Tag Archives: watermelon radish

Another Way to Be Pink: Watermelon Radish Salad

29 Oct

By Deanne

When I was shopping at the farmers market on Saturday there were a lot of people running around with pink clothing and wigs.  Being a bit clueless, I finally realized that there must have been an event to raise awareness and money for breast cancer research.    

Photo of watermelon radish cut into matchsticks or ribbons

Have you heard the term pinkwashing? 

It is an ad and marketing campaign where a company or organization claims to care about breast cancer by promoting a pink ribbon product, but at the same time produces, manufactures and/or sells products that are linked to the disease.

One way to deal with pinkwashing is to learn more about the product you buy. 

In contrast to just mindlessly buying consumer packaged goods wrapped in pink ribbons, consider this Chinese proverb:

“Eating pungent radish and drinking hot tea, let the starved doctors beg on their knees.”

Digging a bit deeper, one learns that radishes are full of phytochemicals like zeaxanthin, lutein and beta-carotene. The lovely pink watermelon radish is a rich source of antioxidants, vitamins and minerals.

There seems to be a pattern unfolding on this real food journey:  nutrient-rich, plant based foods can have a large positive impact on our health.  If you agree, join me in developing a FarmerChef lifestyle by shopping and cooking mostly local and real foods. You might even consider planting a raised-bed garden.  It may seem overwhelming at first, but we can make it fun and make a difference to our health.

Francine introduced me to this pink beauty when she returned from China.  I picked one up at the Downtown Des Moines Farmers’ Market and decided to make this recipe.  A slight variation to Francine’s recipe which is also very good. The three spices:  cinnamon, turmeric, and cloves are added because of their health benefits and flavor. Photo of watermelon radish Photo of watermelon radish salad

Watermelon Radish Salad

  • 1 large watermelon radish, sliced as thinly as possible
  • 1 small white onion, also sliced thin
  • 1/3 cup orange juice
  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon pepper (fresh ground)
  • 2 tablespoon rice wine vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon cloves
  • 1 teaspoon turmeric

Use a peeler to remove the outside of the radish.  Slice radish and then cut slices into lovely pink ribbons. 

Slice onion and place in large mixing bowl.

In a smaller bowl mix the juice, oil, sea salt, pepper, rice wine vinegar, cinnamon, cloves, and turmeric and make a simple dressing to pour over the radish and onions.

Do you think it would be cool to pass out these radishes at the next #bepink event?  Imagine the conversations and education about the value of real food.

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A Celebration of Local Food: Downtown Farmers’ Market

27 Oct
 by Deanne

Before I left Southwest Minnesota, many people told me about the weekly celebration of local food that occurs in downtown Des Moines every Saturday morning from May until October. Photo of crowd at DSM Downtown Farmers Market

I have been able to visit the market three times since we have arrived in September. This last Saturday was the final day for the market this year.   Photo of lovely colors at DSM Farmers Market

It was a brisk, yet bright and breezy day to take in the sounds (local entertainment), sights (bountiful displays of vegetables and fruit), and the tempting aromas (lots of food vendors).  I got a little distracted by the beautiful fall colors at the honey table but then I snapped into focus and started filling my bag with eggs, eggplant, apples, garlic, spaghetti squash, bok choy, and watermelon radish.

Photo of eggs, garlic, eggplant etc.

I so admire the spirit of the farmers who work hard all week and diligently arrive (from long distances) early in the morning to set up their booths. More than a few farmers wore costumes and held down their canopies as the breeze turned into winter-y gusts that ripped through the canyon of city blocks.

Photo of vendors in costumes

In the end, I found a brochure that lifted my spirits…The Winter Farmers’ Market in November in December. (It is inside!)

I had a chuckle from this article that was re-tweeted on Saturday.  It explains the five types of people you might see at the market.  Check it out…which one are you?

 

 

Winter on the Outside, Summer on the Inside: Watermelon Radish

24 Jan
by Francine

A photo of the radishIt doesn’t look like much from the outside, but once you cut it open and see its brilliant pink, you’ll know why another name for this radish is Beauty Heart Radish.

 I first encountered it when I was living in China. One day it appeared in a lettuce and carrot salad when I was eating at a neighborhood restaurant with fellow teachers.

Immediately I fell in love with its color, its crunchy texture and its subtle radish flavor. Later I had it in another salad where it was the star of the dish. 

When I saw one of these radishes for sale at our local co-op, I knew that I had to try and re-create the salad I enjoyed many times when I was living in China.

I should also mention that these can keep for awhile. (I stored one in the fridge for about a month before using it…gotta love long lasting winter vegetables.)

Watermelon Radish Salad: Chinese Style

Ingredients:A photo of the inside
  • 1 watermelon radish
  • 2 Tbsp soy sauce
  • 1 Tbsp rice wine vinegar
  • 1 tsp sesame oil
  • 1 tsp sugar
  • salt (to taste)
  • handful of roasted peanuts
  • 3-5 green onions
  • sesame seeds (for garnish)
Directions:

Using a peeler, remove the tough light green skin. It’s okay if there’s some white “rind” left on the radish. Cut the radish into small pieces and toss with a dash of salt in a bowl. Set aside.

A photo of the saladPrepare the sauce. Mix soy sauce, vinegar, sesame oil and sugar in a small bowl and stir with a spoon. Taste. If it needs more of any ingredient, you can add more. (I know this might not be the best way for those of you who love to follow recipes, but you should feel confident that you can add more or less of any ingredient, depending on whether or not you like it or how much you like it.)

Dice the green onions. If you have peanuts in their shells, crack them open and remove the thin papery covering.

Pour the sauce over the radish slices and toss together with peanuts and diced green onions. Top with toasted sesame seeds for extra crunch.

This salad is served cold. It would be a great accompaniment to a stir fry. Or if you’re like me, you can just eat it will a big bowl of steamed rice.

Have you ever tried other types of radishes? Would you be willing to put a little summer in your winter?