Red Cabbage and Carrot Salad with Homemade Dressing

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It’s been a little while since I’ve written a post, don’t get me wrong…I did cook, just life got in a way and now being a busy mom of two kids…I found myself struggling to find extra time to do anything.  I also moved from a relatively small apartment in Brooklyn to a nice house in Northport, Long Island.  It’ been a crazy move for me, considering that I’ve lived in Brooklyn my whole life since coming to the US almost 18 years ago.   It’s been over 3 months now and believe it or not, we still have few boxes to unpack:)  But overall it was so worth it, not just because now we have a house with a back yard, but because I finally have a family, a new job I love and a man by my side with two beautiful girls.  What can I say, I guess some dreams to come true…you just got to believe it.    It hasn’t been easy, but no one said it will be…they just said it will be worth it!:)

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In this post I finally found time to post a recipe for the red cabbage salad that I’ve made two days before my move, while packing boxes:)  This recipe was born actually from not having much food around… just some cabbage, carrots and left over Feta Cheese which I always have a small stash in my refrigerator.  I am not kidding when I say that’s pretty much all I had left in terms of real food.  However, it turned out to be absolutely delicious!  I have done it again and again on numerous occasions and enjoyed it every time, I hope you will too.

Cabbage Salad

It is very easy to make and has numerous nutritional benefits, since it’s main ingredient is red cabbage.  Ever wondered why red cabbage is good for you?

“While green cabbage is the most commonly eaten variety, red cabbage offers more nutritional benefits as well as a hearty, robust flavor, according to the World’s Healthiest Foods website. Red cabbage contains a type of group of phytochemicals or compounds found in plant foods with disease-fighting properties known, collectively, as polyphenols. Polyphenols may offer antioxidant, anti-inflammatory and anti-cancer benefits. Red cabbage is low in calories, a good source of dietary fiber and a rich source of several vitamins:

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Basic Nutrient Stats  - According to eLook.org, one cup of raw red cabbage, chopped, or about 89 g provides 27 calories, 0 g of fat, 1 g of protein, 7 g of carbohydrates, 2 g of dietary fiber and 24 mg of sodium. Red cabbage is rich in several vitamins, including vitamins A, C and K, as well as the minerals potassium and manganese. Red cabbage, in addition to polyphenols, is rich in beta-carotene, which offers antioxidant benefits.
Vitamins -One cup of raw, chopped red cabbage provides 993.2 IU of vitamin A, meeting 19 percent of the recommended daily value, or DV, for this nutrient. Most of its vitamin A is in the form of beta-carotene — the form found in most brightly colored vegetables and fruits. Vitamin A enhances immunity, aids in growth and development and promotes healthy eyesight. One cup of this veggie offers 50.7 mg of vitamin C, or 84 percent of the DV, and 40 mcg of vitamin K, or 56 percent of the DV. Vitamin C enhances immune system function, promotes gum health and aids in wound healing and collagen production. Vitamin K is essential for building and maintaining strong bones and blood clotting.
Minerals – One cup of raw red cabbage, chopped, provides 216.3 mg of potassium, or 9 percent of the DV, and 0.217 mg of manganese, or 10 percent of the DV. Many foods, particularly meats, dairy products and produce, are rich in potassium and cabbage is no exception. Potassium, a major mineral, is important for regulating heartbeat and blood pressure as well as promoting fluid balance within the body. Manganese, a trace mineral, is involved in energy metabolism, or converting carbohydrates, proteins and fats into energy for cells to utilize.
Polyphenols – Red cabbage is rich in a particular polyphenol group called anthocyanins. The World’s Healthiest Foods reports that about 100 g or a 3 oz. serving of raw red cabbage provides 196.5 mg of polyphenols — 28.3 mg of which are anthocyanins. The anthocyanin and vitamin C content of red cabbage is much greater than that of green cabbage. According to Ronald Wrolstad, Oregon State University professor of food science and technology, experimental evidence exists that shows certain anthocyanins have anti-inflammatory, anti-viral and anti-microbial properties.”

 

Sources:  Red Cabbage Nutrition Benefits.  Retrieved August, 9, 2013

Ingredients:

1 Table Spoon of White Basmatic Reduction
1 Teaspoon of Freeze Dried Garlic or 1/2 Teaspoons of Fresh Pressed Garlic
2 Table Spoons of Mayo
2 Table Spoons of Olive Oil
1/2 of Medium Red Cabbage
2 Medium Carrots
1 Table Spoon of Feta Cheese
1 Teaspoon of Wasabi Mayo (optional)
Salt/Pepper to Taste
 
How to make Red Cabbage Salad:
 
1.  Wash red cabbage, peel the top two layers and cut it in half.
 
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2.  Cut out the white part in the middle.
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3.  Than cut it in half again and use your madoline slicer to slice the cabbage on the lowest setting.

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4.  Peel the skin and cut the ends of your carrots and then used a shredder to shred all your carrots. 5.  Now you are ready to make the dressing for your salad.  Add two table spoons of Mayo and two table spoons of Olive Oil to a bowl.

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6.  Then add 1 teaspoon of Freeze Dried Garlic or 1/2 teaspoon of fresh pressed garlic.

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7.  Add 1 Table Spoon of White Basmatic Reduction and Salt and Pepper to Taste.

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7.  Mix everything well.  You can also add dried of fresh herbs to taste.

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8.  Add the dressing to shredded carrots and sliced cabbage, top with some scallions and feta cheese.  I also like to add a dab of Masabi Mayo on top, it adds really unique flavor to this salad.  Wasabi Mayo is usually sold in any health food stores, it’s not as spicy as Wasabi, so a small amount of it is great to use with sushi, add to salads etc.    If you want to give your salad this nice round shape use a food rings to help you or a small bowl which can be turned upside down on another plate.

Cabbage-Salad

I hope you will enjoy it.  Feel free to share your versions of this salad too, I am always up for trying new things:)

Love,

Natalie

 

 

Salad “Kapriz” with Smoked Chicken

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Smoking is the process of flavoring, cooking, or preserving food by exposing it to the smoke from burning or smoldering plant materials, most often wood. Meats and fish are the most common smoked foods, though cheeses, vegetables, and ingredients used to make beverages such as beer, smoked beer, and lapsang souchong tea are also smoked.

In Europe, alder is the traditional smoking wood, but oak is more often used now, and beech to a lesser extent. In North America, hickory, mesquite, oak,pecan, alder, maple, and fruit-tree woods, such as apple, cherry, and plum, are commonly used for smoking. Other fuels besides wood can also be employed, sometimes with the addition of flavoring ingredients. Chinese tea-smoking uses a mixture of uncooked rice, sugar, and tea, heated at the base of a wok. Some North American ham and bacon makers smoke their products over burning corncobs. Peat is burned to dry and smoke the barley malt used to make whisky and some beers. In New Zealand, sawdust from the native manuka (tea tree) is commonly used for hot smoking fish. In Iceland, dried sheep dung is used to cold-smoke fish, lamb, mutton, and whale.

Source: Smoking (Cooking).  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Smoking_(cooking).  Retrieved July 30, 2013

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The photo above is Smoked Whole Chicken done by Kevin, from Extraordinary BBQ website.  Although I haven’t tried personally, but for those of you who want to cook your own smoked chicken, it sure sounds like a great recipe.  Doesn’t it look amazing?  Here is the link if you want to try it.

While I cheated and used store bought smoked chicken for this salad, nether the less this dish still tasted amazing.  I mean, I absolutely love smoked meats, especially chicken and also fish.  I think smoked chicken is actually the staple ingredient of this particular dish.  I’ve discovered this recipe about a year ago online and have written it down, but unfortunately never saved it’s original source.  I have cooked it on many occasions, including festive gatherings with friends and it has become a popular dish in our house, I hope you will like it too!

Ingredients:

Salad Ingredients:
1 Small Turnip
1 Piece of Smoked Chicken (thigh and breast)
2 Green Apples
1/5 of Purple Onion
3 Medium Carrots
2 Stalks of Celery
Fresh Herbs for Garnish
 
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Dressing Ingredients:
4 Table Spoons of Mayo
3 Table Spoons of Olive Oil
2 Cloves of Garlic Crushed
2 Table Spoons of Apple Cider Vinegar
 
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How to make Salad “Kapriz” with Smoked Chicken:

1.  Wash and peel your vegetables.

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2.  Shred your carrots on medium setting.

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3.  Cut up your celery.  I like to cut it up really small for this salad.

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4.  Dice 1/5 of your purple onion.

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5.  Peel and then shred on the largest setting 2 Granny Smith Apples.

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6.  Take out your smoked chicken and peel the skin off.

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7.  Separate the chicken meat from the bones and cut it all up.

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8.  Lastly peel your turnip and shred it on the lowest setting.

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9.  Now that all the ingredients are cut up and shredded you can make your dressing.

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9.  Combine 4 tablespoons of mayo, 4 table spoons of olive oil, 2 table spoons of Apple Cider Vinegar and Crush 2 cloves of Garlic in a small bowl.

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10.  Wisk the mixture well.

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11.  Add the dressing to your salad and mix it all up.

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12.  Now your salad it ready…there are several ways to plate it…simply in a bowl…

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13.  Or using food rings to enhance the presentation.  These food rings come in different sizes and shapes.  Here is a link to them on amazon.

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14.  I used the largest ring for this dish.

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15.  You can also top with salad with some pomegranate seeds, fresh herbs and can even add some walnuts if you would like.  I hope you will enjoy it as much as we had.  Let me know what you think!

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Love,

Natalie

Butternut Squash Soup

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It’s finally summer in New York!  Enough of our rainy days, it’s all about beach, sunshine, picnics, camping trips and good weather.  This butternut squash reminds me just of that.  Look at it’s vibrant colors, looks like sun fell out of the sky right in your cup:)  This soup is my daughter’s favorite,  and one of my favorites too…simply because there are so many ways you can make it and to be honest with you it’s different every time.  No worries though, it’s very easy to cook!  This soup is packed with variety of vegetables, the reason we call it Butternut Squash because it is the main and the most abundant ingredient in it.  It is also what gives this dish such an amazing color.

Butternut squash is a versatile ingredient, with a sweet, nutty flavor that makes it a tasty base for soups, a flavorful addition to pasta dishes or simply a delicious side dish when cubed and boiled or roasted.  Besides looking great it is also, a healthy vegetable.  Butternut squash is low in fat and cholesterol and is packed with nutrients. It provides an excellent source of Vitamin A, Vitamin C, potassium and manganese and is a good source of Vitamin E, Vitamin B6, calcium, thiamine magnesium and folate, according to NutritionData.com.  Nutrients in butternut squash strengthen the immune system and help prevent heart disease. Its high fiber content contributes to digestive health and can help prevent colon cancer.

Compared with other produce, butternut squash has a long shelf life. It can stay fresh up to three months when stored at 55 to 60 degrees Fahrenheit, though it spoils much more quickly when stored in a refrigerator or after it’s been peeled and cut.

Sources:

1.  What are the benefits of butternut squash?  http://www.ehow.com/facts_5759321_benefits-butternut-squash_.html#ixzz2X8acWq9L.  Retrieved on June 24, 2013.
2.  Butternut Squash Nutritional Benefits.  http://www.livestrong.com/article/230976-butternut-squash-nutritional-benefits/#ixzz2X8a88uvh.  Retrieved on June 24, 2013
 
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Ingredients:
1 Medium Butternut Squash
2 Stalks of Celery
2 Cups of chopped carrots (or baby carrots)
2 Medium Potatoes
1 Table Spoon of Dried Parsley
10 Cups of Chicken Stock
1/3 Cup of Half and Half if you want it more creamy (optional)
 
How to make Butternut Squash Soup:
 
1.  Make your chicken broth, for a complete recipe of it click here.  You can also use store bought chicken stock, but I always prefer in making it fresh.
 
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 2.  While your chicken stock is cooking, wash your vegetables.  Then chop up your celery and carrots.  I used small baby carrots this time so I just left them as is.
 
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 3. Peel your squash, I just carefully cut the sides all around.  You will need a sharp knife for this as it is a little difficult to cut.  
 
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 4.  Dice butternut squash in cubes.  An alternate way to prepare squash for the soup is by cutting it in half and baking it in the oven along with your carrots for about 30 minutes.  This way you can just scoop out the pulp and there will be no need to saute it later.  
 
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5.  Peel  and dice your potatoes.  If you are roasting your squash you can add your potatoes to be baked as well, since you will puree the soup anyway later.
 
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 6.  Now add all your vegetable to the pan, start with you potatoes since they tend to cook longer.  Then add carrots after about 5 minutes, followed by butternut squash and celery.   
 
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 7.  Saute your vegetable on medium high heat until tender and ready, which should take you about 20-25 minutes.  I also add a little bit of chicken stock to the pan while sauteing to enhance it’s flavors and make it cook faster.  Add your dried parsley 5 minutes before they are cooked.  The reason for sauteing vegetables and not simply boiling them in the soup is to help preserve as much vitamins as possible, but you can simply add it to your soup and boil it as well, up to you.
 
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 8.  When you chicken stock is ready, I like to take out chicken and chop it up in pieces…but you don’t have to.  I used boneless chicken thighs in making my broth, but make sure to take out your meat especially if might have bones in it before adding your veggies.
 
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9.  Now that your soup and your vegetables are ready, let’s combine the two together.  Add your heavy cream or half and half if you want your soup more creamy (but it’s optional).  I also like to add my cut up chicken to the soup and and puree it all together, because my daughter won’t eat meat in the soup if she’ll see it:) so I hide it when pureeing it altogether.  You may choose to add your chicken after pureeing your soup later, or leave it out altogether…all up to you.
 
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 10.  Once you combined everything, make sure to have a pot deep enough… so when you will be pureeing your soup it wouldn’t splash.  I used to puree my soups using my Magic Bullet Blender, but to be honest it was such a mess and a very time consuming process.  If you will do it though, make sure to fill it only half way through since the liquid is hot and it may spill out.  Here is a photo of memories from the past:)
 
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11.  Now I do things differently.  I simply use my Cuisineart immersion blender for these kind of jobs and blend everything right in the pot.  It is honestly one of the best investments I’ve made when it comes to making pureed soups.  Here is the link for it in our shop if you would like for info.  So to finish your soup, take out few cups of liquid out of your pot.  You will be adding it in later as you will be blending the soup in order to achieve the consistency that you prefer and blend your soup well.  It’s worth taking your time with it, making sure there is no lumps, so it’s smooth and rich.
 
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12.  Your soup is now ready!  There are numerous ways you can serve it.   I usually like to add some grated white sharp cheddar cheese on the top, store bought fried onions..in order for it to have some crunch…and top it with some sprouts to enhance color and flavor.   You can also serve it with croutons, add a dab of sour cream, or top it with ham and any other herbs of your choice.
 
 
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 I hope you will enjoy this recipe and try making it in your own kitchen.  Let me know what you think:)
 
Love,
 
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Butternut Squash Soup
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
Butternut Squash Soup, served with fried onions, melted sharp cheddar cheese and alpha sprouts.
Author:
Recipe type: Soup, Lunch
Serves: 8
Ingredients
  • 1 Medium Butternut Squash
  • 2 Stalks of Celery
  • 2 Cups of chopped carrots (or baby carrots)
  • 2 Medium Potatoes
  • 1 Table Spoon of Dried Parsley
  • 10 Cups of Chicken Stock
  • ⅓ Cup of Half and Half if you want it more creamy (optional)
Instructions
  1. Make your chicken broth or you can also use store bought chicken stock, but I always prefer in making it fresh.
  2. While your chicken stock is cooking, wash your vegetables. Then chop up your celery and carrots. If you use small baby carrots just leave them as is.
  3. Peel your squash, I just carefully cut the sides all around. You will need a sharp knife for this as it is a little difficult to cut.
  4. Dice butternut squash in cubes. Another alternate way to prepare it for the soup by cutting it in half and baking it in the oven along with your carrots for about 30 minutes. This way you can just scoop out the pulp and there will be no need to saute it later...your choice.
  5. Peel and dice your potatoes. If you are roasting your squash you can add your potatoes to be baked as well, since you will puree the soup anyway later.
  6. Now add all your vegetables to the pan, start with your potatoes since they tend to cook longer. Then add carrots after about 5 minutes, followed by butternut squash and celery.
  7. Saute your vegetables on medium high heat until tender and ready, which should take you about 20-25 minutes. I also add a little bit of chicken stock to the pan while sauteing to enhance it’s flavors and make it cook faster. Add your dried parsley 5 minutes before they are cooked.
  8. Now that your stock and your vegetables are ready, let’s combine the two together. Add your heavy cream or half and half if you want your soup more creamy (but it’s optional). I also like to add cut up chicken to the soup and and puree it all together, but you can just add your cut up chicken later too once your soup it blended...up to you.
  9. Once you combined everything, make sure to have a pot deep enough… so when you will be pureeing your soup it wouldn’t splash.
  10. So to finish your soup, take out few cups of liquid out of your pot. You will be adding it in later as you will be blending the soup in order to achieve the consistency that you prefer and blend everything with your immersion blender. It’s worth taking your time with it, making sure there is no lumps, so it’s smooth and rich.
  11. Your soup is now ready! There are numerous ways you can serve it. I usually like to add some grated white sharp cheddar cheese on the top, store bought fried for it to have some crunch…and top it with some sprouts to enhance color and flavor. You can also serve it with croutons, add a dab of sour cream, or top it with ham and any other herbs of your choice.
 
 
 
Copyright © 2013 Flavor Shades