April 22, 2010

The Raw (Cabbage) Diet

I am very excite about the artistic possibilities for this vegetable, and leafy greens in general. I love the layering of the leaves, the curling and unfolding motion. And I love the cross section of cabbage, with the organic squiggly lines. Also, I have this great feeling of over-abundance when I cook cabbage. One head of cabbage seems so compact and manageable when whole, but when you begin to chop it appears to expand tremendously! I am still inspired, and I have prepped a canvas, and sketched with colored pencils. When I have more time I will work on more cabbage art.

My cooking and documentation did not meet my expectations. As per usual, I set out with high hopes. My vegetable fantasy use for cabbage would be jamie oliver's braised white cabbage with bacon and thyme. I'd also like to eat oysters. Cabbage and oysters make me think champagne and Lewis Carroll. Let's just start drinking champagne. Then we'll read portions of Lewis Carroll aloud ("The walrus and the carpenter...cabbages and kings!") Annie and Kate, I think you would really get into this portion of the party that is now happening in my mind. We're all wearing vintage lacy dresses and satin slippers (monochromatic, of course!) Katy has dibs on green. Em called mustard yellow earlier this week. Elizabeth, are you still into red? I'll be wearing pink, and I think I'll have to suggest a delicate strawberry dessert. Later in the evening we'll have coffee and chocolate.

So the lesson here is that thinking about cooking with economical vegetables leads to mental planning of decadent and fattening parties. Indeed, it is a slippery slope.

Back to reality. I did eat cabbage every single day this week. Bring it, Roberts Family. I have rebuked my caloric daydreams and am on The (Raw) Cabbage Diet.

How? Why? I had a lot of cabbage on hand, thanks to our little project. Also, I am a single woman in my late twenties and I don't always cook meals for myself. I eat salads. Sometimes I jog after work and feel tired. Or sometimes I just feel tired and would rather eat chocolate for dinner and feel bad about my poor eating habits the next day. Welcome to my life as a stereotype. Also, as I work in a part of town that feels like a food desert, I pack my lunch every day. I found cabbage to make a filling and delicious lunch. Plus, it does not wilt during my commute, or in our ancient office refrigerator. Two variations:

Sweet and Purple

1/4 of a red cabbage, chopped or sliced
1 medium granny smith or crisp red apple (I initially used green for the color contrast)
A handful of toasted walnuts
Cheese (gorgonzola or bleu or even a sharp white cheddar, cut in small cubes)
Sprinkle of golden raisins (optional)
Celery, chopped (optional)
Dressing (I used Brianna's Naturals Poppyseed; the only salad dressing that is worth purchasing in a store, IMO. Otherwise I'd suggest a simple mayo, lemon, and honey version)

Spicy and Green (no photo)

(a lot like Katy's taco recipe, but in salad form. Thanks, Katy, for giving me another idea for a salad.)

1/4 of a green cabbage, chopped or sliced
onion slices (red is pretty, sweet onions are also nice)
1/4 cup black beans, rinsed, drained, and slightly mashed with cumin and a little hot sauce
1/4 cup corn (okay, I used canned corn)
1/2 chopped tomato
1/4 avocado, in slices
Cheddar or feta cheese
2 Tbs. lime or lemon juice
chopped cilantro
A little salt
Tortilla chips (optional, but encouraged)


  1. Your week of cabbage sounds a bit daunting, Laura. I mean, did you include any chocolate with the cabbage dishes? Because it's not only single women in their late twenties who eat chocolate for dinner. It's also those of us who have picked up one two many pieces of dried corn still stuck on the kitchen floor from when it was thrown there during last night's dinner. Luckily, Lydia loves chocolate, so we can both eat it. And there are always frozen burritos for Phil.

  2. I have to say I am jealous of your week of raw cabbage. Being away from Roberts family meals, my cabbage consumption has dwindled. Thank you, VOTM, for reminding me how much I love this crispy delight.


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