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On The Side – Braised Red Cabbage

red cabbage with goat cheese
Sometimes when you are planning a meal it is more difficult to be creative with side dishes than it is the main dish.All of us get into ruts making the same vegetable side dishes over and over and over again.  It isn’t that those old stand by side dishes aren’t good,  it is just that what they say is true….”variety is the spice of life”.

The health benefits of red cabbage are huge.  It is rich in compounds that can not only protect you from cancer, but also reduce the signs of aging while it’s at it!  Cabbage leaves have natural antiseptic effects and can relieve pain and promote healing when applied directly to wounds and bruises.

A little bit sweet from the addition of honey or sugar, with a little bite from the vinegar, buttery and creamy from the goat’s cheese, it won’t be dinner as usual when prepare  this side dish:

1 head of red cabbage
1/2 stick of butter
1/4 cup of natural sweetener (raw honey, organic maple syrup, raw or coconut sugar are good choices)
1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
salt and pepper to taste
goat’s cheese crumbles (optional)

Melt butter over medium flame in a large pan with a good lid.  Thinly slice the head of red cabbage and roughly chop it.  Add the cabbage to the melted butter and stir in sweetener and vinegar.  Cook stirring just until cabbage begins to wilt.  Add salt and pepper, cover pan with a tight fitting lid and cook for about 15 -20 minutes until cabbage is thoroughly cooked through.  Remove lid and continue cooking until liquid in pan is reduced to about 2-3 tablespoons.

Serve right away or keep warm until ready to serve and then add goat’s cheese if you like, when you serve the cabbage.

Red cabbage

If you haven’t ever made braised red or purple cabbage, now is the time to try it.  Even if you think you don’t like cabbage, there is a good chance you and your family will like this one! Let us know what you think once you’ve tried this healthy and delicious side dish.


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  1. Jen Dilley #

    How timely! I was just putting together our Thanksgiving menu for 20, and brainstorming with John about it on our drive to the office this morning. Over the years we would always go to his parents’ home on the actual holiday, eating Grandma’s delicious traditional turkey, mashed potatoes, and the works. So as not to put pressure on us to be in two places on the same day and eating another helping of the same meal items, my mom (Gammy) would have us come to her house on Friday instead, and always served duck and red cabbage. Now my two chums have have inspired me to bring back that part of the Gammy tradition to our own table this year. I don’t know how to deliciously prepare wild game like she did, so we’ll be sticking with traditional turkey, but will also be smoking a big beef brisket outside. And when we get Carrie preparing the Northrup mashed potatoes, we’ll know we are in for quite the festive feast. Happy Thanksgiving to all of you from all of us here in IA–see you next month.

    November 14, 2013
    • Two Chums #

      Should be a grand time at the Dilley home this Thanksgiving! Glad our timing worked out with the cabbage:-) Food is so often connected to sweet memories of people we love…now you will have a little bit of Gammy’s memory with you. Have a wonderful Thanksgiving Jen.

      November 14, 2013

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