Here’s an easy recipe that turns the humble cabbage into the center of attention. Super versatile, it’s quick and easy, healthful, and delicious…
Cabbage. So often served boiled, grey, and tasteless. Cole slaw. Slaw. Shredded cabbage. Whatever you call it, it’s often served drenched in mayonnaise and tastes like a dessert. But in my kitchen, cabbage is a primo ingredient – I love it. So let’s have no more boring and unhealthy cabbage dishes — let’s take another look. (And let’s give it another name: how about cabbagio!)
I don’t ever want to lose sight of the fact that you’re busy. Life throws plenty of challenges at you, whether you’re working outside the home, raising children, taking care of an ailing loved one, or taking care of yourself. Making the commitment to eating healthy food is a big deal, whatever stage of life you’re in. You deserve to feel proud of yourself for wanting to do the right thing for yourself and those you care about. That said, making meals every night can become a chore. Even if your budget allows for eating out every night, it’s hard to find restaurants with menus to support you on your journey to great nutrition. So let’s look at this dish to see why it can be such a valuable option for a busy weekday dinner.
For a start, there are only four or five main ingredients: cabbage, cilantro, scallions, and your choice of protein. I often make this dish with shrimp, or beans, or tempeh, or hard boiled eggs.
Cabbage is readily available in the produce section of most grocery stores. Try to buy organic, and buy the heaviest cabbage for its size you can find. The heavier it is, the chances are it will be juicier (yes, cabbage can have juice!) with densely packed leaves. The fewer air spaces, the better. Cabbage starts to lose its vitamin C content when it is chopped, so try not to buy a partial cabbage. If you have to store a wedge, tightly wrap it in plastic and store it in the crisper drawer of your fridge and use it within a couple of days. Cabbage reacts with carbon steel, which turns the leaves black, so use a stainless steel knife when shredding.
It’s good to use a mix of red and green cabbage – it looks prettier, and red cabbage is more nutritionally dense. Both red and green cabbage offer up plenty of vitamins and minerals, and antioxidant and anti-inflammatory goodness. All cruciferous vegetables (such as cabbage, broccoli, kale, cauliflower, and Brussels sprouts) are rich in antioxidants, but cabbage is impressive even for a cruciferous vegetable.
Cabbage is a tremendously versatile vegetable. It featured in a couple of our earlier posts, and we’ll doubtless use it again as either a main ingredient or a side. Fall and winter are the primary seasons for cabbage. Luckily for us, we can look forward to enjoying its fresh, sweet, peppery, crunch for months to come.
The lowly, humble cabbage. The butt of so many jokes. But no more! Let’s appreciate this vegetable for the healthful wonder that it is – and let’s start by enjoying a yummy cabbagio salad!
1 1/2 cup of cooked beans (your choice: black, navy, kidney, fava, etc)
2 tsp olive oil (your choice of flavored or not)
7 tsps vinegar (rice, white balsamic, apple cider, etc)
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp black pepper
Turn the oven to its lowest temperature for warming.
Whisk together the dressing ingredients in a small bowl. Set aside.
Mix the cabbage, scallions, and cilantro into a big serving bowl. Set aside.
For the shrimp
Pour the dressing over the salad and mix well.
In a skillet, heat the coconut oil over medium heat. Add the shrimp, and cook for four or five minutes until the flesh turns white, turning once.
Remove the shrimp from the pan and keep warm in the oven.
Increase the heat, and add the lemon juice to the pan, stirring constantly for a minute or two until the juice thickens. Remove from heat.
Stir shrimp into the salad, and then add the pan drippings. Mix well, and serve.
For beans and tempeh
Pour the dressing over the salad and mix well.
In a skillet, heat the water over medium heat. Add the tempeh and cook for three or four minutes until heated through. (If using beans, heat them in a saucepan until as warm as you want them. If you'd prefer to use cold beans, just rinse and drain them first.)
Stir the tempeh chunks into the salad. Mix well, and serve.
Even though it’s a very simple dish to make, it makes for a pretty meal – very appealing after a long grey day.
If you don’t want to use shrimp, you can use chunks of cooked chicken or cooked white fish instead.
You can make delicious tacos by layering the shrimp or fish and cabbagio salad onto a corn tortilla and then folding or leaving open faced. I often make black bean tacos by layering beans and cabbagio salad on top of either a corn tortilla or a Sukrin wrap. I use either canned black beans or refried black beans (my favorite variation).
What’s good about this recipe
Marvelous red and green cabbage provide us with lots of vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, and anti-inflammatories.
If you use shrimp, you’ll get selenium, copper and omega 3 on top of antioxidants and anti-inflammatories.
Beans provide vitamins, minerals, and lots of protein and fiber.
Tempeh is a fermented food. If you use it, you’ll get fiber, manganese,copper, protein, phosphorus, vitamin B2 and magnesium. In addition, tempeh will provide many nutrients (including proteins) in a more digestible and absorbable form due to the process of fermentation.
If you use eggs as the protein source, you’ll get a healthy dose of calcium, vitamins, minerals, and protein.
Nutrition label for cabbagio salad, using shrimp as the protein
Nutrition label for cabbagio salad, using black beans as the protein
Nutrition label for cabbagio salad, using tempeh as the protein
To read more posts like this, please sign-up on the sidebar of this page. If you don’t get a confirmation email, please let me know at email@example.com. You can feel confident that we won’t pass along your contact information, nor will we inundate you with marketing messages — the only mail we will send will be to notify you of a new post.