Tag Archive | kohlrabi

Saffron Quinoa with Steamed Veggies

Saffron Quinoa

I looove quinoa mostly because it is sweet (tastes like corn to me) and texturized. It’s such an easy and delicious complete plant protein that all it needs is some side veggies.

Saffron, fresh oregano, lemon rind, and the little bit of heat from the red chili pepper make this dish sing, in spite of its simplicity. It has a very mediterranean feel, warm and extremely tasty.

The pumpkin seed paste works very well with the kohlrabi, but even more so with the broccoli; it snuggles into the fibrous florets, coating them luxuriously, and creating a texture sensation that’s both creamy and tantalizing. It’s one of my favourite ways to dress broccoli. The hint of lemon juice in the paste, picks up well the lemon rind in the quinoa, tying the whole dish  together beautifully.

If you don’t have time to make the paste, a little dressing of olive oil, salt, and black pepper works well on steamed veggies. When I make the paste, I freeze it in batches of individual tablespoons for such occasions. The pumpkin paste really does take simple steamed vegetables to a very exciting place really fast, so it’s worth a try!

Topped with the hearty choice of vegetables (kohlrabi, celery root, and broccoli), the dish is extremely satisfying. My mouth wanted more, but my tummy was telling me it was full. It’s a nice, fast weeknight treat.

Serves 3

Ingredients:

Saffron Quinoa:
Olive oil 3 + 1 tbsp
Onion, red, chopped 1/2
Garlic, cloves, minced 2
Chili pepper, red, half of the seeds removed, chopped 1
Quinoa 1.5 cups
Water 3 cups
Saffron 3-4 pinches
Lemon, rind 1
Salt 1 tsp
Black pepper
Oregano, fresh, sprigs, chopped 3
Steamed Veggies:
Broccoli, heads, medium, cut into medium pieces 3
Kohlrabi, medium, sliced 3
Celery root, sliced 1/2
Pumpkin seed paste (see link for recipe) 2-3 tbsp
Olive oil Drizzling
Salt
Black pepper
  1. Prepare veggies for steaming.
  2. In a medium pot, over medium heat, heat 3 tbs of olive oil.
  3. Add onion and sauté until translucent approximately 5-7 minutes.
  4. Add garlic and red chili pepper and cook for a couple of minutes.
  5. Add quinoa and toast for a couple of minutes.
  6. Add water (check package to ensure you are using the right amount of water for your brand of quinoa).
  7. Bring water to a simmer.
  8. When the water is simmering, add lemon rind, saffron, salt and black pepper.
  9. Reduce heat, cover and simmer for 15 minutes.
  10. Meanwhile, prepare steamer and steam veggies for approximately 15 minutes or to desired crunchiness. Remove veggies from steamer and toss, while still warm, in 2-3 tbsp of pumpkin seed paste, and add: salt, black pepper and a drizzle or two of olive oil to taste.
  11. When quinoa is done, remove from heat and let stand covered for 5 minutes.
  12. Stir oregano and another tablespoon of olive oil into the quinoa.
  13. Serve with steamed veggies.

Winter Salad

Winter Salad

You’ve heard me rant about leafy winter greens, especially those consumed raw in salads. Even when you do manage to get them in pretty good condition, they don’t quite taste the same, understandably so. They’re not in season.

Does that mean I stop eating salads in the wintertime? Absolutely not! It just means I need to think about salads a little differently.

I made this recipe for my mom during her visit and she loved it, so much so, that upon returning home, she went out and bought yellow beets, kohlrabi, and carrots to replicate the salad. It was nice to hear my mom say that as much as she loves salads, she gets tired of eating the same thing all the time. I love the classic Italian salad (olive oil and red vinegar with dried oregano and a touch of salt), but I too need variety. There hasn’t been a salad that I have experimented with that my mom hasn’t liked. I take the opportunity to try new ideas out each time she visits.

So what makes this salad special? The crunch and the robust distinctness of each of these hardy vegetables. Having removed the leafy greens entirely, it’s literally a play of crunch, greatly enhanced by the different cuts (mandolin slicing, strings, and sticks), and the interplay between the unique flavours of the select hard vegetables.

Over the week, I presented this salad in many ways, but my favourite was on a long plate in bunches by vegetable. It really allows you to appreciate the specialty of each vegetable; the salad gets lost in a melange. So, you can eat by bunch of vegetable or by bite by vegetable. Either way, savour the distinctness of each vegetable.

Each of these vegetables has a unique personality, so the only vinegar that could stand up to the collective robustness of the vegetables was the crispness of champagne vinegar (white wine vinegar works well too) and the only other thing the veggies needed were the sweetness of the chives and the little hit of heat from the chill pepper.

This is one of my favourite salads. Consisting mostly of root vegetables, it is not only satisfying, but yummy crunchy!

Serves 2

Ingredients:

Fennel, bulb, sliced (preferably with a mandolin)  1/2
Endive, leaves  10
Beets, orange, medium, sliced (preferably with a mandolin)  2
Carrots, small, cut into swirls  2 (or 1 large one)
Kohlrabi, medium, cut into sticks  1
Chive Vinaigrette:
Olive oil 4 tbsp
Vinegar, champagne 2 tbsp
Mustard, Dijon 1/2 tsp
Chives, chopped, sprigs 10 + more for garnishing
Pepper, chile, small, hot, chopped (seeds removed) 1
Garlic, clove 1
Salt 1/4 tsp
Black pepper 1/4 tsp

1. Using a hand blender, combine all vinaigrette ingredients until the chives and chili pepper are pureed.

2.  Slice and chop all the veggies. Divide ingredients in half and display vegetables in a pile separately on a plate. Drizzle with vinaigrette. Garnish with chives.