Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Erin's Warm Red Cabbage Pasta or Salad

Today I am pleased to introduce the beautiful and lovely Erin Mecham to you. Erin knew who I was before we ever met and still didn't reject me when we met in person. Amazing. She had seen this blog before she moved with her husband and three cute kiddos into my ward earlier this year. Though, in the time I have gotten to know her I wonder if she shouldn't be writing all of this instead of me. She is a fantastic cook and shares my passion of eating by the Word of Wisdom guidelines. 

Erin told me her mom was a big influence on her, steering her in the right direction toward real food. She grew up with her parents keeping a big garden, goats and chickens. She may not have a goat of her own right now but she is teaching her own children too. With the support and try-anything-once attitude of her husband, John, Erin plans healthy meals to incorporate lots of whole grains, fruits and vegetables. But I was relieved (and secretly glad) to find out her kids are perfect either. 
To help her daughter, who is a bit picky, get in lots of good food she frequently makes smoothies. Erin says that "smoothies are my lifesaver. I put in lots of fruit, greens (kale and spinach) and flax seed oil. Bananas hide a lot of the flavor of the greens."
Other Erin tips include figuring out some "go-to" meals: things that everyone likes and are simple and easy to prepare because some nights that is just what you need when you are one phone call away from take-out. Theirs include seven layer burritos (brown rice, beans, cheese, tomato, etc.) and quinoa with tilapia, tomatoes, tabbouleh and feta.
Erin also makes a mean red cabbage pasta that is one of their staples. So good I wanted the recipe the moment I was over at her house and I watched her assembling it all for dinner. FYI: The two or three servings I also had only increased my need for the recipe. This was so good. I made it at home a few weeks later and decided it as equally delicious cold.

Warm Red Cabbage Pasta or Salad 

1/2 cups of nuts or sunflower seeds
1 teaspoon natural cane sugar (or brown sugar)
fine grain sea salt

3/4- 1lb. pasta (Fusilli or any pasta that will catch or hold the cabbage and other goodies. I only had penne when I made this) or fresh spinach leaves
4 T. extra-virgin olive oil
1 red onion, diced
4 medium cloves of garlic, minced
1 pound head of red cabbage, quartered and cut into thin ribbons
1 t. fresh rosemary, minced
2 ounces craisins, raisins, or other plump, chopped dried fruit
3 T. balsamic vinegar
2 ounces of feta cheese, crumbled
handful of freshly grated Parmesan cheese

Roast the nuts or seeds in a dry skillet over medium-high heat until golden brown. Sprinkle on the sugar and couple of pinches of salt. Stir until the sugar melts and coats the nuts. Transfer to a plate and let cool.

Cook pasta according to package directions or if making the spinach salad version, wash and dry spinach leaves.

Heat 2 T. olive oil in large skillet and saute the onion for a minute or two with a couple of pinches of salt. Stir in the garlic, and the cabbage, and a few more pinches of salt. Stir and cook for just a minute or so, or until the cabbage softens up JUST A TOUCH. Then stir in rosemary, raisins, and 1 T. vinegar. Fold in the feta cheese and nuts. Pour cabbage mixture over pasta or spinach leaves that has been tossed with 2 T. of the balsamic vinegar and 2 T. of olive oil. Garnish with grated Parmesan cheese.

Now go make it. And thank the lovely Erin for sharing the recipe.


  1. Thanks for stressing, "JUST A TOUCH!" That really is key! Great post ;)

    I would love to borrow your copy...I'll check the library first.

    Oh, and I am SO glad you posted the yogurt sauce recipe. I made it the other day and thought you put Maple Syrup and Vanilla...wasn't the same! Seriously that stuff is amazing, can't wait to make it right this time!!

  2. This was awesome. Thank you.
    Although I was sad and happy when I got home from the library and all the leftovers were eaten! Sad that I couldn't eat them.. but happy that Reid chose to eat this over the bacon wrapped chicken that was in the fridge as well! That's a lot of progress!

  3. Glad you liked it, and Reid too.


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