This time of year it’s hard to be motivated to eat vegetables. Tomatoes are more rubbery than juicy. Cucumbers go moldy almost as soon as you get them home from the store. And peppers are so expensive. However, there are some seasonal vegetables that are ripe, fresh and sweet this time of year.
If you’re finding it hard to be inspired to make a leafy green salad, then turn to coleslaw instead. Coleslaws are a delicious way to eat more winter vegetables. Here are a few reasons why you should add them to your January diet.
• Cabbage, the base of most coleslaw, is seasonal and affordable this time of year.
• Cabbage is also nutritious; full of vitamins, fibre and antioxidants. It is particularly high in vitamin C.
• Coleslaw lasts about 3-5 days in the fridge and the flavour improves with age. So make a large batch and serve it throughout the week.
• There are so many different ways to flavour coleslaw that it can be added to any meal. Serve it with baked potatoes, fish sticks, roast chicken. Add it to a rice and bean bowl or a sandwich.
Here are three very different flavours of coleslaw that will hopefully inspire you to give this humble salad a place on your plate.
(Prep Time: 10 minutes)
There are many recipes for a classic mayonnaise based coleslaw. This is a recipe that I discovered in Ireland. It is perfect for serving with classic pub fare, and features in one of my favourite Irish pub meals: a baked potato topped with baked beans, cheddar cheese and a spoonful of coleslaw.
1⁄2 head of green ball head cabbage
1⁄2 green pepper
2 Tbsp onion
3⁄4 tsp salt
1⁄4 tsp pepper
1⁄2 tsp celery seed
1 Tbsp sugar
3⁄4 cup mayonnaise
2 Tbsp fresh parsley
1 Tbsp lemon juice
1 tsp chives
1. Shred the green cabbage. This can be done by slicing it with a knife or grating it. To speed things up, use a food processor or a mandolin.
2. Mince the green pepper and onion.
3. Combine the vegetables in a large bowl.
4. Add in all of the salad dressing ingredients and toss to combine.
5. Allow to refrigerate for at least 2 hours before serving.
(Prep Time: 10 minutes)
This is a simple coleslaw that is bright and beautiful. It is anti-inflammatory and packed full of antioxidants, perfect for fighting off a cold or flu. Since it is mayonnaise-free it is perfect for potlucks and parties.
1 medium head of purple cabbage
1 red pepper
4 spring onions
1⁄2 cup olive oil
1⁄4 cup cider vinegar
1 Tbsp Dijon mustard
2 Tbsp honey
1 tsp salt, to taste
1 tsp turmeric powder (optional)
1. Mix up all the dressing ingredients in a large bowl. Stir to make sure that the honey is fully mixed into the oil and vinegar.
2. Grate the cabbage and carrots.
3. Finely dice the red pepper and spring onions.
4. Add the vegetables into the dressing and toss to fully mix.
5. Serve immediately for a crisp salad. For a softer, marinated salad, let it sit for 1–2 hours prior to serving.
Asian Inspired Slaw
(Prep Time: 15 minutes)
This is a fun and flavourful coleslaw that demonstrates how a simple salad can be transformed into something unique.
- 1 medium head of savoy cabbage (or replace with red cabbage)
- 1 mango
- 1 cup of cilantro
- 1⁄4 cup of fresh mint
- 11⁄4 cup of roasted peanuts (optional)
- 6 Tbsp lime juice
- 1 Tbsp sugar
- 4 Tbsp sunflower seed oil
- 2 Tbsp toasted sesame seed oil
- 1 tsp soy sauce
- 1⁄2 tsp salt, to taste
- 1⁄4 tsp chili flakes (optional)
1. Mix the salad dressing ingredients in a large bowl. Stir to ensure that that sugar has fully dissolved.
2. Finely shred the cabbage and mix it in the salad dressing.
3. Peel the mango. Slice it off the pit, then cut it into thin strips.
4. Roughly chop the cilantro and mint leaves.
5. Mix the mango and herbs with the cabbage.
6. Roughly chop the peanuts, and toss with the salad right before serving.