Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Green Chili Slaw from London Paleo Kitchen

Cabbage is  a fairly inexpensive vegetable to stretch your grocery budget.  It has some great nutrients and you'd be amazed at the volume of shredded cabbage you can get out of one head of this often over looked vegetable.  I recently bought a huge 32 ounce bag of pre-washed cole slaw mix at a warehouse store for about $2.00.  I like to saute it with a little fat but it also begs to be made into an actual cole slaw with dressing.  I searched the internet for paleo cole slaw recipes and was surprised at how difficult it was to find one without honey.  My slaw isn't a dessert treat so I don't want added sugars, though I hope it will be a treat to eat.   I had to travel all the way to London over the internet* to find this recipe for Green Chili Slaw from The London Paleo Kitchen.  

They have some really good looking recipes on this site.  I read their "Who are We" section and they say their recipes aren't precise, encourage ingredient substitution, and welcome improvement suggestions.   Given that, I felt comfortable using the bagged cole slaw mix instead of shredding the cabbages and carrots myself.  

Imagine white vinegar in this picture as well.
Since I was using my cole slaw mix, I had to guesstimate how much mix to substitute for the fresh cabbage and carrots.  The recipe says it serves two.  I decided I'd start with 3 cups of the cole slaw mix knowing I could always add more if I thought it needed it.   To lessen my clean up, I used my 8-Cup Pyrex measuring cup as a mixing bowl after measuring the slaw mix rather than dirty another bowl.

I decided to get the chopping out of the way first and then make the dressing.  I started by dicing 1/2 a red onion.  I diced mine by making horizontal and vertical cuts into the onion after cutting it in half making sure not to slice all the way through to the base of the onion.    Then I sliced through the entire onion making the diced pieces.  Evidently, this isn't the best way and I'm going to try this way, next time.  

The recipe calls for a "green chili."  In Texas, when I go  to the grocery store, that can mean many things.  When I did an internet search for green chili evidently often that refers to an Anaheim pepper.  I commented on the recipe asking if they had a particular green chili in mind and they responded that "as long as its green and spicy it will be fine."  I decided a good ole jalapeño would work just fine.  

Sorry for the lack of pictures, but I didn't want to risk getting capsaicin from the pepper on my phone/camera (yup, I just use my phone camera for the blog) and end up in pain later.  In fact, I put on my latex gloves to handle the pepper.  I diced the jalapeño by cutting it in half lengthwise first and removing the ribs and seeds.  I sliced the halves lengthwise into narrow 1/8" strips and then cut those into small pieces.  Here you can see finished pepper.  

Next, I mixed up the dressing. which is as easy as measuring the ingredients and whisking them in a bowl.   

Once whisked, I poured the dressing over the vegetables.  

I used a spatula to mix everything together until it appeared everything was well coated with dressing.  I think my 3 cup estimate was about right.

Here is my bowl of slaw right after making it.  

The recipe recommends leaving it in the fridge for a few hours, so I packed it into a pyrex storage container  and took it to work.  After 3.5 hours in the refrigerator, here is what it looked like.  Not really all that different.  But the cabbage had softened a bit.  

After tasting the now chilled slaw for blogging purposes, I threw a defrosted/heated grilled chicken thigh on top and called it lunch.  

Accessibility & Cost of Ingredients:  You should be able to find everything you need for this recipe pretty inexpensively at your "big box" grocery store. 

Preparation Time: It took me 10 minutes to prepare this recipe.  If I shredded the cabbage and carrots myself, of course, it would have taken longer.  I will make it again with fresh ingredients and post an updated preparation time.  The recipe improves with a few hours in the refrigerator.  

Clean Up:  Everything I used to prepare this dish went into the dishwasher.  Because I used the cole slaw mix, I didn't have my food processor parts to wash, but they would have gone into the dishwasher as well after a rinse in the sink.  

The Paleo Review:  Thumbs Up!  When I tasted the slaw right after mixing it up, of course the vegetables were still pretty crisp and the white vinegar flavor was very prominent.  It wasn't bad, but I knew it would be better in a few hours.  After 3.5 hours in the refrigerator, the flavors had melded a bit more and the cabbage softened.  This slaw has a simple clean flavor.  The jalapeño and red onion add a nice heat to the slaw.  I'm sure it would be even better if I had grated fresh cabbage.   I still had some left over to have the next day and it was even better.    

Something that I'm going to try the next time I make this is to use my pepper vinegar instead of regular white vinegar.  

If you are looking for a simple slaw without added sweeteners, this is a great recipe to try.  Do you have any good sweetener free slaw recipes that you like to make?

*This is the visual I get when I type "traveling through the internet." 

Post Script:  After making this recipe, I remembered that I ignored my cookbook collection when searching for a sweetener free recipe.  I found one in Paleo Comfort Foods that has honey optional.  I'll make that one next!   But I'm glad I found the London Paleo Kitchen's recipe first.  I like finding recipes form lesser known (at least in the U.S.) paleo sites.