This week’s new recipe for a citrus cabbage slaw is inspired by something I had while on vacation earlier this summer, but made even prettier (and more nutritionally diverse) by including purple cabbage and a couple big carrots, along with shredded green cabbage. It makes a refreshing and nutrient-packed accompaniment to barbecued meats and other heavier dishes you might enjoy in this dog days of summer or through the fall.
What do you mean, “nutritionally diverse”?
As omnivores, we humans need to eat a diversity of foods to get all of the nutrients that keep us optimally healthy and strong, and this goes way beyond simply making sure we get our daily need of the macronutrients (protein, fat, and carbohydrate). Most people know that there are essential micronutrients, substances we know as vitamins as well as various minerals, that we should consume in certain quantities lest we develop nutritional deficiencies.
But you can make yourself nuts chasing numbers if you try to track all of those necessary nutrients. It’s no wonder many people just throw up their hands and take a multivitamin instead.
Strategies for nutritional diversity
My strategy and the one I suggest to all of my clients is just to aim for as much diversity as you can throughout the week, especially when it comes to vegetables. It’s fine to have favorites, but try to switch things up as much as you can. Consider keeping a list of all the plants you eat in a week and then tally it up, then challenge yourself to beat your record each week.
One way to ensure nutritional diversity is to aim for a wide variety of colors on your plate with each meal. Again, if you like challenges, you can give yourself a “gold star” in your food journal or calendar for every meal that includes three or more colors. Tally your stars each week and aim to match or beat that number the following week.
Citrus Cabbage Slaw notes
- I had fresh carrots and cabbage from my garden and CSA box, so I shredded each and then measured, but bagged pre-shredded coleslaw mix would also work. Most come in packages of 9 or 10 ounces, so you’ll need TWO bags to make this recipe as written.
- The mayonnaise is completely optional, but will give you a more traditional creamy dressing that many people enjoy. If you are looking for an AIP mayonnaise alternative, try one of these recipes:
Citrus Cabbage Slaw recipe
- juice from 1 large lemon (about 3 tablespoons)
- juice from 1 large navel orange (about 6 tablespoons)
- 1 teaspoon honey
- pinch of salt
- 3 tablespoons mayonnaise (OPTIONAL; omit for AIP or use homemade alternative)
- 3 cups shredded red cabbage (about 12 ounces)
- 1 cup shredded green cabbage (about 4 ounces)
- 1 cup shredded carrots (about 4 ounces)
- 6-8 large basil leaves, chiffonade or minced
- In bowl large enough to contain the completed salad, combine lemon and orange juice, honey, salt, and mayonnaise (if using).
- Add shredded cabbage, carrots, and basil leaves to bowl.
- Stir to coat evenly with dressing.
- Place in refrigerator for at least 1 hour before serving to allow flavors to marry.
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