While leafy greens are gently tossed in bright vinaigrettes and paired with trendy ingredients like pomegranate seeds, cabbage — which is actually more closely related to cauliflower, broccoli and Brussel sprouts — is left to swim in mayonnaise or simmered into an unrecognizable monochromatic mass and piled atop brats or corned beef.
Cabbage deserves better, but we’ll admit, it was the vegetable’s association with St. Patrick’s Day that inspired us to put it in the spotlight for this month’s Gazette KCRG Cook Club recipe.
Instead of sapping it of its nutritional value — some studies show that cabbage’s cholesterol fighting qualities are diminished the longer its cooked — and serving it up along a big slice of corned beef, we decided to put cabbage at the center of the plate for a vegetable-filled riff on Pad Thai.
The result is a healthy, cheap and meatless dish for this season of Lent, Meatless Monday’s or anytime you are craving Thai takeout without the guilt.
At less than $2 for a head of cabbage, this entire dish comes together with a few pantry staples for less than $1 per serving.
Serves about 4
1 head green cabbage (about 8 cups), shredded or thinly sliced (see note below)
1 red bell pepper, thinly sliced
1 cup carrots, shredded or julienned
1 onion, thinly sliced
2 cloves garlic, minced
Spicy peanut sauce
1/4 cup peanut butter
2 tablespoons lemon or lime juice
2 tablespoons reduced sodium soy sauce
1 teaspoon fresh ginger, minced
1 tablespoon Siracha sauce
1 tablespoon fish sauce
Finely slice cabbage, bell pepper, carrots and onion.
Spray large frying pan or wok and heat on high. Add onions, carrot and bell pepper and reduce to medium. Saute until soft and slightly brown. Add garlic and cook another minute or two.
Add cabbage to pan, cover to let wilt. To encourage wilting add a few tablespoons water to pan.
While cabbage cooks, combine ingredients for peanut sauce in bowl and whisk together. Alternatively, use a small food processor or blender.
Uncover pan, add desired amount of sauce, stir and allow to simmer for an additional two to four minutes.
Plate and garnish with optional toppings.
Note: Substitute 1 bag of coleslaw mix for head of cabbage.
Source: Carly Weber for Gazette KCRG Cook ClubNutrition information per serving (without optional garnishes): 190 calories, 26 carbohydrates, 16 grams of fat, 9 grams of protein, 947 milligrams sodium and 14 grams of sugar.