elevating the status of the salad

Tag Archives: cabbage



I made this coleslaw for Father’s Day and have looked forward to having it a snack every day since. It’s a perfect food to bring to a 4th of July BBQ or picnic because it can be prepared ahead of time. The magical thing about this coleslaw is that even though we keep eating it, the bowl is still practically full. I’m not really sure what causes this phenomenon. It’s like the everlasting gobstopper of salads. Anyway, it took about 15 minutes to whip it up in the food processor, and I am grateful for that as well. If you don’t have a food processor handy, you can do all the slicing by hand…but it will be much more time-consuming. This recipe also came from Williams-Sonoma’s Salad of the Day book.


  • 1 head green cabbage (about 2 lb)
  • 2 celery ribs
  • 1 granny smith apple
  • 1 small red onion
  • 2 small carrots
  • 2 T cider vinegar, or as needed
  • 2 T minced fresh flat-leaf parsley
  • 1 1/4 c mayonnaise
  • salt and freshly ground pepper


  1. Cut the cabbage through the stem end into wedges, and cut out the core. Using a food processor fitted with the thin slicing attachment, slice the cabbage into thin slivers. Transfer to a (very!) large bowl. Slice the celery crosswise in the same way and add it to the cabbage.
  2. Replace the slicing attachment with the shredding attachment. Halve and core the apple but do not peel. Cut the apple and onion into wedges. Shred the apple, onion, and carrots, and add to the cabbage and celery.
  3. Sprinkle the vegetables with the vinegar and toss to coat evenly. Add the parsley and mayo and mix well. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Cover and refrigerate until chilled, at least two hours. Taste and adjust the seasoning with more vinegar, salt, and pepper before serving. Serve chilled.

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Here’s another vegan winner from Crazy Sexy Kitchen. It was refreshing and well-balanced, with a little bit of heat (especially since we kept all the seeds in the serrano pepper). This salad can be a meal by itself, but we had some edamame with it for a little more protein.


  • One 8-ounce package of buckwheat soba noodles
  • 1/2 cup thinly shredded Napa cabbage
  • 1/2 red bell pepper, thinly julienned
  • 1/2 yellow bell pepper, thinly julienned
  • 1/4 cup thinly julienned snow peas
  • 2 carrots, thinly julienned, or shredded
  • 1/2 cup buckwheat sprouts, sunflower sprouts, or pea shoots (my choice), plus more for garnish
  • 3 tablespoons sesame seeds, lightly toasted (just realized I didn’t toast mine…oops!), plus more for garnish

For the dressing: Whisk the following ingredients in a small bowl and set aside:

  • 1 teaspoon olive oil
  • 1.5 teaspoons toasted sesame oil
  • 2 teaspoons tamari
  • 2 tablespoons rice vinegar
  • 2 teaspoons agave (I used honey, so this recipe is only mostly vegan)
  • 1/2 teaspoon finely minced ginger
  • a tiny bit of minced chile pepper


  1. Cook the buckwheat according to the package instructions. Do not overcook; buckwheat is very temperamental and falls apart if cooked too long. Strain and rinse with cold water to stop the noodles from cooking further. 
  2. Toss the cooked noodles with cabbage, red and yellow bell pepper, snow peas, carrots, sprouts, and sesame seeds in a mixing bowl. Set aside some sprouts and sesame seeds for a garnish.
  3. Pour the dressing evenly over the salad, toss gently, and serve.
  4. Before serving, garnish with leftover sprouts and sesame seeds.

This salad was a huge hit last night. Perhaps it was the backdrop of a beautiful sunset that swayed people’s opinions, but I’m going to give all the credit to the dressing. I’m not typically a ranch dressing kind of gal, but this one was tangy (I was a bit liberal with the vinegar) and not too heavy. This recipe made a good amount of dressing for 4 cups of thinly sliced green cabbage, 2 chopped tomatoes, and 1 jicama peeled and cut into 1/ 2 inch cubes. However, it would be great over any vegetable with a good crunch factor that you have lying around…do I hear the kohlrabi from last week’s CSA calling to you? 

I found this gem of a recipe on Smitten Kitchen, and it originated from Gourmet magazine.


  • 1/2 cup well-shaken buttermilk
  • 2 tablespoons mayonnaise
  • 2 tablespoons cider vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons minced shallot
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 3 tablespoons finely chopped chives


1. In a medium bowl, whisk together all ingredients through the sugar.

2. Once the sugar is dissolved, stir in the chives.

3. Refrigerate until ready to serve.

Are you familiar with Whole Foods’ Step System for animal welfare ratings? If you haven’t already heard me or someone else going on and on about it, here’s the link. What’s tricky is that they don’t have all of their cuts available in all levels at all times, so one has to be flexible. I’m still too new at buying meat to know about good substitutions, but I’m slowly learning. I went to get flank steak, as this Cooking Light recipe called for, but they did not have any steps 4-5 of that kind. The butcher suggested skirt steak, which they had in a Level 4. Great! Thanks, helpful butcher! I ended up bringing home entirely too much steak because I got flustered ordering it, and froze half for fajitas another night.

Also, this recipe calls for fish sauce. So do most Thai recipes that I find. Since I don’t eat fish, I just omitted it. However, when I took a Thai cooking class, I was told you can substitute “this mushroom sauce” for the fish sauce. However, I was in Thailand at the time and could not read the label on “this mushroom sauce.” Oh well. I should look for it in an Asian market one of these days. In the meantime, I usually just taste my food and add more soy sauce if I think it needs more salty flavor.

This gave me a chance to use some of my fresh herbs: mint, basil, and cilantro.


  • Cooking spray
  • 1 pound skirt steak
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/4 cup fresh lime juice
  • 1 tablespoon brown sugar
  • 2 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 2 teaspoons minced fresh garlic
  • 1 teaspoon Sriracha (hot chile sauce, such as Huy Fong)
  • 1 1/2 cups thinly sliced red cabbage
  • 3/4 cup julienne-cut carrots
  • 1/3 cup fresh mint leaves
  • 1/3 cup fresh cilantro leaves
  • 1/3 cup fresh basil leaves


  1. Heat a large grill pan over medium-high heat. Coat pan with cooking spray. Sprinkle steak evenly with pepper and salt. Add steak to pan; cook 6 minutes each side or until desired degree of doneness. Remove steak from pan; let stand 5 minutes. Cut steak diagonally across grain into thin slices.
  2.  Combine juice and next 4 ingredients (through Sriracha) in a small bowl; stir with a whisk.
  3.  Combine cabbage and remaining ingredients in a medium bowl. Add 6 tablespoons juice mixture to cabbage mixture; toss well. Toss steak in remaining 2 tablespoons juice mixture. Add steak to cabbage mixture; toss to combine.

It has been my experience that the topic of tofu brings up assorted emotional reactions. Some people are afraid of it, and stay as far away as possible. To those of you who fit in that category, there is help. Try this recipe. Perhaps it will convert you.

As a vegetarian for practically my whole adult life, soy was a major staple in my diet. I made dips out of edamame, ate soy-filled energy bars, my freezer was filled with Morningstar Farms products (fake chicken, fake rib, fake you-name-it, I piled my salads high with “chik’n” and “soy medallions”  from the Whole Foods salad bar,  I used tofu in stir fries, and looked forward to eating my “not dog” with sauerkraut at summer bar-be-ques.  However, after hearing some controversial and conflicting ideas about soy’s health effects, I stopped eating soy cold tofurkey in January. It was kind of like an experiment: Can a vegetarian go without soy?

Side effects might include:

1. Eating more than your fair share of rice and beans. Guess the consequence.

2. Missing tofu terribly, and gazing at it longingly in the supermarket freezer.

3. Plummeting stock of Morningstar Farms  (I am just  assuming).

4. Eating even more rice and beans.

5. Eating meat.

So, although I no longer label myself as a vegetarian, I still think carefully about incorporating lots of meat-free protein-rich sources into my diet, such as quinoa, nuts, and, well…rice and beans.

When I got the napa cabbage and scallions from the CSA this week, I thought back to one of my favorite tofu recipes. The recipe below is adapted from Did Emmons Entertaining for a Veggie Planet. I began to wonder if perhaps eliminating something 100% was not necessary. Maybe, just maybe, moderation is the key to a healthy diet. And then I broke down, went out the the store, and bought myself some tofu. I know, I am such a rebel that I can hardly believe it myself.


3 cups very thinly sliced napa cabbage

1 teaspoon kosher salt

1 16 ounce carton firm or extra firm tofu

2 tablespoons canola oil

1 cup bean sprouts

3 scallions, white and green parts, coarsely chopped

1 cup raw,unsalted peanuts

1 tablespoon chile paste (or minced small chiles)

1 tablespoon peeled and minced fresh ginger

2 garlic cloves, minced

2 tablespoons sugar

3 tablespoons white vinegar

The Slaw

1. In a large colander, combine the cabbage and salt and toss to coat. let stand for 30 minutes in the sink to leach out excess water. Rinse well with cold running water and drain. Pat dry with clean kitchen towels.

2. Preheat oven to 350 degrees and place peanuts on rimmed baking sheet. Cook until toasty, 12-15 minutes. Then, chop and keep the peanuts aside for now.

2. Wrap the block of tofu well with a clean dishtowel and press firmly until you feel the towel become damp. Unwrap the tofu and cut it into 1/2  cubes. In a large, well-seasoned skillet, heat the canola oil over medium-high heat. Add the tofu and salt it liberally. Fry the tofu undisturbed until it forms a dark golden crust on the bottom, then use a spatula to turn it an brown it well on at least one more side. Drain well on paper towels. Transfer the tofu to a large bowl and add the cabbage, bean sprouts and scallions.

The Dressing

In a small bowl, whisk together the chile paste, ginger, garlic, sugar, and vinegar until sugar dissolves.


Right before serving, pour the dressing over the slaw and garnish it with the peanuts.