Monday, January 24, 2011

Efficient Cooking 101: Cheap, Easy, Delicious Coleslaw

A client who I just began working with voiced her frustrations about cooking. She had recently spent “more than two hours” making a dinner that her family thought was “awful.” Both the two hours and terrible taste were unnecessary.

An example of efficient cooking is coleslaw (from scratch!), a side dish that requires no heat, but just a few minutes of preparation. It’s great with hamburgers, chicken or ribs, or as part of a roast beef or turkey sandwich.

When I make coleslaw, I use the fewest ingredients possible: red cabbage for the salad, plus yogurt, Dijon mustard, apple cider vinegar (or lemon juice), unrefined sea salt and fresh ground pepper for the dressing.

A whole red cabbage turns into a ton of chopped cabbage, so I buy the smallest cabbage available or I ask the store to cut it in half for me. (Don't be afraid to ask!) If possible, buy an organic cabbage, which shouldn’t cost that much more than one with pesticides.

If you’ve bought a whole cabbage, cut it in half from top to bottom and cut out the core. Chop the cabbage into smaller pieces that will be easy to eat with a fork.

For the dressing, I mix together equal parts plain yogurt and Dijon mustard, plus a little apple cider vinegar (or lemon juice), salt and pepper to taste. (Remember to taste and reseason!) Pour the dressing over the chopped cabbage and mix. Taste and reseason.

There is no need to follow a coleslaw recipe that requires three different kinds of cabbages, two vinegars, six spices and who knows what other expensive, out-of-season vegetable a cookbook writer needed to distinguish his coleslaw recipe from the 71,863 others.

It may have gotten someone a book deal, but it’s a waste of your time (shopping and chopping) and money. Use some of your saved money to buy an organic red cabbage or a great yogurt!


Oni said...

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