I’m starting this new blog/video series to help and inspire people to get in the kitchen more often with nourishing foods but without overcomplicating it. I’m bringing you straightforward blurbs of plant-based inspiration with an accessible tutorial type format if the kitchen isn’t exactly your jam or you are looking to change things up.

This week we’re looking at three very different meals that include a common winter vegetable that also happens to be a part of the cancer fighting cruciferous vegetable family. This vegetable also tends to be strongly liked or strongly disliked. I tend to think it’s because of the traditional cooking method of boiling. Let me tell you a not-so- secret secret, the ENTIRE cruciferous vegetable family smells awful when boiled. That’s because of the glucosinolates (sulfur-containing compounds) that contribute to this smell and sometimes bitter taste but also what gives cruciferous vegetables one of their unique cancer fighting properties. The fantastic news is there are a lot of ways to prepare and eat vegetables. Before we get to the no recipe recipes, do you know what vegetable I’m talking about? Any guesses??

….if you thought cabbage, you’d be correct and I’m giving you a virtual high five! If you thought of another vegetable (please comment below and maybe I’ll throw it into an upcoming post 😉 ). Also, if you didn’t think of anything and just kept reading, you still get a high five!

So, cabbage….there are a few different kinds. For these recipes, I recommend green or savoy only because the purple will bleed onto the other foods when cooked. This can be a really beautiful effect in a stir fry if you want that pop of color, so don’t discount the purple. Savoy has more texture, like a bubbly texture similar to kale but not quite that rough. I like this when I want roughage, like texture in a creamy soup. The green cabbage is the good ole standby, like an old friend, who’s always there and won’t let you down. If cabbage has a history of being more of an acquaintance or a frienemy in your world, get curious about why (the way it was cooked, seasoned, the environment you ate it in, belly rumbles, etc). If it has more to do with how it was prepared, try one of these.

If you still need some cabbage motivation….increased cruciferous vegetable intake (including cabbage) has a strong association with decreased cancer and heart disease risk. The fiber helps maintain regular digestion. One really popular way to eat cabbage is fermented (kimchi and saurerkraut) and then you have the probiotic benefit from fermentation.

One more note, cabbage is great whether you are cooking for one or an entire army. It lasts a couple weeks in the fridge if uncut (or cut in half). So, unlike some delicate vegetables, it will last. If you are cooking for one or two, make cabbage steaks with mashed potatoes and gravy one night followed up by the Thai salad for lunch a few days later. If you are cooking for a large family, that same head will serve up quite a bit in the soup or as roasted steaks.

Ok, so let’s jump right in to this week’s no recipe recipes for this week! If you are more of a visual person, check out Morgan The Yogi Dietitian on Facebook for a video corresponding to this week’s cabbage no recipe recipes.

Roasted Cabbage Steaks

Roasting vegetables is probably my absolute favorite method of preparation because it’s simple AND the caramelization is divine. The caramelization happens when you use a dry heat cooking method that removes the excess liquid. Cue vegetables. They become sweeter and quite marvelous. Vegetable steaks are all the rage on blogs and Pinterest, and while I think they are delicious, I think the term “steak” is a bit misleading, but marketing would probably suggest it sounds better than slab, because that’s really what it is. That’s right…a cabbage slab that pairs with mashed potatoes (or cornbread) and tempeh (or seitan, a mess of beans, or other protein).

If you’re wanting to give these guys a go, first things first, preheat your oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Cut a head of savoy or green cabbage into ½ inch thick rounds. Feel free to use only the middle chunky pieces and save the smaller end pieces for another time/recipe. In a small mixing bowl, stir a few (three to four) large spoonfuls of olive oil together with a dash of salt, pepper, two spoonfuls of balsamic vinegar (feel free to switch it up here, red wine vinegar, apple cider vinegar, etc), and one spoonful of honey or maple syrup. Place the cabbage slices on the baking sheet in a single layer and brush with the oil mixture. Add any other salt/pepper/garlic/onion seasoning you’d like. Also, if you have fresh thyme, it goes swimmingly well here. (HINT: use the leftover from the cabbage soup below). Bake these babes for 25 to 30 minutes until golden and deliciously brown.

Stress-Free Thai Salad

I like to make this “two serving-ish” version during the week for a quick lunch. The dressing is easy to whip together, but does last a few days in the fridge if you wanted to plan ahead. If you eat this salad more like a side salad, it will serve more mouths. This is the basic framework, but I tend to serve it with a bunch more peanuts, tempeh, or tofu to increase the satisfaction factor. If you’ve ever had a salad last all of 30 minutes in your belly, I definitely encourage you to look at the source(s) of protein and healthy fats included to help keep you satisfied. You need more than vegetables. Ok, let’s get the recipe going…do the dressing first…in a small bowl, whisk three spoonfuls peanut butter together with a 1/4 cup-ish vegetable broth (low sodium). Stir in a spoonful of maple syrup, two spoonfuls soy sauce (low sodium) or alternative, juice of one lime, one minced garlic. If you have it, a dash of sesame oil will add to the flavor depth, otherwise, use a dash of olive oil.  Stir dressing mixture and pour over four handfuls of thinly sliced cabbage in a large bowl. Mix in another handful (or two) of cooked noodles. Feel free to use thin rice noodles, which only need to be soaked in warm/hot water for a few minutes before adding to the salad or use up leftover regular spaghetti noodles! Top salad with peanuts, cilantro if you have it, and protein like tofu or tempeh or add in more nuts like sunflower seeds. Also, if you have more veggies, add them! I personally love shredded carrot, sliced bell pepper, tomatoes, cucumber, mushrooms, and green onions here. Enjoy!

White Bean, Potato, and Cabbage Soup

I don’t know about you, but some of the heartiest, most delicious soups are also the simplest and most nourishing. That’s this soup. It all goes in one pot and is perfect when you want to get down and cozy. In a large stock pot, sauté two or three large sliced leeks with a few dabs of olive oil or Earth Balance (a plant-based “butter” that adds a richness to the soup). Onions would work too, but leeks provide a distinct depth and yumminess. Once they soften, add a half head of thinly sliced or chopped cabbage – whatever works best for you! The pot will get pretty full, but the cabbage will cook down after about 10 minutes. You may need to add more oil or a dash of water/broth if the vegetables are sticking. From here, throw in everything else: one large potato chopped (I leave skins on after washing, but you could peel), 6 cups of vegetable broth (use 8 cups if you enjoy more liquid), four cloves of minced garlic, 1 can cannellini beans drained and rinsed (about 2 cups cooked if using dried), five sprigs (including the stalk) of fresh thyme (thyme will fall off while cooking, and you’ll go fishing for the branches once it’s cooked). If desired, add chopped celery or carrots and a bay leaf or two. It will take 20 – 30 minutes for the potatoes cook on low. You want them to be fork tender soft. If you cook the soup longer, the potatoes will continue to soften and have a way of melting into the soup, making it feel creamier if that’s your jam.  Once you’re happy with the tenderness of the potatoes, remove the thyme stems and adjust any seasonings. I usually add black pepper and maybe a dab of herbamare (a mixed seasoning blend that works wonders). Feel free to freeze the leftovers – they taste better yet!

Bonus: **Thinly** slice green, savoy, or purple cabbage (or buy sliced cabbage bag if needing a convenient friend) and sauté with a dab of oil and seasonings. Cabbage partners great with dash of ginger, garlic, and cumin if you’re feeling peppy. If you need something more comforting, simply add black pepper and dash of vegetable broth after it’s browned. Want somethings sweeter to pair with a meat or veggie based sausage? Caramelize onions, add a garlic clove, and then cook the sliced cabbage. There are so many ways to “fry” it up!

As always, I hope you’ve enjoyed this “episode” of No Recipe Recipes. Remember, recipes shouldn’t back us into a corner; they should give us framework and intention to move towards nourished eating. You are your greatest investment and your time is incredibly valuable. Thank you so much for allowing me to be a part of your world and I hope you find inspiration through this series. Be sure to check out the video on my Facebook Page, Morgan The Yogi Dietitian, tomorrow (1/12/18) to see just how one of these non-recipe recipe works. After the video, I’ll link back here if you’re catching this on a later date 🙂

 

If you are finding these helpful and you’d like to see more, please comment and let me know below. If you missed last week’s post, check it out HERE

With hugs and gratitude,

Morgan

3 {Cabbage} No Recipe Recipes #2

6 thoughts on “3 {Cabbage} No Recipe Recipes #2

  • January 12, 2018 at 12:06 am
    Permalink

    I do know what cabbage is!!!!! We generally only have green and I’ve never seen sliced! I’ve actually made a few entrees with this veggie!!!!!

    Reply
    • January 12, 2018 at 12:21 am
      Permalink

      hahah – oh good!! Didn’t stump your taste buds this time around but I’m happy you’re already enjoying this vegetable in one way or another 😉

      Reply
  • January 12, 2018 at 1:35 am
    Permalink

    Yummy! I like cabbage. Now I just need to convince Jeff.:)

    Reply
    • January 12, 2018 at 3:22 am
      Permalink

      haha!! Where there’s a will, there’s a way 😉 but glad you like it – it’s one of my favorites!!

      Reply
  • January 12, 2018 at 1:27 pm
    Permalink

    I made a cabbage salad this week. It’s was great texture to mix things up. Haven’t had the cabbage rounds in a while. I’ll have to add that to my dinner routation soon!

    Reply
    • January 12, 2018 at 4:26 pm
      Permalink

      Yeah, it’s a fun one that is way more versatile than you may realuse and it’s easy to pop into lots of meals! PS I bet the cabbage salad was delish!

      Reply

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.