Fancy Dip bowl for fancy dip!

The Labor Day weekend represents the last hurrah of summer in the U.S. Though weather in the sunbelt states allows cookouts and outdoor parties most of the year, this is the last long weekend until Thanksgiving. So, if you’re planning a party, cookout, or picnic, this is a little something “extra” to dress up the chips-n-dip (or veggies and dip). I don’t recall where I first picked up this trick, but it has come in handy in recent years since I’ve perfected my Frankenslaw recipe, which uses some red cabbage. Here’s a cool way to use the rest of it!

Homemade artichoke dip, in red cabbage bowl.

Homemade artichoke dip, in red cabbage bowl.

I’m not going to lie to you: carving out the center of raw red cabbage takes more time and effort than you would think. But it looks so pretty! I’ve noticed that red cabbage is usually slightly smaller then green cabbage. If you want to use the red cabbage as one of the ingredients in my¬†Frankenslaw and use it as a bowl for dip, pick one of the bigger of the reds. Slice off the top and chisel out the center: it doesn’t matter if it’s messy since it will be used in the slaw (which is really colorful and tasty). Any dip will do. If you want to make what’s in the picture, here’s my artichoke dip recipe. In this case I used smaller artichoke pieces and stirred them in for a chunkier dip than if I had used the blender.

Occasionally I get a cabbage with a very lopsided base and have to neaten up the bottom to make it sit more or less flat and not be tippy. Sit the cabbage on your serving dish and see how it settles and if anything needs to be done to the bottom before you fill it with dip! ūüôā

Check out these tags for recipes: Cookouts, Picnics, Parties and Snacks!

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Frankenslaw

Frankenslaw

Frankenslaw

This is an original recipe. I tried a coleslaw recipe many years ago that included apples. I thought that sounded like a good idea. Unfortunately the recipe wasn’t very good, but the idea stuck in my mind, so a couple of years ago I decided to try to make coleslaw from scratch—with nothing to guide me except taste. The apples and cabbage thing seemed natural to me: it’s a combination I’ve run across before. Then I thought of apple and raisin salad for some reason. If raisins go with apples and apples go with cabbage…but thinking of apple and raisin salad made me also think of carrot and raisin salad. It seemed like all these things from different dishes would go together. Hence the name “Frankenslaw”, a coleslaw put together with ingredients from different dishes. It can be made with just green cabbage, but adding some red cabbage lends more color (and can turn the dressing pink) and with the orange of the carrots it’s a very visually appealing dish.

1 head green cabbage, coarsely chopped
1/2 – 1 head red cabbage, coarsely chopped
2 organic carrots, grated
2 med. Gala apples, peeled and grated
1 cup raisins
1 cup reduced-fat mayonnaise
2-3 Tbls lemon juice

If the head of red cabbage is small, you may want to use the whole cabbage. Wash vegetables. Peel apples and carrots. When slicing, chopping or prepping the cabbage, remove the core. Grate, chop or process the vegetables in whatever way you’re most comfortable with. I’ve done it both ways, using a food processor and slicing the cabbage thinly by hand then coarsely chopping. My current food processor sometimes tends to overdo things so though it’s more trouble I sometimes to do the cabbage by hand, rinsing the cabbage and spinning in a salad spinner between the slicing and chopping. I do it in batches, putting the cabbage in a ceramic or plastic bowl after coarsely chopping. Whether you like your slaw fine or coarse and how good your food processor is will determine which method you use. (My food processor has a slice slot on the flip side of the grating blade. That works much better than using the grating blade.)

I’ve noticed that I’m more likely to have pink(ish) dressing if I use the food processor for the red cabbage: it just seems to bleed into the dressing more. Carrots can also be run though a food processor or grated by hand: in this case I prefer the food processor. Peel the apples and grate however seems best to you. (I use the food processor.) It takes a bit of time to prepare the vegetables, but it’s not difficult even if you don’t have a food processor.

Frankenslaw: colorful and flavorful.

Frankenslaw: colorful and flavorful.

Stir all together well. This makes a lot. You’ll need a big bowl, a really big bowl, which is glass or plastic, not metal. My biggest bowl is usually filled to overflowing. Stirring in the dressing and mixing the vegetables evenly can be tricky in a full bowl. I’ve tried doing it with a big spoon and a salad fork/spoon, but the best way is to put on plastic food-handling gloves and turn over the mixture by hand until the dressing and vegetables are thoroughly mixed and evenly distributed.

Refrigerate, covered, in big plastic or ceramic bowl for at least 8 hours. Flavor improves over time. This is usually better if it’s made a day ahead of time.

Look for next Friday’s original cookout recipe: Potato Salad!

Last week’s original cookout recipe: BBQ Baked Beans

Bean and Cabbage Stew

bean and cabbage stewI know what you’re thinking, I really do.¬† You don’t like cabbage, do you?¬† I don’t either.¬† However, this stew is a staple in my comfort food cupboard.¬† Trust me, the blend of spices and other ingredients makes this cabbage supper quite nice.¬† And let’s not forget the health benefits:¬† cabbage is high in fibre, boosts brain function, provides cancer protection, and lowers cholesterol.¬† Barley is another healthy ingredient; it is high in fibre and helps lower cholesterol, but it also aids in decreasing blood glucose levels.¬† How can you go wrong?¬† Let’s get started!

  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/2 head cabbage, chopped
  • 4 carrots, sliced (I often use baby carrots – one less thing to chop!)
  • 1 lb potatoes (if using large potatoes dice them large, or just add baby potatoes – again, one less thing to chop!)
  • 1/3 cup pearl barley
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 5 ml (1 tsp.) thyme
  • 2.5ml (1/2 tsp.) caraway seeds
  • 2.5ml (1/2 tsp.) rosemary
  • Herbamare and black pepper to taste
  • 6-8 cups vegetable broth
  • 2 cans of beans (any white bean will do)
  • 1 large can of diced tomatoes

In a large stockpot, combine vegetables, seasonings, barley, and broth.¬† Cover and simmer about 45 minutes, until the vegetables are tender.¬† Add the cans of beans and tomatoes and simmer uncovered for 20 minutes.¬† Don’t forget to remove the nasty-if-chewed bay leaf.¬† To get all the dipping goodness this stew offers, serve with chunky pieces of sprouted grain bread.