Purple Cabbage and Green Bean Salad

Not Just Another Cheap Salad Recipe

If there’s one thing Cheap Food Here is set out to do, it’s get as far away from the stereotype that cheap food is boring. Many think that cheap food is unhealthy or uninventive just because you don’t have the ‘luxury’ of spending an arm and a leg when you’re shopping. The truth is, salads, for example, CAN be boring and uninventive, but a lot of times you just need a great homemade salad dressing to jazz things up a bit. One of our passions at Cheap Food Here is with salad dressings that perfectly balance the oil and vinegar mix in vinaigrettes adding fresh fruit or herbs that provide a natural freshness bottled dressings can’t.

Figuring out alternative ways to make a great, healthy, flavorful salad often starts with a great base. Ice berg lettuce can be a bit tasteless, but has a great crunch, so someone along the way figured out that cutting the head into fourths gives it a fancy style and thus named it a wedge salad. What a perfect cheap salad that is marketed brilliantly. Green leaf and red leaf lettuce add great color and texture with a somewhat delicate texture to contrast the crunch of veggies like cucumber, bell pepper and onion. Romaine on the other hand has crunchy with soft and a whole lot of vitamins and have done wonders with the Caesar Salad.

But don’t forget about cabbage as an option for a base. There are a ton of health benefits of cabbage, but most importantly, Cabbage has more vitamin C than oranges do per serving, is high in fiber and helps with brain function because of it’s high iodine content. The texture is thicker and hardier than lettuce and has a great distinct flavor which pairs well with ingredients you might not expect to find in a salad.

The recipe below combines three unique flavors, giving the salad an Asian flair that pairs well with fish or chicken dishes, like seafood empanadas or chicken empanadas. Enjoy it with a glass of white wine and tell me your thoughts.

Purple Cabbage & Green Bean Salad Ingredients

  • 1/2 head red cabbage
  • 1 cup green beans, ends removed
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced.
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • A splash of sesame oil
  • Toasted sesame seeds
  • Juice from one Lemon

Purple Cabbage & Green Bean Salad Directions

  1. Thinly slice the cabbage until you have a pile of shreds similar to coleslaw. Place into a large glass or wooden bowl.
  2. In a small pot with boiling water, blanch the grean beans for 2 minutes and then plunge into an ice bath to stop the cooking.
  3. Then slice the green beans thinly into rounds and place in the mixing bowl with the cabbage.
  4. Add the remaining ingredients, toss until evenly coated and refrigerate for 30 minutes to 3 hours.

Summer Citrus-Cilantro Cabbage Salad

cabbage salad

cabbage salad

In Costa Rica, the salads are mostly made with a base of cabbage as opposed to lettuce. My best guess at the reason why is because cabbage is heartier and a head will stretch farther than a head of lettuce. Another notable difference with salads here is that they rarely use much of a dressing. Mostly just a little oil, lime juice and sometimes a splash of vinegar. This weekend I tried my hand at a Costa Rican typical salad, but with a twist (of course!).

(Serves 4)

SALAD INGREDIENTS:

• ½ head of green cabbage, sliced in very thin strips (much like coleslaw)
• 2 Tbl fresh cilantro, coarsely chopped
• 10-12 snow peas, stems removed, chopped in 1” pieces
• 1-2 green onions, sliced into thin rings (use white and green part)
• 1 large carrot, peeled and sliced at a sharp angle to make oval rings
• 2 Roma tomatoes, thinly sliced into rings

DRESSING INGREDIENTS:

• ½ C. olive oil
• ¼ C. white vinegar
• 2 Tbl. Honey
• 2 Tbl cilantro
• juice from 1 lime
• ½ fresh jalapeño pepper (seeded)
• garlic salt and fresh cracked pepper to taste

DIRECTIONS:

Simply toss all the salad ingredients into a large salad bowl and blend dressing ingredients. Pour dressing over salad mixture.