Recipe: Spicy Potatoes and Cabbage in Herby Tomatoes

Have you ever eaten a meal that is so humble it takes you by surprise?

potatoes and cabbage plated - edited

There are no big super foods here.  No crazy punch of unusual or particularly bold seasoning.  No exotic ingredient, rare or peculiar.

What we have here are the basics – potatoes, tomatoes, cabbage.  Staples.  Hearty, strong ingredients that have fed people for centuries.  Nothing in this dish screams of specialness or excitement, but in my mind, that’s precisely what makes it so good.  My first bites of this meal were taken with a lack of enthusiasm.  I expected nourishment, but nothing to get worked up about.  As I continued to eat it, though, working my way through my plate, then seconds, and then leftovers the next two days, I fell in love with this humble meal.

potatoes and cabbage - close up in bowl edited

While I’ve called this dish simple, I don’t mean it as a slight.  It’s a compliment.  Hearty vegetables dressed up with aromatics and emboldened with a bit of peppery-heat make for a dish that feels like the best kind of old friend – familiar and warm, but still able to catch you by surprise.

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Spicy Potatoes and Cabbage in Herby Tomatoes

Adapted from Vegetarian Times

Serves 8

Ingredients:

  • 1 small-medium head of green cabbage, shredded
  • 2 lbs potatoes, cut into 1 inch chunks
  • 2 ½ tblspns tomato paste
  • 1 tspn agave
  • 1 tblspn olive oil
  • 1 large yellow onion, chopped
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1 large bell pepper, chopped
  • 1 tspn dried oregano
  • ½ tspn ground cumin
  • 5 small tomatoes, seeded and chopped
  • 1 jalapeno, minced
  • 1 serrano pepper, minced (optional, depending on your heat preference/tolerance)
  • 3 tblspns lime juice
  • ¼ cup cilantro, chopped
  • Hearty sprinklings of salt and pepper

Directions:

  1. Bring a large pot of water to a boil.  Submerge chopped cabbage in water and blanch for 5-6 minutes.  Drain and set aside.
  2. Return pot of water to stove and return to a boil.  Add chopped potatoes and boil 5-7 minutes, until tender.  Drain potatoes, reserving ¾ cup of the cooking water, and set aside.
  3. Add tomato paste and agave into reserved cooking water, stir to combine, and set aside.
  4. Warm oil in a large pot or Dutch oven over medium heat.  When warm, add onion, garlic, and bell pepper.  Cook, stirring frequently, for 5-7 minutes until vegetables soften.
  5. Add tomatoes, chiles, tomato paste/water mixture, oregano, and cumin to the pot.  Continue to cook for 5-6 more minutes.
  6. Add cabbage and potatoes to the pot.  Add a hearty sprinkling of salt and pepper, too.  Stir to combine all ingredients and let cook over medium heat for about 5 minutes, just to get everything combined and warmed back up.
  7. Turn off heat, add lime juice and cilantro, and stir to combine.  Taste and add extra salt and pepper if needed.
  8. Serve over rice or quinoa, or with warm tortillas.

Recipe: Light and Bright Coleslaw

I am pro-cabbage.  Among other reasons (it’s nutritious, it’s versatile, it’s tasty), I’m a fan because of how cost-effective it is as a cooking ingredient.  Cabbage is generally inexpensive to buy to begin with, but then you get it home, cut into it and I swear it multiplies.  I mean, am I the only one to cut off a wedge, slice it up, only to shortly thereafter find that I have cups full of shredded cabbage in front of me, plus half the head still hanging out, untouched, on my counter??  That stuff just grows as you use it.  I think it could possibly be magic.

coleslaw half bowl close up - edited

Clearly, I’m always amazed at how much use I can get out of a single head of cabbage and my inner grocery budget-monitor always does a little dance of joy.

Such was the case when I put together this coleslaw.

Coleslaw plated next to beans - edited

Coleslaw is not something that I normally gravitate towards.  First of all: creamy coleslaws?  Boo.  Not for me.  If I’m going to make one, it’s going to be a slaw dressed with a lighter vinaigrette, for sure.  Even then, I usually would rather have a bowl of leafy greens.  But with a partial head of cabbage languishing in my refrigerator and my baked beans in need of a side dish, I decided to take coleslaw making into my own hands and put together a fresh recipe that would be exactly what I wanted it to be – light, fresh, and brightly flavored with a little jalapeño-kick.

It turned out to be a successful venture as a table full of coleslaw naysayers ate it with surprised satisfaction.

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Light and Bright Coleslaw

A Move Eat Create Original Recipe     coleslaw in large bowl - edited

Serves 4 as a side dish 

 

Ingredients:

  • 4 cups of shredded green cabbage
  • 1 large yellow bell pepper, cut into thin strips, about 2 inches long
  • 1 jalapeño, seeds left in (or removed if you’re sensitive to heat), cut into thin half moons
  • ¼ cup minced red onion
  • Juice of 1 lime
  • 1 tblspn apple cider vinegar
  • 1 tblspn mildly flavored oil
  • 2 tlbspns chopped cilantro
  • 2 tspns agave nectar
  • ½ tspn ground cumin
  • ½ tspn dried oregano
  • ½ tspn kosher salt
  • 1/8 tspn black pepper

Directions:

  1. Combine the cabbage, bell pepper, jalapeño, and onion in a large bowl.  Set aside.
  2. Combine all other ingredients and mix well to combine.  Pour dressing over vegetables and toss well to coat.
  3. Let sit in your refrigerator for at least one hour in order to allow the flavors to come together.  Taste and adjust for seasoning before serving.

Recipe: A French Influenced Cabbage and Kidney Bean Bake

Isn’t it great when something old seems new again?

Maybe it’s an old shirt you find in the back of your closet that you’d forgotten about and re-discover with delight.

Maybe it’s a hobby that had been set aside when life got busy but now feels like the perfect thing to do on a Saturday afternoon.

Maybe it’s a bean.  More precisely, maybe it’s kidney beans.

Plated - edited

It’s no secret that I love beans and I generally find kidney beans to be my go-to favorite.  They’re accessible, adaptable, and appetizing, for sure, but I’ll admit that I often combine them with the same sorts of flavors in the same sorts of ways.  This means that while I always enjoy them, they tend to sort of taste the same each time.

And then this dish happened and my expectation of how kidney beans could be prepared was completely turned upside down.

Filling - edited

Instead of my traditional kidney bean thinking, which generally means pairing them with the flavors of Mexico, the Southwest, or sometimes, India, this dish paired the beans up with flavors more reminiscent of Europe, likely France.

Who knew??

I fell in love with this dish and with kidney beans all over again.  An old friend, feeling like a new discovery.

Note:  I loved this just as is described below and found the flavors of the marjoram, Dijon, and parsley to be flavorful, bright, and absolutely tantalizing.  Mr. Move Eat Create, however, felt the dish really came to life for him when he drizzled a bit of white vinegar over his portion and mixed it in, adding a bit of bite to the overall flavor.  Perhaps you could try a bit both ways and see for yourself.

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A French Influenced Cabbage & Kidney Bean Bake Cooked in skillet 2 - edited

Adapted a bit from Wheat Free Meat Free

Serves 6-8

Ingredients:

  •  ¾ cup gluten free bread crumbs (about 2 slices of gluten free bread chopped in food processor if making from scratch) OR you can sub  corn meal if bread crumbs aren’t available
  • 1 tblspn nutritional yeast
  • ¼ tspn cayenne pepper
  • ½ tblspn olive oil
  • 2 celery stalks, diced
  • 1 medium yellow onion, diced
  • 1 smallish head of green cabbage, sliced thinly (about 5 cups shredded)
  • 2 small red peppers (I used cherry bomb peppers) plus 1 medium green pepper ( I used Anaheim) OR sub for 1 large bell pepper
  • 1 tspn salt
  • 2 15oz cans of dark red kidney beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 tblspn fresh marjoram, diced
  • ½ tspn dried parsley
  • ¼ tspn black pepper
  • 2 tblspns Earth Balance
  • 2 tblspns gluten free flour
  • 1 ½ cups vegetable broth
  • 2 tblspns Dijon mustard
  • white vinegar, optional

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. If making bread crumb from scratch, go ahead and chop those in your food processor.  Combine fresh or store bought bread crumbs (or cornmeal) with nutritional yeast and cayenne pepper in a small bowl.  Mix well and set aside.
  3. Warm a cast iron skillet or other large non-stick pan over medium-high heat.  Add oil.  When warm, add onion and celery and sauté, stirring occasionally, for about 10 minutes, or until the onion starts to brown and lightly caramelize.
  4. Next add the cabbage, peppers and salt.  Cook, stirring often, for about 7 minutes, until the cabbage has cooked down and softened.
  5. Add beans, marjoram, parsley, and black pepper and stir well so that all elements are combined.  Remove from heat and set aside.
  6. To make the sauce, melt the Earth Balance in a saucepan over medium heat.  Add the flour to the melted butter and cook for 3-5 minutes, or until the mixture starts to brown and become smooth.
  7. Add the vegetable broth and mustard to the sauce and cook for 2-3 more minutes, stirring frequently until the sauce is smooth and well combined.
  8. If you were using a cast iron skillet that you can bake your dish in, great!  If not, transfer bean and veggie mixture to an oven-safe dish (coated lightly with cooking spray).  Pour sauce over beans and vegetables and mix in so that everything is coated.  Pat down with the back of your spoon and then sprinkle your bread crumb mixture evenly over the top of the dish.  Bake, uncovered, at 350 degrees for 40-45 minutes.  Optional: serve with vinegar over individual portions

A Favorite Soothing Recipe: Slow Cooked Cabbage with Paprika and Noodles

You know those weeks that just wear you down?  Those weeks where by Friday at 2pm, you’re kinda’ cranky, sorta’ grumbly, and hella’ worn out?

Yeah, me, too.

cabbage on plate - 2 - edited

They happen.  They’re part of life and that’s okay.  When they come around, I can tell you that one of my favorite and most effective ways of dealing with them is to make this dish.  But, I must make this dish in a particular way.  It goes something like this:

Step 1: Crank up some music.  I recommend music that is easy to dance around to in the kitchen and can be sung along with.  My favorites for this scenario are: Amanda Palmer and Caro Emerald.  I dump the albums into a playlist on my computer, turn on shuffle, and click play.  Out from my speakers then comes big, strong female vocals with stellar music and lyrics.  I also recommend vintage rat-pack era playlists on Songza (Sinatra and his buddies) for this purpose.

Step 2:  Pour yourself a glass of wine.  I almost exclusively drink red and prefer Bordeaux and Cotes du Rhone (in case you feel like sending me a bottle!).

Step 3.  Gather ingredients for below meal and begin chopping.

cabbage cooking - 1 - edited

Step 4:  Follow cooking instructions below, while taking plenty of time to swirl your glass of wine, sip at it frequently, shimmy around the kitchen, and burst into song with whatever verses most compel you to release your inner vocalist.

Step 5:  Lower music and gather around to eat finished meal with company of your choice.  Let the comforting, warm flavors continue to help you unwind and welcome the weekend.

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Slow Cooked Cabbage with Paprika and Noodles

Adapted from The Local Cook

Serves 6

Ingredients: cabbage bowl - 3 - edited

* 4 tblpns light butter or Earth Balance

* 1 large yellow onion, diced

* 2-3 tblspns Hungarian paprika

* 1 large head of green cabbage, shredded

* heavy sprinking of kosher salt, to taste

* 12 ounces of no-yolk egg noodles (or vegan noodle of your choice)

* 3/4 cup frozen green peas

* black pepper and/or red pepper flakes for serving

Directions:

1.  In a dutch oven (preferable) or large pot, melt butter or Earth balance over medium heat

2. Add the diced onion and saute until very soft, about 10 minutes or so.  Take your time with this and let the onion really cook slowly.

3. Add 2 tblspns paprika and stir well, so that the onions are coated.

4. Add shredded cabbage and a good couple pinches of salt.  Stir well until the cabbage, onions, and paprika are well mixed.  Take a look at this point, if your cabbage is not well coated with paprika, add up to one tablespoon more until it is.

5. Cover pot, reduce heat to low and cook slowly for 60-75 minutes, stirring occasionally, until cabbage is cooked very soft.

6. When the cabbage is nearly done, go ahead and cook your noodles according to package directions.  Drain and set aside.

7. Add peas and cooked noodles to the cabbage and stir to incorporate.  Cook 3-4 minutes, until all items are heated through. (Note: If you have an anti-pea person in your home, you can heat up the peas separately and add them to individual servings.)

8. Serve with pepper of your choice for a bit of kick to contrast the sweetness of the paprika.

Vegetarian Cabbage Roll Soup and General Soup Musings

“A first-rate soup is more creative than a second-rate painting.”
Abraham Maslow

Abraham Maslow was, in my humble opinion, a brilliant man.  His well-known Hierarchy of Needs is studied in psychology and sociology classes throughout the world for good reason.  The man knew a few things about human beings – and clearly he knew a few things about soup.

This quote from Maslow speaks so wonderfully to his philosophy, I think, as well as to my own.  Producing good food, even if (perhaps especially if) it is simple food – can be a wonderfully creative act.  There are infinite possibilities with soup and they can result in a work of art – or an all out culinary disaster.  And, as anyone who believes in Maslow’s theory about human needs knows, we must first be fed and nourished satisfactorily before we can transcend to greater levels of enlightenment and creativity.

Well fed bodies are the foundation for well fed minds, so to speak.

I also love this Maslow quote because it specifically calls out soup.  Soup is one of my favorite foods to eat.  Soup has the potential, when done well, to provide me with a particular kind of satisfaction that I always long for, whether I realize it at that moment or not.

When all is not well with the world – give me a good bowl of soup and I will at the very least feel comforted.  When all IS well with the world – well give me a good bowl of soup and it will only be better!

The soup I present to you here is hearty and bright with the acidity from the sauerkraut.  It’s a twist on a classic Eastern European dish – updated to nourish the healthy-minded.  I also adapted the original recipe (found at the link below) to fit a vegetarian diet.

While I found the soup to be very satisfying on its own, I served it alongside some roasted cabbage slices (a simple, but absolutely delicious side dish) and a small loaf of onion-dill potato bread made locally.

Mmmm.  I wish I still had leftovers.

 

“Soup is cuisine’s kindest course.  It breathes reassurance; it steams consolation; after a weary day it promotes sociability, as the five o’clock cup of tea or the cocktail hour.”
Louis P. De Gouy, ‘The Soup Book’ (1949)

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Vegetarian Cabbage Roll Soup

Adapted from ClosetCooking.com

Makes about 7.5 cups of soup

Ingredients:

12 oz Smart Ground Original Veggie Protein Crumbles (or brand of your choice)

1 tblspn olive oil

1 medium white onion (chopped)

2-3 cloves garlic (minced)

½ cup uncooked brown rice

3 cups vegetable broth

28 oz canned, diced tomatoes

2 cups sauerkraut, with liquid

1 tblspn Hungarian paprika

½ tspn red pepper flakes

2 bay leaves

1 tspn salt

** Optional toppings/add-ins for serving: lemon juice, chopped Italian parsley

Directions:

  1. Warm olive oil in a dutch oven or large pot over medium heat.  Add onions and cook, stirring occasionally, until they begin to turn translucent (about 7-8 minutes).
  2. Add garlic to pot and cook, stirring frequently so garlic doesn’t burn, about 30 seconds.
  3. Add the rice and veggie protein crumbles.  Cook, stirring frequently, for about 2-3 minutes.
  4. Add vegetable broth, tomatoes, sauerkraut, paprika, red pepper flakes, bay leaves, and salt.  Stir to mix well.  Bring to a boil.  Then reduce heat and let simmer (uncovered) for approximately 40 minutes, or until your rice is tender and some of the broth has evaporated, making a thicker soup. Taste to adjust seasonings.  Remove bay leaves and serve.

Roasted Cabbage Slices

Ingredients:

1 small or ½ large head of green cabbage

2 tblspns lemon juice, freshly squeezed

1 tblspn olive oil

Kosher Salt

Black Pepper

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 450 degrees
  2. Cut cabbage into slices approximately ½ inch thick (You can do them thicker if you like.  I prefer them on the thinner side because they crisp up a bit more – and I love crispy, charred vegetables!).  Arrange slices on a baking sheet that has been sprayed with cooking spray.
  3. Whisk together the olive oil and lemon juice.  Brush or drizzle half of the mixture onto one side of the cabbage.  Sprinkle liberally with salt and pepper. Turn and repeat on second side.
  4. Roast for about 25 minutes, flipping cabbage slices once halfway through.