The kitchen offers a nightly opportunity to save money. My challenge was to find fresh vegetables for dinner at less than $1 a pound.
When I tried this a couple of weeks ago, I landed carrots and cabbage, after finding and discarding onions and potatoes as either obvious or unappealing. So, having found a food bargain, what do you do with them? Carrots got the spotlight last time; cabbage, the stage is yours.
The raw truth
Cole slaw is an American classic. Shred cabbage, dress it with mayonnaise and vinegar dressing and it’s ready.
How about some variations on slaw? The only recipe that I can claim to have created independently in decades of enthusiastic cooking is a slaw of purple cabbage and torn arugula. Despite all the yuppie jokes about arugula, it’s easy to grow, colorful, and has a marvelous smoky green flavor. This is a dynamite combination.
Cabbage also featured in various pickled dishes.
Turn up the heat
How about roasted red cabbage wedges? That’s my favorite cooked cabbage recipe, and it’s dead easy to boot. Stick in the oven and let it roast while you fix the rest of the meal.
Sweet and sour cabbage cooks on the stove top and has a very German feel and flavor to it. Each time I pull this dish out I wonder why it’s not a regular in my meal planning.
What would corned beef be without cabbage simmered along side?
If you have time, and perhaps another pair of hands in the kitchen, cabbage leaves make a marvelous wrapping for all kinds of fillings. Here’s a recipe for a Polish variation, stuffed with ground beef, pork and barley. Or a meatless Greek treatment for stuffed cabbage leaves. Or an Eastern European Jewish approach?
I found lots of recipes for cabbage soups which I have never tried. Let’s hear from someone who has a favorite cabbage soup recipe or tries one of these: Rustic Cabbage Soup; CrockPot Cabbage Soup; or a Sweet Russian Cabbage Soup.
Every meal offers us a chance to shop carefully, add imagination to our ingredients, and care for both our families and our budgets. As Julia says, “Bon appetit!”
Since that last shopping venture, I found sweet potatoes at Costco for well less than a $1 a pound. Come back another time for sweet potatoes, without the d**** marshmallows.
Image courtesy of pain_amp1013.