Pomegranate Fennel Slaw

September 17, 2008 at 6:11 pm (B_minus (2 stars, okay), Cruciferous rich, My brain, Salads, Uncategorized, Vegetable dishes)

I really love a good coleslaw.  Not the pasty, suffocating in mayonnaise slaw that you find in a bad deli, or at a catered picnic, but the crisp, refreshing, jewel-toned cole slaw that’s always featured on the cover of Real Simple or Cooking Light. I particularly like coleslaws that include fennel and tart apple.  I was trying to choose a dressing for a fennel/apple slaw, when I thought of using pomegranate molasses.  I originally bought it for the barbecued tofu recipe in Vegan with a Vengeance, and since then I’ve been experimenting with other way ways to use it.  It makes a nice tea-like/juice-like beverage when added to cold water.  The resulting beverage is not unlike tamarind “cider”: a little sweet, a little tart, and a lot… brown.  But no worries, the pomegranate molasses doesn’t mute the perky colors of this coleslaw. I really liked the pomegranate sweet and sour flavor in this coleslaw, especially with the added sweet and sour of the Jonagold apples from the local farmer’s market.

Coleslaw:

  • about 1/6 head of red cabbage, shredded (10 ounces)
  • one large fennel bulb (about 1 pound), sliced thinly (about 1/8 inch thick)
  • 2 medium tart apples (about 6 ounces each), julienned
  • 1 carrot, grated (optional)
  • seeds from half a large pomegranate
  • 4 Tbs. pomegranate dressing (see below)
Pomegranate dressing (makes between 1/3 and 1/2 cup):
  • 4 Tbs. pomegranate molasses
  • 1 1/2 Tbs. red wine vinegar
  • 1 Tbs. olive oil
  • 1 tsp. honey
  • 1/2 Tbs. minced shallot
  • 1/4 tsp. salt
  • 1/4 tsp. ground black pepper

In the past I didn’t care for raw fennel–I found it generally tough.  I recently discovered, however, that if you slice fennel very thin it’s not tough at all but deliciously crisp.  Now that I have a mandoline (more about it in a later post) that makes getting thin slices super easy, I’ve been eating a lot of raw fennel.  I never had the knife skills to get my fennel thin enough with just a knife, but probably a v-slicer or food processor, or perhaps even the little slicing blade on a box grater would work as well.

This salad is simple but delicious.  I can eat about 4 cups of it in a sitting.  Of course, it takes me about an hour, and I feel like a cow at pasture, but I enjoy munching on it all the way to the last bite.

Obligatory nutritional note:  raw cruciferous vegetables have amazing detoxification phytonutrients, and red cabbage is particularly high in antixoidants including vitamin A and C.  The volatile oils in fennel that give it its unique licorice-like flavor are also rich in antioxidants (and fennel also is high in vitamin C).    And we’ve all heard about the amazing antioxidants compounds in pomegranates.  Even apples (actually their skin) contain quercitins, flavonoids with powerful antioxidant and anti-cancer properties, especially when working in combination with vitamin C. This salad should really be called death-to-oxygen-cancer-and-all-other-toxins slaw.

Update October 4th: I made this recipe again, but I used slightly different amounts, closer to what my mom described in her comment.  I only had a medium fennel bulb (8 ounces julienned), and one large (8 ounce) apple.  I used the seeds from a whole pomegranate, and one 4 ounce carrot.  I liked the salad a lot, although I wouldn’t have minded a tad more fennel and apple.  Maybe I’ll switch the recipe to call for equal amounts (10 ounces) of cabbage, fennel, and apple.  I used 4 Tbs. of dressing, and thought it was enough, although it wouldn’t have been bad with one more Tablespoon.  Since the dressing recipe makes a bit too much, if you don’t want extra dressing you might want to cut the recipe by 2/3:

  • 2 1/2 Tbs pomegranate molasses
  • 1 Tbs. red wine vinegar (or other vinegar)
  • 2 tsp. olive oil
  • 2/3 tsp. honey
  • 1 tsp. minced shallt
  • 1/6 tsp. salt
  • 1/6 tsp. black pepper

Derek and I both rated this version a B+, but I left the pomegranate seeds out of Derek’s, since (like my Dad), he says they hurt his teeth.  I forgot to measure, but I think the recipe made over 8 cups of salad, maybe even 12 cups.

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Two Ginger Muffins

September 15, 2008 at 7:21 am (B plus (3 stars, like a lot), breakfast, Dessert, Isa C. Moskowitz, My brain, Quick weeknight recipe)

Although these muffins have a bit of bran in them, I wouldn’t classify them as bran muffins. Ginger is definitely the predominant flavor.  This recipe is based on a recipe from Vegan with a Vengeance (but it’s been un-veganified):

  • 1.5 cups white flour
  • 1 cup wheat bran (not packed)
  • 2 tsp. baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 2 tsp. ground ginger
  • 1 tsp. cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1/2 carrot, grated
  • 1 small apple, cored (but not peeled), diced finely
  • 1 1/4 cups buttermilk
  • 1/3 cup olive oil
  • 1/2 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 1/4 cup chopped crystallized ginger
  1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.  Add aluminum muffin papers to a 12-muffin tin.
  2. In a large bowl, mix together the flour, bran, baking powder, baking soda, sugar, spices and salt.   Grate the carrot and chop the apple, and mix them in to the dry ingredients.  Make a well in the center of the ingredients and add the liquid ingredients.  Stir the liquid ingredients together, then gently mix the liquid and dry ingredients together.  Do not overmix.  Fold in the crystallized ginger.
  3. Fill the muffin tins and bake for 20 to 22 minutes, until a toothpick comes out clean and the tops are lightly browned.

Derek really liked these muffins, especially the crystallized ginger.  I thought the flavor was good but I would have liked a bit more bran/molasses flavor, and a slightly heavier muffin–something a bit closer to gingerbread perhaps. The original recipe calls for 1/2 cup of raisins, soaked, and folded in at the end with the ginger, but I subbed in carrot and apple since I didn’t have any raisins.  Soy milk can be used instead of the buttermilk.  As written, each muffin has about 170 calories.

Next time I make this I’m going to try subbing in 1/2 cup whole wheat flour, and I’ll substitute brown sugar for the white sugar (since I haven’t found molasses yet–otherwise I would add 3 Tbs. molassess). I also might try replacing the baking powder with another 1.5 tsp. baking soda (since I’m using an acidic liquid).   If that works, I’d like to try using a full 1.5 cups wheat bran, to add body. I’m not sure exactly how much buttermilk would be needed to counteract the extra bran.  Maybe another 2 Tbs?  Or I might try using yogurt and an egg, maybe 1 egg and 1 3/4 to 2 cups lowfat yogurt?  Another change I’d like to try is adding in some fresh ginger for even more bite, and transforming these into three ginger muffins.

Update Dec 2010:  I made these again exactly as written above, and again Derek really liked them.

Update October 11, 2009: I made these again, changing the recipe up a bit.  I used some whole wheat flour, added more bran, and fresh ginger.  I increased the baking soda and decreased the powder.  They’re now three ginger muffins.

  • 1 cup white flour
  • 1/2 cup whole wheat flour
  • 1 cup wheat bran (packed)
  • 1.5 tsp. baking powder
  • 1 tsp. baking soda
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar sugar
  • 2 tsp. ground ginger
  • 1 tsp. cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1 carrot, grated (about 1 cup not packed)
  • 1 small apple, cored (but not peeled), diced finely (I left this out)
  • 1 1/3 cups buttermilk
  • 1/3 cup olive oil
  • 1/2 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 1 Tbs. grated fresh ginger
  • 1/3 cup chopped crystallized ginger
  1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.  Add aluminum muffin papers to a 12-muffin tin.
  2. In a large bowl, mix together the flour, bran, baking powder, baking soda, sugar, spices and salt.   Grate the carrot and chop the apple, and mix them in to the dry ingredients.  In a small bowl mix together the liquid ingredients and the fresh ginger.  Gently mix the liquid and dry ingredients together.  Do not over-mix.  Fold in the crystallized ginger.
  3. Fill the muffin tins and bake for 20 to 22 minutes, until a toothpick comes out clean and the tops are lightly browned. (Mine were done after 15 minutes, with the fan in my oven on!)

I liked these muffins.  They definitely taste like ginger.  The extra bran and the whole wheat flour give them a more substantial texture than the first batch–more muffiny, less cupcake-y.  Still, they weren’t dry at all.  I quite liked them.  I think they could have taken in even more grated carrot.  Derek, however, thought they had too much bran, and were too gritty.  He said the bran mutes the ginger flavor.  This recipe made 12 small muffins.  The muffins are 39% fat, 52% carbs, and 9% protein.  Rating: B+. Derek rating: B-.

Nutrition Facts
Ginger Bran Muffins ~ VwV
Serving Size: 1 muffin
Amount Per Serving
Calories 143
Total Fat 6.6g
Saturated Fat 1g
Trans Fat 0g
Cholesterol 1mg
Sodium 294mg
Carbohydrate 19.8g
Dietary Fiber 3g
Sugars 5.2g
Protein 3.4g
Vitamin A 31% Vitamin C 2%
Calcium    7% Iron 7%

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Late Summer Pasta Salad with Curried Tahini Yogurt Sauce

September 11, 2008 at 7:17 am (B plus (3 stars, like a lot), Cruciferous rich, Pasta, Peter Berley, Sauce/dressing, Starches, Vegetable dishes) ()

I make this pasta salad (adapted from a recipe in Peter Berley’s Modern Vegetarian Kitchen) a couple of times every summer.   It’s not the most exciting recipe in the world, but it’s reasonably tasty and full of veggies—broccoli, green beans, tomatoes, and herbs. The sauce is made from yogurt and tahini, and is creamy without being greasy or overly rich. Although it’s flavored with curry spices, it tastes more co-op than Indian.  With its bright yellow slightly goopy sauce, the dish won’t win any beauty contests.  Nonetheless, it makes a healthy one-dish dinner, and the leftovers make a great lunch to bring to work. Below is my version of Berley’s recipe, with my own game plan. Read the rest of this entry »

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