Chipotle tempeh tacos with kohlrabi slaw

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Our CSA pickup is one of my favorite things about summer. Due to some scheduling issues with the pickup time, we made a switch this year to First Root Farm, and we’ve been really happy with the quality and variety so far. After years of participating in a CSA, I’ve discovered that our vegetable intake is much higher when we have it than when we don’t, and it also pushes me to be more creative with meal planning.

With this recipe, I was able to use kohlrabi, beets, carrots, and cilantro from the CSA share, and a chili pepper from my garden. The fresh, cool slaw nicely offsets the savory, spicy tempeh, and let me tell you, this tempeh is SPICY. If your tolerance for spice is in the non-masochistic category, you can dial back on the heat by removing the seeds from the chili pepper in the slaw, and by using chipotle powder in place of canned chipotle chilis.

Chipotle tempeh tacos with kohlrabi slaw

Makes 4-6 tacos

The slaw

2 small kohlrabi bulbs, peeled

1 medium beet, peeled

2 carrots, peeled

Juice from 1/2 lime

1 serrano chili pepper, finely diced

1/4 cup fresh cilantro, chopped

Salt, to taste

The tempeh

2 shallots, finely chopped

2 tsp vegetable oil

14.5 oz can tomato sauce (plain)

2-3 chipotle chili peppers in Adobo sauce

2 tbsp white vinegar

Juice of 1/2 lime

1 tsp garlic powder

2 tbsp maple syrup (or honey), add more to taste

1 package tempeh

Other

Whole wheat tortillas (taco or fajita-sized)

Fresh avocado or guacamole

1/4 cup fresh cilantro leaves

1 scallion, sliced

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Prepare the slaw by shredding the kohlrabi, beet, and carrots. If you have a food processor with a shredding disc, this goes very quickly. If you only have a box grater, you may want to delegate to a friend or family member while you get started on the tempeh. Once everything is shredded, place into a large bowl, add the chili, lime juice, cilantro, and salt. Toss to combine, and set aside.

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Look how gorgeous it is!

Heat the vegetable oil over medium heat, add the shallots, and saute until they begin to brown. Stir in the tomato sauce, chipotles, vinegar, lime juice, garlic powder, and maple syrup. Taste, and add an additional 1-2 tbsp maple syrup if needed. Cook for 2 minutes to combine flavors. Chop the tempeh into cubes, and add to the sauce. Bring to a boil very briefly, then lower the heat to medium-low, and cook until sauce has thickened (about 10 minutes).

Assemble by filling the tortillas with tempeh, slaw, fresh avocado or guacamole, and garnish with some sliced scallion and cilantro leaves. If you try this recipe, feel free to leave me a comment with feedback!

*Note: Your tempeh should look a bit saucier than what is pictured below. I made some tweaks to the recipe, but didn’t get a good picture.

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Fun with our 6/10/10 CSA pickup- Kohlrabi

I’m still really excited about our CSA. Can you tell? This week’s share (from L to R) included broccoli, bibb lettuce, cilantro, kohlrabi, Chioggia beets, and Swiss chard. Along the top are Romaine lettuce, red leaf lettuce, and Asian turnips.

Kohlrabi? What the heck is that? Kohlrabi is part of the cabbage family, but the globe of it looks more like a crazy turnip variety. People use the leaves of the plant, but hubs and I weren’t crazy about the flavor. The globe has a fairly mild, sweet flavor with a tiny bit of kick to it. When sliced, it looked a little like a granny smith apple. Honestly, I was skeptical. A lot of people eat it raw, but I didn’t see the appeal, so I decided to roast it with olive oil, salt, and pepper. Roasted, this stuff was like crack. I couldn’t get enough! I don’t even know how to describe its wonderfulness, but I highly recommend trying it.

Fun with our first CSA share!

I’ve been terrible about updating this. I’ve just been too lazy to really figure out how to use it. That’s why most people have seen me plastering Facebook with pictures of various things, but I should probably learn to contain it all here so that everyone doesn’t have to be subjected to my nonsense. I’ve actually been making a lot of things lately, so I have some things to post.

One of the things that I’m really excited about is our CSA. It stands for Community Supported Agriculture. Basically, we paid a flat fee when we signed up a few months ago. Starting last week, every week, we pick up a share of produce directly from a farmer. The share consists of whatever he’s able to harvest that week. Hubby and I LOVE our veggies, so we’ve both been pretty excited. Last week’s share contained 1 head of bibb lettuce, 1 head of red leaf lettuce, 1 bunch of mizuna, 1 bunch of pea tendrils, 1 bunch of spinach, 1 bunch of chicory, 1 bunch of Red Russian kale, and 1 head of bok choy. It was overwhelming to first figure out how to fit everything into the refrigerator, and then figure out how to use it all.

Stir-fry with pea tendrils, tofu, shiitake mushrooms, and noodles

Aside from a couple of great salads, our first meal using CSA veggies was a stir-fry made with tofu, shiitake mushrooms, pea tendrils, and fresh Asian noodles. Honestly, it didn’t quite hit the mark. The pea tendrils were tougher than we expected. I don’t know if we needed to trim them differently or cook them differently or what, but it didn’t quite work. Also, the flavors that I added in of sesame oil, soy sauce, garlic, and ginger, kind of overpowered the delicate flavors of the pea tendrils. The next night, we added some bok choi to it, and we enjoyed it more.

Pizza x 2

The mizuna was a bit of a challenge as I had never heard of it before. It is a delicate Asian green that is often compared to arugula due to its slightly peppery quality. After a string of Asian-inspired dishes, I was ready for a change, so I decided to try the mizuna on pizza, knowing that there are plenty of pizzas out there that use arugula. The first night, I bought pizza dough from the Shaws supermarket right down the street. This pizza had: garlic, caramelized onions, mizuna, grape tomatoes, and fresh mozzarella. It was generally pretty good, but a little on the dry side.

The next night, I decided to try it again with some changes. I decided to make my own dough, using a recipe that I found on the Pete Bakes blog, originally from Peter Reinhart’s The Bread Baker’s Apprentice, which, by the way, I think I may need to purchase. I love bread! Honestly, I don’t know if it came out the way that it was supposed to. The dough was extremely delicate and the resulting crust was a little too crunchy, but generally not bad. I decided to replace the tomatoes with black mission figs, add some fontina cheese and drizzle it all with a balsamic reduction.