Coleslaw is the new cool kid in the kitchen

Trust me. Everyone’ll be talking about slaw soon. The cool ones probably already are. But it’s not going to be like it was way back when. You know – the age of the mayonnaise. Bring on the new slaw, where flavour is the feature, healthy vegetables are the base, and no mayonnaise is harmed in the process.

As you can see, I’m pretty excited about coleslaw right now. I actually started thinking about it after having the chili lime coleslaw at ZaZaZa in the Glebe. And then one of my friends mentioned a coriander lime slaw they had picked up at the Piggy Market in Westboro. It was like suddenly I had been invited to experiment in the new world of slaw, and I said Yes!

Since then, I’ve made 3 very different and very great slaws:

  • Asian slaw
  • Coriander lime slaw
  • Middle eastern slaw

The middle eastern slaw is currently in my fridge, waiting for me to dive in once the flavours have merging just enough…in about another 5 minutes. Once I confirm it’s deliciousness, I’ll share the recipe. Until then, let me share the other two recipes.

One note before you read on: do you have a food processor? If not, you may find that the drudgery of cutting cabbage into small pieces slowly eats away at your enthusiasm for the dish to come. I don’t blame you. I’m not sure I would be in my current slaw love fest if I didn’t have a food processor.

That’s a lot of veggies to chop!

 

Asian slaw

Beyond delicious.  Think of a delicious peanut sauce you had at your favourite Thai restaurant. Now think of that in the heatlhiest way you can: covering mounds of chopped vegetables. Still entirely delicious, but now in the format of a great vegetable snack or side dish. Why wouldn’t you try this?

I found the Asian coleslaw recipe with the help of Chef Google: http://allrecipes.com/recipe/asian-coleslaw/.

 

Coriander Lime slaw

Truth be told, this one was not as delicious as the Asian slaw, but still amazing in comparison with plain old ordinary slaw. Now if you don’t like coriander (or cilantro ;) ), then I’m going to go out on a limb and suggest you won’t like this. I ended up making this with a sweet onion instead of green onions (that’s what I had), and threw in some broccoli stalks just because. The latter was a great addition, but I wouldn’t do the onion for green onion trade again. It’s still pretty  good, and I’ll make it again. But I think it’s missing something to be deemed truly awesome. But still absolutely worth making. And eating. Next time I make it, I’m probably going to make adjustments and call it a Mexican slaw. Stay tuned!

Here’s the Coriander Lime Coleslaw recipehttp://pamelasalzman.com/cilantro-lime-slaw/

 

Middle Eastern Slaw

I’ve now pulled some  out of the fridge and am chomping away. There’s something about the crunch of cabbage that helps make this great. It’s official: this coleslaw is tasty! I will concede that it’s not as awesome as the Asian slaw, but still pretty amazing. And it’s a completely different flavour, which I love. I’m a fan of variety, and when I can find it in healthy and easy to make recipes that can sit in the fridge for a few days to be eaten as simple snacks, I get excited.

This recipe was inspired by one that I found using Chef Google (http://recipes.sparkpeople.com/recipe-detail.asp?recipe=1042497), but I opted to make changes because that one just didn’t look like it would have enough flavour. Really it’s that there wasn’t any garlic.

So I searched for some Middle Eastern salad dressing recipes, found this one (scroll down to the Middle Eastern Lemon Tahini Salad Dressing recipe), and basically merged the two recipes. With a few additional changes.

Here’s the final recipe:

  • 1/2 head of cabbage (I used green, but purple would be fine too. Maybe even more awesome based on looking cool)
  • 3 broccoli stalks (This is a tip I picked up from a Jamie Oliver recipe: the stalk of the broccoli is tasty! And so it occurred to me that chopping it up with cabbage would be great.  It is! Thanks again food processor.)
  • 6 green onions (why six? because that’s how many came in the bunch. Based on what I learned from the coriander lime slaw, I opted for green onions here instead of the red)
  • a handful of mini carrots (base recipe said one large carrot; this was my interpretation based on what I had. It’s slaw. I feel like there’s room for variants.)
  • 1 cup of chickpeas (I did them from dried in my slow cooker, following this recipe, but I think canned would work just as well. If you go canned, give them a good rinse first.)

The dressing:

  • 1/4 cup tahini (this is the stuff in most hummus recipes, and can be found with the nut butters in most health food stores. Hopefully in the grocery store too, but I can’t confirm that. The original recipe called for 1/3 cup, which is what I used, but I think it’s a bit too much in this case. Stick with 1/4 cup, or 4 TBSP)
  • 2-3 TBSP water (If you use 1/4 cup of Tahini, stick with 2 TBSP water; if you go with a bit more tahini, then use the 3 TBSPs.)
  • Juice of 1/2 a lemon (I went with closer to 2/3 of the lemon – start with 1/2 and touch it up based on how it tastes)
  • 1/2 TSP ground cumin
  • 1-2 cloves crushed garlic (I used 2 cloves, because mine weren’t that big and they are getting a bit old, so I think they have less taste. I often chop my garlic, but for this, I used the garlic press. Not for any real culinary reason – I just didn’t feel like chopping it.)
  • 2 TBSP olive oil
  • Salt to taste.

Directions:

1. Chop the veggies using your food processor. Or use a knife. If you use a knife, please let me know how long it takes and how many fingers you still have. When I say veggies, I don’t mean the chickpeas. Put it all in a large bowl and add the chick peas.

2. Mix the tahini with the water.  As the original dressing recipe points out, it gets more liquidy (look what I’m doing to the poor English language!), and then magically it gets thick.

3. Cut the lemon half into thirds, and squeeze each one into the tahini-water mix, being careful to remove any seeds.

4. Nomnonnom…having a second helping as I type. Wait. That’s not really something you get to do at this stage.  Sorry.

5. Add the cumin, garlic, salt and olive oil to the tahini-water-lemon juice mix, and stir until smooth.

6. Mix the dressing in with the veggies. Stir. until it’s all nicely coated. A bit of stating the obvious here, but if  you used a smaller supply of veggies, then don’t toss in all the dressing at once – try a bit less to make sure you’ve got a good ratio. If needed, add the rest.

7. Cover the bowl and put it in the fridge for an hour or so to let the flavours blend.

8. See #4 above.

Ya, this is pretty good. Also, I just had an epiphany for my next go at the coriander-lime slaw: I think the dressing will need some avocado.

 

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