Caribbean Cabbage

Caribbean Cabbage

This island way of serving cabbage can be a great way to add more vegetables to your home menu, allowing you to savor a hint of sweet and sour with a little heat. Best of all, since cabbage is related to broccoli, kale and cauliflower, it features many of the same wonderful nutritional benefits as its cousins.

To get the maximum nutritional value from cabbage it is most effective to shred your own when preparing this dish. If your schedule is tight, though, you might want to buy a bag of shredded cabbage for convenience. It takes about 8 cups to equal one head of cabbage.

What gives the dish its decidedly Caribbean flavor is the combination of sweet, spicy hot and sour tastes. And, the Scotch bonnet is the pepper of choice in the islands – although you can easily substitute any pepper, especially the habanero for it.

Sautéing the pepper infuses the cabbage mixture with its spicy flavor. This is done without having to cut the pepper. Those who enjoy even more heat can experiment with either adding an additional pepper or even some red pepper flakes.

The honey and vinegar combine to produce a nice sweet and sour quality that balances the heat of the pepper. The carrots and bits of tomato not only add to the flavor but also provide a splash of color.

Caribbean Cabbage can be served warm, at room temperature, or even chilled depending on your preference. No matter how you decide to serve it, this cabbage salad pairs well with roasted or grilled chicken – either a freshly prepared bird or chilled leftovers. Add a pitcher of unsweetened iced tea and serve it up on the patio or terrace for a taste of the tropics.

Caribbean Cabbage

  • 2 Tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 medium onion, sliced thin
  • 1 medium green bell pepper, diced
  • 1 scallion, including green stem, sliced thin
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 4 sprigs fresh thyme
  • 1 whole Scotch bonnet chile pepper or habanero pepper
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/4 cup white vinegar
  • 2 Tbsp. honey
  • 1 medium green or red cabbage, tough outer leaves removed, cored and shredded (about 8 cups,  shredded)
  • 1 cup shredded carrots
  • 1 plum tomato, diced

In large skillet heat oil over high heat. Stir in onion, bell pepper, scallion and garlic. Sauté until softened, about 5 minutes. Stir in thyme and whole Scotch bonnet pepper. Add salt and pepper to taste.

In small pot on medium heat, warm vinegar, do not boil, and stir in honey, mixing well. Add cabbage and carrots to onion mix. Stir to combine well, cover skillet and cook over medium-low heat, stirring occasionally, until cabbage begins to soften, about 10 minutes. Stir in vinegar- honey sauce and tomato into vegetable mixture. Continue stirring until cabbage is tender, about 4 minutes more or until desired tenderness. Remove the Scotch bonnet pepper and thyme sprigs. Serve.

Although typically served warm, you can also refrigerate to cool before serving.

Makes 6 servings.

Per serving: 130 calories, 5 g total fat (0.5 g saturated fat), 21 g carbohydrate,3 g protein, 4 g dietary fiber, 60 mg sodium.

The American Institute for Cancer Research (AICR) is the cancer charity that fosters research on the relationship of nutrition, physical activity and weight management to cancer risk, interprets the scientific literature and educates the public about the results. It has contributed more than $96 million for innovative research conducted at universities, hospitals and research centers across the country. AICR has published two landmark reports that interpret the accumulated research in the field, and is committed to a process of continuous review. AICR also provides a wide range of educational programs to help millions of Americans learn to make dietary changes for lower cancer risk. Its award-winning New American Plate program is presented in brochures, seminars and on its website, AICR is a member of the World Cancer Research Fund International.

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