Meal prep, or ingredient prep, is a valuable tool in regularly eating well. If you don’t enjoy leftovers it doesn’t take too much effort to create whole new dishes out of leftover ingredients. Any cooked whole grains can be transformed into a summer salad that is nourishing and satiating without being too heavy for hot summer days. Crisp ingredients like green apples and kohlrabi keep it light and some herbs and greens keep it fresh.
Kohlrabi and apple are commonly paired together and to keep them at their best I like to immerse them straightaway in some freshly squeezed Meyer lemon juice. Their flesh starts to oxidize and turn brownish once exposed to oxygen so the citrus juice keeps them perfectly fresh and crisp. Meyer lemons are a cross between regular lemons and mandarin oranges so they are a bit sweeter and balance out the tartness of the apples and the slight pepperiness (similar to radishes) of the kohlrabi. A few thin slices of beet, candy cane or Chioggia in this case, add some natural sweetness into the mix and some fresh herbs like chives and dill liven it all up.Kohlrabi is a member of the brassica family, along with broccoli and cabbage. Its name is a combination of ‘kohl’ and ‘rabi’, German for ‘cabbage’ and ‘turnip’- a loose but fitting description. It tastes similar to broccoli stems and can be eaten raw or cooked. Sometimes they are available with the greens still attached, which can be steamed or sautéed. As do other members of the brassica family, kohlrabi has a slightly sulfur-like taste from the special phytochemicals it contains, which are known to be powerful cancer fighters, though I find the taste to be quite mild. Whether the inedible skin is green or purple, the insides of kohlrabis are the same. When shopping for kohlrabi pick ones that have a heavy, firm bulb with smooth, taut and unblemished skin.Quinoa is a great source of fiber, several minerals and vitamins and protein. Its impressive nutrient profile makes it a healthy, filling option and its mild, nutty flavour pairs well with fresh salad ingredients. Its individual pieces are quite small but they spread out well and bring a density to the salad that makes it enough for a full meal.Fresh dill has a stronger, deeper flavour than dried that adds a refreshingly bright, summery aspect but a little goes a long way. It could be replaced with basil for a more subtle effect or left out if preferred.To make it a more rounded dish serve alongside freshly grilled prawns, fish or chicken, or to really cut down in time stir in a can or two of tuna, salmon, lentils or chickpeas. It also goes well with a topping of sprinkled feta cheese or sliced avocado. As a side salad this amount would make six portions or so, but as an entrée size it could serve four.
- 6 cups cooked quinoa
- 2 Granny Smith apples, cored and julienned
- 2 kohlrabis, peeled and julienned
- 2 cups kale, de-stemmed and shredded
- 4 small Chioggia beets (or 1-2 large)
- 2 Meyer lemons, juiced
- 2 tablespoons chives, chopped (or green onion)
- 1 tablespoon fresh dill, chopped
- ¼ cup extra virgin olive oil
- 3 tablespoons dijon mustard (or grainy mustard)
- 2 tablespoons maple syrup
- A few cracks of black pepper
- A generous pinch or two of sea salt (1/8-1/4 teaspoon)
- Juice the two Meyer lemons into a large bowl, discarding the skins and seeds.
- Julienne the apples and kohlrabis, putting them bit by bit into the lemon juice and tossing every so often so each newly cut handful gets immersed in he juice.
- Add in the quinoa and the dressing ingredients, starting with a lesser amount of salt. Toss to combine, taste and add more salt if needed. Add in the kale, beets, chives and dill, toss one final time and serve.
- Store leftovers in the fridge in an airtight container for up to a few days.