CSA Week 3 :: All That Lettuce and Kohlrabi Too

lettuce wrap

 

So by now you’re probably wondering what to do with all that lettuce?  Am I right?  Two weeks ago, you were thinking… thank heavens fresh greens… and now you are wondering what can I do with all this lettuce besides my usual salad.  In honor of our third week of lettuce, here are a few recipes for shaking up your lettuce routine a little bit.

Leaf lettuce make great wraps and substitutes for bread or salad bowls.  You can wrap just about anything in leaf lettuce.  Chicken, egg or tuna salads.  Taco salads, buffalo chicken, black beans and avocado (pinch a little cilantro out of the herb garden for this one!), cashew chicken, the possibilities are endless.  Instead of your typical BLT sandwich, wrap your B and your T inside your L.  You can even slice your head lettuce in half and slap it on the grill.  Just coat it with some olive oil and your choice of seasonings or a vinaigrette and grill, flipping each minute or two until browned and then serve whole or chopped in a salad.

PicMonkey Collage

RECIPES:   Classic Wilted Lettuce, Shrimp Lettuce Wraps with Peanut Dressing, BLT Lettuce Wraps, Chicken Cashew Lettuce Wraps, Taco Lettuce Wraps, 15 more lettuce wraps.


kohlrabi-1

KOHLRABI:  Okay, so the web search showed up about a dozen responses to Kohlrabi that were something along the lines of ” a vegetable that looks like it came from Mars” to “What the heck do I do with this strange stuff in my CSA box?”  I have to admit to never having tried Kohlrabi before.  So here is what I’ve learned.  Kohlrabi is in the Brassica family, the same family as cabbage, broccoli, cauliflower and brussel sprouts.  Do you see a bit of the family resemblance?  It originated in northwestern Europe, most likely in Germany. In fact, the name kohlrabi is made up of two German words: kohl meaning cabbage and rübe meaning turnip. The word kohlrabi literally translates to “cabbage turnip.” However, unlike the turnip, kohlrabi is not a root vegetable. The large bulb is actually part of the stem, not the root system.

So what is so good about this absurdly strange vegetable?  It’s another of those “powerhouse” vegetables I keep referring to.

Kohlrabi is a carbohydrate-rich food. It has approximately 8 grams of carbohydrates and almost 5 grams of this is from dietary fiber. Because of this, it is not only a good source of energy but it is also beneficial for good digestion. Looking to lose a little weight?  Here you go at 36 calories in a cup.  And those 5 grams of fiber in that little shell  help promote bowel regularity by maintaining healthy intestines and colon. Fibers are also important in preserving the population of good bacteria. All these functions help contribute in lowering the risk of digestive problems, hemorrhoids and colon cancer.

In addition, a cup of raw kohlrabi contains approximately 140% of the RDA for vitamin C which is an instant immune system boost.  Add to that a host of the B vitamins, such as vitamin B6, thiamin, riboflavin, niacin, pantothenic acid and folate, these play a role in increasing metabolic rates and maintaining healthy skin and hair.  Then, it’s high in potassium. The reason that’s a big deal? Increased potassium intake & decreased sodium is associated with reduced blood pressure levels and increased bone mineral density.  Potassium is also associated with muscle and nerve functions. It assists in storing carbohydrates, which are used as fuel by the muscles. Nerve transmissions and nerve excitability relies heavily on an adequate level of potassium in the body.


PREP TIME: Here’s the benefit to Kohlrabi versus all those greens we’ve been getting. Kohlrabi can be kept at room temperature for 2-3 days. However, If you wish to keep them fora  few more days, then keep them in the refrigerator.  Just before cooking, remove any leaves and trim the stem ends. The leaves can be added to salads or sauteed greens. Peel the skin using paring knife into slices or cubes, depending on the recipe.


RECIPES:  The round bulbs can be steamed, stuffed or stir-fried; added to soups; or sliced and baked. Raw kohlrabi “chips” are crisp, sweet and mildly tangy, making them sensational with vegetable dips, or in salads and slaws. And don’t forget the greens: They make tasty, nutritious additions to salads and stir-fries.

KOHLRABI FRITTERS WITH YOGURT DILL SAUCE
{courtesy of The Blooming Glen Beet}kohl

Yogurt Dill Sauce
1/3 cup yogurt
3 Tablespoons chopped fresh dill
1 teaspoon lemon juice and salt to taste

Combine ingredients and chill up to 30 minutes before serving.

Kohlrabi Fritters
Shred 4 kohlrabi bulbs into a colander and sqeeze out excess moisture. In a separate bowl combine 2 beaten eggs,3 Tablespoons dried bread crumbs1/4 cup chopped spring onion (you can add in some green garlic too if you have it), 1 teaspoon of salt, 1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper and black pepper to taste. Add kohlrabi by the spoonful and mix until egg is coating the entire mixture. Heat 4 Tablespoons of olive oil in skillet until small bubbles appear. Form fritter mixture into two-inch balls and drop into skillet. Press gently with spatula to flatten. Cook for 5-7 minutes on each side, or until golden brown.


KOHLRABI TOPS AND BULBS WITH MUSHROOMS AND LENTILS
{Courtesy of Urban Vegan}

1 bunch of kohlrabi bulbs and greenskohl2
1 T plus 1 tsp olive oil
6 cloves garlic, sliced
2 tsp smoked paprika
8 oz. sliced mushrooms
1 1/2  cups cooked lentils, or 1 15 oz. can of your favorite beans, drained and rinsed
About 5 scallions greens and whites, sliced
Salt and pepper, to taste

Peel kohlrabi bulbs. Cut into 1/8-inch slices, then julienne. Trim tops and set aside.  Heat oil over medium in a Dutch oven. Add garlic and saute 1 minute.  Stir in Spanish paprika to color the oil and cook for about 4 more minutes or until garlic is soft.  Add mushrooms and kohlrabi bulbs.  Stir, cover and cook for about 10-15 minutes, stirring occasionally, until soft.  Check moisture level from time to time: you may need to add salt and/or water or broth [1 T at a time] if mixture gets dry.  Add greens and scallions. Cook covered until soft, about 15-20 minutes more, again checking moisture level and adding broth or water if it gets too dry. Stir in lentils for the last 5 minutes. Adjust seasonings and serve warm or room temperature.


MORE RECIPES:  Mozzerella and Roasted Kohlrabi Crostini with Lemons and Shallots, Kohlrabi Slaw with Dill, Crispy Kohlrabi Medallions, Grated Carrot, Kohlrabi and Radish Salad, Kohlrabi Turnip Gratin, Kohlrabi Fries


 

 

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