Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Easy Recipe for Cabbage and Blue Cheese Salad with Sunflower Seeds

Cabbage and Blue Cheese SaladIf you're the kind of food-obsessed person who loves searching for recipes on food blogs, you may be surprised to hear that overwhelmingly the most popular category in my recipe archives is Easy South Beach Recipes. It seems lots of people love these low-glycemic recipes with only five main ingredients and simple preparation methods, and occasionally I'll get e-mail asking for "more easy recipes." When I made this salad and loved it, I realized I couldn't remember writing about sunflower seeds for Weekend Herb Blogging, so I decided I should share how I made this easy salad.

Sunflower seeds are the seeds of the giant sunflower, of course, although Wikipedia on sunflower seeds says it would be more botanically correct to call them sunflower kernels. In the U.S. they're commonly sold with or without the shells as a snack. I've been a huge fan of these salty kernels since the time I was old enough to spend my allowance on snack food, although now I mostly buy the shelled type and eat them sparingly in salads. They're considered one of the world's healthiest foods, containing significant amounts of vitamin E and B1, and fairly large amounts of manganese, magnesium, copper, tryptophan, selenium, phosphorus, B5, and folate. They're also rich in phytosterols, plant compounds believed to help reduce blood levels of cholesterol. In fact, sunflower seeds and pistachios are highest in phytosterols of all nuts commonly eaten as snacks. I'm sure that people from all over the world will be sending Weekend Herb Blogging entries to Ramona at The Houndstooth Gourmet this week, and I'm curious to see if sunflower seeds are eaten in other countries too. If you'd like to participate by writing about an herb, plant, vegetable, or flower, here are the rules for Weekend Herb Blogging, and where to send your entry. Now, keep reading to see how easy it is to make this delicious cabbage salad.

Cabbage and Blue Cheese Salad with Sunflower Seeds
(Makes 3-4 side dish servings, recipe created by Kalyn. All measurements can be adjusted to taste.)

4 heaping cups thinly sliced cabbage (I used packaged pre-sliced coleslaw mix which includes a bit of carrot, but this would be even better with freshly sliced green and red cabbage mixed)
1/2 tsp. celery seed (or more)
1/2 cup blue cheese salad dressing (I used Litehouse Original Blue Cheese)
1/4 cup sunflower seeds

If using fresh cabbage, thinly slice it with a mandoline or chef's knife. Put cabbage in plastic bowl. Sprinkle with celery seed, then stir in blue cheese dressing until the cabbage is well moistened. (Use more or less dressing depending on how wet you like your salads.) Arrange salad on individual serving plates and sprinkle sunflower seeds over each serving. Serve immediately.

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South Beach Diet and Low-GlycemicSuggestions:
For South Beach dieters, be sure to choose a dressing with less than 2 grams of sugar per serving. (The Litehouse Blue Cheese Dressing has only 1 gram of sugar, and I often mix it half-and-half with buttermilk to cut down on the fat.) This is a perfect salad for any phase of the South Beach Diet. Cabbage is a very low-glycemic vegetable, so it's perfect for any low-glycemic eating plan.

Blast from the Past Recipes with Sunflower Seeds:
Tuna Fish and Tomato Salad with Sunflower Seeds
Carrot, Parsley, and Garbanzo Salad with Cumin
Better-for-you-than-Mom's Bacon and Cabbage Salad

More Ideas for Salads with Sunflower Seeds:
(Recipes from other blogs may not always be South Beach Diet friendly, check ingredients.)
Broccoli and Toasted Seed Salad from Cook Sister
Ginger Sunflower Seed Salad Dressing from Christine Cooks Vegetarian
Creamy Asian Slaw from Everybody Loves Sandwiches
Cowboy Coleslaw from A Veggie Venture
Award Winning Broccoli Salad from Mrs. Gluten Free
Broccoli Slaw from La Mia Cusina
Balkan Roasted Vegetable Salad from Eat Me, Delicious
Simple Substantial Salads from Green Gourmet Giraffe
Swiss Chard Salad from I Am Gluten Free
An Autumn Salad from Rice and Beans: A Belizean in D.C.

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  1. I love sunflower seeds in salads but am interested you say they are sold commonly as a snack in the US - I am not sure I would say that in Australia - I don't recall eating them until I was cooking for myself and seeking vegetarian recipes. Thanks for the link to my salads too!

  2. Say Blue Cheese and I'm there. Sounds just right for the summer BBQs that we know will be coming.

  3. Lovely simple recipe. Would it work with red cabbage do you think? I am always looking for easy red cabbage recipes too. By the way, no suprises there about the Low GI recipe's being popular!!

  4. Johanna, every store in the U.S. sells them in small snack bags, both in the shell and without shells. They even come in flavors like salsa, hickory smoked, and spicy.

    Mallika, I know that red cabbage can sometimes bleed in salads if there's too much vinegar or lemon juice, but I think it would work here. Let me know if you try it. (Personally I think the red cabbage would be even better but I haven't tried it.)

  5. Wow,who knew there was so much to sunflower seeds! Anything with blue cheese is great in my book.

  6. This is a great salad, and anything blue cheese has my name on it!
    By the way, in your links below your post, Christine Cooks should be Christine Cooks Vegetarian. She's a different Christine altogether. :)

  7. Oh dear, this is what happens when I write these things after work when I'm tired. Thanks for Christine Cooks for letting me know I screwed up, and apologies to Christine Cooks Vegetarian. (Who knew there were two of them?)

  8. Kalyn ~ I love all the info on sunflower seeds. I never realized how much of a healthy food powerhouse they were. Learn something new everyday.


    (P.S. Thanks for the link.)

  9. Wow, what an interesting combination! I do love sunflower seeds.

  10. I don't seem to use sunflower seeds all that often though I do enjoy them. I will have to pick some up. This salad sounds like a good way to enjoy them.

  11. I adore sunflower seeds! I try not to eat them too often, just because they're a total trigger food for me...once I start, I can't stop...but they are wonderful and so tasty. This recipe looks great, and I am right there with Mallika -- I'd love to try this with red cabbage to see how it works!

  12. I love cabbage salads and this one looks great. I have to use sunflower seeds sparingly. Although they are grown here, no one eats them. Ha! I bring mine back from the states rather than toast the whole kernel and peel.
    PS - love the new banner!!!

  13. Recipes like this means there is no excuse not to eat a healthy lunch! I love sunflower seeds too, they remind me of growing up, my mum always gave them to me as a snack. Loving the new header too!

  14. I do hope someone tries it with red cabbage and reports how they liked it! Gretchen and Helen, my talented brother Rand does the headers; he's the best!

  15. Great post! I learn a lot about sunflower seeds, I had no ideas about how powerful they were before.
    Thanks a lot! and great recipe :-)

  16. Easy is good. Especially when it's also tasty- like your recipes. :)

    And yay for sunflowers. I love sunflower seed butter- it's toasty and nutty and even better than peanut butter. A good substitute for those allergic to peanuts.

  17. Nothing like blue cheese in a salad. The addition of sunflower seeds is choice!

  18. Sunflower seeds are a different take than the typical walnuts! Will have to try the carrot salad. I am wondering if I could get sunflower seeds under the "no nut" radar at school for my kid's school lunch? She loves all seeds and nuts so much.

  19. I'm not surprised at all that most people are looking for the easy stuff. This definitely looks worth trying. I have a recipe for a blue cheese cole slaw that probably has similar flavors. (and much more fat!)

  20. Say, I was just thinking that I've never come here and seen a bad recipe! That's pretty cool. And this one is really great. Love all those ingredients!

  21. Sher, you are so kind. I do experiment with plenty of bad recipes, they just don't make it to the blog!

  22. Cabbage and sunflower seeds - what a great combo!
    I plan on making more cabbage salads this summer - this is a grat start....
    If only I can manage to get the sunflower seeds in the salad and not my mouth.....

  23. I like this recipe because it is easy and sounds delightful. There are some recipes I turn to because they are yummy and quick.

    I do like blue cheese, too.
    Sharona May

  24. Johanna, they are readily available in health food stores as a snack in Melbourne.

    This sounds fabulous, it may even be a way to get the BRead Winner to enjoy cabbage. If not, I'll just it myself for lunch!


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