Eat Sleep and Play Primally

Daikon Radish

Comfort Food Gone Primal

Roast Chicken, Just Like Potatoe Kugel and Roasted Brussel Sprouts

Having just celebrated Mother’s Day, and with Father’s Day just around the corner, I found myself  thinking about spending time with my family, holidays, and comfort food.  You know, the food your mom made growing up that you can never seem to duplicate perfectly.  Try as I might, it never seems to quite turn out like Mom used to make.  That probably has a lot to do with the experience of sitting around the table with your family enjoying a meal.  Growing up Jewish, food played a big role in our family.  Each holiday had some dish that was usually associated with it, and when the holiday neared, you looked forward to having that dish served at the holiday celebration.  It was Matzoh Ball Soup and Potato Kugel at Passover, or Roasted Brisket with Kasha (bukwheat) and Potatoes for Rosh Hashanah.  My Mom’s cooking was definitely heavy on the carbs and starches.

Having gone primal, a lot of these dishes are, of course, forbidden.  But, this doesn’t mean that you can’t still enjoy the same taste, feel and texture of many of the dishes you grew up on, and still remain faithful to your primal lifestyle.  I find myself constantly trying to replicate those dishes my Mom made, but, with a primal spin. 

One of my favorite dishes that my Mom served was Potato Kugel.  Kugel is a baked Jewish pudding or casserole usually made with potatoes or noodles.  Its somewhat similar to a potato pancake (latke) but in casserole form.  It’s simply delicious, especially served with your favorite roasted meat or chicken.  It soaks up the delicious meat juices on the plate and simply is heaven on a plate. 

The other night I was determined to replicate this kugel, but alas, I wasn’t about to use potatoes. I opened the fridge, which always has a big variety of fruits and vegetables and noticed:

Voila! Daikon Radishes.  I had used regular red radishes before as a substitute for potatoes, but the thought of grating a hundred radishes to create a potato kugel seemed daunting at best.  I thought that the Daikon Radish was the perfect solution.  It is a very large mild flavored white east asian radish that is very commonly used in Japan and other asian cuisines.  Daikon is very low in calories. A 3 ounce serving contains only 18 calories and provides 34 percent of the RDA for vitamin C. Rich in vitamin C, daikon contains active enzymes that aid digestion, particularly of starchy foods. Select those that feel heavy and have lustrous skin and fresh leaves. I had picked some up at the grocery store earlier in the week thinking I would simply snack on it or use it in a salad.  While not used by many in the US very often, they are widely available in most grocery stores.

Let me tell you, the Daikon worked perfectly in this Kugel.  It was almost identical to my Mom’s Potato Kugel, just a little moister.  Here’s the recipe:

Just Like Potato Kugel 

Preheat your oven to 375º f.  Genourously butter or grease a 9″ x 13″ cake pan.  I prefer a glass baking dish as I think that the Kugel browns better.


  • 8 cups grated Daikon Radish
  • 1 large yellow onion
  • 4 eggs beaten
  • 1/2 cup almond flour
  • salt & pepper to taste


You will need 2 large mixing bowls.  Grate the Daikon Radish and place in 1 of the large mixing bowls.  When you have finished  grating the Daikon Radish, place both mixing bowls next to your sink.  Grab handfuls of the grated Daikon, and with both hands, squeeze out as much of the moisture as you can.  Place the squeezed radish in the empty mixing bowl and continue until you have gone through all of the grated radish.  It is really important that you squeeze out as much moisture as you can. Then grate the onion directly into the Daikon radish.  Now, beat the eggs and pour them over the drained grated Daikon and onion.  Add the almond flour and salt and pepper to taste.  (I happen to like a lot of pepper but you could really get away with none since the radish has a mild peppery flavor anyway).  Stir all of these ingedients together until it is well mixed.  Pour the mixture into your buttered baking dish, spreading it out evenly throughout the baking dish.  Bake the Kugel in your preheated oven, 45 minutes to 1 hour, or until the kugel is browned to your liking.  Remove the Kugel from the oven and slice it into the desired number of portions and serve with your favorite roasted meat or poultry.

You will definitely be surprised at the intense flavor and potato like texture you will obtain with this recipe.  This recipe will make multiple servings and you will likely have leftovers.  It will keep for several days in your refrigerator.   It will be just as delicious the next morning, rewarmed and served topped with fried or poached eggs and a drizzle of sriracha or hout sauce.  Yummy!

Live healthier, happier, leaner and stronger.



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Wednesday, June 16th, 2010 Uncategorized No Comments