Shredded Kohlrabi, Watermelon Radish, Pear Salad with Arugula

Shredded Kohlrabi, Watermelon Radish and Pear Salad with Arugula

A winter farmers market initially looks deserted, but it has plenty of unusual root vegetables and varieties of dark leafy greens. The apples and pears overflow their crates. Some markets, such as New York City, also serve goat cheese, yogurt, cured and cuts of meats, milk, honey, bread, eggs, grains, and dried beans. Heirloom carrots in purple and varieties of potatoes are visual reminders of whole food’s diversity.

When visiting a winter farmer’s market, search for the unexpected vegetable. Pick up the strange, knobby root vegetable–the unfair of them all. Write down the name and buy it. Once at home research the new vegetable and a recipe to use it. With this method, I’ve discovered rutabagas are savory substitutions to potatoes in stews. Turnips–with an unfair bad reputation–roast well with chicken. Thinly sliced beets make a sweet topping to homemade pizza with ricotta cheese. Celeriac root mashed with potatoes have a mild celery taste.

Shredding some root vegetables is winter’s version of fresh, crisp and light–characteristics missed from summer produce. They’re excellent garnishes or side dishes to many cold weather, slow-cooked meals. While visiting Union Square’s Greenmarket in New York on a mild cold day, purple kohlrabi and watermelon radish are brought with a few bosc pears. Read more Quinoa and Sausage Stuffed Peppers with Tomato Peanut Sauce

Stuffed Quinoa and Sausage Peppers with Tomato Peanut Sauce

By now, we’re familiar with amaranth, millet, barley, or quinoa—to name a few. Each wholegrain is welcomed with curiosity and questions: What’s the history, where’s it from, and how is it cooked? Similar to rice, they’re mostly mild with a nutty, wholesome taste. Most whole grain recipes are served cold or room temperature as a vegetable salad or pilaf. They’re often used in breads and cereals, too.

In this recipe, quinoa is mixed with sausage to create a savory and healthy stuffing for cubanelle or poblano peppers roasted in the oven. The stuffed peppers are served with a sweet Tomato Peanut Sauce. The sausage is a simple and flavorful addition to quinoa’s mild nutty flavor. The Tomato Peanut sauce is adapted from Marcus Samuelsson’s The Soul of a New Cuisine cookbook. Such a recipe promotes quinoa from a dainty side dish or salad into a main course. Read more Raspberry Molasses Granola

Homemade Raspberry Granola

We’re extremely blessed to have a full refrigerator of leftover dinner from New Year’s Day, and I don’t want to bake or cook another dish for the next few days. As I wondering what to contribute this week that won’t add another dish to the refrigerator or extra pounds to our waistlines, I notice we’re quickly going through the granola cereal. A good quality granola cereal with less processed ingredients isn’t cheap. Read more Blackeye Pea and Pearl Barley Salad

Blackeye Pea and Pearl Barley Salad

Ending our Healthy Holiday Recipes series is a fresh twist to a Southern favorite dish served for the New Year. It would be wrong to say, we don’t enjoy traditionally stewed black-eyed peas with ham, smoked turkey or vegetables. In addition, if fresh ingredients are used, the traditional recipe is still a healthy dish. Read more Baked Cumin Sweet Potato Latkes

Baked Cumin Sweet Potato Latkes

Potato pancakes or latkes are traditionally from Eastern and Northern Europe or served during the Jewish holiday, Hanukkah. Often, they’re fried in oil. In this recipe, inspired by an author of, these latkes are baked. Sweet potatoes are added for a unique twist, and cumin adds a smokey flavor. Of course, a touch of crushed red pepper is an optional spice. Read more