Cabbage is one of those vegetables that I put in my cart every time I go to the grocery store. It is available year-round and is a good value for the money. It is also very versatile; you can add it to soup, fry it up as a side-dish, make cabbage rolls, just to name a few of my favorite ways to serve it. Cabbage is a nutritional powerhouse; one cup (shredded and boiled) provides 91% of the RDA for vitamin K (potassium) and 50% of the RDA for vitamin C! It is also a good source of dietary fiber as well as an assortment of other important vitamins and minerals. Cabbage is a cruciferous vegetable (in the same family as kale, broccoli, collards and Brussels sprouts) and studies have shown that cruciferous vegetables appear to lower our risk of cancer more effectively than any other vegetables or fruits.
When selecting cabbage, look for heads that are firm and heavy feeling with shiny, crisp leaves. Avoid heads with cracks, bruises or other blemishes. To ensure the maximum health benefit, resist purchasing pre-shredded cabbage because once cabbage is cut, it quickly loses its vitamin C content.
Below I share my family's favorite recipe using cabbage; this Asian style coleslaw recipe is a staple in our household. It is crunchy and flavorful, with just the right amount of tang. The dressing is made with toasted sesame oil instead of mayonnaise and is lower in fat than traditional coleslaw recipes. For some extra zing, you can add chili oil!
- 1 large head green cabbage
- 2 large carrots
- 1/3 cup unseasoned rice vinegar
- 1/3 cup low-sodium soy sauce
- 1 1/2 tablespoons dark-roasted sesame oil
- Fresh ground pepper, to taste
- 2-8 drops hot chili oil (optional)
- 1/4 cup chopped green onion
- 2 tablespoons toasted slivered almonds
1. Discard the outside leaves of the cabbage head, cut in quarters and remove the core. Slice the cabbage quarters into thin shreds, discarding thick ribbed sections, if you wish.
2. Peel and grate carrots.
3. Combine chopped cabbage and grated carrots in a large bowl.
4. In a small bowl, whisk together the dressing ingredients. To keep from over spicing the dressing, add the chili oil one drop at a time until the dressing is to your taste. Note: The sesame oil should always be stored in the refrigerator so it does not spoil. It thickens when cold, so let it sit on the counter while chopping the vegetables so that it can warm up slightly before mixing into the dressing.
5. Pour the dressing over the cabbage and carrot mixture and toss until completely mixed. Let chill for a few hours (if you can leave it alone that long). Toss again just before serving and garnish with the chopped green onions and slivered almonds.
This recipe is delicious and is the perfect accompaniment to Asian style dishes. It is low-fat, low-calorie and suitable for many diets including low-carb, vegan and vegetarian diets. It is also quick and easy to make in a matter of minutes; the hardest part is chopping the cabbage. To speed this up, you can use a spiral vegetable slicer to process both the cabbage and the carrots.