Robin’s Healthy Take: Reconsider Cabbage

by in Robin's Healthy Take, November 19, 2010


When it comes to cabbage, think outside the slaw. It’s incredibly versatile, boasts nutritional muscle and when prepared properly (read: not overcooked), it’s delicious. Plus, good news for the quick cook: Sliced cabbage is ready in just four minutes! Can’t say that about many foods, right?

Find out why you should eat more cabbage, and get new ways to add cabbage to weeknight meals. Plus, my favorite holiday cabbage recipe.

Cabbage: A Nutritional Powerhouse
Nutritionally, cabbage has major bragging rights. Even if you’re a world-class veggie eater, eating cabbage on a regular basis is said to reduce your risk of several types of cancer, including breast, ovarian, prostate, bladder and lung.  That’s thanks to the glucosinolates, which help the body eliminate carcinogens. Cabbage is also rich in phytonutrients, vitamins A, C and K, folate, manganese, copper and iron.

Cabbage Shopping Tips
Shopping for fresh cabbage?  As tempting as those time-saving pre-sliced and shredded cabbages might be, the truth is, as soon as cabbage leaves are cut or torn, the vegetable starts losing vitamin C. Select whole heads with leaves that are crisp and free of browning.

5 Quick Ways To Eat More Cabbage
Cabbage is a the perfect weeknight veggie because of its quick cooking time. Here are 5 easy ways to add it to dinner tonight:

  • Saute shredded cabbage with garlic, then simmer with chicken stock and a little heavy cream. Toss with whole-wheat penne for a complete meal.
  • Add shredded cabbage to mixed green salads and chopped cabbage to chicken and tuna salads.
  • Stir chopped or shredded cabbage into soups (like minestrone and chicken noodle) 5 minutes before serving.
  • Braise shredded cabbage in chicken stock with aromatic spices like caraway and cumin and serve under grilled chicken breasts or pork chops.
  • Steam whole cabbage leaves until tender and use them as spring roll wrappers (fill the leaves with cellophane noodles, cooked chicken or shrimp, shredded carrots and onions, baby corn, and Chinese mushrooms).

Recipe: Dad’s Braised Cabbage
If you have a little more time for dinner, try one of my favorites: My dad’s braised cabbage with wine and apples. It’s sweet, tart and delicious, and every holiday table should be blessed with its presence.

Red cabbage, shredded
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 onion, thinly sliced
2 apples, thinly sliced
1 cup red wine
1/2 cup red wine vinegar
1/2 cup sugar
Pinch cinnamon
1 baking potato, grated
Salt and black pepper to taste

Heat olive oil in a large saute pan over medium heat. Add shredded cabbage, onion and apples and saute until translucent, about 5 minutes. Add red wine, 1 cup water, vinegar, sugar and cinnamon. Bring to a boil, then reduce to heat and simmer, covered for 30 minutes.  Add 1 grated baking potato and simmer, uncovered, for 30 minutes or until the liquid is absorbed and the potato is tender. Season with salt and black pepper to taste. Enjoy!

TELL US: How do you eat cabbage?

More Cabbage Recipes From Robin:

Robin Miller is a nutritionist, host of Quick Fix Meals, author of “Robin Rescues Dinner” and the busy mom of two active little boys. Her boys and great food are her passion. Check her out at

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