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The weather is finally getting warmer and barbecues are in fashion again, so get ready to eat more coleslaw!
The story behind this recipe
I really like coleslaw, but it always tends to disappoint me… It is either too sweet, too acidic, too greasy (aka tons of mayo), or apple-y. and I am seriously not in the mood to play Snow White… ever!
So what do I do when I can’t have what I want the way I want it? I make it happen!
(sorry for those who were expecting me to confess that I simply throw a tantrum)
And this week, I had a lot of leftover red cabbage and dried cranberries, as well as an onion and some purple carrots from Sunday’s local farmers’ market. So I took the risk of being overly purple and decided to make myself the perfect coleslaw: 100% safe for me to eat with just the right balance of crunch, fat, sweetness, and acidity…
So… Without any further delay, I hereby present you my Purple Carrot Red Cabbage Slaw!
The health benefits of this recipe
This coleslaw is the perfect salad (side) to bring to any summer gathering or simply to accompany your daily meals. Not only is it safe for most people suffering from food allergies, it is also low in fat and calories, which is essential if you need to monitor your weight for your health. In addition, it is filled with essential vitamins and minerals.
So what is not to like?
While onions are nearly omnipresent in Western dishes, one might not ever think of their health benefits. However, each medium onion provides about 20% of your daily needs in vitamin C and 5% to 10% of your B6, folate, potassium, and manganese needs, as well as fiber, which overall makes them anti-inflammatory and great for improving digestion.
Onions are also a key ingredient for people who need to monitor their levels of sodium, as they add flavor to dishes without requiring the addition of salt, as well as people who have to be mindful of their fat and cholesterol intake (onions contain none of those).
Now… why purple carrots?
The purple carrot is an heirloom vegetable, which basically means that it has been around for a long time and is making a comeback in our grocery stores. It is low in carbs and calories, but high in fiber, making it great to improve or maintain the health of your digestive system. While they have the same health benefits as our more common orange carrots for your vision, they are rich in anthocyanins, the type of antioxidant that gives blueberries their distinctive color and strong health-boosting properties. Consequently, purple carrots also work as anti-inflammatory and improve vascular health.
And finally, the star of the show…
Red or Purple? Is the dress blue and black or white and gold? Either way, it is the same cabbage!
What matters is that this cabbage is packed with vitamin C, which helps regulate your immune health, and acts as a powerful antioxidant, therefore protecting your cells against damage. The other vitamins and minerals contained in this cabbage are also beneficial to your metabolism by supporting the production of red blood cells and the good functioning of your nervous system. Red cabbage also provides you with a fair percentage of fiber with low calories and no fat. So, all in all, it is very nutritious!
A few tips for this recipe
Before you try my Purple Carrot Red Cabbage Slaw, here are a few things you might find useful:
I like to vary the thickness at which I slice each ingredient to play with the texture of my coleslaw. I keep the cabbage fairly thick for more crunch, and the carrot slices thin but wide to enjoy their flavor more. However, I cut my onion in very thin slices, so that its taste does not overwhelm each bite of the slaw.
For the coleslaw dressing, I have been using Chosen Foods’ Traditional Vegan Mayo. It tastes great, its color and texture are very similar to what traditional mayo looks and feels like; and while I am aware that it is quite expensive, which might not be convenient to everyone, we are not big mayo eaters, so I am fine paying more for better-quality mayo over quantity. The big plus about this mayo, which was also a deciding factor when first buying it, is that it is safe for most people with allergies since it is dairy-free, egg-free, gluten-free, nut-free, peanut-free, sesame-free, and soy-free!
Don’t worry, you don’t have to eat it all or make it all! This recipe can be easily halved or doubled without affecting its taste, depending on how many people you are preparing it for. However, even though there are just two of us, I like to make the full recipe in order to have enough leftovers to last us several meals. That way, no matter how busy work keeps us, there is always something ready-to-eat in our fridge when we get home.
If you are not sure what to do with so much cabbage, know that coleslaw is a great add-on to tacos, sandwiches and burgers, but can also be simply enjoyed as a side salad with most meals.
Last but not least, it does not have to be all purple! So feel free to vary the types of cabbages, carrots, and onions you use to make it more fun and colorful!
Purple Carrot and Red Cabbage Slaw
For the salad
- 1 red cabbage medium
- 1/2 yellow onion
- 3 purple carrots medium
- 1/4 cup dried cranberries
For the dressing
- 3 tbsp vegan mayo
- 2 tbsp apple cider vinegar
- 1 tbsp pure agave nectar
- 2 tbsp lemon juice freshly squeezed
- 2 tbsp parsley fresh or dried
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1/2 tsp black pepper
- Slice the cabbage and 1/2 onion.
- Wash, peel, and shred the carrots.
- Place the cabbage, onion, carrots, and cranberries in a large mixing bowl.
- Mix all dressing ingredients in a small bowl, then add the dressing to your coleslaw.
- Mix well to coat your coleslaw evenly.
- If needed, add salt and pepper to taste.
- Let it rest for at least 10 minutes before serving, so your fruit and veggies soak up some of the dressing. It will taste better!