Available year-round here in California, cabbage is a perfect budget-friendly choice for salads, soups, stews and roasts. It’s also a superfood! A member of the Cruciferae family (along with kale, broccoli, collards, and brussels sprouts), there are over 400 cabbage varieties available with the three most familiar being green, red, Napa and Savoy.
With their high levels of antioxidants (vitamin C, manganese), polyphenols, and sulfuric compounds, cabbage plays a large role in reducing inflammation and in the prevention of cancer. This is some fantastic news since cancer is on the verge of overtaking heart disease as the No. 1 cause of death. Cabbage contains a variety of nutrients of potential benefit to our stomach and intestinal linings and those which help regulate our microbiome (more on this fascinating topic in a future post!). Finally, their high fiber content helps to lower our cholesterol and aids in our achieving a healthy weight!
I can go on and on…..but I will stop. Per the research, it is suggested that adults aim for at least 5 weekly servings of cruciferous vegetables. So now....how to add more cabbage (and other cruciferous veggies) into our diet??
Every Saturday Albert and I visit out local farmer’s market and cabbage is always on the menu. Below are my three go-to cabbage recipes plus one I would like to make more of. Try these babies out and let me know how you like ‘em! And please, share with me in the comments section below YOUR favorite cabbage recipes! I'm all ears!
Roasted Pork & Cabbage
I made this recipe up and therefore have never recreated it exactly, but it's OK since every time I make it again it still blows my mind! (Just make sure not to overcook the tenderloin!)
Emeril Lagasse’s Chipotle Slaw
This recipe accompanied in his fried catfish taco recipe (which is delicious baked!). When we first made this recipe, the slaw was the true star and I now make it at least bi-weekly. Great with any grilled/baked protein!
2 teaspoons chipotle chiles in adobo, finely chopped (found in the canned foods section at any grocery store)
1/2 cup mayonnaise
2 tablespoons honey
1 tablespoon lime juice
1 cup white cabbage, shredded
1 cup red cabbage, shredded
1/4 cup red onion, finely chopped
1/4 cup green onion, chopped
Spicy Buckwheat Soba Noodle Salad with Thai-Style Peanut Dressing
Buckwheat is a great source of fiber and manganese and a provides a more nutty taste than wheat pasta. The peanut dressing in this recipe is finger-licking good and I typically add twice as much carrots and cabbage! Though it might take a few ingredients you may not have typically have on hand, like red curry paste, once you make the investment you’ll be inspired to find more recipes to use them up! I love making red thai curry with kabocha squash with the extra curry paste myself!
Homemade Sauerkraut (Kapusta)
Fermented foods are powerhouses that contain beneficial probiotics, digestive enzymes, and health-boosting nutrients. I have had the honor of making Kapusta with Albert's folks before and aspire to make this tangy and healthful fermented food myself more often. Perhaps this weekend...
We all know the catchy childhood songs about beans:
Beans, beans, the magical fruit
The more you eat, the more you toot.
The more you toot, the better you feel
So let's eat beans with every meal!
Beans, beans, they're good for your heart
The more you eat, the more you fart.
The more you fart, the better you feel
So let's eat beans with every meal!
As odd as it sounds, beans are technically a fruit and a recent research study has once again confirmed their being good for your heart. More than just a meat substitute, beans are rich in antioxidants and high in fiber – with one cup of cooked beans (two-thirds of a can) providing about 12 grams of fiber, nearly half our recommended daily dose*.
Beyond their contribution of fiber and disease-fighting antioxidants, a diet emphasizing beans (about 1 serving daily) has been shown to significantly lower LDL (low density lipoprotein or "lousy”) cholesterol levels. If you don’t know much about LDL cholesterol, this is good news as high LDL levels are associated with heart disease. If your next physical involves a blood test, a LDL of less than 100 milligrams per deciliter (mg/dL) is optimal. If your LDL levels are high, watch your intake of saturated fats and ensure to get enough fiber. Regular aerobic exercise also lowers LDL cholesterol and increases HDL (high density lipoproteins or "good") cholesterol to boot.
Alrighty then, whose ready for some hummus and veggies?
Easy ways to boost your bean intake:
*Dietary Fiber requirements for healthy adult males is 38gm/day, and 25 gm/day for adult females.
Busy weekend and I'm happy to finally be home relaxing and cooking up some goodness. First thing I made when I walked in the door was Giada De Laurentiis' easy beet, arugula and goat cheese salad...pure bliss. Of course, its only easy when you have all the ingredients on hand. More on a well-stocked kitchen in another post. What I want to write about though is the second dish I made this afternoon: kale chips. Easy, undeniably nutritious and delicious!
Albert's green thumb has yielded a very generous plant this year. It's a warm day so soup, in which kale is a great addition, really isn't an option. Hence, kale chips. But what is all the buzz around kale? Kale is considered a “superfood” because it's so nutritionally dense and full of antioxidants (vitamins A, C, K and flavonoids), anti-inflammatory nutrients (vitamin K and omega-3 fatty acids), and anti-cancer nutrients (vitamin K and glucosinolates - compounds responsible for the bitterness in greens).
In addition, one cup of chopped kale contains 33 calories and 20% of the RDA (Recommended Daily Allowance) of dietary fiber, 9% of the daily value of calcium, 71% of vitamin C, 98% of vitamin A, and a whopping 1180% of vitamin K*. It is also a good source of minerals copper, potassium, iron, manganese, and phosphorus. Pretty exceptional! (All those stats came from the website Worlds Healthiest Foods - cheesy title, great resource)
You can buy a $5 a package of kale chips from a health food store, but a $2 bushel will easily yield three times as many chips. Of course growing the kale is most economical. If you have an hour on your hands, homemade kale chips are king. The simplest recipes call for just olive oil, salt and pepper. I prefer mine rich with roasty tahini. Any nut butter works, actually. Here you go, my Tangy Tahini kale chips, adapted from Savory Simple's Spicy Tahini Kale Chips. Enjoy!
Tangy Tahini Kale Chips
1 large bunch of kale, inner ribs removed (lacinato kale aka "dinorsaur" kale is my favorie)
Juice from 1/2 lemon
4 cloves garlic chopped (more or less, to your preference)
1 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil (I used homemade chili oil, its easy to make your own!)
2 heaping Tbsps tahini
1/2 tsp honey
Generous sprinklings of crushed red pepper flakes, salt and pepper
Preheat the oven to 200 degrees F (or plug in your dehydrator). Line 2 baking sheets with foil or parchment. Wash and thoroughly dry the kale, then remove the leaves from the tough inner stem. Slice or rip into large pieces. In a small bowl, whisk together the remaining ingredients. Toss in Kale and mix with your hands. Spread the chips in a single layer on the baking sheets or in the dehydrator. The dehydrator should take approximately 8 hours. The oven will take less than an hour (start checking on them after 30 minutes). They're ready when the seasonings are completely dry and the kale is crispy.
*Eating a diet rich in the powerful antioxidant vitamin K can reduce the overall risk of developing or dying from cancer, according to a study in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition. Vitamin K is abundant in kale but also found in parsley, spinach, collard greens, and broccoli.
Hello and welcome! My name is Andrea Notch Mayzeles. I am a Certified Health Education Specialist, Mom, and Master of Public Health dedicated to the path of well-being. As a wellness professional I am committed to continued learning and am here to share research, recipes and musings on health, psychology, personal development, and parenting. I hope you enjoy!