It IS coleslaw, after all. Because it's usually relegated to sloppy side items at barbeque restaurants, picked-over picnic salad platters and soggy summer parties, coleslaw gets a bad rap. How many times in your adult life have you thought "Wow, I’m REALLY craving some coleslaw right now.”
Yeah, I thought not. But if you’re like me, you probably just haven’t had coleslaw done RIGHT just yet. Because, like many healthy vegetables in this world (ahem, like my Roasted Broccoli recipe) once you learn how to prepare coleslaw properly, it can quickly become a delicious menu option for your Badass and your busy schedule!
Coleslaw, as we know it in American foodie culture, usually consists of raw green or red cabbage shredded finely, with some sort of creamy, mayonnaise-based dressing to bind and flavor it. There are many different types of cabbage as well as different varieties of dressings and add-ins.
However, that mayo-based dressing in standard American coleslaw can do some serious caloric damage. A “regular” serving of coleslaw at the popular Chicken Rotisserie food chain Boston Market will cost you 410 calories and 40 grams of fat!
But when I was preparing for a summer BBQ a few weeks ago, I came up with a recipe that changed my mind about coleslaw. Turns out that with a few simple changes, coleslaw can go from bland and heavy to a delicious, nutritious and summery side dish!
As this Badass Foodie sees it, the benefits of coleslaw are many.
- Don’t just stick with the standard green cabbage/white dressing combo – live a little! I like to use red cabbage as well as green, as it adds vibrant color and antioxidants, which are proven to detoxify nearly every system of your body just by eating them.
- You can also use napa cabbage, shredded carrots, or even shredded Brussels sprouts! In the recipe below, I also added my favorite vegetable – broccoli – for added texture and crunch.
- For me, this is key. I like to make large batches of several salads, proteins and snacks on Sunday evening so I can grab and go throughout the week. Coleslaw is perfect for this, as I can make a large batch (with just one head of cabbage) and keep it in a large Tupperware in the refrigerator.
- Not only does it store well, but I’ve found that when the flavors “marinate” for a few days – it tastes better!
- Seriously, when’s the last time you scoped out the green cabbage prices in your local supermarket? It’s dirt cheap! You can usually swipe a whole head for around 59 cents a pound.
- Add in the nominal cost of the yogurt, vinegar, olive oil and seasonings, and you can eat coleslaw for a week – for about $3!
It’s amazingly good for you!
- Cabbage doesn’t deserve the bad rap its gotten, as its truly among the royalty of leafy green vegetables. A part of the brassica family of vegetables, along with broccoli, cauliflower and chard, the phytochemicals in cabbage have proven to reduce the risk of cancer. These powerful antioxidants cleanse your blood, your tissue and are also anti-inflammatory.
- Remember – leafy greens like cabbage, broccoli, kale and Brussels sprouts are nature’s miracle food… so you should try to incorporate them as often as possible into your diet!
- Cabbage is also an excellent source of fiber, Vitamin C, Vitamin K, calcium, magnesium and lutein.
I have to confess that since discovering my “basic” coleslaw recipe here, I have made a big batch every week for the past month. That’s a lot of coleslaw. Yes, I’m borderline addicted!
For this recipe, I combined fresh, crunchy shredded red and green cabbage with Greek yogurt, vinegar, apples, and some Olive Oil Mayonnaise for flavor. But feel free to play around and experiment with different cabbage leaves, nuts, dried fruits and other types of vinegars.
Kirsten’s Kickin’ Cabbage and Broccoli Slaw
- ½ head of green cabbage, shredded finely (I used my beloved food processor!)
- ½ head of red cabbage, shredded finely
- About 2 cups of broccoli, florets removed and diced
- ½ apple, diced
- ½ red onion, diced
- ½ - ¾ cup of nonfat Greek yogurt
- 2 Tablespoons Olive Oil Mayonaise
- ½ cup apple cider vinegar
- ½ cup unsweetened applesauce
- Juice of ½ lemon
- Salt and pepper
- 2 teaspoon Stevia or Agave Nectar (or some sugar substitute)
- Combine cabbage, broccoli, onion and apples into large bowl. Sprinkle with lemon juice to keep fresh while you prepare dressing.
- In a small bowl, mix wet ingredients together. Taste the dressing and adjust salt, pepper and sweetener appropriately.
- Pour dressing over coleslaw, toss together and enjoy!
** Note – keep this in a tightly sealed container for up to a week – it gets better as it sits! Trust me.
Coming Friday: Can a brownie give you muscles? A product review by the Badass CEO...