Monday, March 11, 2013

What's Cooking? Currying Cabbage

We may have lost an hour of the weekend (or repaying that loan we took during the Autumn), but it is starting to feel like spring! Sunshine and warmish weather in DC meant people began to emerge from their hibernation, hanging out at grassy knolls and our urban parks. At the same time, we are still in a bit of limbo-land as far as fruits and vegetables grow. First plantings of the year are right around the corner, but we continue to eat roots and apples harvested in late fall, or the hardy greens that survive winter weather (or greenhouse-grown cherry tomatoes...oops). As such, my typical market basket right now looks very much the same from week to week.

Now, I do maintain my fridge shelf full of produce, needing a little bit of attention. Yet, with a full day of yoga and training for that not-so-distant marathon, I didn't have much time to play around in the kitchen this weekend. And let me tell you, when I have little time and cabbage as my ingredient of the night, things can get a little uninteresting. Luckily, I was feeling some creative juices flowing and decided bring some Asian inspiration to this staple winter vegetable. Unfortunately, as we learned a couple of weeks back, spices (and coconut, for that matter) are largely imports from tropical countries, from the mysterious 'Far East'. While during the spring and summer I try to stay pretty staunchly in the locavore camp, winter can be particularly daunting in the final month without some infusion of a little flare.

Coconutty Curried Cabbage (serves 2)
1 tbs coconut oil
1 tsp mustard seed 
1/4 yellow onion, chopped
1 tbs grated fresh ginger
1 large clove garlic, minced
1/2 tsp turmeric
1 tsp cumin
1/4-1/2 tsp cayenne
1/4 cup dried, shredded coconut
1/4 cup chopped cashews (optional)

1/2 small purple cabbage, cut into strips
salt to taste
1 tbs lemon juice
water as needed

1 cup Butler's soy curls (completely optional...)

1. Heat coconut oil in a medium skillet on medium heat until melted. Immediately add mustard seeds and onion, cooking until mustard seeds begin to pop.
2. Remove from heat, add in spices, ginger, coconut, and nuts, stirring until completely covered. Place back on heat.
3. Toss in cabbage, salt, and lemon juice (it keeps the purple vibrant!). Cover pan and allow to cook until cabbage is fork tender, stirring every 5 minutes or so. If you are adding in some sort of protein, you can do so after about 15 minutes.
4. Serve warm, perhaps with some quinoa, rice, or even naan!

Check out more tasty delights on Wellness Weekend.

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