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Food Wise: Cabbage and Cilantro Salad

1/20/2009 12:46:54 PM

Tags: Food Wise, Olivia Blanco Mullins, Recipe, Side Dish, Vegetarian

I am constantly looking for a vegetable side dish that is healthy, good and easy to make. I like most vegetables, but my husband almost always wants green beans or peas. He’ll eat cabbage, kale and other great veggies, but I always feel like he eats them just to please me.

Last week we were having a quick lunch together, and I had no idea what I could make that would be more original than the leftover frozen green beans in the freezer. I had cabbage and cilantro. I didn’t want to sauté the cabbage, my usual way of preparing it, so I decided to try to prepare a salad of raw cabbage I vaguely remembered from a cooking show.

I cut the cabbage in ½ -inch thick strips, placed it in a bowl, mixed it with rock sea salt, and I let it rest for 15 minutes. I then added white wine vinegar, minced garlic and cilantro, gave it a good toss and left it at room temperature for about 30 more minutes.

Photo Courtesy of flickr/Max y Miliano 
Cilantro is one of my favorite herbs. It adds great flavor to many dishes, not just guacamole. 

The result was a delicious and super healthy side dish, or salad. The salt and vinegar had wilted the cabbage a little bit, so it wasn’t so crisp, as in its raw state, or soggy, like when it is cooked. The cilantro and garlic added a slightly pungent Latin American personality.

It was very light and refreshing, but had so much flavor that was extremely satisfying.  As an added bonus, after being at room temperature for 45 minutes, it wasn’t cold, which is something I dislike about salads and other raw foods, especially in the winter.

When my husband came home, he looked at it with suspicion, proclaimed that he was so hungry that he didn’t care what it was, and tried it straight out of the bowl. “This is good!” he said convincingly. He is thinking of adding it to his restaurant’s menu.


-5 cups of cabbage (about a quarter of a medium-sized head)
-2 teaspoons of rock sea salt.
-1 teaspoon of white wine vinegar. (You can probably use another good quality kind, if that is they only thing you have. Balsamic vinegar will give it a very different flavor.)
-2 small garlic cloves (preferably minced with a garlic press)
-2 tablespoons of fresh minced cilantro 

Workout Update:

I haven't started yoga yet, but I am still planning on joining the studio once I move to my new apartment later this week. Last week I exercised twice, and have been more active in general.


Olivia Blanco Mullins is a journalist and has been eating healthy most of her life, as her parents have owned health food stores for more than 20 years. Currently she lives in Manhattan, Kansas, where her husband owns an  Italian restaurant . 

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