Category: Daikon Radishes

How to Make a Buddha Bowl

Several years ago, my in-laws Dana and Joan encountered significant health issues.  Joan was diagnosed as pre-diabetic, while Dana continued to struggle with high cholesterol even though he was taking statins and eliminating most fats from his diet.  Instead of diving into even more medication, they decided to make a serious diet change–by going vegan.  They signed up for cooking classes at their local Whole Foods, learned how to eat a balanced vegan diet, and guess what?  Dana’s cholesterol returned to a normal level, and Joan rid herself of the pre-diabetic status.

Was it easy?  Surely not–it’s never easy to change years of eating habits that include meat and milk and cheese and buttercream frosting (okay, I don’t even know if they like buttercream frosting, but I’m just saying I think that might be a hard one for me to give up).  They found a supportive community at Whole Foods, and they learned that with excellent ingredients and several key recipes, eating as vegans was actually quite enjoyable–and delicious.

One of the recipes they passed on to me from this time is something Whole Foods called “Wellness Bowls o’Goodness”, but I’ve heard them more commonly called Buddha Bowls.  I’m so grateful they shared this with Dan and me, and today I’m going to keep on paying it forward because these bowls are not only TASTY but an excellent way to eat up all those veggies and greens you’re getting in your fall share.

According to the good folks at Whole Foods Market Culinary Education, a Buddha bowl includes your base of cooked whole grains or starch veggies, and toppings in these categories:

  • cooked beans
  • greens (lightly steamed or raw)
  • veggies (roasted, lightly steamed or raw)
  • herbs and spices
  • sauce (such as fresh salsa, hot sauce, salad dressing, tamari, etc.)

For the Buddha bowl pictured in this post, I started by cooking 1 cup of organic brown basmati rice with 1 tsp Real Salt seasoned salt.  I used 1 cup of cooked rice for my bowl and saved the rest for fried rice to be made later in the week.  (Quick note here: I found it easier to season–if necessary–each food as I went along instead of trying to season the whole bowl at the end.) I topped my rice with the following:

  • 1/2 cup black beans
  • 1 cup whole leaf fresh spinach, sauteed for about one minute, seasoned with salt and pepper to taste
  • 1/4 cup shiitake mushrooms (grown ourselves–we should have these for sale soon!) sauteed with 2 T sliced leek
  • 1/4 cup watermelon radish, chopped (I was hoping these would be ready for your share this week, but they need a little more time.  We do, however, have daikon radish for you, and that will work just as well!)
  • 1/4 cup red cabbage, chopped
  • 1/4 cup cashews
  • 1 tsp sesame seeds, toasted
  • Asian vinaigrette: 2 tsp olive oil, 1 tsp sesame oil, 1 tsp rice vinegar, 1/2 tsp soy sauce, 1 minced garlic clove

I tell you what.  I felt so so good after eating this for lunch.  And really, there are so many possible variations for the Buddha bowl, that you could make this work for any meal of the day.

To wrap this up, I want to return to Dana and Joan’s story.  Soon after those cooking classes at Whole Foods, my in-laws moved from Maine to the Midwest to our little town of DeMotte (yay!).  They discovered that it was hard to keep up a vegan diet here, and they’ve since allowed small amounts of meat and dairy back into their diet.  But they still love their Buddha bowls, and I’m sure they–along with me!–would love to hear your ideas for a tasty bowl of goodness.

Photography: Anne Kingma



Recipe: Daikon, Beet, and Carrot Slaw

This week you’ll be receiving a new vegetable in your share:

fresh harvest daikon radish

Meet the daikon radish, the less attractive cousin of the lovely Valentine’s Day radish mix you’ve been receiving for the past few weeks.


Although the daikon doesn’t play a prominent role in American cuisine, it’s quite popular in Asian countries, such as China, Korea, Vietnam, and India, where the daikon is eaten pickled, stir-fried, and raw.  In Japan, daikon radishes are produced more than any other vegetable. 

daikon in the ground before harvest

In the United States, the daikon radish is used more commonly as a cover crop—or a crop used to protect and enrich the soil—than as an eaten commodity.  For instance, on August 1, we planted a cover crop mix of daikon radishes, oats, and Canadian field peas in the garlic area in order to prepare the soil for our October garlic planting. 

garlic field in the fall

As a cover crop, daikons are known for breaking soil compaction layers and scavenging nitrogen.  Truth be told, we (especially Dan) could talk for hours about the amazing abilities of the daikon as a cover crop, but I’m going to save that for another post and move along to helping you figure out how to eat this versatile root crop.

harvested veggies

This week, I combined the radish with two other veggies in your share to make Daikon, Beet, and Carrot Slaw, a delicious complementary side to a sandwich or wrap.

Begin by removing the greens from the daikon, beets, and carrots.  Set these aside for other recipes (beet greens and carrot tops for smoothies, daikon greens for stir-fry).

j veggies

Next, peel and julienne the daikon, beets, and carrots.  To julienne, begin by trimming the ends and sides of the vegetables to make four straight edges. 

j veggies on an angle

Next, cut each of the vegetables into 1/8-1/4 inch matchsticks.  Set aside the peels and scraps to use in soups and stocks (or bring them along for our goats Basil and Jasper next time you visit the farm!).

Combine the julienned daikon, beets, and carrots in a bowl.  Toss the vegetables with a dressing of sesame oil, vegetable oil, red wine vinegar, and sea salt.  Cover the bowl and set aside for at least a half hour before eating.

pork sandwich with beet carrot and radish salad

When ready to eat, garnish with chopped green onions and toasted sesame seeds, and pair with your favorite sandwich, such the pulled pork sandwich pictured above, made with pulled pork from DeMotte’s Bub’s BBQ—yum!  You can also serve the slaw on top of—what else?—a bed of greens.

For the printable of this recipe, scroll down.

Photographs and Food Styling: Anne Kingma

Daikon, Beet, and Carrot Slaw
Serves 2
A tasty raw slaw combining daikon radish, beets, and carrots.
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  1. 1 8-inch daikon radish, peeled and julienned
  2. 2 medium-sized red beets, peeled and julienned
  3. 2 medium-sized carrots, peeled and julienned
  4. 1 tsp sesame oil
  5. 2 tsp vegetable oil
  6. 1 tsp red wine vinegar
  7. 1 tsp sea salt
  1. Combine the julienned daikon radish, beets, and carrots in a bowl. Set aside.
  2. Thoroughly combine the sesame oil, vegetable oil, vinegar, and sea salt.
  3. Toss the dressing with the vegetables.
  4. Cover the bowl and set aside for a least a half hour before serving.
Perkins' Good Earth Farm
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