Monday, May 30, 2011

Totally Cabbage Pt1

So today the topic is Cabbage, a vegetable very dear to my heart. I love cooked cabbage, in almost anything! So let's just start with basics:

Different types of cabbage:

Red Cabbage
This type adds a burst of color to any salad or stir-fry. Red cabbage takes longer to mature than green cabbage, so they usually are not as tender. This variety is perfect for serving raw in salads and slaws. The color in red cabbage can often run when cooked. Other foods will turn red and the cabbage will take on a bluish hue. This can be avoided by cooking with an acid such as lemon juice or vinegar.

Savoy Cabbage
Tender and sweet, Savoy cabbage is popular in Italian recipes and has a milder flavor than green cabbage. Look for heads with even green coloring and slightly cone-shaped leaves. The leaves should be crisp, not limp, and there should be no sign of browning. The firmer leaves work well when cooked in such dishes as cabbage rolls.

Green Cabbage
The heart of any good coleslaw is shredded green cabbage, which, in the supermarket, looks similar to a head of iceberg lettuce - green, round and typically a little smaller than a volleyball. Green is the most common type of cabbage and is popular for its crunchiness and mild flavor. When looking for a head of green cabbage, look for one that is heavy for its size and has no discoloration.

Bok Choy
Bok choy, otherwise known as bak choi, paak choi, Chinese chard cabbage and Chinese mustard cabbage is a vegetable that resembles celery although it is actually a member of the cabbage family. It has thick, white stalks and dark green leaves that have a round shape. When purchasing bok choy, select stalks that are pure white and firm. Additionally, look for leaves that are dark green and non-wilted. Do not select bok choy that has any brown spots on its leaves, as this type of bok choy is less flavorful. Baby bok choy, which is a younger version of bok choy, should also be purchased according to these standards.

Napa Cabbage
Introduced into North America from China in the 1880's, Napa is also known as Chinese cabbage. It has long, oblong-shaped leaves that are flat and wide. The leaves are a pale green to greenish white in the center. It looks much like a head of romaine lettuce only more compact, with curly edges. Napa can be served cooked or raw and works particularly well in stir-fries and soups.

And we can't forget...

Brussels Sprouts
Many kids turn their noses up at this miniature form of cabbage, but a little butter or a touch of salt is often the solution. In the supermarket, look for fresh, unfaded green color with no sign of yellowing. The heads should be dense and firm, the leaves unwilted.

So those are a few varieties.

Cabbages are high in antioxidants as well as Thiamin, riboflavin, magnesium, phosphorus, vitamin A, vitamin C, vitamin K, vitamin B6, Folate, Calcium, and Potassium.. They are also rich in fiber and one of the strongest cancer fighters out there. It is very good for someone who doesn't
intake a lot of dairy products. Here is the nutritional breakdown:

A little trivia: What year did cole slaw become popular in the United States?

The answer is 1903. That was when bottled mayonnaise was invented, lol! Go figure. And that just happens to be the only way I can't stand cabbage!

And now a traditional Irish recipe incorporating cabbage :) See PT 2

Totally Cabbage Pt 2


(from IRISH TRADITIONAL FOOD, Theodora Fitzgibbon:)

"This is traditionally eaten in Ireland at Hallowe'en. Until quite recently this was a fast day, when no meat was eaten. The name is from cal ceann fhionn -- white-headed cabbage. Colcannon should correctly be made with chopped kale (a member of the cabbage family) but it is also made with white cabbage; an interesting version is the Irish Folklore Commission's, which gives it as mashed potatoes mixed with onions, butter, and a boiled white cabbage in the center.

Colcannon at Hallowe'en used to contain a plain gold ring, a sixpence, a thimble or button: finding the ring meant marriage within the year for the person who found it, the sixpence meant wealth, the thimble spinsterhood and the button bachelorhood."

"For a dish that is not widely eaten or served today, colcannon remains remarkably widely known. Maybe the song about colcannon is better known than the dish. If you say "colcannon" in a crowded room, the chances are that half the room will break into one version of the song and the other into a completely different version. Like the recipe itself, there are two versions commonly known.
Did you ever eat colcannon                                         Did you ever eat colcannon
when 'twas made with yellow cream                      when 'twas made with thickened cream
And the kale and praties blended                             And the greens and scallions blended
Like the picture in a dream?                                        Like the picture in a dream?

Did you ever take a forkful                                          Did you ever scoop a hole on top
And dip it in the lake                                                       To hold the melting cake
Of heather-flavored butter                                         Of clover-flavored butter
That your mother used to make?                             Which your mother used to make?

Oh, you did, yes you did!                                              Did you ever eat and eat, afraid
So did he and so did I,                                                    You'd let the ring go past,
And the more I think about it,                                    And some old married sprissman*
Sure, the more I want to cry.                                      Would get it at the last?
God be with the happy times
When trouble we had not,
And our mothers made colcannon
In the little three-legged pot.

*The word "sprissman" is a slightly corrupted version of the 19th-century Irish slang word "sprissaun". It comes from the Gaeilge word spreasán, which means someone or something worthless. The idea here is that it would be a waste of time if a married person got the ring buried in the colcannon, as the ring was supposed to foretell its finder's marriage prospects.

" -- Colcannon is so like champ, cally, and poundies that it's difficult to understand how it ever came to have a different name. Yet, all over the country, colcannon is colcannon and known as nothing else. As in the two versions of the song, it can be made with kale or with greens, meaning cabbage. Those reared on the version made with kale can never understand how the cabbage version can be considered colcannon, and vice versa...."

Yield: 4 servings

    450 g  Kale or cabbage
    450 g  Potatoes
      2    Small leeks or green onion
    150 ml Milk or cream
           Pinch of mace
           Salt and pepper
    100 g  Butter

  ~- If using the kale, strip from the stalks or likewise remove the
  stump of cabbage before cooking in boiling salted water until tender
  but not overcooked.  Drain very well and chop finely.  Meanwhile,
  cook the potatoes, and while they are cooking chop the leeks or onion
  tops and simmer them in milk or cream for about 7 minutes.  Drain the
  potatoes, season and mash them well, then stir in the cooked leeks
  and milk, adding a little more milk if needed.
  Finally blend in the finely chopped kale or cabbage (modern cooks will
  find a blender or food processor ideal for this).  Add the mace and
  taste for seasoning.  Heat the entire mixture gently, then pile in a
  warmed dish.  Make a small well in the center and pour in the melted
  (from IRISH TRADITIONAL FOOD, Theodora Fitzgibbon)

And for additional fun:
1 Ring, wrapped in greaseproof
Just before serving, slip in
the wrapped ring -- the trick, as you can see from the rhyme, is to
make sure the ring doesn't turn up too soon -- then the children will
eat it all willingly!

Sunday, May 29, 2011

Greek Chicken Pasta

I have a sudden love for Greek food in the last few years, and this was definitely a delish dish! I suggest it to everyone. It is also a super easy recipe that anyone can follow, and if you're more advanced there is definitely room to experiment with this dish.

  • 1 pound uncooked pasta
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 2 cloves garlic, crushed
  • 1/2 cup chopped red onion
  • 1 pound skinless, boneless chicken breast meat - cut into bite-size pieces
  • 1 (14 ounce) can marinated artichoke hearts, drained and chopped
  • 1 large tomato, chopped
  • 1/2 cup crumbled feta cheese
  • 3 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 2 teaspoons dried oregano
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 2 lemons, wedged, for garnish


  1. Bring a large pot of lightly salted water to a boil. Cook pasta in boiling water for 8 to 10 minutes, or until al dente; drain.
  2. Meanwhile, heat olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add garlic and onion, and saute for 2 minutes. Stir in the chicken. Cook, stirring occasionally, until chicken is no longer pink and the juices run clear, about 5 to 6 minutes.
  3. Reduce heat to medium-low, and add the artichoke hearts, tomato, feta cheese, parsley, lemon juice, oregano and cooked pasta. Stir until heated through, about 2 to 3 minutes. Remove from heat, season to taste with salt and pepper, and garnish with lemon wedges.

As a side note, I always use whole wheat pasta, which can change the nutritional value. I also really liked adding some sun-dried tomatoes, gave it a perfect sweetness.

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Turkey Veggie Meatloaf Cups

  • 2 cup coarsely chopped zucchini
  • 1 cup coarsely chopped summer squash
  • 1 pound extra lean ground turkey
  • 1/2 cup uncooked couscous
  • 1 egg
  • 2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
  • 1/4 cup sun-dried tomatoes
  • 1/2 cup barbecue sauce, or as needed

1.Preheat oven to 400 degrees F (200 degrees C). Spray 20 muffin cups with cooking spray.
2.Place zucchini, summer squash, and sun dried tomatoes into a food processor, and pulse several times until finely chopped but not liquefied. Place the vegetables into a bowl, and mix in ground turkey, couscous, egg, Worcestershire sauce, and herbs and spices of your choice until thoroughly combined. Fill each prepared muffin cup about 3/4 full. Top each cup with about 1 teaspoon of barbecue sauce.
3.Bake in the preheated oven until juices run clear, about 25 minutes. Internal temperature of a muffin measured by an instant-read meat thermometer should be at least 160 degrees F (70 degrees C). Let stand 5 minutes before serving.

This was a great low carb, low cal meal. To get the carbs I needed I simply whipped together some garlic mashed potatoes and steamed the rest of the vegetables as a filler. Super simple recipe, tastes amazing :)
The soon to be agrees.