poll was a review of Ruby Roth’s new book
Vegan is Love. I must give the usually judgmental DM a credit for a well balanced article. There was a quote from Nicole German, an American dietician, who deemed the book dangerous, leading to possible malnutrition in the young impressionable children. Rest of the article was however very reassuring (quoting the likes of Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics) about the safety and health benefits of a well planned vegan diet for children.

Finally the tide seems to be changing and plant based/vegan diets are getting the recognition they deserve, with more and more research confirming their benefits in preventing and even reversing many chronic diseases. Of course not every vegan diet is healthy, chips and Oreos are vegan too.

There were number of comments that followed the article, one especially disagreeing with veganism being promoted to children and calling for charges to be pressed against parents whose child suffers through their negligence. In this case the legal system should brace themselves, there are plenty malnourished obese kids around who suffer by being fed low nutrition calorie dense fast foods. Most vegan parents know far more about nutrition than the average parent, simply because they have to. Yes there are few stumbling blocks, like vitamins B12 or D (in our climate) but there are easy to deal with. In my opinion a plate of lentils with brown rice and veggies on the side is a much healthier meal than Big Mac with chips any day!

As far as the book goes I am planning to order it very soon for my children, we have Ruby’s previous book That’s Why We Don’t Eat Animals, which is a fantastic way to introduce kids to the way animals are treated in today’s food production. Since I started to take dairy out of my diet, I decided not to impose the same decision on my kids. I do cook vegan dishes but if they want a cheese sandwich to take to school I wan’t going to argue. I wanted them to make their own decision. After reading the above book both of them decided to be “more” vegan. They still want to have the option of eating a pizza at friend’s house or at a party. And I will respect that but in a way wish they were never introduced to dairy in the first place.

Amazon US allows to have a peek at some of the pages of the book and from what I saw there is nothing I wouldn’t want my children to know. Such knowledge will lead to a more compassionate way of living. It is a shame that this book is most likely going to end up in vegan/vegetarian households only, it should be in every library and read at schools.

The original article:
http://www.dailymail.co.uk/femail/article-2131090/Ruby-Roths-new-childrens-book-Vegan-Love-sparks-outrage-graphic-images-unhealthy-diet-message.html


BULGUR WHEAT SALAD WITH CRUNCHY VEGGIES AND HERBS

This salad is very lightly dressed just with lemon juice and tiny bit of olive oil, if you want a stronger flavour you could add a tablespoon of white balsamic vinegar. I like to be able to taste all the veggies and herbs without being over powered by dressing.

Serves 4 as a main dish salad.


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ingredients
180g (1 cup) bulgur wheat
375ml (1 and 1/2 cups) just boiled water (or vegetable stock)
1 tin chickpeas, drained
2 medium beef tomatoes, seeded and finely diced
1 small kohlrabi, peeled and finely diced (about 1 cup)
8 radishes, finely diced (about 3/4 cup)
1 small red onion, finely diced
1 Tbs extra virgin olive oil
juice of 1 large lemon
heaped handful (1 cup ) smixture of parsley and mint, finely chopped (I used ration 3-1 parsley to mint)

method
  1. First cook the bulgur wheat; put the grain into a large bowl, pour over the just boiled water (or stock). Cover with cling film and let sit for 10-15 min or until all the water is absorbed.
  2. Add the drained chickpeas to the hot bulgur wheat. Season with salt and let cool down.
  3. In the meantime chop all your vegetables.
  4. Mix all the ingredients into the cooled bulgur-chickpea mixture. Mix well.
  5. Serve :)

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KOHLRABI, LETTUCE AND PEA SOUP

KOHLRABI, LETTUCE AND PEA SOUP

Kohlrabi is still rather unknown in the UK. You are lucky to find it at farmers markets or through an organic box scheme. When kohlrabi was discussed on Riverford facebook page many of the comments were full of confusion about this wonderful vegetable.

In the Czech Republic, we have grown up eating kohlrabi, but we don’t really know what to do with a turnip or swede... My preference has always been to eat kohlrabi raw, in salads or just thinly sliced on top of a good piece of bread. When I manage to get one here in the UK (and I get excited when I do), I just peel it, cut it up and enjoy it’s sweet flavour unadulterated. What does it taste like? Similar to a young turnip, but much better, sweeter, crunchier. You could also compare it to the juicy core inside of a broccoli or cauliflower stalk. Yum.

The Czechs also use kohlrabi in broth based soups. Unfortunately as a child I never enjoyed pieces of boiled kohlrabi in my soup. Bad memories aside I thought to reinvent the soup idea and really enjoyed the results. The kohlrabi complements the flavours of tender sweet lettuce and green peas. I think this is a perfect light soup for spring (or summer).

To enjoy the best flavour of raw kohlrabi choose smaller younger ones, about the size of a medium apple. The older and bigger they get (especially towards the end of season, they tend develop rather tough woody texture). My kohlrabi was on the large side (the downside of box scheme - you get what you get), but surprisingly sweet and without any tough woody bits.

As far as nutrition goes, kohlrabi contains great amounts of fibre and Vitamin C, it is also a fantastic source of potassium. Other minerals in Kohlrabi include copper, calcium and phosphorus. As all members of brassica family the sweet crunchy vegetable contains cancer fighting phytochemicals. Give kohlrabi a go!


kohlrabi

KOHLRABI, LETTUCE AND PEA SOUP

ingredients
1 large kohlrabi (mine was 760g - 1 3/4 pound), peeled and diced into 1 inch chunks
1 litre of light vegetable stock
half of a large head of tender sweet lettuce
250ml (1 cup) of peas (I use frozen)
extra peas to add texture (if using frozen just defrost, if fresh cook in a separate pan till tender)

method
  1. In a medium saucepan bring the stock to a boil, add the kohlrabi pieces and cook about 15min till tender.
  2. Wash the lettuce and tear or cut into smaller pieces.
  3. If using a good blender pour the stock with the kohlrabi into the blender, add lettuce and 1 cup of peas, season and process till smooth.
  4. If using a stick blender, add the peas and lettuce into the stock let heat up but don’t boil and blend with your stick blender.
  5. Add the extra peas (about 2 Tbs per portion) and serve. ( I have defrosted the peas by pouring just boiled water over them)

kohlrabisoup

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