Probiotic Rainbow Slaw

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As the weather gets warmer and the days get longer, turning winter into spring, I start craving lighter dishes consisting mainly of fresh fruits and vegetables.  My cooking shifts its focus from hearty, cooked meals, which bring comfort during the cold months, to raw and delicious salads.

Even though I realize that the raw food diet is not for me, I remain inspired by its concepts and have read more than a few raw food “cookbooks.” As a result, I adopted many great salad ideas. Eventually I hope to get around to posting them all.

This particular recipe is actually one of my own.  It is just one example of how I use fermented cabbage (recipe posted earlier) in salads. I hope you like it as much as our family does.

Ingredients

½ head red cabbage, shredded
1 cup fermented cabbage with some of the brine
3 carrots, julienned
1 small onion, thinly sliced
2 Tbsp apple cider vinegar, raw and unfiltered
Favorite oil, enough to coat well (I use extra virgin olive or
unrefined sesame seed oil)
Sea salt, to taste
2 small cucumbers, thinly sliced halves
2 mini sweet peppers or 1 bell pepper, thinly sliced
2 – 3 Tbsp fresh dill weed, finely chopped

In a large bowl mix the red cabbage, fermented cabbage, carrots, onion, salt, apple cider vinegar and oil.  Afterwards, I like to pack it down with a potato masher.  Cover and let stand overnight in the refrigerator to marinate.  Before serving add the cucumbers, sweet peppers, dill weed and more oil, if necessary.

Sweet and Tangy Red Cabbage

Red cabbage is a super-food.  It is a good source of thiamine, riboflavin, folate, calcium, iron and magnesium, and a great source of dietary fiber, vitamins A, C, K, B-6, potassium and manganese.  It also contains antioxidants and sulfur-based compounds which can reduce inflammation, provide cancer protection and boost brain function.

I always make an effort to consume a variety of different vegetables, but red cabbage proved to be a bit of a challenge for me.  I was looking for a cooked red cabbage recipe, but most of the ones I found were raw.  It is generally recommended not to over-consume raw cruciferous vegetables (these include cabbage, kale, Brussels sprouts, cauliflower, broccoli) as they can be difficult to digest and harmful to the thyroid.  They contain goitrogens, naturally-occurring substances which may enlarge and slow down the thyroid gland. However, the goitrogenic properties of cruciferous vegetables are dramatically diminished when they are cooked.  A little over a year ago I came across this recipe in the Practical Paleo cookbook and have been making it regularly ever since.  This dish is great on its own or as a side to any type of meat or fish.

Avoid cooking this dish in a cast iron skillet as the vinegar, which is very acidic, may react with the cast iron.

Ingredients

1 large onion, thinly sliced
2 Tbsp butter or coconut oil
½ head of red cabbage, thinly sliced
2-4 Tbsp apples cider vinegar
1 green apple, julienned
1 tsp dried rosemary
Salt and Pepper
3 Tbsp dried cranberries (optional)

Instructions

In a large pot or pan, melt butter over medium heat.  Add onion and sauté until translucent.  Add the cabbage and cook until it softens. Add the vinegar, salt, and dried rosemary. Cook until cabbage is fork-tender.  Add the apples and cook them until soft.  Add more vinegar or some water if mixture becomes too dry.  For a slightly sweeter version, mix in the cranberries at the end. 
Serve warm.  Enjoy!