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   May 28

Bok Choy: 10 Fun Facts

A staple in Asian cooking, this round-leafed vegetable may be less familiar to American cooks. Here’s what you need to know — including what its name means, how to wash it, and how to use it.

1. Bok Choy’s Name

Bok choy is sometimes referred to as white cabbage, not to be confused with Napa cabbage, which is also a type of Chinese cabbage. There are many kinds of bok choy that vary in color, taste, and size, including tah tsai and joi choi. You might also find bok choy spelled pak choi, bok choi, or pak choy.

2. Its Plant Family

Bok choy might look a lot like celery, but it’s a member of the cabbage family.

3. History

The Chinese have been cultivating the vegetable for more than 5,000 years.

4. Where It’s Grown

Although the veggie is still grown in China, bok choy is now also harvested in California and parts of Canada.

5. Cooking It

Bok choy, known for its mild flavor, is good for stir-fries, braising, and soups. You can also eat it raw.

6. How to Clean It

The leaves and the stalks can both be cooked, but they should be separated before washing to ensure that both parts are thoroughly cleansed.

7. Keeping Bok Choy

For optimal freshness, don’t wash bok choy until you’re ready to use it. Unused parts can stay fresh in the refrigerator for up to 6 days.

8. Nutrition Facts

The veggie is packed with vitamins A and C. One cup of cooked bok choy provides more than 100% of the recommended dietary allowance (RDA) of A, and close to two-thirds the RDA of C.

9. Growing Bok Choy

The veggie takes about 2 months from planting to harvest and thrives best in milder weather.

10. Bok Choy: The Soup Spoon

Bok choy is sometimes called a “soup spoon” because of the shape of its leaves.

Sesame Asian Bok Choy Salad


3 cups thinly sliced bok choy

1 cup chopped Napa cabbage

1 large red pepper, sliced

1/2cup shredded carrots

1/2 cup chopped, seeded cucumber

1/2 cup snow peas, blanched

1/4cup sliced green onions

1/4cup chopped cilantro

1/4 cup unsalted peanuts

Salad Dressing

2 Tbsp low-sodium soy sauce

1 Tbsp brown sugar

1 Tbsp rice vinegar

2 Tbsp lime juice

1 garlic clove, minced

1 Tbsp fresh ginger, minced

2 tsp sesame oil

1 Tbsp olive oil


1. Place all salad ingredients in a large bowl, and toss to combine.

2. To prepare dressing, whisk together all salad dressing ingredients.

3. Drizzle dressing over salad, and toss gently to coat.

Per serving: 229 calories. 9 g protein. 22 g carbohydrate. 14 g fat (1 g saturated fat). 6 g fiber. 9 g sugar. 348 mg sodium. Calories from fat: 44%

Tufts University Sustainable Farming Project: “Specialty Crops: Baby Bok Choy.”
Producepedia: “Bok Choy.”
Fruits and Veggies More Matters: “Bok Choy.”
Reviewed on May 08, 2014

5 Fun Facts About Carrots

1. First Use

People first grew carrots as medicine, not food, for a variety of ailments.

2. They’re How Old?

Carrots can be traced back about 5,000 years through historical documents and paintings. No one knows exactly when the first carrots appeared, because many people mistook them for parsnips, a close relative of the carrot.

3. Nutrition Facts

A medium-size carrot has 25 calories, 6 grams of carbs, and 2 grams of fiber. The veggie is an excellent source of vitamin A, providing more than 200% of your daily requirement in just one carrot. Carrots are loaded with beta-carotene, a natural chemical that the body changes into vitamin A. The deeper orange the carrot, the more beta-carotene you’re getting.

4. Carrot Colors

We think of carrots as orange, but they can also be white, yellow, red, and purple.

5. A Surprising Hater of Carrots

Mel Blanc, the voice of cartoon character Bugs Bunny, reportedly did not like carrots.

Recipe: Carrot Quinoa Grain Medley
Makes 8 servings


1 Tbsp olive oil

2 cups dry quinoa, rinsed and drained

1½ cups carrots, diced (about 3 medium)

1 large onion, diced

1 large red bell pepper, diced

1 Tbsp garlic, minced

1/2 cup chopped fresh parsley, divided

2½ cups unsalted, nonfat chicken stock

pinch salt and pepper

2 ounces dry-roasted, salted pistachio kernels, chopped


1. Heat medium saucepan over medium heat. Add olive oil and quinoa, and stir 3 to 4 minutes to toast quinoa.

2. Add carrots, onion, red pepper, garlic, and 1 tablespoon of parsley. Stir 3 to 4 minutes.

3. Add chicken stock, and bring medley to a simmer. Reduce heat to low, cover, and cook for 15 minutes or until quinoa is tender and liquid is absorbed.

4. Remove saucepan from heat. Let sit 5 minutes; then fluff with fork.

5. Garnish with pistachios and parsley.

Per serving: 266 calories,10 g protein, 38 g carbohydrate, 9 g total fat (1 g saturated fat), 2 mg cholesterol, 5 g fiber, 5 g sugar, 171 mg sodium. Calories from fat: 28%

World Carrot Museum: “History of Carrots.”
NutritionData: “Carrots, raw.”
Mayo Clinic: “Betacarotene.”
Reviewed on May 08, 2014

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