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Monday, January 5, 2009

Kohlrabi, Pac Choi, Broccoli Leaves


Kohlrabi is a crispy, sweet tasting, delicate flavored member of the Brassica family of vegetables. It’s a distinctive looking vegetable, with a ball-like shape, pale green and purple-tinged, marked by points where the leaf-stems attached. Small kohlrabi bulbs which are young and tender generally do not require peeling. Medium to larger sizes should be peeled to remove the tough outer skin. The bulb can be sliced, cut into quarters, cubes or julienne strips and steamed until crisp-tender or sauté kohlrabi in butter or olive oil, or boil and mash like potatoes. The whole peeled kohlrabi can be added to braised dishes and stews. The crisp flesh can be served raw in salads, as a relish, or as a crunchy accompaniment to dips. The kohlrabi has delicious leaves that are tender and excellent in salads or stir-fried.

With only 36 calories, one cup of raw kohlrabi has nearly 5 grams of fiber and is an excellent source of Vitamin C and a good source of Potassium. Kohlrabi contains important phytochemicals such as indoles, sulforaphane and isothiocynates. Indoles are believed to be potentially significant anti-cancer compounds and are found in other cruciferous vegetables, including broccoli, Brussels sprouts, cabbage and cauliflower. These plant compounds are not destroyed in cooking, and the bioactivity of indoles may actually be increased by cooking.

Avocado and Kohlrabi Salad


3 medium kohlrabi bulbs
1 ripe avocado, diced
1 lime juiced
1/4 c. chopped green onions
1 Tbsp balsamic vinegar
2 Tbsp olive oil
1/4 tsp garlic powder
1/4 feta cheese crumbles (optional)
salt and pepper, to taste

Peel the kohlrabi by cutting off the top and bottom, and peeling with a potato peeler. Shred with the large hole blade in the food processor. Mix together lime juice and diced avocados. Whisk together green onion, balsamic vinegar, oil, garlic powder, and salt and pepper to taste. Pour dressing over kohlrabi and mix. Add diced avocados and feta cheese.

Kohlrabi Hash Brown Fritters

4 medium kohlrabi bulbs washed, peeled

1 small onion, chopped

2 eggs slightly beaten

2 Tablespoons dried breadcrumbs

1 teaspoon salt

½ c chopped green onions

1 tsp garlic powder

2 Tbsp olive oil

Shred kohlrabi (a food processor or salad shooter is great for this task); squeeze out excess moisture. Combine all ingredients except oil in a large mixing bowl; stir until well blended. Heat oil in a large skillet. Sauté kohlrabi mixture in batches (I like to use a cookie scoop to portion out the mixture); sautéing until golden, about 4 minutes per side. Drain on paper towels. Serve with a bowl of yogurt or sour cream with chopped chives as a condiment. Serve with: Plain nonfat Greek yogurt or sour cream with chopped chives.

Pac Choi and Broccoli Florets Stir Fried with Garlic Sauce

1 Pac Choi or Bok Choy head, sliced and chopped into thin strips
3-4 c. of broccoli florets
3 Tbsp soy sauce

2 Tbsp Sherry wine
2 Tbsp chicken or veggie broth
1 Tbsp cornstarch
2 tsp chili paste
1 tsp sugar
2 Tbsp canola oil
1/2 c. chopped green onion
2 tsp minced fresh ginger
1 Tbsp minced garlic
1/2 red pepper, optional
Salt and Pepper, to taste

Blanch the broccoli florets in boiling water for 2 minutes and drain. Combine soy sauce, wine, broth, cornstarch, chili paste, and sugar together in a small bowl. Heat the oil in a wok and stir fry the green onion , ginger, garlic, and red pepper together for 2 minutes. Add the broccoli and pac choi and stir fry for 1 minute more. Add the sauce mixture and stir fry until the vegetables are crisp tender. Add salt and pepper to taste.

Broccoli leaves

When you buy broccoli at the store the leaves have already been removed, but they are entirely edible and an excellent source of vitamins and minerals. Broccoli leaves are a good source of Protein, Thiamin, Niacin, Pantothenic Acid, Calcium, Iron and Selenium, and a very good source of Vitamin A, Vitamin C, Riboflavin, Vitamin B6, Folate, Magnesium, Phosphorus, Potassium and Manganese. A serving of 100 grams provides a RDA of 320% Vitamin A and 155% Vitamin C.

To see the complete nutritional profile click here: http://www.nutritiondata.com/facts/vegetables-and-vegetable-products/2815/2

I like to cook broccoli leaves the same way that I cook collard greens.

Garlicky Rolled Broccoli Leaves/Collard Greens

The technique of rolling the broccoli/collard leaves tightly together makes slicing easier.


1 lb broccoli leaves or collard greens
1 Tbsp olive oil
1 cup finely chopped onion

2 garlic cloves, minced

vegetable broth as needed
salt and pepper to taste
hot pepper sauce to taste

red pepper flakes to taste

Cilantro, chopped to taste

Remove stems from broccoli/collard greens. Wash and pat dry. Stack 4 or 5 leaves together, and roll up tightly. Cut across the rolled greens, slicing thinly (chiffonade). Heat oil in a large Dutch oven with a medium flame. Add onion and garlic; sauté 4-5 minutes until lightly browned. Add broccoli/collard greens, cook for 15-25 minutes or until desired level of tenderness is reached, stirring frequently. You can add broth if the greens become too dry. Add salt, pepper, red pepper flakes, hot sauce, and cilantro to taste; cook 2 minutes.