Friday, January 28, 2011

Asian Coleslaw

Photo Source:

We cannot leave this month's veggie without a recipe for coleslaw.  And not just the basic, generic coleslaw but a wonderful variation.  I love peanut butter and tahini both--sometimes it's a tough choice for me, but when I noticed that tahini could be substituted for the peanut butter in this recipe, I was hooked.  The tahini is a good choice for those with an allergy to peanuts and toasted sesame seeds can be substituted for the peanuts.  This is a good side dish to serve with chicken, fish, or burgers--including the veggie variety.

I, for one, cannot wait to try this recipe.  And I have cabbages in the fridge!
Cleo, Food Bank volunteer


  • 1 Tbsp creamy peanut butter
  • 6 Tbsp vegetable oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon toasted (dark) sesame oil
  • 4 Tbsp seasoned rice vinegar (if seasoned rice vinegar is not available, add a teaspoon or two of sugar to regular rice vinegar)
  • 4 cups thinly sliced cabbage (Napa, green, purple, or a combination)
  • 1/2 cup grated carrots
  • 1/4 cup toasted, salted, shelled, peeled peanuts 

  • Chopped fresh cilantro
  • Thinly sliced green onions or chives

1.  Prepare dressing.  Place peanut butter in a medium bowl.  Add the vegetable oil and the toasted sesame oil and whisk until nicely smooth.  Whisk in the seasoned rice vinegar and do a taste test.  Depending on how you like your dressing, how salty your peanut butter is, how seasoned your rice vinegar is, you may want to add a little more vinegar, a little more sugar, or a little salt.  (Makes about 3/4 cup of dressing.)

2.  Toast the peanuts.  Although the roasted peanuts from the store may already be cooked, you'll gent even better flavor with just a little toasting.  Heat a small skillet on medium high heat and add the nuts to the pan.  Do not ignore or the nuts can easily burn.  Stir a little with a wooden spoon until the peanuts begin to get browned in spots and you can smell the toasting aromas.  Remove peanuts from pan to a dish.

3.  In a large bowl, toss the sliced cabbage, grated carrots, and peanuts together and any other optional ingredients you care to add (like a little chopped cilantro or green onions).  Right before serving, mix in the dressing.

Serves 4

Recipe Source

Monday, January 24, 2011

The Food Bank Garden: Winter Wonderland

The Food Bank of Yolo County Garden

We were very excited to hear from master gardeners, Robert Dragoon and Steve Radosevich, that our winter garden is the most successful they have seen. While this may have been a slight exaggeration, it certainly makes us proud of the project. Thank you to Robert and Steve, and all of the volunteers who have helped us with this venture. We’ll need more help this spring!

Baby broccoli

Ready to be harvested

Friday, January 21, 2011

Purple Bed

Photo source:

Red cabbage is such a beautiful vegetable; one of my favorites.  This is a quick and easy recipe that can be used as a bed for steamed vegetables.  Or you can make it a bed for one your favorite main dishes--be creative!

Cleo, Food Bank volunteer


1 tsp olive oil
1/2 purple cabbage, shredded thinly
1 small onion, sliced
1 or 2 gloves garlic, minced
salt and pepper, to taste
paprika, to taste


1.  Heat the oil in a skillet and add the cabbage, onion and garlic

2.  When it starts to stream, add the pepper, paprika and salt.

3.  Cook it for another 10 minutes or so.  Ready!

Serves: 2-3, Preparation time:  15 minutes

Recipe source: 

Friday, January 14, 2011

Bengali Cabbage Curry and Green Chili Paste

Photo source:
This is a recipe for those who like spicy foods and would be great served with basmati rice.  Reduce the amount of the spices and green chili paste to suit your tastes.
Not many of us keep green chili paste in our kitchens so I have included two recipes if you want to make your own.  One other option is to substitute crushed red pepper flakes.
Cleo, Food Bank volunteer


1 pound cabbage, sliced finely
2 potatoes, cut in small cubes
2 tablespoons oil
1 tablespoon turmeric
1 1/4 teaspoon green chili paste (or more if desired)
1 tablespoon ground cumin
1 tablespoon ground coriander
1 piece (1 inch size) ginger grated
1 tablespoon butter
2 bay leaves
1/2 teaspoon garam masala
Salt to taste
Sugar to taste


Fry cubed potatoes in hot oil in a wok until lightly browned.  Remove from oil and keep aside.  To the hot oil add cabbage.  Sprinkle with salt.  Stir and cover.  Simmer for 3-4 minutes.

Remove cover.  Add the turmeric, chili paste, cumin, coriander and ginger.  Stir and fry until the spices are well blended with the cabbage.  The cabbage should be nearly cooked at this stage.  Add 1/2 cup water and add potatoes.  Adjust salt and add sugar to taste.  Simmer over medium heat until potatoes are cooked and there is practically no gravy in the pan.  In a frying pan, heat butter.  Add the bay leaves and garam masala.  Stir fry a couple of minutes and pour over bandhakopir dalna (i.e., cabbage curry).  Stir the cabbage and remove from heat.
Serves/Makes: 4    |   Difficulty Level: 4    |   Ready In: < 30 minutes

Green Chili Paste


Green chilis: as many as you have
2-3 tbsp salt (used to preserve chili paste, so add approximate quantity)


Grind both of them without using water.  Spoon it into a clean, dry container with proper lid.
NOTE:  Add salt to your dish with caution as chili paste already has salt in it.
Recipe source 

Other options:  Wash and pat dry green chilis.  Grind without adding water.  If it is not getting  ground finely, then add a teaspoon of water and proceed.  Once you get the consistency of the paste, transfer to a bottle or jar and store.  This stays fresh for a week or 10 days.


Friday, January 7, 2011

Vegetarian Cabbage Rolls

Photo by: Taste of Home
Ahh, cabbage, and one thinks of cabbage rolls.  This is a delicious version of that classic dish.  This recipe is vegetarian but you could try substituting chicken or beef for the zucchini if you wish to.

 There are alternatives to boiling the whole head of cabbage.  A quick way to remove leaves from raw cabbage is to cut around and remove the core on the bottom of the head.  Individual leaves can be removed by grasping each individual leaf at its base and gently lifting it from the cabbage.  Do not pull the leaves off by their outer edge. The leaves can then be steamed or boiled for 2 minutes and drained.
Cleo, Food Bank Volunteer


1-1/2 cups chopped mushrooms
1 cup diced zucchini
3/4 cup chopped green pepper
3/4 cup chopped sweet red pepper
3/4 cup vegetable broth
1/2 cup bulgar
1 tsp dried basil
1/2 tsp dried marjoram
1/2 tsp dried thyme
1/4 tsp pepper
1 large head cabbage
6 tablespoons shredded Parmesan cheese, divided
2 tsp lemon juice
1 can (8 ounces) tomato sauce
1/8 teaspoon hot pepper sauce


1. In a large saucepan combine the first 10 ingredients.  Bring to a boil over medium heat.  Reduce heat; cover and simmer for 5 minutes.  Remove from heat; let stand for 5 minutes.

2. Meanwhile, cook cabbage in boiling water just until leaves fall off head.  Set aside eight large leaves for rolls (refrigerated remaining cabbage for other use).  Cut out the thick vein from each leaf, making a V-shape cut.  Overlap cut ends before filling.  Stir 4 tablespoons Parmesan cheese and lemon juice into vegetable mixture.

3. Place a heaping 1/3 cupful on each cabbage leaf; fold in sides.  Starting at an unfolded edge, roll to completely enclose filling.

4. Combine tomato sauce and hot pepper sauce; pour 1/3 cup into a 2-qt. baking dish.  Place cabbage rolls in dish; spoon remaining sauce over top.  Cover and bake at 400 degrees for 15 minutes or until heated through.  Sprinkle with remaining Parmesan cheese.

Makes 4 servings.  Prep time: 30 minutes plus 15 baking.

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Black Mustard Cabbage

Quick and delicious. Yellow mustard seeds can be substituted for the black. Since the yellow are hotter use less until you find the right amount.  Powdered ginger may be substituted for grated ginger.  I can't say how the substitutions will work since I used black mustard seeds and fresh ginger. This recipe is easily halved to serve one person.
Cleo, Food Bank volunteer


 2 tablespoons olive oil
1 large onion,  roughly sliced
1 teaspoon black mustard seeds
1 teaspoon minced fresh garlic
1 teaspoon fresh shredded ginger
1/2 small to medium white cabbage, cut into 1/4" shreds
1 teaspoon salt, or to taste
few drops hot sauce, optional


1. Heat oil and cook onion slices over medium-high heat, stirring until just beginning to brown.

2. Add mustard seeds, garlic and ginger and cook, stirring, for 1-2 minutes.

3. Add cabbage. salt and hot sauce, if using.  Stir over medium-heat for about 5 minutes.

Serves: 2, Preparation time: 10 minutes