Over The Rainbow Cabbage Salad with Tahini-Lemon Dressing


Hello, beautiful.


I have a secret to share with you about food photography.

Don’t eat all the food before you photograph it!

I’ve been there before. It usually involves Holly nog smoothies and Chocolate Cake Batter Smoothies.

Want to know another secret?

Photograph an easy subject, like fruit and veggies.

They do all the work for you. Run water over them before shooting and they glisten for the camera. Easy!

Not so easy?

Try taking pictures of a black bean dip. Then help me fix mine. I may hurl.


But let’s talk about the actual food for a minute. Can you believe this is the first time I’ve made a recipe with a red cabbage?

I’m guessing I’m probably not alone.

What the heck do I make with it?


more soup?


Being the planning-challenged gal that I am, I put this huge cabbage in the shopping cart and let it take up valuable refrigerator real estate for 1.5 weeks. Every time we opened the fridge a clunky, purple bowling ball would roll out at us.

Eric finally said, “Are you doing something with that thing or should I throw it in the woods?”



It got so annoying, I just said, FINE I’LL EAT IT…and I hacked it up with a knife.


Only when you hack it up with a knife, it quadruples in volume.



Keeping my 12 Days of Healthy Dinner Recipes in mind, I decided to turn this cabbage into a hearty salad after coming across this recipe for inspiration. To make it a meal, I added quinoa, a complete protein, to go along with it.

I really did not think this was going to taste good…


But I’ve been wrong before and I’ll be wrong again.

To make this salad, start by slicing your cabbage in half, through the stem. Now slice each half in half again to make quarters. Then, make 1/2 inch slices and roughly chop it all up. It doesn’t need to be precise or perfect!

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Want to know the secret to eating a “raw” cabbage salad? You pour boiling water over top of it to lightly soften it. Then run cold water over it immediately after.


Now thinly slice a red pepper into strips and cut strips in half.

IMG_5529 IMG_5530

Shave a carrot with a peeler and chop a few celery sticks:

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This is when I started to get excited about this meal. It’s just so vibrant!


Oh, add some finely chopped fresh herbs for a nice flavour. I used parsley.


I kinda flip-flopped on the salad dressing.

At first, I was going to make a vinaigrette, but I thought a salad this hearty and dense needed a thicker dressing. So I turned to my favourite Lightened-Up tahini-lemon dressing, thinking that it could be the perfect match…


I’ve been right before and I’ll be right again. :)


I’m convinced you could pour this dressing on a piece of cardboard and it would taste good! I know many of you also love this dressing because you write me about it and then we talk about how we can’t help but drink it with a straw. Or something like that.

When I made it, I almost forgot to add the nutritional yeast and kept tasting it thinking something was majorly off…it was thinner than usual and a bit too lemon-y. Once I added the nutritional yeast it thickened up and tasted just how I remembered….finger-licking good. If you don’t have nutritional yeast but still want to make it, I would suggest using less lemon juice and maybe not adding the bit of water. But yea, use the nooch if you can.

I made a half batch, but now I’m already wishing I made the full batch…


Mix it all up, add on some toasted sesame seeds (or hemp seeds), and you have yourself a killer, nutrient-packed salad.


I served the salad with some “buttery” garlic quinoa. After cooking 1/2 cup of quinoa, I fluffed it with a fork, sprinkled on Herbamare and garlic powder, and then added a tablespoon or so of Earth Balance. It was to die for!


This meal made me feel so good…I was doing a happy dance in the kitchen. It was just the right mix of veggies, healthy fats, protein, and carbs to keep my energy buzzing along. Eric also really loved it too, even though he said he probably wouldn’t like it. I think we both surprised ourselves.

I must say, it feels great to get back into the healthy meals after a bit of a hiatus. I sometimes forget just how good I feel when I eat this way.


Now, the question is…what the heck do I do with the leftover cabbage? I barely made a dent in it!

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{ 62 comments… read them below or add one }

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Jolene (www.everydayfoodie.ca) December 14, 2011

Beautiful looking salad! I LOVE cabbage – red, green, whatever!


Erin @ Creative Styletopia December 14, 2011

I’ve never been a huge red cabbage fan, but this salad may change my mind! Also, I LOVE the tahini lemon dressing… every time I make it I want to drink it with a straw!


amber December 14, 2011

Shred half a purple cabbage and four carrots. Throw in a handful of dried cranberries. Add some sesame seeds. Make a dressing with rice vinegar and sesame oil. This salad get better with age.


Lexi @ A Spoonful of Sunshine December 14, 2011

Try tossing it with some sesame oil, agave or maple syrup, green onions, and sesame seeds for a delish asian side-dish. It goes wonderfully with or on sandwiches, especially for something like an “asian teriyaki burger” :)


Hannah December 14, 2011

I love purple cabbage – probably the most beautiful vegetable, in my opinion! And I can’t get enough of tahini dressing – it goes well with everything.


Steph December 14, 2011

I live on red cabbage salads! An uncut head of cabbage stays fresh in the fridge, unfazed, for weeks and weeks. I chop a whole head at once but dress only a portion; that way the rest of the chopped cabbage stays crunchy until I’m done with Round One and ready for Round Two. :) One of my favorite — and easiest — salads involves chopping the cabbage, tossing it with any dressing on hand, and adding in a healthy fistful of raisins, nuts (pecans, sunflower seeds, or chopped toasted almonds are my favorites), and black beans. *** On a different note, nice work with the green drapery! It’s really lovely and adds quite the note of energy to the photos.


Angela (Oh She Glows) December 14, 2011

Steph, you are a cabbage PRO! I love this comment :) You are getting me more excited about the insane amount of cabbage sitting in the fridge. And yes thank god it lasts a long time!

Thanks for your compliments on my green tea towel (if you only could see it in person…it’s a mess!)


Emily (Edible Psychology) December 14, 2011

I love your idea of pouring boiling water over the cabbage to soften it slightly. I use that method for lightly steaming spinach, but I had never thought of it for cabbage.


Angela (Oh She Glows) December 14, 2011

Well I never thought of using that on spinach…thanks!


Emily (Edible Psychology) December 21, 2011

No problem! :-)


Jamie @ Don't Forget the Cinnamon December 14, 2011

Yum- cabbage salads are so fun and crunchy!!


Stellina @ My Yogurt Addiction December 14, 2011

The colors looks amazing! I bet it tastes good too, yum :)


Sabrina @ Radioactive Runner December 14, 2011

Definitely, definitely going to try this salad. I love that it is SO colorful!


Erica December 14, 2011

I cook with cabbage ALL the time. It’s so versatile and inexpensive! It’s great thrown into stir-fries and served over rice or quinoa if you saute it with some coconut milk, curry powder, garlic, ginger, etc., or with some toasted sesame oil, soy or tamari, ginger, garlic. It also adds nice crunch to a sandwich.


Angela (Oh She Glows) December 14, 2011

That sounds wonderful


Hilliary @Happily Ever Healthy December 14, 2011

This looks delicious and so colorful! I always love sauteing cabbage with a little apple cider vinegar, caraway seeds, a bit of olive oil and apples! We make that dish every year on new years day!


Angela (Oh She Glows) December 14, 2011

Nice! Maybe I will do the same :)


Carolyn @ HealthKitten.com December 14, 2011

I love cabbage! I use it in soups and pot pie recipes. Albeit it’s the green kind, but the taste is the same.

I second (or third?) the Asian peanut slaw – I’d serve it warm over soba noodles! Don’t be hesitant with making a peanut sauce; it’s stupid easy! :)


Patricia December 14, 2011

Do you happen to have a recipe for that peanutty asian dressing? I love cabbage, red or green, and usually use both when I make cole slaw or a salad. I would like to try something different for a company, i.e. fancy, dinner with my nephew and his wife. They are so into gardening and eating healthy. Cute cat! What’s his/her name?


Kierstan @ Life {and running} in Iowa December 14, 2011

I love nice, vibrant salads! And I love red cabbage! I personally crave a side dish that I threw together the other month: red cabbage + brussel sprouts + garlic. It is to die for and so simple! http://nicandkier.blogspot.com/2011/11/thanksgiving-side-dish.html


SSummers December 14, 2011

Thank you for another great post. I have never tried red cabbage, but I will definitely try this recipe. My kids are going to be the grandparents next week so this will be a great meal for me and my husband.


Stephanie @ On the Road to RD December 14, 2011

I wish I could take pictures like you– So vivid and rich! Makes my mouth water. :)


Angela (Oh She Glows) December 14, 2011

Aww thank you Stephanie


Jessica @ Dairy Free Betty December 14, 2011

Make salad rolls with it!! Rice paper + veggies + peanut dip!! Mmmmm Or you could make purple dye!! haha – it dyes things a really pretty color! :)


Angela (Oh She Glows) December 14, 2011

About dye- thats a great idea…i wonder if it would work as a natural icing dye?


Ilana December 22, 2011

to do this youd want to boil the cabbage for like a half hour, strain it reserving the water, then remove bout a cup of the purple water and boil it down for another hour or so. usually you need to add a bit vinegar to stabilize it.


sabine @ some-like-it-raw.com December 14, 2011

looks amazing! i like juicing cabbage too with apples!


Leanne @ Healthful Pursuit December 14, 2011

“Are you doing something with that thing or should I throw it in the woods?” hahaha thank you for making my day. Lame, I know… but that’s totally something my Dad used to say to my Mom!! I think you did a wonderful job on using up that cabbage!


TiOKe December 15, 2011

I was thinking the exact same thing…I read that I truly laughed out loud:)


Angela (Oh She Glows) December 15, 2011

hah :)


Jen @ keepitsimplefoods December 14, 2011

pickle it and eat it with falafel!


Hania December 14, 2011

Looks sooo yummy! :) I love red cabbage! we use it a lot in Poland :)


Melissa December 14, 2011

I add red cabbage to your Detox Salad for extra color. You can send you extras to me~ I have 4 rabbits that live inside (don’t ask- it’s all my husbands doing! They have a dog exercise pen that they stay in, they aren’t running around with my cat) and they LOVE cabbage! They get all the scraps of fruits and veggies that are left!!!


Cait's Plate December 14, 2011

Gorgeous photos!!


Ashley December 14, 2011

The colors are great and I bet the texture + flavors were perfect! I don’t buy cabbage often, but it’s always a nice change of pace when I do. We’ll even just use it as the base for our daily dinner salads. The crunch is awesome! I’ve also dressed it with lime juice, a little honey + pepper, to go with Mexican-themed dinners. Yum!


Averie @ Love Veggies and Yoga December 14, 2011

Loving the vibrant, bold, pretty purple of the cabbage and the dressing sounds great.

Cabbage is one of those foods that the minute you slice into it, it just multiplies before your very eyes on your cutting board. I need to make extra dressing to accommodate it :)


Amy @ The Whole Sweet Scoop December 14, 2011

I can’t help you with the leftover cabbage because I’m the WORST with leftover veggies! This looks so good though – I’ve been feeling like I need to eat a big bowl of just veggies lately because I’ve been eating rather poorly :( I blame the holidays, but December 14th is not a holiday haha..


Beth December 14, 2011

That looks great, and I don’t even like cabbage! I’ll have to try it now.


Tracy December 14, 2011

To add to what Cat suggested- caramelize some onions and make a braised cabbage dish. Super good! Plus, cooking down the cabbage a bit takes away some of its harshness and creates a somewhat sweeter end result. You could also make an asian style slaw with with a peanutty sauce.


Angela (Oh She Glows) December 14, 2011

I love those ideas! I don’t think I’ve made a peanut sauce before either.


JenATX December 15, 2011

You must make a peanut sauce pronto! So good with wok veggies and brown rice plus you could throw in more cabbage as that is a common Asian ingredient


Angela (Oh She Glows) December 15, 2011

I will get on that for sure…yummy!


Liz @ Tip Top Shape December 14, 2011

This looks delicious!! I love red cabbage–I eat it all the time. Usually get mine pre-chopped, though.


Laura @ Sprint 2 the Table December 14, 2011

This is a gorgeous salad! Great tip about pouring the boiling water over the cabbage.

With the leftovers, I recently made a cabbage dish where I sauteed onion, garlic, ginger, and serranos with coconut butter, then added the cabbage, rice wine vinegar, soy sauce. Once that was done I tossed it with toasted sesame seeds and Chinese 5-spice. It was delish – I think I ate 1/2 a head alone!


Angela (Oh She Glows) December 14, 2011

That sauce sounds like it would have paired so well with it. I will have to try that.


Gillian December 14, 2011

I think it’s time to make borscht!


Angela (Oh She Glows) December 14, 2011

That would be fun…do you think it would work in a slow cooker?


Willow December 14, 2011

This looks incredible! I love cabbage… and quinoa… and tahini based dressings!
Also, I wanted to say (if I haven’t before) that I love your photography style. It’s so simple and colorful, and the lighting is always bright and beautiful. I’m absolutely jealous of all the colorful napkins and bowls you use, too.
Another awesome post, as always. :)


Angela (Oh She Glows) December 14, 2011

Thanks Willow! You are too kind. Oh and those napkins? They are often stained dish towels….shhh our little secret ;)


Sarah December 14, 2011

Hey Angela!

This looks amazing! I can’t wait to give it a try. Especially with the quinoa. I just bought a box from the grocery store and it will be my first time cooking with it. I’m excited. Anyways…I just wanted to reply to your question at the end about what to do with the rest of the red cabbage…I LOVE red cabbage. My mum taught me how to cook it and since living on my own (I am a student at the University of Guelph) I eat it multiple times a week because its sooooo good. Pretty much you take your cabbage and put it in a pot with some water (probably about a cup depending on how much cabbage there is..maybe fill the pot just under half way ) and then you add some balsamic vinegar (i’d say about 1/3 of a cup). You can also use regular vinegar and add some sugar instead. You then boil it until the liquid is gone. It smells kind of weird when cooking (my roomates hate me when I make it) but its delicious and makes my plate look gorgeous with all the colour!


Angela (Oh She Glows) December 14, 2011

Thanks Sarah that sounds great! I love anything with balsamic vinegar.


katie@ KatieDid December 14, 2011

Cabbage sautees really well in stir fries. I love how vibrant this salad is, I feel healthier just looking at it lol.


Angela @ Eat Spin Run Repeat December 14, 2011

WOW! I love the bright colours in this recipe Ange! I agree with you on the whole valuable real estate in the fridge thing – watermelons are even worse, but they don’t last nearly as long in my house! I really like red cabbage in salads so this sounds great. Gorgeous photos as always!


Gina @ Running to the Kitchen December 14, 2011

The colors in this are amazing! Cabbage is one of those things I have to REALLY want in order to justify buying it because it just never ends and I usually end up hating it by the end when I’ve eaten about 5lbs of roughage!


Jaclyn December 14, 2011

This looks amazing, Angela! I have more energy just LOOKing at this salad!
Thank you for your healthy meal suggestions – they’ll surely come in handy after (if not during) the holiday indulgences.


Cat @Breakfast to Bed December 14, 2011

Leftover red cabbage is fab. Take it and saute it with a little evoo, earth balance, brown sugar (a tiny bit) apple cider vinegar, salt and pepper. So good. If you want to go crazy, toss in some toasted pecans!


Angela (Oh She Glows) December 14, 2011

Thanks Cat, thanks sounds amazing!! Will def try this tonight.


Hayley December 14, 2011

Try adding a Granny Smith apple or two to the mix. I use this recipe (sub brown sugar for white):



Angela (Oh She Glows) December 14, 2011

Thanks Hayley!


Jane June 3, 2012

I love to make a stir fry with red cabbage. Slice it into thin strips or keep it as a rough chop. It’s delicious with SeaTangles (kelp noodles), pumpkin seeds, sunflower seeds, any bell peppers, tomatoes, or any other vegetables or seeds that you want to add. Season to taste with garlic salt, Braggs Aminos, some cayenne pepper, whatever you like. It is very hearty and nutritionally dense. You can eat it hot or let it cool. Sprinkle sesame seeds over top and enjoy.


Casey @ Insatiably Healthy December 14, 2011

I love red cabbage, it makes every meal so vibrant and pretty. I like to cook it till it gets to a deep purple color and add it to pasta and tomato sauce with a bunch of veggies and spices.

This recipe sounds great. Superfood central!


Andrea@Vegvacious December 14, 2011

This is a perfect recipe for a season filled with sweets and treats and so much temptation!!! …and I swear your tahini dressing is perfect on just about everything!!!!


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