Yellow or Green Apples
Salt & Pepper
Umeboshi Plum Vinegar or Balsamic Vinegar
This hearty sweet & sour red cabbage dish is festive enough for a holiday meal, yet easy & simple enough to eat everyday! The chopped apples add a nice textural crunch as well!! Cabbages are members of the cruciferous vegetable family, so called because they sport cross shaped yellow flower, from the Latin 'crux' or cross. Other well known crucifers worth enjoying are broccoli, kale & collards, brussel sprouts & more!
All cabbages are full of anti-oxidents, vitamins & minerals, especially vitamin C, plenty of fiber & nutrients which have shown great anti-cancer properties in studies, most notably in fighting colon cancer. The red in red cabbage is from a chemical compound called anthocyanins which have a very powerful anti-oxidant protective effect in the body.
The red coloring in a cooked red cabbage dish will 'bleed' out into your cooking medium, so if you want to retain the red color, you'll need to add the acid note that the ume plum or balsamic vinegar provides. Of course, this is what also adds the sour note to our sweet & sour recipe!
If you want your cabbage to look more bluish violet (hey, maybe the kids will like it more that way!) then don't add in the acid component.
We like to eat this recipe warm or just at room temperature, most recently we brought it with us to a delicious Hanukah celebration as a side dish accompaniment to potato latkes. Yum yum!! Add a veggie burger made of rice and beans and you'll have a totally balanced meal.
Cut the cabbage in half & cut out the core & the woody white inside visible in the photo. Use a sharp knife to do this. Then cut in quarters & slice against the grain so that you have nice 'ribbons' of cabbage. Set aside.
Then chop up a small or medium onion, saute in olive oil in a large skillet or wok on a medium to low heat until soft & translucent. Don't burn or they'll become bitter. Then add in the cabbage & toss with a dash of salt & pepper & cook until just covered with the olive oil. Then add a few tablespoons of filtered water, a couple of star anise pieces and/or ½ tsp of ground star anise if you're unable to find the whole star pieces. Toss & cover, then bring up to a slightly higher heat, stir once & cover again & cook until just barely tender, about 5 minutes depending on the thickness, freshness or coarseness of your cabbage.
While the cabbage is cooking over medium-high heat, chop up the apple, skins on, into bite size pieces. Throw into the pot, taste the cabbage for saltiness & if needed, add more salt* & some pepper, then toss it all around so everything is coated well with the seasonings. Cover & let sit aside for a few minutes so that the apples cook a little from the heat of the cabbage.
After about five minutes, add in a few splashes of umeboshi vinegar (available in health food stores or Japanese specialty stores). If you prefer the taste of balsamic vinegar, use that instead. Toss & taste to see if you'd like it sweeter or more sour. If so, add in a bit more vinegar. If you want it sweeter, you can add a bit of agave or honey, if it won't be reheated. It's best not to heat honey as it destroys the live enzymes of the honey.
Jane Sherry, one of the Founders of Satya Center is a Reiki practitioner/teacher, spiritual counselor, creator of healing art talismans, healing gardens & loves to cook! She has a background in the visual arts before moving into the healing arts and has been a longtime lover of herbs & spices & cooking. She newly resides in Boca Raton, Florida, about one hour north of Miami. She works the Satya Center healing practice with co-founder and husband, Curtis Lang and co-operates the Satya Center Crystal Gallery and web portal. Plans for new gardens are germinating fast here in the Florida sunshine, well watered by lots of tropical rains. You will always find crystals in among the herbs, flowers & vegetable gardens!