Spring weather is so unpredictable. Today is a cool spring day, but recently it hit the 90’s here in Southern California. With warmer summer days soon ahead, more salads will be onto the menu. Here is my recipe for a cool, raw vegetable slaw we’ve been enjoying as of late – broccoli and cabbage slaw with a light, creamy, orange dressing and the surprise of tart dried cranberries.
For Broccoli Cabbage Slaw, Skip the Bag
I’m not big on buying stuff in bags. Yes, it can save time in a pinch, and sometimes we all have no other option when we are trying to eat healthy. If I can make it myself easily, that is that path I will take. My family is assured of freshness and I like being able to control what goes into it.
Wash Your Produce
Start by washing your produce well. While you probably already do that, water alone (which is what I used to do) just doesn’t cut it these days. For the last year I’ve been using a spray produce wash called Eat Cleaner. It removes 99% of surface pesticides and bacteria plus extends the life of fresh produce by 200%, so it helps save money on our grocery bill.
While working on The Daniel Plan, I met my friend Chef Mareya Ibrahim. Along with her brilliant dad, Mareya created the Eat Cleaner line of fruit and vegetable washes. She gave me some to try.
At first I was a bit skeptical. OK, a produce wash. I had seen them at the store and even read about how to make your own. Why spend more money? I just washed my produce well with water. Then I tried Eat Cleaner and was amazed at the difference in how the produce looked (you can actually see the difference) and lasted. That lead me to read more about Eat Cleaner. I was truly impressed and became a regular user.
Recently I skipped buying the small spray refills and went for the big gallon concentrate, which is the most cost effective. You can order Eat Cleaner on Amazon or through Thrive Market.
Use Your Food Processor
So enough on washing produce. It takes no time at all to grate your own broccoli, cabbage and carrots for this slaw. I’ve used both a grating blade (large hole) and the julienne blade. Using the grating blade yields a fine, fluffy slaw. Using the julienne blade yields a slaw with more texture and larger pieces like you find in the bagged store brands.
Cut the broccoli steams and florets apart. With a vegetable peeler, peel the broccoli stems. Don’t peel the carrots. There is lots of nutrition in the peel. Scrub when you wash them. Cut the cabbage into pieces that will fit into the feed tube of your food processor.
Place the julienne blade (or large hole grater blade) into your food processor and run your produce through. aAs the workbowl fills up, dump the slaw into a large bowl and complete the process. It takes just minutes to create fresh, colorful, healthy slaw.
Lasts A Week in the Refrigerator and Other Uses
This recipe makes a big batch, about 3 pounds of slaw. That is the equivalent of 4 grocery store bagged broccoli slaw (12 ounces per bag). You can make the whole batch for a big family or cut the recipe in half. Make the whole batch anyway. Without the dressing, the chopped raw veggies will last in the refrigerator for almost a week. You can enjoy it more than once or try these ideas:
- As a side dish for dinner
- As a main dish lunch topped with leftover chicken or cooked shrimp
- Inside tacos as the veggie component
- For Memorial Day, 4th of July and Labor Day barbecues
- Toss some in green salad for extra vegetables and color
- Use it for a quick stir-fry
- Thin down the Asian Almond Butter Sauce and use it as dressing for another flavor profile
Gently toss with dressing and and the cranberries (if using) just before serving. If you are reducing sugar or carbs, you can skip the dried cranberries…but just a handful are a nice compliment.
One last tip on ingredients. I am crazy about the specialty vinegars from a store called Vom Fass. They used to be called Crescendo. I used their apple balsamic in this recipe and have 8 other flavors in my pantry. I wrote about the incredible blueberry vinegar in this post for a grilled chicken salad with blueberry balsamic dressing. You can use regular apple cider vinegar as well.
If you are adventurous, like to try specialty ingredients (that cost a little more), and don’t mind shipping them, check out the Vom Fass website for a store near you, or call one to ship. Start with the smallest bottles to see what you like. These vinegars are like magic!
Broccoli and Cabbage Slaw
- 2 heads broccoli about 1 1/4 pounds
- 2 carrots 6 ounces
- 1/4 green cabbage 13 ounces
- 1/2 small head purple cabbage 10 ounces
- 1/3 cup chopped cilantro or flat leaf parsley leaves
- 4-6 scallions green part, chopped crosswise
- 1/3 cup dried cranberries optional
- 1/3 cup slivered almonds optional
- 2/3 cup mayonnaise I use Vegenise or homemade
- 2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar regular or apple balsamic
- 1 tablespoon fresh orange zest
- Sea salt and pepper to taste
- A little orange juice if needed to thin dressing optional
- food processor with julienne blade attachment
- Wash all of your produce well. Cut broccoli stems from florets. Peel stems with a vegetable peeler. Scrub the carrots (don’t peel). Chop the cilantro and scallions.
- Fit your food processor workbowl with the julienne slicing blade. Though the narrowest feed tube, push broccoli stems through to slice, then do the carrots. Through the largest feed tube, slice the broccoli florets. As the workbowl fills, place the julienned veggies into a large bowl and continue slicing the cabbages. Dump all the vegetables into the bowl and toss gently to combine. Add the cilantro, scallions, cranberries and almonds.
- Portion out as much as you need for one meal, approximately 1 cup per person as a side salad or 1 1/2 cups per person if using as an entree salad to be topped with leftover chicken.
- Whisk together the dressing ingredients and season to your taste with salt and pepper. When dressing, start with a small amount, toss and add more if needed. It is easy to add more but impossible to take too much away.