My first encounter with kale was by accident. I was experimenting with a slew of new recipes, and while at the grocery store, found myself more consumed with checking items off my lengthy list than grabbing items off the shelf. In the end, I unpacked a large bag of kale greens instead of leafy spinach. Whoops. Well, I happen to believe that sauteing any green vegetable in a little olive oil and red pepper flakes equals gold, so that’s just what I did. After this fortunate accident, kale earned a spot on my weekly shopping list.
Kale is a rock star vegetable, or “queen of greens” as I recently read. It is packed with antioxidants and rich in vitamins A, C, and K. Bonus points: Kale is an incredibly versatile vegetable. Bake the leaves into crispy chips, throw it into soups, chop it up and add more nutrients to your salad, or saute it into gold on a plate as mentioned above. You really can’t go wrong. I read Whole Living with glee each month, and January’s edition provided a new use for kale. Slaw!
Over the years, coleslaw has fallen out of favor with this Kitchen Court as I have gradually eliminated dairy and creamy sauces from my diet. However, I still cling fondly to the memories: Coleslaw is “summer” in all of its picnicking glory. What BBQ (or Easter dinner) isn’t complete without coleslaw? Especially when garnished with a hint of paprika, my uncle’s fictional Blue Ribbon County Fair winning touch. Alas, as my palate (and stomach) matured, I craved more. Kale to the rescue.
I tried out Whole Living‘s recipe because I wanted something more from that traditional summer coleslaw. I craved hearty greens and vibrant colors not drowning in a puddle of mayonnaise. I also selfishly wanted to play around more with my food processor, indulging in just how easy it makes life in the kitchen. The original Whole Living recipe is more earthy, calling for hemp, sunflower, and pumpkin seeds, julienne style carrots, and shredded red cabbage and kale. I decided to simplify the recipe, eliminating the seeds and tossing everything in a food processor. What can I say? It’s a lot of fun…
The result? I have made this “Winter Slaw” every week for the past three weeks. My boyfriend and I ate the slaw straight out of the bowl with a spoon, added it to salads, and scooped it up with crackers and veggie chips. We finished the slaw so quickly the first time around that I tripled the ingredients for the second and third batches. It is incredibly hearty, flavorful, and not to mention colorful with its deep green, purple, and orange hues. The sauce’s Dijon mustard and apple cider vinegar base add flavor without the fat and caloric content of Winter Slaw’s summer mayonnaise counterpart. There is no puddle of sauce at the bottom of the bowl, and yet, you still taste the zing of the mustard and apple cider vinegar. A true kale winner.
Vegan Kale-Cabbage-Carrot Winter Slaw
*Adapted from Whole Living
3 cups mixed red cabbage and kale greens
2 medium carrots, peeled
1/4 cup fresh parsley leaves
1/8 cup red onion
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 teaspoon apple cider vinegar
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
1. Run vegetables individually through a food processor. Pulse until coarsely chopped or fine, your texture preference. Set aside in large bowl.
2. In a separate bowl, whisk together olive oil, apple cider vinegar, and Dijon mustard.
3. Add sauce as well as coarse salt and pepper (to taste) to bowl of slaw. Toss to coat.