Saturday, November 13, 2010

Braised red cabbage recipe, a healthy Thanksgiving side dish

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There are six reasons I always make braised red cabbage as one of our Thanksgiving side dishes:
  1. It travels well. We often end up driving to northern California to spend Thanksgiving with my husband's side of the family. I don't even bother decanting the cabbage into a container. Instead, I put plastic wrap on top of the pot, put on the lid, and then wrap the entire pot (lid and all) with plastic wrap to make sure the cabbage and its juices stay put. When we get to Thanksgiving dinner, the pot gets unwrapped and put on the stove over a low flame. It's a hassle-free potluck dish.
  2. It's better the second (or third or fourth) day. The cabbage continues to wilt courtesy of the salt and the vinegar, and the sweet-sour flavors really come together when it hangs out in the refrigerator for a day or two.
  3. It's dead simple. Slice, pot, pour, sprinkle, cook, done.
  4. It's purple. The cabbage looks just gorgeous against the beige of the turkey and mashed potatoes, the orange of the sweet potatoes, and the green of the salad.
  5. It's almost diet food. If you make it with Splenda brown sugar blend instead of sugar, it's perfect for diabetics. And the butter at the end is optional. Really. One Thanksgiving I was on Weight Watchers and was terrified of undoing all my hard work with one food-filled weekend. I snacked on this cabbage and my mother-in-law's bean-heavy taco soup, and I lost three pounds. 'Nuff said.  
  6. Cousin George likes it. In general, Hungarians like cabbage. In particular, my husband's mother's cousin George really likes this cabbage dish. Unfortunately, George isn't coming for Thanksgiving this year. But don't worry, George, it will be on the menu when we see each other in December.
Braised red cabbage
  • 1 head of red cabbage, core removed, sliced thinly
  • 1 large or 2 small red onions, peeled, sliced thinly
  • 1/2 cup red wine vinegar
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar (can substitute Splenda brown sugar blend)
  • 1 tsp salt, or more to taste
  • 2 Tbsp butter (optional)
Place all ingredients in a large pot over medium-low heat and cover. Cook about 1 hour, or until cabbage and onions are wilted and soft. Stir in butter and toss until melted and incorporated. Serve immediately, or refrigerate up to 5 days and reheat.

5 comments:

Deb Duchon said...

I'm going to try this today. If it works out as well as I think it will, it's going to be on the T'giving menu. Thanks, Erike.

Monet said...

I adore cabbage...and I love the reasons you listed for preparing this recipe as a take-along Thanksgiving side dish. This sounds right up my alley. Thank you for sharing. I hope your week brims with love and joy

Anonymous said...

how do you print your recipe? ther is no print icon. thank, bob

Erika said...

@Bob - in your browser, under the File menu, there should be a Print command. Hope that helps!

Lana @ Never Enough Thyme said...

This sounds really delicious. I love cabbage prepared most any way, but my husband won't touch it. Too bad - he just doesn't know what he's missing :-)

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