tips, topics, info and insight to help you save money and make our world a little greener

Friday, February 5, 2010

Friday's Frugal Food - Kudos for Cabbage

Cabbage is a wonder food. Seriously. It's filling, nutritious and versatile. And it's usually very inexpensive.

Cabbage can be buttered, baked, braised, boiled, pickled, stuffed, fried, wilted, scalloped or used raw. It is an ingredient for salads, soups, main dishes with meat, vegetarian main dishes and appetizers. The website offers 175 recipes for cabbage dishes. And that's just one site.

And did I mention, cabbage is cheap?

A member of the Brassica family, cabbage is a close relative of broccoli, Brussels sprouts, collards, cauliflower and kale. Types of cabbage include Savoy, Chinese, red, green and Napa.

All cabbages are low in calories (about 19 per cup), high in dietary fiber and offer various amounts of vitamins A, C, K, B1, B2 and B6. Cabbage is also a source of folate, magnesium, potassium, manganese, protein, thiamin, calcium, phosphorous and copper.

And then there's the fact that they cost next to nothing.

Our personal cabbage dish repertoir includes stuffed cabbage (rice, ground beef, herbs & spices, egg & bread crumbs baked in a tomato sauce); cole slaw (with a vinegar-based dressing as opposed to mayo); pork loin on braised red cabbage (made with onion & apples); choucroute (lots of pork products with potatoes and braised green cabbage); corned beef and cabbage (ok, I've never made it - but my husband's version is fabulous); various soups made with cabbage; and vegetarian stir fry with bok choy (a Chinese cabbage) as the main ingredient.

A simple side dish I make when the fridge is almost bare and we need something filling and cheap, is sauteed cabbage and onion, pictured pre-saute above.  Here's how I do it:

roughly chopped cabbage  (the photo is of about 1/2 a small Chinese cabbage)
1 roughly chopped onion
1 tbsp oil (I typically use olive oil, but it's not critical)
1 tbsp red wine vinegar
a pinch of red pepper flakes
salt & pepper to taste

Heat a saute pan, add the oil and reduce heat to medium. Add the cabbage and onion and saute, stirring often, until the cabbage is limp and the onion is translucent. Lower heat and stir in vinegar. Add pepper flakes. Season to taste. Turn up heat again to make sure everything is nice and hot. Serve.
This is enough for generous servings as a side dish. It's easy to expand to serve more.

At a typical 69 cents a pound for cabbage, it's one of the most economical (and healthful) ingredients you can have in your kitchen...a truly frugal food.

Do you have a favorite cabbage dish? Please share.

No comments:

Post a Comment