In search of healthy and fun meals to feed my family, with an eye toward sustainable living.

Here you'll find recipes & ramblings about keeping my family fed with what's available in Alaska between local produce, a little bit of wild harvest, and the modern grocery store.

Sunday, February 21, 2010

Help for the Cabbage-inundated

HELP!!! There are 2 heads of cabbage in my frig, and a third one will invariably arrive in our CSA box this Wednesday. When my daughter, Eldest, signed up for the CSA she confessed to me "Mom, I'm scared of all the cabbage -- what am I going to do with it?!"
Take heart, my child.
This is a clearly a case of "Too much cabbage and not enough inspiration".

As far as vegetables go, cabbage is actually fairly bland, so it takes well to different flavors and cuisines. Before I start with the more unusual stuff, here are a few standards:

Coleslaw -doesn't have to be boring! try some unusual ingredients; for example, blue cheese and cranberries can transform a boring coleslaw to something interesting!
Bubble & Squeak - one of my family's favorites: mix leftover mashed potatoes with cabbage and fry them up like pancakes.
Stir-fry -I like to use ginger and orange in the sauce.
stuffed cabbage rolls -with mixture of rice and ground beef
Cabbage Soup - esp. the traditional Russian "Schi"

We've invented a new dinner entree at our house, and in our eccentric family-manner, we've given it a catchy name! Why? No particular reason, other than that it rhymes, and perhaps the fact that son is currently studying WWII in History!
Inspiration for this invention goes to Glacier Grist #52. Pasta with cabbage and toasted walnuts, was my starting point: This recipe can truly be touted as "healthy, healthy, healthy" because it has loads more vegetables than pasta.

Mussolini Linguini
small amount of pasta (maybe half of what you'd normally serve your family) -- I use about 1/2 pound of whole wheat spaghetti, linguini or fettucini
1 small head of cabbage (or 1/2 large head), shredded
optional: carrots, julienned
olive oil
onion, sliced
garlic, minced
Salt, pepper, optional: herbs such as basil, oregano
freshly grated parmesan and/or Pecorino Romano
optional for meat-lovers: ham or fried sausage
vegetarians may want to add freshly roasted pine nuts, for added protein.

Boil the pasta. Meanwhile, saute the onion in olive oil. Add garlic & cook briefly (we do like it garlicky!). Add cabbage and cook until starting to get translucent (add water if you need to, but only in small amounts). Mix pasta into the cabbage, add flavors, cheese, and optional nuts or meat (In which case our family calls this dish "Benito Mussolini"...)
I served this with a medley of roasted root vegetables: beets, celery roots, carrots.
I must say, it was surprisingly good, and even the teens ate it!

Here's an intreaguing recipe from Kuchenlatein, a German site I recently discovered:
Cabbage with Orange and Whiskey sauce.

Ulrike sautees the cabbage with butter, maple syrup, whiskey and grated orange peel. For quantities, go to the above blogpost (in German), which is easy to figure out if you know that Essl means tablespoon, and Teel means teaspoon (figuring that my only curious reader is a certain daughter afraid of cabbage, who does know more German than she thinks!).
here it is in english:
Brussels sprouts or cabbage, thinly sliced, braised in
1 T butter
1 T maple syrup
1 T whiskey
1 t grated orange
salt & pepper to taste

Next, a french recipe for
Gratin au Chou, or Cabbage Gratin w/ Bechamel Sauce
go here for recipe
This is baked like a casserole, and again, meat-lovers may add a wee bit of ham or sausage.

As you can tell from the frequent mention of meat, my "boys" do better with their cabbage if I disguise it with a little meat...

Sausage, Beer and cabbage
I've prepared this recipe often using sauerkraut (and then I cook it with apples!), but it can also be made with fresh cabbage.

2 T butter
1+ large onion, sliced into long section
1 T brown sugar
1 head cabbage, shredded, or cut into thick wedges
1 bottle beer
1 lb smoked kielbasa, cut into pieces
small red red potatoes, quartered
salt & pepper to taste
optional: caraway seed

Sautee onions in butter, add sugar and cabbage wedges to brown. Add sausage, potatoes and beer. Cover and simmer until potatoes are done. If too much liquid remains, drain or reduce by turning up heat (remove veggies first if fully cooked). Serve w/ mustard and hearty bread.

This recipe lends itself well to crockpot cooking, as long as it's not a super long day....


  1. Thanks for stopping by.

    BTW, here's the recipe in English

    Brussels Sprout Leaves in Whisky-Orange Sauce but I would never use American or Canadian whisky. Sorry to say but Europe has the better whisky ;-)

  2. Hi! I'm a food and travel blogger. I currently reside in Houston, TX. I grew up in Alaska, and visit my family there as often as possible. It's such a wonderful place, so I write about it often. I'd like to share my cabbage story and recipe with you. See "Cabbage Pride" at I think that, perhaps, great minds think alike...we both posted cabbage recipes this month! Ha-ha! Cheers, Susitna Cafe'

  3. I've created a cabbage recipe that I LOVE but most think is too disgusting a combination to try. It brings together a bit of Russia, a bit of Alaska, and a bit of the American Southwest into a strange looking concoction that satisfies all of my food cravings at once!
    To try it out, mix together a shredded head of raw cabbage, two large boiled and finely diced beets, a fistful of shredded smoked salmon, enough of your favorite salsa to bind it all together, and about five dashes of Tabasco sauce. It's even better if you leave it in the fridge for a few hours to marinate. Mmmm, mmmm, good!