I always have the best intentions when it comes to meal planning. I see a recipe online, print it out and say, "I'm going to make this on Thursday." I bring the recipe to the grocery store to get all the ingredients, and, somehow, I end up with a cart full of items for about three other meals I have been inspired to make while purusing the aisles. Of course, being a working mom, I'm usually exhausted when I get home and my elaborate cooking plans fly out the window. What ends up happening is that I have all these vegetables that sit in the fridge waiting to be cooked. Don't get me wrong, I don't like to waste food. In fact, I am overcome with guilt when my $6 bunch of organic asparagus starts getting mushy at the tips. So, last night, when I opened a fridge full of vegetables threatening to go bad if I didn't do SOMETHING with them, I grabbed everything that looked as though it was glancing at me sideways and started thinking of the fastest ways to prepare these items so that I could get in my pajamas and crash ASAP.
I got these three little heads of baby Napa cabbage from the organic farm where I keep my horse, Blue Jeans, and goat, Cappucino.
The owner of the farm has recently begun offering CSA-type vegetable packages and gave me a bag to sample. And, truly, there is nothing better to cook with than freshly harvested, organic
Anyway, I had never cooked Napa cabbage before. The only types of cabbage I was familiar with are your basic green, red or savoy cabbages. And I rarely use those since I find that it's just too much cabbage for two people (well, Leah probably counts for half a person when it comes to eating) to polish off in a reasonable amount of time. I actually like that these cabbages were small because it meant that I wouldnt have to worry about an excess of cabbage going bad before we got around to eating them. So I made the quickest and easiest thing that came to mind - slaw.
The texture of baby Napa cabbage is much more delicate than green or red cabbage. Its leaves are just slightly thicker than lettuce leaves, making the texture of this slaw a cross between a traditional cole slaw and a leafy salad. I used fresh chives instead of onion because, as much as I like raw onion flavor, I hate the aftertaste. I also added fresh dill, also from my garden, adds a light, sweet element to the dressing. The best part is that it took me less than 5 min to prepare, which is an added bonus for any busy mom or dad or person in general. Enjoy!
Recipe (Serves 2)
3 heads of baby Napa cabbage (each head is just smaller than your hand)
1/2 c mayonaise (or Veganaise to make this a vegan dish)
1-11/2 tbsp apple Cider Vinegar
1 tbsp fresh Chives
2 tsp fresh dill
1 tsp sugar
1/4 tsp garlic powder
salt and pepper to taste
Whisk mayonaise, vinegar, chives, dill, sugar, garlic powder, salt and pepper in a medium bowl. Add cabbage and carrots and toss with the dressing until fully coated.
Get creative! One way to get out of your routine, and simultaneously save money, is to use ingredients you already have in the house. When I started restricting my trips to the grocery store to once per week, not only did I save a bunch of cash, but was forced to think outside of the box in creating meals.