Mar 27, 2013

Hi, I'm Maria Filosa from WDIY and you're listening to Tasty Seasonal Recipes for the Everyday Chef. Lately I've been on a cabbage kick. This leafy green member of the brassica family of vegetables is nutrient rich, versatile and inexpensive. Some of the other members of this family are cauliflower, kale, broccoli and brussel sprouts. There are many varieties of cabbage but the most common are green, red, savoy, napa and bok choy.  Rich in vitamin C and fiber, it also contains vitamins A, B and K, lutein, zeaxanthin, potassium, iron, manganese, calcium and magnesium.  This vegetable is commonly used by those on diets since it is filling and very low in calories.

Of course, we are all familiar with coleslaw. This easy to make dish can be further enhanced by adding a few extra vegetables to the mix before adding the creamy sauce. Mix together 3 cups of shredded raw sweet potato and 6 cups of shredded green and red cabbage. If you like onions, shred or puree one and add it in as well. For the sauce, whisk together 1 cup of mayonaise, 3/4 cup of sour cream, 1 tablespoon of Dijon mustard, 1 teaspoon of sugar, 3 tablespoons of apple cider vinegar, salt and pepper to taste. Mix with your shredded vegetables then place in the refrigerator at least an hour before serving. This slaw is delicious on sandwiches or as a side dish with any meal.

If you are looking to lose a few pounds, try this basic cabbage soup. It's so easy to make and goes a long way. You will need 6 cups of any type of stock, 4 cups of any type of shredded cabbage, 4 minced garlic cloves, 1 cup of each chopped carrots, green beans, onion and squash such as zucchini or pumpkin, 1 teaspoon each basil, oregano, salt and pepper and 2 tablespoons of tomato paste. Saute the onions and garlic in a tablespoon of olive oil, then add the cabbage, carrots and green beans. Saute for about 5 minutes until cabbage wilts then add the squash and the spices. Pour the stock over the vegetables, cover and cook for about 20 minutes more or until all vegetables are tender. This soup is great by itself or you could add some cooked ground beef, pork or chicken for a heartier version.

Butter braised cabbage is an easy side dish for any meal. Simply melt 3 tablespoons of butter in a saucepan, add 1 medium cabbage that has been cored and chopped into bite size pieces, stir to coat cabbage with butter then add 3 tablespoons of water and some salt and pepper. Lower the heat, cover and cook for about 15 minutes until cabbage is fork tender.

Stuffed cabbage can be made with so many different ingredients. The main thing to remember is that you want to get the cabbage leaves off the head without damaging them. To do this, core a head of cabbage then place it into a large pot of boiling water. As the leaves wilt, gently pull them off in one piece and place into a dish of cool water. When you can't pull off anymore leaves, take the rest of the cabbage out of the water and chop into small pieces. Mix the chopped cabbage with 2 beaten eggs, 2 lbs of uncooked ground meat of your choice, about 2 cups of cooked rice, 1/2 teaspoon each worcestershire sauce, nutmeg, parsley, salt and pepper. Place 2-3 tablespoons of mixture into one end of a cabbage leaf. If the center vein is too thick to roll, slice half of the thickness of the vein off with a knife but be sure to keep the remainder of the leaf uncut. Fold the sides of the leaf in over the filling then roll it up placing the roll, seam side down in a casserole dish. Once all the leaves have been filled and rolled, mix together 1 cup of tomato paste, about 48 ounces of canned or fresh tomatoes, 1 tablespoon of brown sugar and 1 1/2 cups of stock. Pour this over the cabbage rolls. If desired, cut up some carrots and mushrooms and place them around the cabbage rolls. cover dish with a lid or foil and bake for 2 - 2 1/2 hours on 350 degrees. What a great dinner on a cool spring night!

So whether raw or cooked, be sure to add some cabbage to your dining adventures. I'm Maria Filosa, thanks for listening to Tasty Seasonal Recipes for the everyday Chef...have a bountiful day!