Tangy Jicama Rhubarb Slaw

Bye-bye Old School Slaw

With today’s innovative use of alternative ingredients, the slaw we remember on a corner of our plate is stealing the show.  Put aside any lingering old school perceptions of slaw.   You’ll love the contrast of tart, savory and even spicy of this Tangy Jicama Rhubarb Slaw nestles into your fish or cauliflower tacos, tops a lentil or borsch soup, kick the tomato and lettuce off your next burger, tucks smartly into the shrimp spring rolls and cuts the rich sauciness of BBQ.

Rhubarb and Substitutions

Rhubarb has long magenta-crimson stalks that look like celery.  Take a bite—you will pucker.  The flavor is sour and acidic.  Rhubarb is the “T” in this Tangy slaw. Not sure if you like rhubarb?  I promise, it’s worth trying. You can substitute strawberries, cranberries, quinces, tart apples, raspberries or sour cherries.  These substitutions make this a seasonally year-around slaw.

Rhubarb and Health 

The red stalks of rhubarb, a native to centra Asia, has been long known for it’s health properties.  But NEVER eat the leaves because they’re toxic and have high concentrations of oxalic acid.  In fact, you typically will see rhubarb sold with the leaves removed. Anthocyanins, an orange, red-violet and sometimes blue antioxidant, give the stalks their red color.  In combination with the proanthocyandins, these antioxidants can have anti-inflammatory benefits. Eating rhubarb may help protect you from heart disease, cancer and diabetes. As a good source of fiber, rhubarb can help lower LDL (bad) cholesterol.  It’s vitamin a may protect your skin from damage.  And, it’s vitamin K may help maintain strong, healthy bones and prevent osteoporosis.


This recipe was originally posted on the Pennsylvania Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics blog June 10, 2020.

Makes approximately 1 ½ cups

Prep time:  25 minutes

Cook time:  5 minutes

Total time:  30 minutes


1/3 cup rhubarb, thinly sliced

1/3 cup jicama, peeled and julienned

2 tablespoons red onion, diced

¼ cup poblano pepper, seeded and thinly sliced

¼ cup red bell pepper, seeded and thinly sliced

¼ cup yellow bell pepper, seeded and thinly sliced

1 roma tomato, diced flesh only

½ teaspoon jalapeno pepper, seeded and finely diced

1 tablespoon fresh cilantro, chopped

2 teaspoons lime juice

1/2 teaspoon honey

1/4 teaspoon Kosher salt

ground black pepper to taste


Fill a medium-sized saucepan two-thirds of the way full of water.  Bring to a boil.  Add the sliced rhubarb to the boiling water and cook for 10 seconds. Remove the rhubarb by draining through a colander.  Immediately rinse with running cold water.  Transfer rhubarb to a large mixing bowl.

Cut the red onion, poblano, red, and yellow bell peppers, roma tomato flesh (seeds removed), jalapeno pepper, and cilantro.  Add each cut ingredient to the large mixing bowl with the rhubarb.

In a small mixing bowl, dissolve the honey in the lime juice.   Add the honey-lime juice mixture to the ingredients in the large mixing bowl. Sprinkle slaw with salt and black pepper and stir slaw and mix thoroughly.

Refrigerate overnight or at least 30 minutes to allow the flavors to meld.


Per ½ cup serving:  60 calories; 1.3g protein; 14.4g carbohydrates; 2.4g fiber; 5.32g added sugar; 0.2g total fat; 0.05g saturated fat; 0.16g monounsaturated fat; 0g polyunsaturated fat; 0mg cholesterol; 165mg sodium

94mg vitamin C (106% DV)

Can Home Gardens Save Money?

You might know that home gardening promotes healthy eating, stress relief and productive physical activity—just what we all need with social distancing.  And you might be surprised learning that gardening may help with dementia.

But can home gardening really help extend the food budget?  Do the costs and efforts of home gardening out-weigh the rising food costs at the markets?  Read more at A Case for Growing Your Own.