ORIGINAL RECIPE: “Rainbow-Raisin Cole Slaw Recipe,” from Salad People by Moosewood Restaurant.*
TIMING: 15-20 minutes
DIFFICULTY: Easy, as long as you know how to cut veggies
HEALTH: You almost can’t go wrong with this recipe. Lots of raw veggies in a few different colors (Eat the rainbow!), probiotics, healthy dairy, and dried fruit. The almost is for the mayonnaise. Now, in the spirit of moderation and diversity, I don’t exclude mayonnaise from our diet, I just use it in moderation and make sure we are getting a diversity of real fats (like not including hydrogenated fats and whatnot). So I’m very cool with this recipe, especially since the mayonnaise has been cut by buttermilk or yogurt, two things that are great for you.
If I can convince people to eat fork-fulls of raw veggies, I am pretty happy.
EXPERIENCE: We were having hot dogs for dinner. Protein, check. Grain, check. So now for the veggie(s). (This is pretty much how I think around dinnertime every night.) I throw open the crisper drawer in the fridge and find this squat, little, totally-pointed cabbage that my son had picked out at the supermarket the other day. (Yes, my son did pick out a cabbage, but I’m pretty sure it was because of its odd shape.) And about eighty per cent of the time I see cabbage in the crisper at 5:00 pm, I think, coleslaw. It’s easy, it’s quick, and it’s great for you.
You know what… I think that cookbook that is still sitting out on my counter from lunch has a recipe for coleslaw. It’s supposed to be kid-friendly. And we’ve never tried this particular recipe (although it looks like a whole lot of other creamy (versus sweet and vinegary) coleslaw recipes). I flip open the book, breeze down the short ingredient list, and I’m sold.
Now, this recipe does not include any protections against your leftover slaw going completely runny. If you foresee having extras (which you very most likely will at this amount), you will want to add those protections. In other words, you will want to liberally salt your shredded cabbage and place it in a colander over the sink for at least a half an hour. Then rinse it. Then squeeze it out and maybe even dry it with a clean towel or paper towel. Then make the slaw. Otherwise, eat it all. Limp, leftover slaw is never as good as fresh, anyhow.
If you can’t tell from the photos, I don’t actually shred my cabbage for slaw; I do a very thin slice. It’s just the way I like it, unless I am on-purpose making some sort of Chik-fil-a-esque Southern slaw, in which case I will pulverize the stuff in a food processor. You are welcome to shred it with your box grater or a food processor with the proper attachment, instead of thin-slicing it.
I did not have two colors of cabbage or two colors of pepper, and I actually get quite annoyed when recipes ask that I use bits of things instead of the whole. If you have multi-colored veggies laying about, please use them. Also, I was out of plain yogurt (this almost has never happened in the history of ever), so I used the especially creamy top of a bottle of buttermilk. IMPORTANT WORD!: Repeat after me: “I will only ever buy and consume real yogurt and buttermilk from now on, forever and ever, amen.” You didn’t know you were eating fake yogurt or buttermilk? Very sadly, you likely have and quite possibly do it all the time. Read the labels, K? Flavored gelatin is not yogurt. Real yogurt has no need of weird stabilizers or corn starch or whatever perverted thing they put in your yogurt along the the phony flavorings and wonky preservatives. Acid-soured milk is not buttermilk. Yogurt is cultured milk, basically. Buttermilk is the whey from the butter-making process. They are both excellent for you, as they are, and create superior products besides.
I also do not enjoy fat-free or low-fat versions of either yogurt or buttermilk. Up to you.
In the end, this recipe was pretty much like a whole lot of other creamy coleslaw recipes. But it was a fine one. And for the simplicity of preparation and ingredient list, I think it’s one worth having in your back pocket for nights just like these.
NOTE: Only after I have made, eaten, and blogged about this slaw do I realize that the kid-friendly aspect of the original recipe is in the actual rainbow colors, even though I was busy complaining about using bits of things. I whole-heartedly agree with this concept. Therefore, this recipe would be a lot more fun if you took it to the extreme and made it a virtual bowl of rainbow: red and yellow bell pepper, green and purple cabbage, orange carrot, and blueberries. Eat the Rainbow Slaw!
- In a small bowl, whisk together 1/3 cup mayonnaise, 1/3 cup plain yogurt or buttermilk, 1 tablespoon honey, 2 teaspoons apple cider vinegar, and 3/4 teaspoon salt.
- Shred and/or finely dice 3-4 cups cabbage, 1 bell pepper, and 1 medium carrot. (Pause here to prep your cabbage if you have decided you will have leftovers.)
- Toss veggies together in a large serving bowl with 1/2 cup black or golden raisins.
- When you are ready to serve, toss dressing with veggies and serve.
Serve with just about any summer meal, especially grill foods and traditional American fare.
*Recipe has been changed from the original.