If you hate cabbage or eat it only on St. Patrick’s Day, boiled to death with corned beef, you’re really missing out on a great tasting and healthy veggie.
Corned beef can stand up to boiling — it actually needs long, moist heat — but that same cooking method kills the taste of veggies dead in their tracks. Then there’s the smell of cabbage: it’s those sulphur-containing “glucosinolates”, real workhorse phytochemical compounds that fight cancer cells and have anti-inflammatory benefits. The baggage they bring however, is their “aroma”.
No big. Stir-frying them and adding some flavorings, even just a little salt and pepper, tames all that and makes cabbage dishes delicious. Example: before thinking you don’t like cabbage, do you ever get “moo-shu chicken” from your local Chinese take-out? It’s absolutely loaded with cabbage — usually napa cabbage, but it’s one of the cruciferous veggies, nonetheless, and a great one. See what some flavorings can do? That’s often on the oily side though, and you don’t have to have all that added oil for cabbage to taste good. This recipe uses very little and makes a lot.
Quick, Colorful& & Cruciferous Stir-Fry Medley
Recipe: serves 4 if you use 3 cups of shredded veggies plus the onion. I even bought pre-shredded veggies – it’s colorful. It’s a little more pricey, so I usually do my own chopping, slicing, and shredding, but last night the convenience really felt good. I only had to slice the onion. Ahhh…
- 1-1/2 tablespoons olive oil per 3 cups shredded (or thinly sliced) veggies, tightly packed. Use one type or a combo of these: red and green cabbage, carrots, celery, Brussels sprouts, collards, kale. I like color so I used red and green cabbage and carrots.
- 1 onion, sliced thinly.
- 1 teaspoon caraway seeds.
- Salt and pepper
Heat the oil on medium, then add the onion and cook, stirring and tossing, until they “sweat”. Add the rest of the veggies and toss to coat, then keep stirring them up, until they’re the desired degree of tenderness. Add salt and pepper – but taste first though – you’ll need less salt than you think.
Optional substitutions for caraway seeds:
• 1 teaspoon fennel seeds
• 1 tablespoon of hoisin, plum, or soy sauce
• 1 or 2 cloves of smashed garlic (add during cooking so it doesn’t burn)
• 1 tablespoon grated parmesan or pecorino