Friday, November 9, 2012

Four Delicious Things to Do with a Cabbage

Photo by Summai/
 "It is the cabbage which surpasses all other vegetables. What virtue and health-giving qualities it has." ~Cato the Elder 
Cabbage is one of those foods that is just about perfect: packed full of nutrients, locally grown and readily available here in Southern Ontario, and CHEAP - really, really cheap. They go on sale routinely around here for $1.50. And a large, robust cabbage is a LOT of food. You can easily get three family meals from one of these formidable veggies. So I have to wonder why more people haven't embraced this amazing vegetable! Perhaps it has something to do with the fact that when most people think of cabbage, they think of cabbage rolls - a rather labour-intensive dish (and one, I might add, that I don't particularly care for) which seems to be enjoyed (at least in my social circles) only on special occasions like holiday buffets. I admit it's not a vegetable I grew up eating, and if you're not familiar with various methods to prepare it, it might seem a trifle overwhelming to figure it all out.

Here I am to the rescue with the recipes I hope will convert everyone into enthusiastic cabbage eaters! All of these dishes are in regular rotation in our home during the months cabbage is in season. I might note that none of them have a really strong bitter-cabbage taste that you can sometimes get with cooked cabbage. So I encourage you to give them a whirl, and expand your repertoire of ways to use this overlooked powerhouse of frugal cooking.

(The page references given are where you'll find the recipes in my book)

1. Cabbage and Beef Soup, p. 167
This makes a BIG batch of soup, perfect for when you need to feed a crowd, use up a bunch of rapidly-wilting produce or want some planned leftovers. It's one of my family's favourite soups, packed full of veggies and very satisfying.

2. Colourful Cabbage Salad, p. 207
A staple in our fridge, this salad will keep well for a few days if it lasts that long! (And goodness, I can't believe I *still* keep forgetting to take a photo of this one).

3. African-Style Vegetable Stew, p. 161
This dish is much heartier than you might suspect based on the ingredients - the substantial amount of peanut butter makes it quite filling.

4. Pork with Cabbage, Apples and Onions
Although it's not the most attractive looking dish, it's quite tasty and eagerly gobbled up by all of my family members whenever I serve it.

What's YOUR favourite way to cook cabbage? Please leave a comment and share it with us!

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  1. my favorite taco topping is shredded fresh cabbage mixed with fresh finely chopped cilantro, chopped tomato, diced green onion or a finely diced sweet onion. To top it all off, you squeeze a large lime over it all and mix till the cabbage is glossy. I could eat it as a salad, but it is awesome on carne asada tacos or chicken, fish, or carnitas tacos!

    1. That sounds really yummy - except I'd leave out the cilantro because I can't stand the stuff :)

  2. I just bought a big 'ol bag of coleslaw mix the other day, it was on sale for $0.88, and I use it like Melissa M. does, for ground turkey tacos and chicken fajitas, I also use it for tossed salads.I find it is not only more nutritious than iceburg or romaine lettuce it keeps a lot longer too, and you don't have to rinse it. After I open the bag, I seal it back up and secure it with a binder clip. Happy Frugaling!

    1. Ah, yes - another of cabbage's great qualities is that it keeps for so long :)

  3. I saute cabbage with some kielbasa I have already browned up. I use butter, but if I get impatient for the cabbage to soften, I will put water in the large sauce pan and cover to steam it. Meanwhile, I have egg noodles boiling. When they are almost done. I add them to the cabbage (roughly equal amounts) and stir together. I left the flavors marry for just a few more minutes, and serve. We consider this a comfort food. -Mary Lynne

    1. That sounds really tasty, Mary Lynne. Thanks for sharing :)

  4. The link to 1. Cabbage and Beef Soup isn't working :(

    1. Leah, there is no link for that one - that recipe is exclusive to the book and isn't on the blog!


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