Onwards and upwards – this summer has been energizing. We have vegetables growing in our garden, and farm fresh ingredients coming from the Upswing Farm CSA. I’ve been sharing the recipes featuring vegetables from our farm share, and have now created a new CSA – Community Supported Agriculture category to help you navigate my pages, so check it out!
What to do with cabbage?
Week 6 share featured two heads of cabbage, one of those vegetables that people have very mixed feelings about. On one hand you know it’s super healthy for you, with huge amounts of vitamins C and K, but on the other hand you also know that it’s just not something you necessarily like to see on your plate. Unless, of course, you are from Central or Eastern Europe in which case you are raised to adore cabbage!
I hail from the Balkans, so I think of cabbage as a part of my cultural heritage. I grew up eating cabbage stews traditionally made with meat, cabbage salads, sauerkraut, stuffed cabbage leaves (also often done with meat but here is a great vegan version), and overall loving it, especially the cabbage pie my grandmother used to make using shredded cabbage, phyllo dough, salt, pepper and oil. Quite honestly, one of the best things to do with cabbage is to shredded it finely, add some oil, vinegar, salt and black pepper, chill well and enjoy as a crisp salad.
What’s the deal with coleslaw?
Having grown up with abundance of cabbage, coleslaw came as a bit of a surprise to me. If you never had coleslaw, let me take a moment to describe it to you. It’s a very popular side dish for a BBQ, or surprisingly enough, a clam/lobster bake. It’s made of shredded cabbage and carrots, mixed with mayonnaise, some sugar, a bit of milk, a splash of vinegar, a sprinkle of celery seeds, and salt to taste. As with plain shredded cabbage salad I grew up with, coleslaw is at its best after 6-8 hours and served chilled.
By now you can probably guess that I am not a huge fan of many coleslaws that I tried. First of all they are too wet, second of all they are too sweet, and third of all they have too much mayo!
The taming of the coleslaw
After giving traditional coleslaw recipes a try, I decided to make coleslaws my own way. And my own way means more vinegar, usually a bit of Dijon mustard, no sugar, less or no mayonnaise, and absolutely no milk. If you are looking for a version of coleslaw with a bit of a kick to it, try this spicy version, which I shared last summer. The version below was inspired by this week’s CSA share that included cabbage, carrots and celery.
Food processor is your coleslaw making secret weapon
For this recipe I recommend using a food processor. Although cabbage is best when thinly sliced by hand, the food processor does the chopping in a blink of an eye, so it is an acceptable shortcut. So, after buzzing the celery, cabbage and carrots all you need to do us mix in some vinegar, caraway seeds, ground mustard, a pinch of salt, and some mayo (vegan of course, I like Just Mayo and Trader Joe’s Vegan Spread & Dressing). You can eat the coleslaw as soon as it’s mixed, but it will be tastier if you leave it in the fridge for couple of hours.
My favorite way to eat coleslaw? As a coleslaw sandwich! Of course, you can serve it with Beyond Burgers, or vegan BBQ ribs, or with your next vegan sausage. No matter how you serve it, I hope you give it a try – it will help you fall in love with cabbage, guaranteed!!!
Basic Vegan Coleslaw
What you’ll need:
1 medium head cabbage (1 1/2 lbs (600-700 g))
4 large carrots
5-6 stalks celery (I used young celery here, which is dark green but you can use any you have on hand)
2 tablespoons white vinegar
1 tablespoon caraway seeds
2 teaspoons ground mustard
1/4 teaspoon Kosher salt (or to taste)
What you’ll do:
- Using an S blade in your food processor, chop the celery roughly.
- Take the S blade out and put in your grater attachment (I recommend coarser grating side, if you have a food processor that gives you an option to choose between finer and coarser grating). Process your cabbage and your carrots.
- Invert the contents of your food processor into a large mixing bowl and add the rest of the ingredients. Mix well to combine.
- Cover with some plastic wrap or a lid if your bowl has a tight fitting one, and leave in the refrigerator for at least 2 hours. I think you’ll get best results if you make the salad in the morning and serve that afternoon but making the night before and serving the next day is fine too.
- Enjoy as a salad with your next vegan BBQ or burgers, as a topping for your carrot dogs, or in a sandwich – you can’t go wrong with this one!
Copyright © Eat the Vegan Rainbow, 2018