Our What’s in the Box series is back. Insert happy dance! The farms are in full production mode growing a wide variety of veggies to enjoy. At this time of year you’ll find plenty of salad greens, swiss chard, radishes, carrots, onions, garlic and garlic scapes, beets beets and more beets, and…kohlrabi! Kohlrabi is an annual vegetable and comes from the cabbage family. You can eat the bulb and the leaves. This is a great vegetable to give variety to your normal weekly meals. Admittedly I thought it was kind of weird at first and I had no idea what to do with it, but now I look forward to it every year!
THE GOOD STUFF
Kohlrabi is jam packed with vitamin C, B6, magnesium, iron and calcium along with minerals such as potassium, copper and manganese. It’s low in calories and contains a lot of fiber which makes kohlrabi great for the digestive process and helps you feel full. Some day I’ll write about how all these great vitamins and minerals benefit you, but rest assured, they contribute to a healthy heart, anti-oxidant protection, bone strength, vision health, good blood pressure, nerve and muscle function and weight loss to name a few. Just 48 calories per 1 cup!
THE BEST WAYS TO ENJOY
There are a few ways to prepare kohlrabi but I’m (for some unknown reason) not very adventurous with it. I like it raw. Period. And the leaves are outstanding in a stir fry. Big shout out to my mom for the stir fry recipe coming up – I’m borrowing her spin (and excitement) for using kohlrabi in a full, one pot meal.
Raw. The kohlrabi bulb is versatile raw. You’ll want to strip the bulb of the leaves and stems – set aside the leaves for the stir fry! Use kitchen scissors to cut the stalk back to the bulb as close as possible. Thoroughly rinse the bulb. If the skin feels thick and rubbery, get out your vegetable peeler and peel it back, or use a paring knife. You can eat skin, so no worries if you chop it as-is. Just a warning though – the skin can be tough so I would recommend peeling it. From here you have lots of yummy options. You can slice it or cut it into cubes. My personal favorite is to cube it, and then toss it with sliced carrots, sliced radishes, cucumbers and tomato in a creamy dressing. I like Organicville Non-Dairy Ranch. Top with avocado and enjoy.
Add cubed kohlrabi to cole slaw or any other salad. It adds a nice crunch and mild flavor. And extra nutrition!
If you slice it, you can serve it like a caprese salad, drizzled with olive oil, sea salt and pepper. And maybe a sprinkling on garlic. If you have some garlic scapes you can finely slice those and sprinkle on top too. To make this fun spin on a caprese salad, layer with finely sliced cucumber and tomatoes instead of mozzarella.
Stir fry. Super simple and just 6 veggie ingredients. You can have fun here and get creative. I’ll give you the basics, but feel free to jazz it up in your own style. A variety of sauces and herbs can be added to boost the flavor as you sauté the vegetables. The diced kohlrabi will really absorb the flavors and enhance your dish. This recipe should yield about 4 servings. You can always add more veggies – in quantity or variety for more people. The stir fry is best eaten freshly cooked. Serve alone or over rice or noodles.
1 kohlrabi bulb and 6 large leaves, bulb diced and leaves removed from stem & torn into larger pieces (they will shrink like most greens when cooked)
2 – 3 carrots, sliced
6 portobello mushrooms, sliced
1 small red pepper, large dice
2 green onions, finely sliced
2 cloves of garlic, minced
Sea salt & pepper to taste
Herbs or sauce for additional flavor (generally 1/2 teaspoon of herbs and 1 tablespoon of sauce)
Rice or noodles – prepare according to package
Once the veggies are prepared, throw them all in heavy bottomed sauté pan over medium high heat, except for the kohlrabi leaves. Add salt and pepper to taste, as well as your choice of herbs such as ginger, red pepper flakes, basil or marjoram…whatever you are in the mood for. Start small with a 1/2 teaspoon and add more to taste a little later. Saute for approximately 7 minutes. This should be just the turning point when the veggies are getting soft and slightly browned if the heat is high enough. Add the kohlrabi leaves and start with 1 tablespoon of a sauce if you prefer such as hoisin, sweet chili or soy sauce and continue cooking until the leaves are wilted. You may cover the pan, letting a little steam escape, to wilt the leaves quickly. Take off the heat immediately – give it a taste, season or sauce a little more if desired – and serve over rice or noodles.
You can try celery, broccoli, snow peas, cashews, or even halved cherry tomatoes (added at the very end when you add the kohlrabi leaves) for a totally healthy and super easy stir fry. One pot meals are my favorite to make because you’re not worried about timing 3 or 4 different foods and hoping they all turn out great and are ready to serve at the same time.
Enjoy! Please share your favorite kohlrabi stir fry combo!