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Coleslaw. n. A a salad made of raw sliced or chopped cabbage. Etymology: from the Dutch koolsla, from kool (cabbage) + sla (salad).

Growing up, I wasn’t much of a coleslaw fan. It felt so conventional, so red white and blue, so likely to be served alongside a cheeseburger and fries. Now that I’m older, and wiser, I know that coleslaw comes in all shapes and sizes: it doesn’t have to take the form of your standard melange of white cabbage, carrots, and mayo. You can add cumin and red onion for a Mexican inspired coleslaw; nama shoyu and sesame oil for an Asian slaw; cumin and curry for an Indian inspired mix. You can add raisins, nuts, or seeds; pickles or apple; dill or parsley or any other fresh herbs. You can use a creamy dressing or a vinaigrette base. In short, there’s a lot you can do with coleslaw!

Recently, I found myself with a head of fennel that needed using up. After taking a brief inventory of my fridge, and discovering some red cabbage and carrots, I decided to give my usual slaw (red cabbage, carrots, raisins, lemon, a touch of agave, and flax oil) a makeover. Instead of the standard carrot+cabbage base, I’d add some fennel, too; instead of a vinaigrette dressing, I’d use a creamy one. And not just any creamy dressing: a delicious, sweet/sour, poppyseed dressing, which is now destined to become a regular favorite. I guarantee that you’ll love this dish, and that it’ll impress even devotees of traditional slaw–without the greasy mayonaise, of course!

Fennel, Cabbage, and Carrot Slaw with Poppyseed Dressing (salad serves 4 generously; dressing yields at least 1 cup)

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For the dressing:

1 cup pine nuts
1/4 cup olive oil
1/2 cup water
2 tbsp lemon juice OR apple cider vinegar
2 tbsp agave nectar
Dash salt
2 tbsp poppy seeds

Blend all ingredients in a blender on high. Add poppyseeds. Dressing will keep in the fridge for a week or so in a sealed container. (Yum.)

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For the salad:

1 medium head fennel, thinly sliced
1/2 head red cabbage, thinly sliced
2 large or 3 small carrots, shredded
1/4 cup parsley, chopped

Mix all ingredients. Toss with 1/2 cup dressing (feel free to add more dressing if 1/2 cup isn’t coating thoroughly enough) and serve.

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I enjoyed this fabulous mix for several nights; if you store the salad mix and dressing seperately, you can simply toss before you’re ready to eat. Above, I enjoyed it straight up as a late afternoon snack, and below, as part of dinner, along with some steamed veggies and two slices of the incredible and onion-free flatbread that Lori and Michelle sent me.

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If you guys haven’t checked out the twins’ incredible online bakery, featuring a huge assortment of vegan, gluten-free, and raw flatbreads, crackers, and desserts, go do it now! Their vegan foods are absolutely incredible. I’ve tried an assortment of the raw onion breads (which, believe it or not, are NOT too oniony for this onion hater) and the onion-free breads and crackers, and I adore them all. I only wish I could make this kind of stuff for myself at home! Maybe one day my raw bread-making skills will be that fierce 🙂

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Alright guys. I hope you give this recipe a try soon — it’s a winner!

In addition, there are a couple of giveaways going on around the blogosphere:

Michal is giving away some raw, vegan goodies

Averie’s giving away some coconut oil

And Julie is giving away some goodies!

And Casey and Marlena are leading a detox program starting next week.

Happy weekend, guys.

xo

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