cooking adventures with kohlrabi

For Pesach I bought kohlrabi, hopeful for warm-ish weather and the desire for crunchy vegetables to snack on.

Then it snowed.

So the kohlrabi sat in the fridge the entire holiday.

We always eat kohlrabi raw, but knew someone must cook with it and a hot meal sounded ideal. Yesterday, after some quick searching, I discovered Kohlrabi Risotto from The New York Times.

I’m not a huge fan of making time-consuming recipes on weeknights, but risotto is pretty mindless and I caught up on some reading while I was stirring and adding broth. Yes, I use packaged broth. It’s low sodium and I go through it fast; I’ve yet to be able to figure out a way to keep enough stock in the freezer! Ideal? No. Does it work?




Verdict? This was good, but not overly flavourful and we weren’t quite sure what the kohlrabi added beyond something different to chew. Before I added the rice, I nibbled a few pieces and it had a greater depth of flavour then. I think, however, we’ll keep crunching our kohlrabi raw.

our other new addition

… is a brand new 3.5-Cup Microcomputerized Rice Cooker. It will even bake bread! I’m thrilled beyond belief to welcome this multitasking small appliance onto my counter and look forward to many happy meals together. I’m hoping to soon have the smarts to set the timer and wake up to some congee (aka okayu, chok, juk, rice porridge) for breakfast.

I don’t have any photos of my own of this hard worker (actually I do, my camera is acting up and I don’t know where the card reader is, we still have boxes.. in Brooklyn) and I’ve been told that small appliance photos are not really exciting.

However, it’s what’s been cooking inside that counts. In that vein, I hope to start posting again about my cooking and food adventures. I also hope to work on trying to take photos of food that make it look at least half as appetizing as it tastes.

I leave you with two questions:

  1. What’s your favourite rice dish?
    Mine, without a doubt, is vegetarian (allowing for egg) dolsot bi bim bap. And guess what? Model ECJ-S35S will help me do it! (Since I have yet to cure my dolsot pots, this is a very good thing).

  2. What should I name this rice cooker? I don’t know why I want to name it but I do.

The kitten still needs his new name, but it’ll come. He’s definitely calming down and starting to feel more at home. He hopped onto the bed last night and the look on his face when he saw me there was priceless. He had no idea whether to bolt or where to go. I made the mistake of moving (trying to entice him to come cuddle) and he jumped off and went under the bed.

two more for the shelves

I took a few moments to write up two reviews of books that now have a place on my bookshelves, well, they will when we finally get around to renovating the library and making bookshelves. The seforim (understandably) are the only books on shelves, the rest are in boxes or piles I just wish I had a few more moments to edit these reviews and make them nicer.

Personal Footprints for Insouciant Sock Knitters: Book Two in the New Pathways for Sock Knitters Series Personal Footprints for Insouciant Sock Knitters: Book Two in the New Pathways for Sock Knitters Series
by Cat Bordhi
1 star for book review1 star for book review1 star for book review1 star for book review1 star for book review
Yikes, I’m the first on GoodReads to review Cat’s new book? I’m not sure I can handle the pressure, or give the book justice.

First off, contrary to popular belief I actually don’t hand out 5 stars to every book I “like” anymore. Those that don’t get high star ratings probably didn’t even get into GoodReads in the first place. Cat deserves it for this book because she has made me think outside of the box, provided clear instructions and illustrative drawings, and in my eyes most importantly, helped me get my sock knitting mojo back.

I believe I’m a pretty expert sock knitter at this point in my knitting life. I can knit socks I like for my (tiny) feet in my sleep. I’m also a pretty lazy sock knitter and don’t always pay attention to the minute differences different yarns, needles sizes, moon phase make to the resulting tension. Thus my socks fit me great most of the time but if I paid attention to a few more details, they’d fit perfect all the time.

I think Cat may be able to help me out here with this new publication.

I am currently knitting the discovery sock and following Cat’s directions (for once) and so far so good. I’m almost at the leg opening. On Ravelry while preparing these few words, I saw some project notes from other knitters indicating difficulty with the heel and leg fitting. I’ll revise this review after I get there, but so far so good!

I love Cat’s brain and I’m thankful for her publishing her thoughts and giving inspiration for those who want to think a bit creatively different.

The Ultimate Rice Cooker Cookbook : 250 No-Fail Recipes for Pilafs, Risottos, Polenta, Chilis, Soups, Porridges, Puddings and More, from Start to Finish in Your Rice Cooker The Ultimate Rice Cooker Cookbook : 250 No-Fail Recipes for Pilafs, Risottos, Polenta, Chilis, Soups, Porridges, Puddings and More, from Start to Finish in Your Rice Cooker by Beth Hensperger
1 star for book review1 star for book review1 star for book review1 star for book reviewno star for book review
Melanie spoiled me with this book a few weeks ago. I finally sat down to read through it and to write up a few thoughts. This is a very well researched book. It covers everything from the basic differences in various rice cookers to all those varieties of rice on the store shelves. I haven’t yet cooked with this book as I’m waiting to see if a new rice cooker (which I’ve been begging for years for) magically appears on my counter in the next week or so. (If it doesn’t I won’t be disappointed and I’ll work through these ideas with my vege/rice steamer). I wish I had this book when I had a basic on/off model as I learned various other things I could do with it. I like that it branches out past plain rices and into pilafs, risottos, porridge, and beyond into whole meals (even if those are things I’ll never eat). I’m quite thankful that it isn’t scratch and sniff because just reading the recipes made me hungry.


Slowly I am able to cook again as deadlines are met and responsibilities spread out to a more manageable level once more. I didn’t cook very much this week as these three weeks (last week and the next two) are when everything comes due. I did, however, cook a little from my recent cookbook purchases.

For Shabbat, from Flavors of Korea: Delicious Vegetarian Cusine, I made Kongnamul Bap or Bean Sprout Rice… mostly. I had a can of stir fry vegetables which I used instead of fresh bean sprouts. Of course I’d rather fresh local ingredients, but sometimes you have to use what you have on hand. I also substituted brown rice as I need to cook up the pantry in preparation of the new cabinets (no I do not know when they are coming). The Sesame-Onion sauce was made without green onions as I had none. In any case, E and I enjoyed it and I will make it again.

From The Gluten-Free Vegetarian Kitchen I made Cheddar Corn Bread. This turned out yummy. I will probably put in more cheese next time as I couldn’t really tell this had cheese in it. I also finally broke out one of the silicone pans I was given years ago since my kitchen is now “mostly-new”. I refused to use them until we fixed the kitchen. They’re kinda fun and I didn’t notice any difference using them over a traditional pan. It did feel a bit weird putting plastic into the oven. I also need to do more research given all I’ve heard [especially recently] about carcinogens and plastic (I have sworn for years that water stored in plastic tastes weird but that is writing for another day).

Tonight we ate stuffed grape leaves. play time My FIL has been after us to purchase a certain brand of canned stuffed grape leaves available at our local supermarket. He’s been raving about them. I decided to turn them into a full meal by sautéing diced chink’n strips with some garlic, onion, and turmeric and then adding in some tomato sauce. I placed the stuffed grape leaves in the sauce to warm them slightly. This was a pleasant surprise. It saddens me greatly that I grew up with grape leaves in my back yard and I don’t think we ever thought to cook with them. I will attempt to make my own some day. I think this would be a very pleasant shabbat lunch. It does make me miss pita, but I’ll find something by this summer. Yes, I am thinking toward summer already, I don’t mind winter but we missed Autumn this year so I’d like it to be summer so we can try again.

staying fed

Sunday night found us with my lazy dinner: instant rice, tofu chunks, coleslaw mix, and peanut sauce. Ooh don’t I make it sound yummy?! Really it is.

Monday I wanted something Different. Something that could potentially use up a pantry item or two. I succeeded with the first thing that looked mildly appetizing and that was Rachel Ray’s Creamy Spaghetti and Beans. It surprised us in that it was pretty tasty, however, in my desire to stay GF (and a long Monday afternoon which involved too many confined places with people who smelled quite strongly of either smoke or perfume) I didn’t have any spare ideas to come up with anything to substitute for the pancetta. E commented that it was “missing something”. I added lots of pepper. It was quite good and I don’t think he’s yet realized I fed him GF (corn) pasta. :)

Tuesday and Wednesday were lean days as I walked on average about 5.1 miles each day and did not eat very much. Arriving home much after 10pm added to the “lean days”. Oddly I seem to be the same weight I was months ago. I guess the “fat” converted to muscle? (I have not had any change in waist size either).

Thursday was a tomato soup and grilled cheese type of day. I didn’t buy any bread but found some pita and made E his grilled cheese in that. I only had rice cakes around so I attempted to “grill” those and I do not recommend it. They were not bad, but it wasn’t quite what I wanted. I do miss grilled cheese with tomato soup. Maybe once the kitchen is completed I’ll invest in a GF friendly bread machine.

Friday found me turning on the slow cooker for my own lunch. I enjoyed some rice stew with pickled veges. I had found a HUGE container of mixed pickled veges the day before for $3. I also cooked up the last of the tiliapa I had in the freezer. The pickled vegetables are quite spicy due to something. I think it might be the pepperoncini but I’m not sure.

I had a hard time figuring out what to make for shabbos dinner that was GF and different than things I’ve made recently. I ended up running to the store at 3pm and picking up some tofu “hot dogs” and we had a splendid meal of hot dogs, sauerkraut, and french fries. For dessert I had mistakenly grabbed a container of “lite” vanilla fudge tofutti (instead of plain vanilla) but it wasn’t too bad. It was strange how tasty that meal was. :)

Today I’m battling unhappy sinuses and have been trying to eat anything spicy I can get my hands on. Tonight just now, I heated up some leftover rice stew and mixed in some feta and freshly ground pepper. It was good if unorthodox.