Sunday, September 18, 2011

A cabbage a day keeps the doctor away

It's true! Cabbages have such high vitamin and nutrition levels – it can help regulate blood pressure, can treat stomach ulcers, it can even lower the risk of lung cancer in smokers and most importantly it has strong anti- ageing properties. We should be eating a cabbage a day to keep the doctor away.

Cabbage facts - you might just want to know
  • Juicing cabbages and drinking the resulting liquid apparently can aid in the cure of stomach and intestinal ulcers. (Note:  If this in any way appeals I would also add apple juice)
  • If you want to reduce your risk of cancers such as colon, rectal or breast cancer, experts state you should be eating cabbages frequently (at least weekly).
  • Cabbage is high in vitamin C and beta-carotene which act as anti-aging agents. It’s claimed that if you want to look young and stay looking young you need to consume cabbage every single day. (Note: Farts)
  • Its vitamin D content also promotes glowing skin, and its anti-inflammatory properties can reduce pimples and skin irritations.
  • Two minutes walking is all it takes to burn off the calories in one cup of cabbage.(Note: Like you would bother trying to work off cabbage, so sit down, relax and enjoy some lunch)

There is not much this ‘poor man’s drug’ can’t do.

Ingrid's dish: Red Cabbage and Apple Slaw 
I can just imagine you’re all racing out to pick up a great big load of cabbages now, and that’s exactly what I did en route for a weekend away to Pakiri, a beautiful rugged beach, 120 mins north of Auckland, you can’t go there and not have a bbq, regardless of the weather. So with the blokes with one eye on the Rugby and the other on the Barbie, Vanessa and I got stuck into making some fresh slaws for our first bbq of the season.

Apples are another favourite of mine, they are in season and crunchy, they signal spring is here. They go so well with red cabbage, contrast with the colour, and the flavours blend well. And of course, apples also have their own health benefits to enjoy.  This is such a simple salad to throw together, and it makes a nice light change from coleslaw usually weighted down with mayonnaise.

Fresh and crisp, a healthy alternative to a mayonaise based slaw

Red Cabbage and Apple Slaw 
Serves 4
What you need
2 x Apples (grated or sliced thinly)
1/2 red cabbage (shredded thinly)
Bunch of flat leaf parsley (chopped roughly)
(Note: Remember to keep your cabbage cold, it helps to retain its vitamin content.)

Apple dressing
What you need
1 grated apple (fine grate)
3 Tbsp Olive Oil
3 Tbsp Rice Wine or White Wine Vinegar
1/2 lemon (squeezed)
Pinch of brown sugar (takes the tartness away)
Pepper to taste

How to make
In a food processor, pulse all ingredients for about 30 secs. If you don't have a food processor (I didn’t , as I was away from home), just grate apples on the finest grate and mix.

Put salad ingredients in a bowl, adding the grated apple just before serving (so it doesn't go brown). Work through the dressing, coating all the salad ingredients.

Vanessa's dish: Warm Cabbage and Bacon Salad
Cabbage, I love the stuff. Like Ingrid said its a great diet food BUT the challenge is making it irresistible and tasty. I guess people have memories of boiled cabbage all washed out and soggy. 

Thankfully my memories of cabbage are of coleslaw's at summer barbies or Dad eating his German sausages with sauerkraut. As an adult I have discovered the Asian influence adding cabbage and it many varieties to stir fries. It really makes a meal go further, is low fat and very very tasty! 

Garlic and cabbage are a match made in heaven. The recipe below is easy, really moreish, a great side dish or even a weekend lunch with crusty bread and beer.   

Warm Savoy Cabbage and Bacon Salad
Warm Cabbage and Bacon Salad
Serves 2 as a main or 4 as a side
You will need
1/2 Savoy cabbage (or regular)
Olive oil
4 cloves garlic
1 onion
1 cup of chopped ham or bacon
2 Tbsp wholegrain mustard
Salt and pepper to taste
1/2 fresh lime for garnish and a bit of zest

How to make 
Roughly chop the cabbage
Slice/dice the onions
chop the garlic cloves
In a large pan or wok saute the garlic and onions until soft
Add the cabbage and stir fry until wilted. (It may look like a lot of cabbage but it reduces when it wilts)
Add salt, pepper and mustard and stir through.
Place in a serving dish.
In the same pan add more oil and quickly cook the bacon or ham until crispy.
Toss through the cabbage.
Place back in the serving dish and serve with half a lime per person for garnish.
Vanessa X


  1. Hi girls, just came over from the NZFBA conference atendees list - Alli showed it to me at a meeting we had this morning and I'm glad, beautiful blog! I like it ^_^

  2. Love the sound of both of these & beautiful photos.

  3. Cheers thanks, I was actually just checking you out thanks to the conference attendee list as well!
    Great blog - looking forward to meeting you at at the conference.

  4. Thanks Mairi
    Its great to be connected to other bloggers - cant wait to meet you all at the conference...

  5. Such beautiful cabbage photos! Especially love that top red cabbage one. Wish I was going to be coming home for the conference... maybe next year?!

  6. Yeah fingers crossed it just gets bigger and bigger...