Farmers markets are fun fun fun. I love eating local foods especially fresh organic produce. Yesterday while picking up some fruits and veggies, I noticed a very strange thing sitting next to the zucchinis on a farmer’s stand. It was green and looked like cabbage and broccoli had a baby! “What is this?” I asked, and the response was – “Kohlrabi!” Being the sophisticated person that I am, I googled it right away. In german, kohl is cabbage and rabi is turnip, I was close. It is a cruciferous vegetable and those are very good for my health. Needless to say, kohlrabi came home with me. But what to do with this new, good for me veggie? I think I have something in mind that would be perfect.
When traveling in Europe some years ago, my husband and I visited a famous market in Odessa, Ukraine, called Privoz. The place is a madhouse with hundreds of vendors and thousands of shoppers (Check out pictures on this post). You can buy food, clothes, and just about anything else you may need.
One of the items my husband really loved to buy at the market was a traditional Korean carrot salad. The babushkas (aka grandmas) were selling prepared carrots from various shades of orange to dark red. Cayenne pepper was responsible for the red, the darker they were, the hotter. My husband grew up eating this dish and soon after we returned home it became a staple on our table. I like it, but Alec LOVES it. Its super easy for me to make and it makes him very happy. Win-win for me!
Carrots have many benefits and for a breast cancer survivor they might just be in a class of their own. For starters, the Gerson therapy revolves around the intensive drinking of carrot juices. Carotenoids are cancer-fighting phytonutrients and carrots are loaded with beta-carotene, which is one of the champion carotenoids. I could go on and on about the benefits of carrots for breast cancer but instead I will provide you with some resources below to check out in depth. It’s worth the time if you are serious about your health.
As much as I adore all things carrot, its not that easy to eat a lot of raw or cooked carrots. That is why this salad is so amazing. It is a simple and delicious way to add more of this cancer-fighting champ into your diet. For this carrot salad, since I make it so much, I typically cheat a little and buy carrots already cut into matchsticks. I used a mandolin to slice the kohlrabi into similar shaped matchsticks though. Don’t worry, if you do not have kohlrabi, you can still enjoy this salad in the traditional way and just double the amount of carrots like I did in the picture below.
Combining two anti-inflammatory powerhouses: garlic and cayenne is what gives this salad its spiciness. Garlic has properties that causes cancer cells to commit suicide and just eating it has been shown to lower the risk for breast cancer. I love garlic and look for excuses to add it to any meal. Cayenne, on the other hand, is a different story. I am not a huge fan of hot foods. My palate is super sensitive to spicy stuff, so finding ways to incorporate this ingredient with chemotherapy-mimicking properties has been a little more difficult. This salad is a perfect way to do that. The heat can be adjusted to your personal tastes, and the garlic does an excellent job of masking the pepper.
This salad is also loaded with coriander seeds. The coriander plant (where cilantro comes from) helps control blood sugar levels and is anti-microbial and anti-bacterial.
Add in a little sweetener, white vinegar, salt, and hot EVOO – toss and you are DONE! The veggies stay crunchy but also break down a bit as we pour the hot oil over it. We don’t cook it, we just blanch them with the heated olive oil.
This salad is absolutely –
The most telling sign of recipe success is my husband’s approval. I knew he loved it because he just kept eating and eating.
I am happy to report that my first encounter with kohlrabi has been a positive one. The kohlrabi ended up having a very mild taste, tasting more like cabbage than broccoli, which is always a good thing for my taste buds.
Have you ever cooked with kohlrabi? Do you have cool kohlrabi recipes? Comment below with your experiences. If you make this recipe, let me know by posting a picture of your creation on Insty or Facebook and tag me @breastcancermaven so I can see it! Enjoy!
Check out these resources if you want to learn more about what carrots can do to prevent or fight breast cancer:
- Dietary carotenoids and vitamins A, C, and E and risk of breast cancer
- A study on serum carotenoid levels in breast cancer patients of Indian women in Chennai (Madras), India
- Dietary carotenoids and risk of breast cancer in Chinese women
- Dietary fat, fiber, vegetable, and micronutrients are associated with overall survival in postmenopausal women diagnosed with breast cancer
- Intake of specific carotenoids and essential fatty acids and breast cancer risk in Montreal, Canada
- Prospective study of carotenoids, tocopherols, and retinoid concentrations and the risk of breast cancer
- In vitro inhibition of proliferation of estrogen-dependent and estrogen-independent human breast cancer cells treated with carotenoids or retinoids
- Effect of beta-carotene on gene expression of breast cancer cells
- Dietary intake of selected micronutrients and the risk of breast cancer
- ½ kohlrabi bulb, sliced with a mandolin
- 10 oz. carrots, matchsticks
- 4 cloves of garlic, minced
- ¼ cup extra virgin olive oil
- 3 TB white vinegar
- 2 TB coriander seeds, cracked
- 1 TB liquid sweetener (agave, maple syrup, or honey)
- ½-1 tsp cayenne pepper
- 1 tsp salt
- pepper to taste
- Prepare kohlrabi and carrots and add to a large bowl.
- Put the coriander seeds in a small ziplock bag and crush them (I use the bottom of a cup to do this).
- Pour the cracked coriander seeds, vinegar, liquid sweetener, salt, and cayenne in with the kohlrabi and carrots.
- Heat a small skillet over medium heat and add the olive oil.
- Once the oil is hot, add the minced garlic.
- Quickly remove the pan from the heat, and pour the hot oil over the carrots and kohlrabi.
- Mix well and refrigerate.
You can replace the kohlrabi with more carrots for an all carrot salad.