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?
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!
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.
Shave a carrot with a peeler and chop a few celery sticks:
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.
Over The Rainbow Cabbage Salad with Tahini-Lemon Dressing
Purple vegetables, such as this cabbage and others like eggplant and blueberries, contain anthocyanins. Anthocyanins are chemicals that protect body cells, decrease the spread of cancer cells, and more (source). Be sure to add some toasted sesame seeds (or hemp seeds would work) on top to compliment the salad nicely. I served it with fluffy garlic “buttery” quinoa, as a complete protein source.
Yield: 4 servings
- About 6-7 cups of roughly chopped red/purple cabbage (I used 1/4 of a large cabbage)
- 1 carrot, shaved with a peeler into 2-3 inch strips
- 3 celery stalks, chopped
- 1 red pepper, thinly sliced
- 2 handfuls of fresh parsley, chopped finely (or use other herb)
- Half a batch of Lightened Up Tahini-Lemon Dressing (or make the full batch and save for later)
- 3-4 tbsp of toasted sesame seeds (or use hemp, sunflower, etc)
- Salt & pepper, to taste ( I used Herbamare)
1. Preheat oven to 325F. Toast the seeds for about 8-10 minutes, watching closely. Remove and set aside.
2. Add several cups of water into a kettle and bring to a boil. Lightly rinse the cabbage and slice in half, through the stem. Slice each half, in half again and roughly chop. You’ll want about 6-7 cups.
3. Add chopped cabbage into a strainer in the sink and pour the boiling water over top. Quickly rinse with cold water. This helps soften the cabbage slightly. Roughly dry the cabbage with a hand towel.
4. In a large bowl, mix the chopped celery, pepper, cabbage, shaved carrot, and parsley.
5. Prepare the dressing by whisking all ingredients together in a medium sized bowl. The salad tastes best when the dressing is mixed just before serving, so I suggest you portion out how much salad you will be eating for the meal and then add on your desired amount of dressing & mix well. Wrap up any leftover salad and place in the fridge and do the same with the leftover dressing.
Note: I wasn’t sure if I would like this salad so I didn’t make a crazy amount, but next time I would probably double the salad (and make the original dressing amount) to use up more of the cabbage. I had about 3/4 of the cabbage leftover!
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!
I have never seen a more beautiful cabbage!! :) I never get cabbage but have been looking for some ideas for raw salads…perfect..thanks!
The photos are lovely and the salad looks delicious. My problem when taking photos of food is not so much me eating it, but my dog. Yesterday, she snatched a pretzel while I was trying to take pictures. She’s crafty like that :)
This looks so good! I love cabbage but don’t often buy it because it’s a lot to go through! As for the rest of your cabbage – how about some vegan okonomiyaki. :)
I’m so excited that I’ve found your page! I can’t wait to try this dressing…with left over cabbage I usually make veggie egg rolls…bean sprout, shaved carrots, diced broc, liquid aminos/soy sauce , etc…you can buy premade wantons or make them from scratch.
Thanks I’m happy to hear that! Great idea btw :)
I love your blog and your pics and your stories and your recipes and the name of this salad.
I use red cabbage all the time. If you want to speed up the use, you can cut a wedge or two and just steam it in a little steamer basket as a veggie; top with any dressing or just freshly squeezed lemon juice. I ate it as a side next to Kasha Pilaf ( buckwheat groats) and it was hearty and satisfying.
I love how you photograph a cabbage and make it look like a designer cabbage in a fancy magazine lol!
haha that made me laugh! You are cute :)
This looks so beautiful and colorful! I know what you mean about vegetables staring you down. This happened with a few cabbages in my fridge over the summer from a CSA share. I love what you’ve done.
Thanks for the tips Angela!
Love your blog!
I recently started my own and you were a huge inspiration for me! …I stumbed upon your blog a little over a year ago and have gotten lots of my friends hooked on your GREEN MONSTERS! love them! Thanks so much for all your fun posts:)
Thanks April :) I’m going to check out your blog!
Oooh, perfect timing! I have 1/2 a head of green cabbage from the farmer’s market in my fridge, guilting me. Can’t wait to try this recipe! I am not typically a cabbage lover and (besides your salad that I now want to try), the only way I’ll devour cabbage is very thinly shredded (not grated or too much cabbage juice is released. Bleh.) with sea salt, EVOO and nooch. Let it sit for 10 minutes to soften and I usually eat the whole bowl. I can’t help myself. :-)
Every time I buy red cabbage for something and have a bunch leftover, I use it in a salads in place of lettuce. And I’m always amazed at how much I love it- and wonder why I don’t buy i more often? I just love that crunchy texture. Cabbage is highly under-rated!
Love how colourful this is!
I love the boiling water tip! The hubby and I try to use up the rest of the cabbage by using it as a veggie burger bed- especially with herbs and vinegar.
What do you know – I read this recipe and realized it was exactly what I needed to do with the rouge red cabbage in my fridge that I bought a week ago, because it was so pretty, and hadn’t bothered do anything with yet. Mixed it up at home w/ the dressing and it was delectable. I enjoy reading your sweet recipes, but as I can’t make them, your salad recipes are my absolute favorites. Thanks for an awesome recipe!
I’m happy to hear that Celeste…enjoy the rest!
Just finished a coconut/ curry borcsht when I saw this recipe,,,I thought ‘oh I’ll use up the rest of my red cabbage’ ……not realizing I already had in th soup,,,,so ended up making your other awesome cabbage salad! I really enjoy making my own fermented vegies(sauerkruat) with purple cabbage as the base<3
Red cabbage with apples is a traditional Belgian winter dish with some cooked potateos and some sausages. Here’s the recipe: for 2 persones
Saute 1 onion in some butter. Then add the half a cabage with 3 tablespoons of vinegar, 25 cl of water and 3 tablespoons of brown sugar. Peel and shred/or cut into little pieces the apples and add them and stir.
Put the lid on the pot and leave it to simmer for 40 min up to an hour, while stirring occasionaly till the cabbage is soft. Serve with sausages ( well not in your case) and potatoes with some mustard.
Variations on this recipe include: red wine and red wine vinegar, cinnemon, cloves, laurel and red berry jelly.
Girl, you are my GURU for healthy foods that are also vegan and look mouthwateringly delicious! I’m drooling over this at 9am! Brilliant <3
Also, if anyone who reads this eats cheese and can never find nutritional yeast locally (like myself) a good substitution is very finely grated parmesan cheese. I buy a good quality block and grate it myself on the smallest setting on my box grater. It works wonderfully with the rest of the flavors in the dressing.
I also had a head of cabbage sitting in my fridge, waiting for use. I made your salad using a mix of mint & parsley and I added green onion. For the dressing, I ran out of lemon so I use half lime/half lemon juice and added ~2 tsp honey. Oh and I didn’t do the hot water trick because I didn’t read the directions first. It was still good!
One of my favourite uses for red cabbage is this recipe from Planet Organic called Hail to the Kale:
This is one of my fave recipes that I make alot – minus the salmon for you of course :)
This show Simple Fresh Delicious has amazing recipes (although the show itself is a little cheesy – haha) It used to play on Slice and the W Network but not for the moment.
Most of her recipes could be adapted easily to be vegetarian – but her flavours are just awesome.
Looks amazing!! I’ve been craving salad but tired of the usual greens. Looks like a big purple cabbage is on the grocery list for tomorrow.
I might try adding ginger and chili paste next time to give it more of an Asian flair. I like this salad because I know it will stay fresh for a few days in the fridge.
I’m sure you already used up the cabbage, but one of my all time favorites is to simmer the cabbage in beer for about 45 minutes. Add whatever other seasonings float your boat to amp of the flavor – cayenne, onion, agave/maple syrup, garlic, salt, etc. Nice hearty side dish or sauerkraut replacement. :-)
I’m sure that the salad tastes fine, but you show its beauty and this is cool. Vegetables have this habit of lurking in the fridge till you crack and start to experiment. We still have the pumpkin from auntie’s garden. Guess I’ll follow your example and photograph the hacking part.
Thanks for the inspiration :)
This salad has been on my Must-Make list for weeks now. I made it last night, and it was the perfect relief from the carb-laden meals we’ve been eating over the holidays! I hadn’t tried the dressing yet, and it was absolutely delicious! A new favourite. Thanks!
Glad to hear that Melissa!
i am not a cabbage fan but we got a *HUGE* cabbage in our winter csa box.
we made this tonight [without the celery] and it was really delish.
nice work ;)
Glad to hear that Diana!
this was my first make of the #saladaday challenge, love it! i’ve never had red cabbage and was pleasantly surprised to find it sold in quarters at my supermarket :) and you’re right, that lemon tahini dressing would make a shoe delicious!
This recipe looks great!! Another great way to prep cabbage for salads is to rub salt into it after you´ve chopped it up. Put the chopped up cabbage in a bowl, add two tablespoons of salt and start almost kneading the cabbage and really work the salt into it. Be quite rough. After a few minutes the cabbage will get sort of wet because the salt and the kneading breaks some of the water molecules in the cabbage (makes it easier to eat but will still be crunchy). Then rinse the salt of by adding water and draining the cabbage. Then it´s ready to use in salads or to be dressed by itself. I think the little extra time used is well worth it, the cabbage tastes great afterwards.
Great tip, thanks!
I made this salad on Saturday and not only do I love the wonderful rainbow colors of the salad, but it was delicious as well! I also LOVE the tahini-lemon dressing! Love your recipes and I love your website!
glad to hear that Tammy! Enjoy
Haha, I know how you feel about trying to use up cabbage! I just made some slaw with it, and still have a whole bunch left. Wow.
Thanks for the sweet recipe! I love your site.
I absolutely loved this salad! My boyfriend and I made it together today. We followed it exactly, except we added charred summer corn, avocado slices, watercress, cilantro and sriracha as well. It was so delicious and filling. We are now left with the feeling that we’ve done something good for ourselves. Thanks for sharing!
I made this cabbage tonight and it was ridiculously good!!! Thanks for sharing. It is like a cabbage tabouli.
Ok. I have a confession. I just ate a bowl of shredded cabbage with this yummy dressing. WOW! If I had cardboard I would test your theory. I chopped the cabbage in my Vitamix. And made the dressing with it too. I think my biggest mistake was licking the spatula. Once I digest this cabbage, I will finish making the salad for dinner. Your recipes always impress me. Yumsers!
yum. especially pretty & yummy with black sesame seeds!
Thank you for this. I think the tahini dressing will be my saviour from now on. I tried to stick to the color scale, but I used regular white cabbage, and replaced the purple color from the cabbage with purple/red onions. And the green came from les haricots verts. I think I’m just trying to say, that I’m a big fan of the tahini dressing !
I was looking for something different and healthy to serve my two teenagers. We are big fans of anything tahina, and make our own tahina dipping sauce regularly (the middle eastern version used to as a dip for pita is thicker). So, I gave this recipe a go. I was able to find a small head of cabbage so I used the whole thing. This salad, combined with our thicker tahina sauce, was a huge hit. My daughter even packed some up and took it with her for her lunch. Great recipe! Thank you. It is now a regular item on our lunch/dinner menu. In fact, I am making more now.
I’m so happy to hear that Karen!
Hey! I know this is somewhat off topic but I was wondering
if you knew where I could get a captcha plugin for my comment form?
I’m using the same blog platform as yours and I’m having problems finding one?
Thanks a lot!
What a information of un-ambiguity and preserveness of
valuable experience on the topic of unexpected feelings.
Cabbage wraps. Smear the inside with hommus, fill with veggies, beans, lettuce and sprouts, fold over or roll and start munching. So good..
Made this for dinner last night exactly as is. Huge hit and every single person had seconds. It’s a keeper!
OH MY GOODNESS! I have been looking for 15 minutes for the pot luck recipe I wanted to use, and this pretty well sums up what I needed! I am heading to a potluck wedding were nearly everything will be meat! *sigh* It will be nice to be able to eat the rainbow with this amazing recipe. I am excited to see how well it turns out! (And may just eat some tonight to!!)
I LOVE purple cabbage and look forward to trying it. Last time I made it, I mixed it with red pepper, tomato, and onion and put some salt and a bit of balsamic vinegar mixed with water and lemon juice on it. Set it in he fridge and ate it and hour later. This recipe is just down my alley. :)
Just made this tonight and it was heavenly. I’ve never made homemade dressing and WOW. Never going back to store bought again.
Great way to use a cabbage and am going to use the other half using the comments here. Very happy and excited :)
Made a big batch this week for lunch – simple, tasty, and really satisfying! A keeper for sure. Absolutely LOVE the tahini dressing too
I had to use Dinosaur Kale in place of the green cabbage just because I forgot I didn’t have any. This was very delicious. Thanks!
My husband came home from work and asked what was for dinner; I said, “quinoa and salad”. He said, “that’s all?!?” After eating a few bites of this, he had to admit it was really good. He apologized for giving me a hard time earlier! I have been craving the dressing ever since I first tasted it. So delicious! Thank you, thank you for all you do for all of us!
Oh God. I’ve just had a kitkat for supper, while reading these gorgeous recipies! Feeling very inferiour now…. must try harder… !
I needed to use a red cabbage from the CSA and was lucky enough to find this jewel of a recipe. The only thing I’ll do differently next time is double the amount of quinoa and dressing! Also I’ll try cilantro instead of parsley. I ate this for lunch and dinner two days in a row and was sad when it was gone. If that tells you anything.
Thank you, Angela!
I’m so glad you found this recipe, Anne! (And am even happier it was a hit!)
Make saurkraut. Mash it up with your hands and a healthy couple of spoons of sea salt until enough natural juices come out to cover it’s own bulk of flesh (when packed down). Then stow it in a large jar or two, (be sure to mash it down inside the jar till the juices cover the top) and simply wait a few days until the kraut tastes not just salty but sour and salty to your tastes, then pop it in the fridge, and enjoy!
I made this tonight (sans parsley as I was out) and it was so delicious! I made quinoa and wild rice and mixed them together in my bowl with the slaw and they were all really tasty together. Thanks Angela, as always!