Crunchy Cabbage & Peanut Slaw

Crunchy Cabbage & Peanut Slaw

As readers of my monthly newsletter know, I was that girl that brought a salad to a Super Bowl watching party. Yes. (But also, someone should be that person. The salad is always gone at the end of the night--or halfway through the night - and everyone is always glad to at least have a little freshness on their plates between tasting different dips and chips). 

Where this crunchy cabbage peanut slaw began: I am a pack-my-own lunch kinda gal, but some days getting out of the office just to walk around is really the best medicine. It was a day like that when I wandered to Natural Grocers (a few blocks away), and picked up a prepared salad -- I was craving fresh veggies. The gulp of fresh air was nice, but the salad was dry and pretty boring. It was the idea of the salad that inspired me though: a simple cabbage slaw with a peanut dressing. 

Crunchy Cabbage & Peanut Slaw
Crunchy Cabbage & Peanut Slaw

So I went home and dreamed up a better version, which is still a simple salad but it calls for a LOT of zesty peanut dressing -- a dressing far zestier and more addicting than the original. (So addicting in fact, that it also makes a very good dip for crudités).

You'll notice right away that this dressing calls for a semi-long list of ingredients. They are (almost) all shelf-stable pantry staples, and despite the list of ingredients the magic of this sauce is in how it's made: plop everything in the blender and go. That's it. This is where I tell you: do not fear that list of ingredients, embrace it. It is worth it. And by the time you've checked to see if you have everything you need, you're only 30 seconds away from finishing the dressing. 

Crunchy Cabbage & Peanut Slaw

Crunchy Cabbage & Peanut Slaw

Published February 19, 2019 by
   Print This Recipe

Serves: 4   |    Active Time: 20 minutes



Ingredients:


For the peanut dressing (yields about 1 cup):
  • 1/4 cup creamy peanut butter
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons toasted sesame oil
  • 2 tablespoons seasoned rice vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons lime juice
  • 2 tablespoons maple syrup
  • 1 tablespoon soy sauce
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 1 teaspoon minced ginger
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • 2 tablespoons water to thin dressing, as needed

  • For the slaw:
  • 3-4 cups finely shredded green cabbage
  • 4-5 green onions, white and dark green parts removed
  • 1/4 cup minced cilantro
  • 2 tablespoons toasted sesame seeds
  • 1/2 cup roasted salted peanuts, roughly chopped
  • Optional additional add-ins we also love: 1 cup chopped bok choy, 1/2 cup chopped sugar snap peas, 1/4 cup minced Thai basil

  • Directions:

    1. Place all ingredients for the dressing, aside from the water, in a blender and purée until smooth. Then, add water as needed to thin dressing as needed (based on preferences).
    2. Sliced green onions and add to a salad bowl with cabbage and cilantro. Toss to combine. Top with sesame seeds and peanuts.
    3. Drizzle with about 1/3 to 1/2 cup peanut sauce, or to taste.

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    Curtido, a recipe from Latin American Paleo Cooking

    Latin American Paleo Cooking: Curtido

    The best tacos I've ever had were served to me at a gas station in the mountain town of Glenwood Springs, CO. Let me guess.... you thought I was going to say something like, "on the streets of Mexico City" or "at this hole in a wall restaurant in Texas, just north of the border." Nope. A gas station in Glenwood Springs, while waiting for a bus. I know, that's just not as cool. But they were $1.00 each and simple. Super simple. Just a bit of shredded chicken on a 4-inch corn tortilla topped with this Mexican cabbage slaw that added acidity, crunch and freshness. That was my first taste of Curtido, and my last--at least for some time.

    Latin American Paleo Cooking: Curtido

    I didn't happen across curtido again until I visited Nicaragua, and then, boy, did I eat curtido. Many people credit El Salvador with this brilliant recipe, but it's eaten all through Central America. In Nicaragua, it came with virtually every dish I ate. Finally, towards the end of my stay, I attended a cooking class where sure enough, we learned to make curtido from a well seasoned abuela. Everything was done by hand: what most of us would do in a food processor, she did with ease on a small cutting board. She sliced that cabbage with more finesse than I've ever sliced anything in my life. The result was ribbons of cabbage were the most delicate, long and beautiful pieces of cabbage I had ever seen. (Every time I slice cabbage now I think of her, and attempt to mimic her motions. I still haven't mastered the skill). 

    Latin American Paleo Cooking: Curtido

    When Latin American Paleo Cooking cookbook showed up at my front door, and this recipe sat within its pages, I knew I needed to make it stat. Taco night anyone?

    Getting your fair share of veggies on taco night is not always easy (some days you just don't feel like taco salad). But curtido! It's the answer. When you make curtido, you put your veggies in your taco, and it's the most delicious taco you'll eat. It's the crunch, acid, and spice your taco needs. And the recipe in this cookbook is awesome... along with the rest of the recipes in there. Want to hear a few? 

    • Mofongo Relleno de Camarones - Mofongo Stuffed with Shrimp 
    • Empanadas al Horno - Baked Meat Empanadas 
    • Pupusas con Chicharrón - Pupusas stuffed with sausage (or cheese!)
    • "Arroz" con Dulce - Grain-free rice pudding 
    • The list goes on...

    So, if you have been on a grain-free diet for a while (or not that long) and are seriously craving some real Latin American food, this cookbook is for you. (I can relate to your cravings... case in point: those tacos in Glenwood Springs! And enchiladas. And tamales. Don't get me started on tamales. This cookbook is totally the answer to your cravings). 

    You can get it on Amazon, here

    Latin American Paleo Cooking: Curtido
    Latin American Paleo Cooking: Curtido

    YC Media sent me this cookbook to review. Thoughts and opinions are all my own. 

    Curtido

    Published October 17, 2017 by
       |     Print This Recipe

    Serves: 4-6   |    Total Time: 20 minutes



    Ingredients:

    • 1 small head green cabbage, sliced very thinly or grated
    • 4 carrots, grated
    • 1 medium onion, thinly sliced and cut about 1" (2.5 cm) long
    • 2 fresh jalapeño peppers, diced and seeded, or 1 to 2 cloves garlic, minced
    • 2 tsp (12 g) fine Himalayan salt
    • 2 tsp (4 g) dried oregano
    • ½ cup (120 ml) filtered water
    • ½ cup (120 ml) apple cider vinegar

    Directions:

    1. In a large, nonreactive bowl, combine all the ingredients and stir well. Depending on how large your cabbage is, you may need to add a bit more vinegar and water. Place it in the fridge for 15 minutes before serving. The flavors will continue to develop as it sits. Serve a generous portion alongside Pupusas con Chicharrón o “Queso” (page 63 of the Latin American Paleo Cooking cookbook)
    2. Store in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 3 to 4 days.
    3. AIP compliant: Simply omit the jalapeño peppers and substitute minced garlic.

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    Sesame Cabbage Fritters

    Sesame Cabbage Fritters (Gluten-Free and Paleo)
    Like most humans, I am hungry...our three basic needs, for food and security and love, are so mixed and mingled and entwined that we cannot straightly think of one without the others. So it happens that when I write of hunger, I am really writing about love and the hunger for it... - M. F. K. Fisher

    Thick, paperback, and a little bit intimidating, a large text book sat on my desk when I walked into the office one morning. I immediately remembered a conversation with a co-worker when they said they had a book to lend me (thanks Max!). Food and Culture: A Reader, was the title.

    The forward was a quote from M. F. K. Fisher that I absolutely adore (the one I opened this post with).  Of course food and security and love, are intertwined. Every discussion about food is also about your up bringing and your emotions and your heart. Of course. This is why I love the topic: we all have a deep, intrinsic connection to what we make in our kitchens and even what we eat when we are very, very far from our kitchens. There is something there, and it is so much more than food (even when food is the hero of the story). 

    Sesame Cabbage Fritters (Gluten-Free and Paleo)

    Take these cabbage pancakes: I could tell you about how delicious they were, and how they were something new for our table. But that's not the story. The story is about how I have always (always!) struggled to make anything like this: latkes, zucchini pancakes, corn cakes. The few memories I have of latkes (a bat mitzvah, a pot luck)  are positive (who doesn't love potato fried in oil) but they were never something my parents made and I didn't grow up watching them come together. So when I've tried to recreate them in my own kitchen, it's been a battle of Caitlin versus fried patty, and sadly the patties usually win and I put up a white flag. We eat whatever it is as a shredded, fried pile (it's delicious, but totally off the mark). 

    Sesame Cabbage Fritters (Gluten-Free and Paleo)

    With this as my background, I'm not sure what exactly made me think "I will make pancakes out of this head of cabbage that's been wasting away in the fridge" rather than just sautéing it or making slaw. But, that's what I thought. I got out a knife, and shredded the cabbage into thin, papery strips, and as I did it's volume ballooned and filled our largest mixing bowl. This made me nervous, but I made the move that said "There's no turning back" (tossing everything with egg and cassava flour) and then--after thinking for a brief moment What will I do with this pile of sticky battery cabbage if this doesn't work out?- I heated up oil in the pan. 

    Sesame Cabbage Fritters (Gluten-Free and Paleo)

    And? Hallelujah! Finally a fritter I can make. A single battle won, 15 more pancakes to flip. That first pancake gave me the bode of confidence I needed: It didn't matter that I wasn't a life-time latke-making pro. Attempt after attempt of fritter frying, my work had paid off. This win was coming home. (And yes, the stringiness of the cabbage, compared to shredded potato, may have something to do with my success. I'm ok with that for now). 

    These were also completely devoured in 5 minutes, if any one asks. But if they do ask, please also tell them it's a story about perseverance. 

    Sesame Cabbage Fritters (Gluten-Free and Paleo)

    Sesame Cabbage Fritters (Gluten-Free and Paleo)

    Paleo, Primal, Gluten-Free, Grain-Free    |       |    Print This Recipe

    Cabbage is fried in a savory pancake and served with a sesame-soy dipping sauce.

    Yields: 4   |    Total Time:



    Ingredients:

    • 6 cups shredded cabbage
    • 4 eggs
    • 1/3 cup cassava flour (Here is one brand)
    • 1 teaspoon toasted sesame oil
    • 1 teaspoon soy sauce
    • 1 bunch green onions, roots removed and remaining parts roughly chopped
    • Dash salt
    • 1/4 cup sesame seeds
    • Coconut oil for cooking

    • For the dipping sauce:
    • 1/4 cup soy sauce
    • 2 tablespoons maple syrup
    • 2 tablespoons toasted sesame oil
    • 1 teaspoon Sriracha

    Directions:

    1. Please shredded cabbage in bowl and toss with chopped green onions, 2 tablespoons sesame seeds, dash of salt, and cassava flour. Once cabbage is coated, crack eggs into bowl and add sesame oil and soy sauce. Mix until everything is combined.
    2. Heat 1 tablespoon of coconut oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Once it sizzles, scoop the cabbage mixture into the skillet 1/4 cup at a time. Use a spatula to press the 1/4 cup pile down into a pancake shape and allow to cook for 5-10 minutes, until the cabbage begins to brown. Using the spatula, flip the fritter and cook on the second side for 5-10 more minutes, until browned. (I find I can do 3 fritters at once in my skillet to quicken the cooking process). Place cooked fritters on a plate and repeat until all of the cabbage mixture is used.
    3. Make the sauce: combine ingredients for sauce in a small sauce pan and bring to a simmer. Stir. After 5 minutes, remove from heat. Pour into small bowl.
    4. Serve fritters warm with sauce for dipping. Garnish with extra sesame seeds or Sriracha.

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