Monday, November 30, 2009

Recipe for Napa Cabbage and Red Cabbage Salad with Fresh Herbs and Peanuts

Napa Cabbage and Red Cabage Salad with Fresh Herbs and Peanuts
A wonderful Phase One Salad with lots of crunch!

For anyone who may have over-indulged at Thanksgiving, this healthful salad with two kinds of cabbage is a perfect choice to get you back to healthy eating. If you did over-indulge a little, I think the thing to do is get back on track, and don't waste energy feeling guilty! In fact, for special occasions like Thanksgiving or holiday parties I give myself permission to have a few treats I'd normally avoid eating, and then to balance out those splurges, I try to make sure my other meals are nutritious and filled with low-glycemic foods.

This cabbage salad recipe is adapted from one I found in a fantastic cookbook called From Asparagus to Zucchini, A Guide to Cooking Farm-Fresh Seasonal Produce. I discovered the book when my friend Tom from Culinary Types made Sweet Potato Walnut Bread from the book. Tom mentioned the book was produced by cooks from the Madison Area CSA he writes about on his blog. I knew I'd like this book, and Tom offered to get me a copy when he went to the farm. This was weeks ago, and I'm not sure why it's taken me so long to post this recipe, because I love this book and I've made the salad several times in the last few weeks! (Thanks Tom!)

Start by making the dressing so the flavors can blend while you chop the other ingredients. The original recipe calls for chopped mint, cilantro, and basil to be added to the dressing. I did it that way once, but the other times I mixed the chopped herbs in with the cabbage.

Cut up enough thinly sliced and chopped red cabbage to make 2 generous cups. You could use a mandoline, but I like chopping by hand.

Also slice and chop up enough napa cabbage to make 2 cups. I thought the napa cabbage was really nice in this, and it's an ingredient I don't use much.

Make 1/4 cup thinly sliced green onions, about 3 green onions.

I made this when there was no basil left in my garden, so I just used mint (from the garden) and cilantro (from the store.) If you're buying the herbs, I might just use mint, cilantro, or basil, whichever you like best.

Combine the chopped red cabbage, napa cabbage, and sliced green onions in a bowl large enough to toss everything.

Toss the cabbage and onions with desired amount of dressing. (You probably won't need all the dressing, but it's good on lots of other things.)

After the cabbage is tossed with the dressing, add whatever fresh herbs you're using and toss again. Sprinkle with peanuts and serve.

Napa Cabbage and Red Cabbage Salad with Fresh Herbs and Peanuts
(Makes 3 - 4 servings, recipe adapted from From Asparagus to Zucchini, A Guide to Cooking Farm-Fresh Seasonal Produce.)

2 cups thinly sliced and chopped red cabbage
2 cups thinly sliced and chopped napa cabbage
1/4 cup thinly sliced green onions
1/2 cup roughly chopped fresh mint, cilantro, or basil leaves, or a combination of herbs (or use more herbs if you have a lot)
1/4 cup chopped peanuts

Dressing Ingredients:
2 tsp. minced garlic
1 tsp. green Tabasco sauce, Sriracha sauce, or other hot sauce (or more, to taste)
3 T rice vinegar (not seasoned)
1-2 T soy sauce (use 1 T, then see if you want more)
2 T Tahini, almond butter, or peanut butter (Original recipe used Tahini, but use whichever one you prefer or have on hand.)
2 T olive oil
2 T toasted sesame oil

Combine dressing ingredients, then taste to see if you want to add the second T of soy sauce or more hot sauce. (I used the bowl of my immersion blender to mix the dressing, but you could just make it in a bowl with a whisk.) Let dressing sit so flavors can blend while you chop other ingredients.

Chop cabbage and green onions and combine in a bowl large enough to toss with dressing. Wash herbs, spin dry with salad spinner or dry with paper towels, then roughly chop. Put herbs in bowl, dry cutting board and knife, then coarsely chop peanuts.

Toss the cabbage-onion mixture with desired amount of dressing. (You probably won't need all the dressing.) Add fresh chopped herbs and toss again. Arrange salad on serving plates and sprinkle each serving with chopped peanuts.

This doesn't keep well, so only make as much as will be eaten right away. You can also mix the dressing, chop all the vegetables and herbs, store them in the fridge, and mix the salad right before you're going to eat it. After I made this once, I did that the second time and ate it for several days.

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South Beach Suggestions:
Everything in this salad is great for any phase of the South Beach Diet, making this a perfect choice if you need something low-glycemic but delicious that won't make you feel like you're on a diet. Be careful not to use seasoned rice vinegar, which contains sugar.

More Cabbage Salads To Balance Out the Holiday Treats:
(Recipes from other blogs may not always be South Beach Diet friendly; check ingredients.)
Greek Cabbage Salad with Feta and Thyme from Kalyn's Kitchen
Vietnamese Cabbage Salad with Chicken and Cilantro from Kalyn's Kitchen
Spicy Mexican Slaw with Lime and Cilantro from Kalyn's Kitchen
Napa Cabbage Picnic Salad from Simply Recipes
Asian Cabbage Salad from Andrea Meyers
Spicy Cabbage Salad from Viet World Kitchen
Asian-Inspired Napa Cabbage Salad from Diet, Dessert, and Dogs
Sweet and Spicy Cabbage Salad from Joy the Baker
(Want even more recipes? I find these recipes from other blogs using Food Blog Search.)
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More to Chew On:


  1. Where can I sign up to be a professional taster? Actually, Kalyn is my sister so I get my share of tastes. I love cabbage so the cabbage and peanut salad looks fantastic. Kalyn came to our house over the Thanksgiving Holidays to see how we managed to make 18 dozen tamales!! My mother in law is in town from New Mexico so tamales were on the agenda. They are usually reserved for around Christmas, but who cares, they are great anytime, especially Grandma Carmen's. Not exactly south beach friendly so you need to enjoy them sparingly. Keep on creating Kayln, we love you,

    Mark and Lisa and the boys.

  2. I can testify that Carmen's tamales were about the best I've ever tasted! That was one of the things I splurged on during Thanksgiving weekend.

    Love you too! And I do wish you lived closer so I could share more food with you.

  3. That sounds like a great cookbook! I love how peanut-heavy this recipe is. The dressing sounds great.

  4. carole with an "e" in NYCDecember 1, 2009 at 5:49 AM

    Ah, cabbage, cabbage, and more cabbage. Love the stuff, even if it is diet friendly. This Thanksgiving I included a red cabbage recipe as one of my sides and it went perfectly with the turkey. And Napa is absolutely terrific in any stir fry recipe or added to a soup. Thanks for the new recipe; I even have the fresh peanuts in the house from Thanksgiving.

  5. This does look so good and so healthy and fresh and YES, as of last night I exclained, NO MORE. I was just sitting down at the computer to look for a light summery meal!

  6. Wish I would have had this recipe this summer when I had 29 (!) red cabbage in my vegetable garden. Will copy it for next year.

  7. Such a pretty salad. I will have to make this when Josh is not around since he is allergic to nuts.

  8. Sounds like an interesting cookbook! I can tell I'll love this salad, but I usually don't like tahini or peanut butter in salads (like them otherwise, just not in salads.. one of those quirks :-)). Can you think of a good replacement ingredient or do you think the salad will taste good if I just dropped that ingredient? Thanks for sharing!

  9. I love the colors of this salad...and the dressing sounds amazing. Full of ingredients that I always have on hand.

  10. Sounds like an interesting cookbook! I can tell I'll love this salad, but I usually don't like tahini or peanut butter in salads (like them otherwise, just not in salads.. one of those quirks :-)). Can you think of a good replacement ingredient or do you think the salad will taste good if I just dropped that ingredient? Thanks for sharing!

    (PJ, could not get your comment to publish, so I had to cut and paste it!)

  11. What a great way to enjoy cabbage. That dressing is right up my alley!

  12. I promise you people, this is a great cookbook, so many creative ideas. Fun to see there are other people who also adore cabbage too.

    PJ, you don't mention almond butter, but if you don't like that either I'd try making the dressing without it and see how it turns out. OR, maybe a little yogurt would be good, but you'd have a creamier dressing.

  13. Oh, that looks awesome!I have some red cabbage in my garden needing to be picked (yes, in December - thank you mild weather). I think this might be the perfect thing for it.


  14. This dish looks mouth watering! Thanks for the recipe.

  15. wow does this sound good... peanuts and hot sauce. My grilling buddies will love this

  16. I'm very intrigued by the dressing! How is it after it sits overnight?

  17. I am jealous hearing that people still have cabbage in the garden!

    Elenka, I'm trying to remember, but can't remember any problems with keeping it in the fridge and using later. I know I used the dressing the next day and it was fine, and I think I kept it longer than that too.

  18. What a beautiful, vibrant salad. A friend recently gave me a "leftover" bag from her local CSA that someone forgot to pick up, and in it was a really giant head of red cabbage. I've been slicing away at it for a good 2 weeks now, and I swear, it tastes just as fresh as I did when I first got it. (I just pull off a single outer layer of leaves it they look wrinkly.)

    It's a great vegetable, and you've married it nicely with such colorful ingredients.

  19. Hi Kalyn, I made this last night and my husband and I really enjoyed it. I also like peanut based dressings that have more of a sweet flavor to them. Do you think I could just add some splenda to the dressing or should I make other changes as well? Or is that just a bad idea? Thanks.

  20. Claire, I definitely think you could make this into a sweeter dressing. I might cut down the amount of sesame oil a bit, try adding less of that and tasting. (You can always add more, but you can't take it out!) Let us know how it turns out as a sweeter version!

  21. Kalyn-

    I just made something very similar to this last night: left out the peanuts but it was cilantro, scallion, red onion, orange bell pepper slivers, savoy cabbage, red cabbage. So delicious and great texture. Yours looks delish!

    - tami

  22. Tami, that sounds great too! Wish I could come over and try your version!

  23. Kalyn, I could kiss you right now. I have a relative who makes a salad similar to this one. I tried to make it a few times and it didn't turn our right. This recipe sounds fantastic and very close to what she makes! Thanks for posting this. I will make it asap! I printed it and will make it this weekend for our veggie friends.

  24. Thanks for re-posting this salad - it sounds absolutely perfect! I'm definitely going to make it after my next trip to the market.

  25. Hi Kalyn! I stumbled upon your site recently, and made this salad for my boyfriend and I the other night, and it was amazing! We both enjoy Asian flavors, and this tasted delicious with a whole lot of crunch, despite omitting the peanuts. Thanks so much!

  26. Hi Kalyn, I wanted to know the points value for this in ww, so I added it to the community recipes, and credited the blog. hope that's okay.

  27. Actually it is not okay to copy one of my recipes and repost it somewhere else. I'd appreciate if you would remove it.


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