Wow – I can’t believe almost a week has gone by since I last posted. I’m not sure what happened there. Well, that’s actually a lie. I do know what happened to some of it. I went to Warsaw and spent my time consuming all manner of exciting beers. Did you know that the Poles serve warm beer in winter – or, that you can have it with fresh raspberry juice which they then serve with a straw? This makes it taste like sweets. To be honest it’s probably not a good idea.
The upshot of this was, of course, that I wasn’t exactly thinking health or weight loss (except to panic about what might be occurring re mine – I’m too scared to look). And despite there being two Sephora stores in Warsaw, the fact that I had no extra luggage allowance meant I couldn’t think beauty either. Hence there being no posting while I was away. I did however eat a lot of cabbage, which brings me to the subject of today’s post: The great vegetable that is cabbage.
At first you might think I’m extolling its virtues because it contains vitamins C, A and E (all important anti-oxidants) . Or that it’s a source of vitamin K that we need for bone health. But no, they are not the main reasons. The main reason is that cabbage is one of the brassica food family, and brassicas contain detoxifying ingredients called glucosinolates that’s it claimed may reduce DNA damage that leads to cancer. This is something most of us need in our lives.
Now, for optimum uptake of glucosinolates you should ideally serve cabbage (and its brassica brother and sister broccoli and cauliflower) steamed- and with a little mustard, but I’m not a fan of steamed vegetables per se so I’ll take my chances with other cooking methods that mean I eat more of the veg in the first place and increase my dose that way.
But what cooking methods you might ask? Surely cabbage is soggy stuff you boil or steam then cover with gravy to mask the taste? Oh no my friend – cabbage, when cooked in ways other than steaming or boiling is seriously tasty. Behold six suggestions that’ll erase memories of school dinner cabbage from your mind forever.
1) Make Bigos: This comfort food (click here for the recipe) consists of finely shredded cabbage stewed with bits of meat, sausage and sometimes mushrooms. I could live off it, It also teaches you that for some reason, shredding cabbage finely changes everything about it (see also Sauerkraut). If you don’t think you like cabbage, try it shredded.
2) Wrap stuff in the leaves. Think of them as like pasta shells for the anti-gluten posse (and containing about 300 less calories) – stuff them with meat and rice and smother it in a tomatoey sauce a’la Polish style, or go for shredded chicken and hoisin sauce and make it more Asian.
3) Slow cook it: Slice a dark cabbage into strips and add some butter and garlic to a pan. Add the cabbage and turn the heat right down. Cover and cook for about 40 minutes.
4) Turn it into fritters: It’s not all sneezing pandas on YouTube, there’s cabbage too – like this recipe by Victoria Paikin. I now want these for dinner.
5) Slice it, fry it with bits of bacon and toss it with pasta and parmesan. It’s Itali-cabbage.
Try all of those and then tell me cabbage is boring.
Cabbage roll image: freedigitalphotos.net