Friday, February 12, 2010

What Goes Down and Red Cabbage with Apples

I don't mean to be so literal but there was a comment that had me thinking. On the recent Oprah show with Michael Pollan and other whole food advocates poop was mentioned. About how bathroom reading material was just not needed for those who take in lots of whole foods. Amen to that.

All the real, whole fiber I have been adding to our diet is fantastic. Don't be confused by the pop tarts and yogurts claiming to have added fiber; you are fooling yourself. If you really want to eat fiber and get the real benefits of it (i.e. read on the couch, not in the bathroom among other things) eat the real food, not synthetic imitations.

So where do you look for fiber? Some of your new best friends should be flax seed, bran, and nuts. There are several other places to look as well. Eat whole vegetables and fruits such as apples and oranges instead of a glass of juice; the fiber that you lose in the juice. If you want to drink your fruit, opt for a homemade smoothie instead. And yes you can toss in a vegetable to those too. I love the combination of oranges and carrots or apples with beets and mint. Or I will substitute bran or ground flax seed for a small amount of flour in tortillas, bread or pancakes. And my kids even like them too.

Has good fiber changed your life? And how do you incorporate it?

And now on the the recipe of the week! I didn't grow up eating a lot of cabbage but I have always thought the red cabbages were colored so lovely. So I recently added cabbage to my list of finding new ways to cook. I read in a few cookbooks and overhead conversations at the farmers market about the wondrous combination of tart green apples with red cabbage; and I knew I must try it for myself. Oh, and swoon. I loved it. There was no bitterness or old cabbage-y flavor. This was onions, caraway seeds, apples and red cabbage cooked until meltingly tender and just finished with a splash of vinegar to add a bit of tang. It was a beautiful shade of plum when it finished cooking and tasted as good as it looked.

Red Cabbage with Apples
Adapted from Deborah Madison
Vegetarian Cooking for Everyone

3 T. sunflower seed oil (or vegetable oil)
1 small onion, finely diced
1 T. caraway seeds
1 medium red cabbage, about 2 lbs., quartered, cored and finely sliced
2 Granny Smith or other tart apple quartered, cored and diced
Salt and freshly ground pepper
Apple cider or white wine vinegar

Heat the oil in a large skillet. Add the onion and caraway, and stir. Cook for a few minutes over medium heat until the onion is translucent. Add the cabbage and apples and season with 1 t. salt. Cover tightly and cook very slowly until the cabbage is meltingly tender, up to one hour (I cooked for about 40 minutes). Taste for salt, season with pepper, and toss with vinegar to taste (I went with 1 T.).

This could also be topped with toasted walnuts before serving.

Oh, and don't be shy- feel free to leave a comment and help me get a feel of what you would like to see more of and any recipe requests. And thanks for stopping by.


  1. new ways to use potatoes!! That is what I want. I buy potatoes, but then I always do the same things with them. Cabbage is another one I would like more recipes. Any salads with cabbage that aren't mayo based? Any good soups with potatoes or cabbage?

    I think you might be on to something with the poop. I thin I ate too much fiber this week. Is that possible???? bran muffins, flax on my oatmeal, lots of clementines and apples.... ???

  2. Ha ha ha. I remember the week I started adding flax to my bread. Poor Carter had just been potty trained. He learned to not wait. Your system does regulate itself after a few weeks of adding that stuff to your diet.

    Ooh, and I made a splendid mayo-free cabbage slaw this week that went on black bean tacos (with homemade flax powered tortillas). I did consider that recipe for this post, but sat on it instead.

    And what are you doing with your potatoes- so I know what to offer... I hate to disappoint.

  3. definitely moves things along nicely, eh? LOL

    Having lived in Germany, I can really say that all the German women who cook great red cabbage add apple to it, so way to go!! mmmmm! We LOVE red cabbage here!

    As for the fiber. Our goal for the year was to eat 7 servings of whole grain a day. 2 servings are easily gotten at lunch, when we seriously ALWAYS eat sandwiches on whole wheat bread, with tomato, lettuce, avacado, swiss cheese and CREME Cheese & mustard (no mayo due to the HFCS) And SOOO filling and yummy.

    I put wheat germ into smoothies.

    We eat whole wheat base for dinner now!! YAYY!!pasta,(penne, spaghetti) Gnocchi, cous cous - all found in a whole wheat kind, and quinoa!

    Homemade sauces are to die for, and yum it even LOOKS fresher and redder. mmmm.

    For breakfast it's either eggs in a frame or French toast using whole wheat bread, or TOTAL cereal (or something better, which I'm looking for!!) I drizzle honey on mine and add bananas. mmmm.

    Snacks- sometimes said German Rye bread or rice cakes with fresh pressed or organic peanut butter.

    Yes, I'm falling in love with food all over again.

  4. Sandra--- I roast them with olive oil and rosemary... I bake them and top them, I just made a potato leek soup. That was a new one.

    I don't do mashed very often because my in-laws do them almost every Sunday...

    any other good soups? Good topping ideas? New ideas in general?

  5. JEss - I want your sauce recipes!!!


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