Monthly Archives: January 2019

Rutabagas

Honey Glazed Rutabaga

Wondering what to do with an extra rutabaga that’s begging to be eaten? Try this easy recipe for Honey Glazed Rutabaga. It’s all done in one pan in two simple steps: boiling the rutabaga first, then glazing it. It’s simple and delicious and the flavorings can be adjusted based on your preferences. The recipe is below. Enjoy!

I hope this helps!
Judi

Honey Glazed Rutabaga
Makes 4 Servings

1 medium to large rutabaga
2 Tbsp butter, or to taste (more if the rutabaga is very large)
2 Tbsp honey, or to taste (more if the rutabaga is very large)
Salt
Pinch of ground ginger, optional

Peel and cut the rutabaga into small cubes. Boil the rutabaga in salted water for 15 minutes, or until fork tender. Drain and return the cooked cubes to the same pan. Add butter, honey, a pinch of salt, and a pinch of ground ginger (if desired), and stir the mixture to coat the rutabaga. Place the pan over medium heat and continue stirring/tossing the rutabaga until any remaining water is evaporated, the glaze turns clear, and the rutabaga cubes begin to brown, about 5 to 7 minutes, depending on the size of your pan. Serve and enjoy!

Tip: Preparing this in a skillet will help in the glazing step, allowing more of the rutabaga to glaze/brown at the same time, versus doing it in a saucepan.

How to Wash and Freeze Leeks

If you’ve ever dealt with fresh leeks, you KNOW that washing them well is extremely important. There’s a LOT of dirt packed between those leaves! In the video below, I show a simple way to wash the leeks and prepare them for the freezer. No blanching needed!

Below the video are details about different ways to wash leeks. The choice is yours on which method to use. Also, simple instructions on how to freeze leeks follow the washing instructions.

I hope this helps!
Judi

Ways to Wash Leeks
Leeks grow partly underground, so dirt or sand is likely to be between the layers of their leaves. Wash them thoroughly before cooking. Several methods can be used:

1. Trim off the roots and the tough, dark green tops of the leaves. If the outer layer is wilted or discolored, peel it away and discard. Slice the leek completely in half lengthwise. Separate the leaves and rinse them well under running water. The leeks can then be sliced into desired size pieces.

2. Quarter or halve the leek lengthwise, leaving the root end intact by cutting lengthwise from about one inch up from the root end. Fan the stalks outward and rinse them under running water while rubbing the leaves with your fingers to remove dirt. This works well if using the leek whole in a recipe.

3. If you need sliced leeks, slice them crosswise and wash the pieces well in a bowl of water or in a colander under running water. Repeat this process until you see that all dirt has been removed.

However you choose to wash the leeks, just be sure you wash them thoroughly because there’s sure to be dirt between the layers!

How to Freeze Leeks
Wash the leeks very well to remove all traces of dirt and grit from between the leaves.

Cut the leaves into the size pieces you anticipate needing when they are used in cooking.

Place the cut leeks into freezer bags. Be sure to label the bags with the contents and date. They will keep well in the freezer for 5 to 6 months.

Flatten the contents of the bags as much as possible and lay them flat in the freezer. When they are frozen, you could lightly drop the bags on the kitchen counter or table to loosen the contents so they are easier to get out of the bag when needed.

Alternatively, you could place the cut leeks on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Place the baking sheet in the freezer. When the leeks are frozen, transfer them to a labeled freezer bag and store for up to 5 or 6 months.

Leeks 101 – The Basics

Leeks are found in most grocery stores, yet some of us just don’t quite know what to do with them. I recently released a video (by viewer request!) on the basics of leeks. The video scans topics such as what they are, what they taste like, nutritional aspects, how to choose, store, preserve, and use them, as well as offering some links to interesting recipes. Below is a link to my video covering this topic. Enjoy!

Below the video is a copy of my notes used in the video discussion for your reference. Please do let me know if you need further information about leeks and I’ll be happy to provide the info if I can!

Hope all this helps!
Judi

Leeks 101 – The Basics

About Leeks
Leeks are in the same plant family as onions, scallions, garlic, shallots, and chives. They look like giant scallions (or spring onions). They have the mildest flavor of their plant family. They bring a hint of garlic and onion to dishes they’re used in. They can be eaten raw in salads or cooked.

Nutrition tidbits
With leeks being members of the allium family (like onions and garlic), they have health-promoting properties that benefit cardiovascular health, help fight cancer and other diseases prevalent in this world today.

They contain good amounts of vitamin K, manganese, copper, vitamin B6, vitamin C, folate, iron and more.

How to select
Smaller leeks will be more tender than the larger ones. Look for dark green leaves that are crisp and free of blemishes. Avoid ones with dried roots as they are older and not as fresh.

How is it usually eaten…raw or cooked?
Leeks are used in any dish where a mild onion flavor is desired. This usually involves cooking, but they can also be eaten raw anytime a mild onion flavor is preferred.

Fresh vs frozen vs canned
Leeks are commonly found fresh in grocery stores. They do not come canned and it’s unlikely to find them frozen. However, you can freeze them yourself to preserve them for later use.

To freeze fresh leeks: Wash them thoroughly to remove any grit between the layers and allow them to air dry as much as possible to remove water. Remove the outer tough layers, cut off the root end and chop the leeks into desired size pieces. Place them in a labeled freezer bag and store in the freezer. They should keep well for 5 to 6 months.

How to prepare
Leeks grow partly underground, so dirt or sand is likely to be between the layers of their leaves. Wash them thoroughly before cooking. Several methods can be used:

1. Trim off the roots and the tough, dark green tops of the leaves. If the outer layer is wilted or discolored, peel it away and discard. Slice the leek completely in half lengthwise. Separate the leaves and rinse them well under running water. The leeks can then be sliced into desired size pieces.

2. Quarter or halve the leek lengthwise, leaving the root end intact by cutting from about one inch up from the root end. Fan the stalks outward and rinse them under running water while rubbing the leaves with your fingers to remove dirt. This works well if using the leek whole in a recipe.

3. If you need sliced leeks, slice them crosswise and wash the pieces well in a bowl of water or in a colander under running water. Repeat this process until you see that all dirt has been removed.

However you choose to wash the leeks, just be sure you wash them thoroughly because there’s sure to be dirt between the layers!
Cooking/serving methods

RAW:
Add finely chopped leeks to salads.

Cooking possibilities:
Sauté leeks and fennel. Garnish with fresh lemon juice and thyme.
Make vichyssoise, a cold soup made from puréed cooked leeks and potatoes.

Add leeks to broth and stews for extra flavoring.

Braised leeks sprinkled with fennel or mustard seeds make a wonderful side dish for fish, poultry or steak.

Add sliced leeks to your favorite omelet or frittata recipe.

Leeks can be fried, braised, boiled in soups or stocks, roasted in an oven, and even caramelized like onions. When cooking, try not to overcook them, as that will make them mushy. Cook them until fork crisp/tender.

How to preserve it
Leeks will keep in a plastic bag in the refrigerator for up to 5 days.

For longer storage time, they may be frozen. Leeks do not need to be blanched when freezing. Simply wash well, chop, then place in labeled freezer bags.

Herbs/spices that go well with leeks
Leeks can be used in place of onions in any dish, imparting a mild onion flavor. Complimentary herbs include parsley, sage, thyme, basil, lemon and mustard.

Other foods that go well with
Leeks partner well with ham, chicken, cheese, cream, garlic and shallots.

Recipe links

Assorted recipes using leeks … https://www.thespruceeats.com/best-leek-recipes-4001093

Potato and Leek Casserole … https://bakeatmidnite.com/potato-leek-casserole/

More assorted recipes using leeks … https://www.bonappetit.com/recipes/slideshow/23-favorite-leek-recipes-like-onions

Kohlrabi Carrot Pineapple Salad

Kohlrabi Carrot Pineapple Salad

Wondering what to do with kohlrabi? Well this interesting vegetable can be used in many ways. When used raw, kohlrabi can add a nice crunch to a salad. Here’s a recipe incorporating kohlrabi into a delicious and refreshing salad with carrots and pineapple. The recipe is below the video demonstration. Give this a try sometime. It’s delicious!

Happy eating!
Judi

Kohlrabi Carrot Pineapple Salad
Makes 8-10 Servings
(Note…This recipe can EASILY be cut in half if less amount is preferred)

1 raw kohlrabi, washed, peeled and grated
2 large carrots, peeled and shredded
1/3 cup raisins
1/4 cup unsweetened coconut flakes
1 (8 oz) can crushed pineapple, packed in 100% pineapple juice*
Up to 1 Tbsp maple syrup or honey, optional
1 tsp lemon or lime juice, optional

Optional garnishes:
Toasted walnuts, coarsely chopped
or Unsweetened coconut flakes
or Toasted Pecans, coarsely chopped

Wash, peel and grate the kohlrabi into a large bowl. Peel and shred the carrots and add to the bowl with the kohlrabi. Add the raisins, coconut, and crushed pineapple (see note below about the amount of pineapple to use). Stir to combine all ingredients.

Place in a covered container and refrigerator for 1 to 2 hours to allow flavors to blend. Taste the mixture. If more sweetness is needed, add the optional ingredients, if desired. OR add more pineapple.

* If you want more pineapple flavor, you can use one larger (20 oz) can of pineapple packed in unsweetened pineapple juice in place of the 8 oz can. OR you can add any amount in between the two can sizes, to your desired flavoring.

This makes a lot of salad. If a smaller amount is needed, simply use half the amount of ingredients.

Simple Sauteed Kohlrabi

Simple Delicious Sauteed Kohlrabi

Kohlrabi is one of those vegetables that many of us don’t know what to do with. Most of us didn’t grow up eating it, so it’s really foreign to us. I’m in that same group. I had a request from a viewer to explore kohlrabi, so I have!

Here’s one way I found to cook the bulb of kohlrabi. This simple recipe for sauteed kohlrabi is really easy and quick to make, and involves ingredients that you likely have on hand. Below is a video demonstration of the recipe with the written recipe below that. Enjoy!

I hope this helps!
Judi

Easy Sautéed Kohlrabi
Makes About 3 Servings

1 raw kohlrabi bulb
1 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil*
Garlic powder to taste (or 1 clove garlic, finely chopped)
Salt and pepper to taste
About 1 tsp dried cilantro or parsley, or to taste
Water as needed (1 or 2 tablespoons at a time)
Juice of ½ lemon or lime
More cilantro or parsley, optional garnish

Remove the stems and leaves from the kohlrabi. Wash the bulb very well. Remove the peel and cut the kohlrabi into large cubes or bite-size pieces.

Heat a skillet over just above medium heat. Add the olive oil (or water if preferred) and allow it to heat up briefly. If using fresh garlic, add the chopped garlic and allow it to heat through briefly. Add the chopped kohlrabi. Sprinkle with garlic powder (if using it), salt, pepper and cilantro or parsley to taste. Stir-fry the combo for a minute or so.

Add one or two tablespoons of water and place the lid on the skillet. When the steam stops and the pan is almost dry (this happens quickly), stir the vegetables around and add a little more water; replace the lid. Repeat this process until they are just barely the desired crisp-tenderness that you like. Drizzle the lemon or lime juice over the mixture. Replace the lid and allow it to finish cooking, which shouldn’t take long…a minute or so. Taste and adjust seasonings, if needed. You can garnish with more cilantro or parsley, if desired. The entire process should take 10 to 15 minutes, depending upon the size of the kohlrabi pieces and the amount of tenderness you prefer.

Note: This dish is best eaten when freshly made.

*If you prefer to use no oil, just use water instead.

Sauteed Kohlrabi Greens

EASY Sauteed Kohlrabi Greens

Wondering what to do with kohlrabi and the greens? Here’s a very EASY recipe for sauteed kohlrabi greens using simple ingredients. It cooks up quickly and makes a nice side dish with many meals. Below is the recipe, following by a video demonstration of cooking the greens.

Below that is my video on the basics of kohlrabi. In it, I explain what it is, how to choose kohlrabi, store it, preserve it, and prepare it. If you haven’t tried it, then it’s time to explore this unusual vegetable. It’s a “2 for 1 deal” where you get delicious greens AND the bulb vegetable all in one!

EASY Sauteed Kohlrabi Greens
Makes about 4 Servings

Leaves and stems from 3 kohlrabi bulbs
1 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil
1 large clove garlic, finely chopped
Salt and pepper to taste
Juice of half a lemon*
Water as needed (about 1 cup)

Remove the leaves and stems from three kohlrabi bulbs. Wash them well, then cut them into bite size pieces.

Heat a skillet on just over medium heat. Add the extra virgin olive oil and allow it to heat briefly. Add the garlic and allow it to saute briefly, taking care not to burn it. Add the kohlrabi greens and 2 or 3 tablespoons of water. Add salt and pepper to the greens and a little more water if needed; stir to combine. Cover the skillet and allow the greens to steam until they reach the desired tenderness that you like, or about 15 minutes. IMPORTANT! Check them very often to be sure the pan does not run dry. Add small amounts of water as needed so the greens cook with a minimal amount of water.

When the greens are done to your liking, drizzle with the lemon juice. Stir to combine and serve.

* If you do not have lemon juice, a very small amount of vinegar of your choice may be substituted. Start with a small amount, 1 or 2 teaspoons (to taste with the greens) and add up to a total of 1 tablespoon of vinegar, if desired.

Kohlrabi

Kohlrabi 101 – The Basics

In reviewing a number of comments from my YouTube viewers, I realized that many people want to work more vegetables into their meals, but are not sure how to do it. They might not be overly comfortable with cooking. They may not be familiar with specific vegetables and how to prepare them. They may not like the flavor of vegetables, yet they know they should eat them. So with that, I started a new series of videos (with accompanying blogs) on “Vegetables 101” covering from the basics to preparing them in specific ways. Kohlrabi was one of the first vegetables a viewer asked to learn about. So, we’re off and running! A link to the video is below, followed by the information notes.

I hope all this helps!
Judi

Kohlrabi 101 – The Basics

1. About
Kohlrabi is called a German “cabbage-turnip” and is in the cruciferous family…same as cabbage and broccoli.

Varieties: green or purple bulbs (no flavor differences; flesh is the same color)

Both the bulb and greens are edible. The flavor is described as a sweet turnip with texture of an apple.

The bulb and greens can be eaten raw or cooked.

2. Nutrition tidbits
Low in calories: 1 cup has 36 calories
High in fiber, potassium, vitamin C, vitamin B6, folate, thiamine, and also has some calcium, and a little protein too.

Kohlrabi is mentioned in this video by Dr. Michael Greger about the chemicals in the vegetable that help the liver in its detoxification function… https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=L1euD1U2pH8

3. How to select
Choose smaller variety (3-4”)…more tender and sweeter flavor than larger ones
Smaller bulbs taste more like broccoli; larger bulbs taste more radish-like and can be woody

4. How is it usually eaten…raw or cooked?
Bulb and leaves can be eaten raw or cooked
Stems and leaves can be used in recipes like kale or collard greens
The bulbs can be roasted, baked, stir-fried, steamed, boiled, grilled, mashed, added to soups and stews

5. Fresh vs frozen vs canned
Only available fresh (as far as I know)

6. Cooking/serving methods
Preparation: Remove stems and leaves. Wash everything well. Remove the peel from the bulb with a paring knife…it can be tough to eat. (Be careful! It can be hard to peel! But once peeled, it is easy to slice.)

Raw: Can be added to salads or slaws, or sliced for a snack with a dip.

Cooked:
Add to soups, stews, or mash it with (or like) potatoes
Can be roasted (brings out the sweetness)
Stems/leaves can be used like kale or collards
Steam pieces of the bulb to preserves nutrients

7. How to preserve it
Remove stems/leaves soon after purchasing and use them within a few days of purchasing. The bulbs will keep longer, wrapped, in the refrigerator. Wash, dry, then wrap in plastic or paper and store in refrigerator for 1-3 weeks. To store CUT bulbs, wrap tightly in plastic and use within a few days.

TO FREEZE:
Both the bulbs and leaves can be frozen.

To freeze the leaves:
Wash and cut leaves into desired size pieces. Boil leaves for about 3 minutes. Drain them and place them immediately into ice water. Allow them to remain there at least 3 minutes, until completely cooled. Drain them well and place them into labeled freezer bags. They should keep for 8 to 10 months.

To freeze the bulbs:
Wash and peel the bulbs. Cut them into desired size pieces. Boil (blanch) chunks or thick slices of kohlrabi bulbs for 3 minutes; boil (blanch) small cubes for 1 minute. Drain immediately then submerge in ice water to quickly cool after blanching. Leave them in the ice water at least as long as they were in the boiling water to completely cool them down. Drain well and place in labeled freezer bags. They will keep 8-10 months in the freezer.

8. Herbs/spices that go well with kohlrabi
Garlic, onions, parsley, caraway, curry, tarragon, thyme, allspice, basil, cilantro, mustard, dill, rosemary, turmeric, marjoram

9. Other foods that go well with kohlrabi
Dairy: Butter, sour cream, parmesan, Swiss cheese, and cream

Fruits and Veggies: Cabbage, broccoli, mushrooms, carrots, fennel, celery root, potatoes, spinach, turnips, corn, bean sprouts, lemons, and apples (in a slaw), celery, leeks, onions

Savory: Sesame oil, bacon, rice, quinoa, seafood, chicken, and beef.

Serving Suggestions:
Enjoy kohlrabi raw, steamed, fried, boiled, baked, grilled or roasted! Just ensure you remove any tough outer skin before eating the bulbs and eat the leaves as you would kale or turnip greens.

In addition to being eaten on its own, kohlrabi is delicious added to soups, stews and curries. They can be stir-fried with other veggies and served over rice for a quick dinner and even cooked and mashed in with potato.

10. Recipe links
Roasted Kohlrabi https://www.thespruceeats.com/roasted-kohlrabi-recipe-2216540

Coconut Kohlrabi Lemon Soup https://cookingontheweekends.com/coconut-kohlrabi-lemon-soup/

Kohlrabi Slaw https://www.allrecipes.com/recipe/215001/kohlrabi-slaw/

Assorted recipes using kohlrabi… https://www.freshforkmarket.com/recipes/kohlrabi-4-easy-ways/

Kohlrabi Apple Salad https://cookieandkate.com/2015/crispy-apple-kohlrabi-salad-recipe/

Kohlrabi and Carrots https://www.geniuskitchen.com/recipe/kohlrabi-carrots-10554

Sautéed Kale and Kohlrabi https://www.epicurious.com/recipes/food/views/sauteed-kale-with-kohlrabi-354974

Mashed Kohlrabi and Cauliflower https://thelemonbowl.com/mashed-cauliflower-and-kohlrabi/

Kohlrabi with White Sauce https://www.allrecipes.com/recipe/145757/kohlrabi-with-white-sauce/

Quinoa with Vegetables Over Tomatoes

Here’s an easy dish that makes a lovely presentation and is refreshing on a warm day. Because quinoa is a good source of protein, it can be used as a meatless main dish or also an excellent side dish. Either way, it’s yummy! Here’s a video showing how I made this dish. Below the video is the recipe!

Happy eating!!
Judi

Quinoa with Vegetables over Tomatoes
Makes about 4 Main Dish Servings
Makes about 6 Side Servings

1 Tbsp butter
1 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil
1/4 to 1/3 cup chopped onion
1 clove garlic, minced
1 medium carrot, peeled and finely chopped
4 oz button mushrooms (about 6 each)
1 cup quinoa, rinsed and drained
1 tsp dried parsley
Salt and pepper to taste
2 cups + 2 Tbsp water
1-1/2 to 2 cups chopped fresh spinach
2-4 medium fresh tomatoes, sliced into wedges*

Optional garnishes (use one or any combination desired):
Basil, parsley cilantro, sesame seeds, juice of ½ lemon or lime

In a medium-large saucepan (with a lid), heat the butter and oil over medium heat. Add the onion and sauté briefly. Add the garlic, carrot, and mushrooms, and sauté briefly until the vegetables begin to cook. Stir in the (uncooked) quinoa, parsley, salt and pepper, and allow the quinoa to toast briefly.

Add the water and stir to combine, making sure all the quinoa is in the water. Cover the pot and turn the heat up to bring everything to a boil. Turn the timer on for 15 minutes as soon as the water comes to a boil. Then turn the heat down to medium low and allow everything to simmer until the timer goes off.

Turn the burner off; stir in the spinach. Cover the pan and remove it from the hot burner. Allow the mixture to rest for 5 minutes in the covered pan. Fluff with a fork and serve over tomato wedges that were arranged in a pinwheel design on the plate.

*Another option: Rather than serving the quinoa over tomato wedges, you could reserve one whole tomato per person and do the following: Slice off the top and remove the seeded area of the tomato. Spoon the quinoa mixture into the tomato, filling it to the top. Place the top of the tomato back in its place. Place filled tomatoes in a glass baking dish (not greased) and into a preheated 400F oven for 10 to 15 minutes, until the tomatoes JUST begin to cook. This would make a lovely side dish with many types of meals. It’s delicious!

Easily Remove Scuff Marks Off a Wall (Without Repainting)

I had a large scuff mark on a wall where my husband’s chair was rubbing against it any time he sat in his chair. I finally moved the chair forward and tackled the scuff mark. To my delight, it was easily removed without harsh chemicals or repainting!

Here’s what I did…I took a damp sponge and rubbed a little baking soda into the sponge side (NOT the scratchy side). Then I GENTLY rubbed the scuff mark with the dampened baking soda side of the sponge. The baking soda was enough abrasion to remove the mark without damaging the paint. As the mark was loosened, I wiped the area with a clean damp cloth. That’s IT! Below is a video showing how this was done…

I hope this helps you out!
Judi