Tag Archives: celery root

Vegetable Dinner Dish with Zing

Photo: Garden Vegetables with Cheese

For a quick, but tasty meatless meal, this easy skillet dish comes together in about thirty minutes. Starting with a frozen vegetable base, you can stir fry it, add in the fresh vegetables, make a cream sauce with cheese, and serve three people. If you want, you can make a flat bread, like this one, to go with it.

If you’re not worried about staying meatless, you can add in sliced sausages, bacon, or ham. Or you can add in shrimp and still count it as meatless.

The key in this is having the celery root peeled and cubed before you begin cooking. It will take the most time of any of your prep. But it brings a slight celery flavor along with a texture similar to potatoes, that gives this dish a unique, but delicious component. If you want to skip this, you can replace with sliced celery or chopped turnips.

I used cheddar cheese, but you can vary with other ones to change the flavor of the dish slightly. If you use an Italian cheese, change the seasonings to an oregano mix to bring in that flavor profile. With Mexican cheese, add in more chili spice to give it more bite.

Garden Vegetables with Cheese Sauce

1 10–oz package frozen Cauliflower, Broccoli & Carrot Mix
1 cup Celery Root, cubed into 1/2″ inch pieces
1/2 cup Asparagus, chopped
1/2 tablespoon Olive Oil
1 teaspoon Minced Garlic
1/2 cup Vegetable Broth or Better than Bullion Vegetable base
1/4 cup Heavy Cream
1/2 cup Cheddar Cheese
1 teaspoon Low Carb Flour or Corn Starch
1 teaspoon Seasoning Salt or Mrs. Dash
1/4 teaspoon Red Pepper Flakes
1/4 teaspoon Black Pepper

Partially cook the frozen vegetables in a microwave so they are defrosted. Cook the cubed celery root for 1 minute in the microwave. This will speed up the cooking time on the stove.

In a medium skillet, heat the olive oil over medium high heat and add the garlic. Cook for about 20 seconds, then add the vegetables to the pan. Stir and cook the vegetables for a few minutes, then add the vegetable broth and bring to a boil, then lower the heat to simmer. Add seasoning and let cook for about ten minutes until the vegetables begin to soften.

In a cup, add 1/4 cup water and flour or corn starch, then stir to mix. Add the cream to the pan, then add the water mixture. Stir into the vegetables. This will begin to thicken after a few minutes. Add the cheese and stir in to make the cheese sauce. Cook a few minutes until it’s a thick sauce, then serve.

Makes 3 servings.

Image: Nutrition Info for Garden Vegetables

What is that …?

…and what do you do with it?

That’s a question I’ve been asked many times at the grocery store check out stand from either customers or the clerk when I’ve bought a couple of unusual vegetables. While not uncommon or even unknown in the United States, they are odd-looking and often overlooked by shoppers. I am speaking of kohlrabi and celery root, two very delicious vegetables that can add a different flair to your dinner while coming in at a lower calorie and carbohydrate count than a potato, pasta, or rice.

So, I’m on a mission to introduce more people to these tasty but lesser known edibles.

To be honest, I didn’t discover them until the past few years when I started changing over to a low carb lifestyle to manage my weight. A friend in Europe told me about kohlrabi and while picking one up at the store, I was curious about celery root. Both vegetables are peculiar-looking, but the flavor they hide is wonderful.

Both the leaves and the vegetable on a kohlrabi plant are edible. These are a winter crop and can be found in the markets around February until the middle of summer, depending on where you are.

Kohlrabi is a cousin of broccoli and if you like the taste of that vegetable’s stem, then imagine it in a milder version and you have the taste of kohlrabi. It looks like an alien plant when you see it with the leaves attached as the stems come out from all over the round vegetable. The leaves are also good to cook and eat along with other greens.

Most often, it seems people who use kohlrabi grate or chop it to add to salads. However, it is wonderful when cooked. I make kohlrabi fries just as I would potato ones. You can also boil it into a mash with other vegetables, steam it, roast it, or turn it into a scalloped dish. It works best for these dishes when precooked a little to speed up the cooking time. You can also par-boil and freeze it.

Celery root is usually sold by the root. Look for the larger ones to get more value.

Now, celery root looks like a big, ugly lump when you see it in the store. It’s a gnarly-looking root. This is not your usual garden celery, but the celeriac root. The taste of it has a hint of celery, but it isn’t very strong. Once you peel off the exterior and clean it up, the meat is versatile. You can use it almost any way you use a potato. In fact, if you wash it up well, cut it in half and bake it, it makes a great substitute for a baked potato. Just don’t eat the skin.Texture-wise, it’s the only substitute vegetable I’ve found, apart from other potato family ones, that is like a potato when baked. It makes fabulous plank fries and goes well in soups.

I’ve also added turnips to my meal plans, finding that turnips and cauliflower mashed together with butter and cream made a great-tasting substitute for mashed potatoes. Cauliflower flowerets along with diced turnips, kohlrabi, or celery root can make a great-tasting macaroni-free cheese dish.

Apart from changing up the usual starches at dinner, these options are also lower in calories and carbs. If you’re wanting to cut back a little, try one of these vegetables for a change.

Take a look at the differences in nutrition:

Kohlrabi – per 1/2 cup:
18 calories 4.2 grams carbohydrates 2.5 g fiber 1.2 g protein

Celery root – per 1/2 cup
33 calories 7.2 g carbohydrates 1.3 fiber 1.2 protein

Turnips – per 1/2 cup
18.2 calories 4.2 g carbohydrates 1.2 g fiber 0.6 gr protein

Potatoes – per 1/2 cup:
51.8 calories, 11.8 g carbohydrates 1.8 g fiber 1.3 g protein

Have you tried kohlrabi or celery root?  If so, how did you use them and what did you think?

Pictured at the top is a Broccoli, kohlrabi and ham bake.  All photos are copyright by the author.