The brassica family is a powerful one, magical even! Its members are some of the most potent protectors from common degenerative diseases. In addition to cabbage and kale, also included are brussels sprouts, broccoli, cauliflower and kohlrabi, among others—each versatile and delicious. There are countless ways to enjoy cabbage and kale, and I often indulge in both of them. Abracabrassica is an interesting twist on a basic green mix. It can certainly be enjoyed as is, although tasty as well when eaten alongside a creamy avocado for added dimension. And if it is allowed to marinate for a longer period of time, to soften more and intensify in flavor, it can be creatively included as an ingredient inside of a wrap or as a sandwich topping.
Green cabbage and kale are great sources of vitamins K and C, kale in particular also being a good source of iron. Both cabbage and kale are exceptional for detoxifying the liver. Cilantro is excellent for aiding the body in removing heavy metals. It wonderfully pairs with the lime and ginger, and lends a lovely high flavor note to the mix. If you adore cilantro as I do, use the whole leaves instead of coarsely chopped leaves for more taste explosion in each bite. Goji berries are exceptionally high in vitamin C and contain important trace minerals including selenium, iron, copper and zinc. Their flavor is a cross between dried cranberries and raisins, their somewhat mild sweetness a nice complement to the tartness of the Granny Smith apple, and their flavor a nice combination with the orange blossom essence in the vinaigrette. The unaltered zing of the Granny Smith apple adds brightness and plays well with the marinated components. The vinaigrette is punchy though lightweight with a subtle underlying sweetness, and very versatile beyond this recipe. It can be further altered with fresh herbs and various spices, wherever your imagination leads you. Enjoy!
A beautifully simple, flavorful and naturally detoxifying mix.
1 cup green cabbage leaves, stemmed, cut into a thin chiffonade and firmly packed
1/3 cup Lacinato kale, stemmed and deveined, cut into a thin chiffonade and firmly packed
1/2 cup Granny Smith apple, julienned on a mandoline (skin left on)
1/4 cup cilantro, stemmed, coarsely chopped and firmly packed
1 tablespoon dried goji berries
Place into a medium bowl and toss together the cabbage, kale and goji berries with two tablespoons of ‘Sesame Balsamic Vinaigrette’ (recipe below). Allow them to marinate for 15 minutes, periodically tossing again to ensure that they remain completely coated with the vinaigrette. As they marinate, the cabbage and kale will soften and the goji berries will plump up slightly. Once the cabbage, kale and goji berries have been marinated, then add the apple and cilantro, gently toss and serve.
‘Sesame Balsamic Vinaigrette’
3 tablespoons cold-pressed sesame oil
4 teaspoons white balsamic vinegar
1 teaspoon freshly squeezed lime juice
1 teaspoon raw orange blossom honey
1/4 teaspoon fresh ginger root, peeled and finely grated
1/16 teaspoon pink crystal salt (fine grind)
Place into a small bowl and whisk together all of the ingredients until emulsified.
Store any leftover vinaigrette in an airtight container inside of the refrigerator and use within 3 to 5 days.
A few tips…
To help limit your exposure to harmful pesticide residues and waxed coatings often associated with conventional produce, try to purchase organically grown fruits and vegetables as often as possible.
The listed ingredients roughly amount to one comfortable serving, or two small servings. Double or triple the recipe as needed.
Abracabrassica is meant to be enjoyed while fresh tasting and still moderately crisp, hence the short marination of 15 minutes. However, as mentioned above, it can also be eaten after longer marination. Keep in mind the longer the components marinate, the more intensified their flavors. Intended use and personal preference will help to determine the best process.
In the above ingredients, I noted 1 cup green cabbage leaves, stemmed, cut into a thin chiffonade and firmly packed and 1/3 cup Lacinato kale, stemmed and deveined, cut into a thin chiffonade and firmly packed. The thinner the slices the easier on the palate, especially for those who are not yet won over by the often seemingly potent flavors of green leafy vegetables. I also prefer to remove the veins and hard stems to keep the overall texture light and increase the likelihood of a pleasant and welcoming mouthfeel. Plus, I just love the technique and presentation, and use it often. If you create thicker slices and/or leave intact the veins and stems, the overall flavor and texture will be in some measure different, though not horribly. The mix may also require longer marination due to the increased thickness.
In the above ingredients, I noted 1/2 cup Granny Smith apple, julienned on a mandoline (skin left on). If you do not have a mandoline, you can create thin matchstick-like slices by hand using a sharp knife. First create apple slices 1/8-inch thick. Then layer together the apple slices and slice them into 1/8-inch thick sticks. A hand-held julienne peeler can also be utilized.