zucchini, turnip, tofu saute

Zucchini, Turnip, Tofu Saute with Lemon Ginger Miso Sauce

October 30, 2019

I should start by saying, I really don’t love turnips. Does anyone really love turnips? If you do, leave me a comment. I want to talk to you and find out what makes you love them. They’re appeal is still a mystery.

I am committed to making my relationship with seasonal, local foods successful, so I decided to give turnips another shot with this Zucchini, Turnip, Tofu Saute.

I created this recipe in part because my friends at Maeday Farm encouraged me to give these purple-topped beauties a try. Spoiler alert: they still taste like turnips.

However, the sauce I use is magic.

Plus, zucchini is a great buffer to the bitterness of turnips.

And if you chop the turnips into really, really small pieces, you can barely taste them.

I’m not really selling this recipe, am I?

Here’s the deal:

I love the idea of shifting my palate with the seasons.

Right now, it’s vata season. That means the weather is starting to cool off and the air, as well as the earth, is starting to dry up.

It’s no longer great weather for ice cream or cucumbers or melon or lettuce.

In vata season, the foods our bodies crave are warming and grounding.

This recipe is perfect for that. The veggies are sauteed in oil, which is perfect for creating a little more digestive lube. Plus, root veggies like turnips are a little bitter, which is more vata but also denser, which is more kapha. And the heat from the ginger in the sauce gives your digestion a little extra kick, as in vata season, digestion can slow down.

So while I still might not *love* turnips, I actually deeply enjoy and appreciate this recipe, as well as the farmers who grow these veggies that nourish my body.

Try it out and let me know what you think!

Zucchini, Turnip, Tofu Saute with Lemon Ginger Miso Sauce

Serves 2


1/2 cup barley plus water to cover it

1 Tbs olive oil

1 zucchini, chopped into cubes

1 small turnip, peeled and chopped into tiny cubes

Half a block of extra firm tofu, cut into small cubes (same size as zucchini)

10 cherry tomatoes, halved

1 Tbs sesame seeds (optional)

1 dash soy sauce (optional)


2 Tbs Miso

1 Tbs Tahini

2 inch chunk of ginger, peeled and finely grated

1 Tbs lemon juice

splash of soy sauce

water, as needed for consistency


Cook your barley in the water. If you’ve never made barley before, check this out. Once your barley has absorbed all water, remove from the heat and set aside to cool. I usually do this step in the morning so my barley is ready because the rest of the meal is quick and easy to assemble.

To make the sauce, combine all of the ingredients, except the ginger. To add the ginger, you’ll squeeze the grated ginger in your hand to release ginger juice. You can also add a little dash of this to the saute, if you choose. I usually do.
Once everything is added, whisk well, adding water to make this sauce thinner if need be.
When your sauce is the desired consistency, set aside.

Heat the oil in a saucepan. Add the zucchini and turnips, plus a little salt. Stir well, until the turnips start to either brown or look a bit translucent. Then, add in the tofu. Continue to cook, stirring occasionally, until the tofu has browned very lightly, about 5-7 minutes.
Add the soy sauce and sesame seeds, if you’re using, right before the tofu is fully cooked.

To assemble, divide the barley in half and place in 2 bowls. Do the same with the veggies and sauce. Add the tomatoes, if you’re using them.
Eat this deliciousness up and feel warmed from the inside out.

purple top turnips

zucchini turnip and tofu saute




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