Red Cabbage Salad

picture of red cabbage salad

Our Famous Red Cabbage Salad

Salads are a funny thing. Don’t get me wrong, I love salads. Some of my favorite meals are salads (like Veggie Grill’s All Hail Kale, Native Foods Chimmichurri Chop Salad, and the 118 Degrees Raw Taco Salad). Salads, done well, are full of flavors, textures, and are a great balance of protein, vitamins, minerals, etc. So I love salads. At the same time, I hate how so many people think that vegans and vegetarians only eat salad. Admit it… one of the most common questions we get – right after, “Where do you get your protein?” – is often something like, “Wow! How do you get full on salads?”

The thing is, like most people with plant-based lifestyles, I don’t just eat salad. From raw avocado tacos to grilled seitan sandwiches to polenta rancheros, I have a pretty diverse, filling selection of things to eat. The bottom line is that I don’t like stupid misconceptions… whether they be about race, gender, or plant-based living.

All that to say, it’s really funny that my first two recipe posts on my blog re-launch are both salad-based. Life is crazy sometimes.

Red Cabbage Salad… This recipe is full of crunch with a nice sour bite and overtones of sweet and salty. It’s the most requested salad I make for potlucks, parties, and other gatherings where we have food. Our daughters have friends who actually look forward to this salad being served at their birthday parties. It’s easy to do and really tasty, so you can’t go wrong.

 

Red Cabbage Salad

Ingredients

1 head of red cabbage shredded (sliced thinly… no more than a ¼ inch thick)

Dressing

  • ⅛ of a medium onion, chopped
  • 1-2 cloves garlic, minced
  • ⅔ C. red wine vinegar
  • ¼ C. canola oil
  • 2-3 Tbsp. agave nectar or maple syrup
  • 1 tsp. sea salt
  • 1 tsp. seasoning salt (lemon pepper, shish kabob seasoning, etc.)
  • ¼ tsp. fresh ground black pepper

Directions

  • Put all the dressing ingredients into a blender and blend on high until the dressing is emulsified and no onion or garlic chunks remain.
  • Pour dressing over the shredded cabbage.
  • Mix well and let marinate for 6-8 hours in the refrigerator, mixing every hour or so.
  • Enjoy! It will be good in the refrigerator for a little over a week (if you have any left).

Tip: If you have a leakproof container, that will fit all the cabbage, then it makes things easier. You can put all cabbage and finished dressing into the leakproof container and shake the whole thing instead of mixing by hand. Shake every hour or so and let marinate in refrigerator for 6-8 hours.

Lemon Dijon Vinaigrette

Massaged Kale Salad with Lemon Dijon Vinaigrette

The Lemon Dijon Vinaigrette used on a Massaged Kale Salad

There’s nothing like a good vinaigrette as a dressing. One of my favorite recipes is a simple Lemon Dijon Vinaigrette.

A vinaigrette that’s been done well is a beautiful, emulsified balance of sour, sweet, and salty. A little bit of bite is great too. In this vinaigrette, the sour is from lemon (of course), the bite is from the dijon, and the sweet is from agave nectar. If you don’t have agave, or don’t use it, you can use a little sugar, maple syrup, brown rice syrup, or whatever sweetener you prefer. If you’re not vegan, you can use honey, and it will work great.

A few notes on using this with kale… A lot has been written about kale. It’s an amazing green that provides a ton of fiber, Vitamin A, Vitamin K, Vitamin C, calcium, and iron, and it’s low in calories and has zero fat… that’s not even mentioning the antioxidants and how it helps with anti-inflammatories and cardiovascular support. If you’re new to kale, then make sure you wash it well, spin it dry (just like any salad), and massage the dressing into each leaf. This is for a few reasons. First of all, massaging it will help break down the cell walls and make the kale a little more tender. Secondly, you’ll end up using less dressing. Finally, it’s cathartic to be massaging the kale. If you want to download the Lemon Dijon Vinaigrette PDF, here you go!

Lemon Dijon Vinaigrette

Ingredients:

3 – 4 tablespoons lemon juice

1 – 2 tablespoons agave nectar

1 – 2 teaspoons of Dijon mustard

1/4 cup olive oil

1/4 teaspoon sea salt

1/4 teaspoon black pepper

Directions:

Put all ingredients into a jar. Shake it up to emulsify. Another alternative is to mix all ingredients except for the oil with a whisk or a fork and then slowly whisk in the oil in a little drizzle. This is a lot more work though!

A lot of the ingredients are listed in ranges. This allows you to adjust for personal taste and preferences. I prefer more sour, so I add 4 Tbsp. of lemon juice. Some people love sweeter vinaigrettes, so they might use less lemon or more sweetener.