A sturdy slaw with savoy cabbage, carrot, apple, caramelized shallots and smoked tofu. It’ll last the week in your fridge and makes for great packed lunches.
I can never remember whether or not I’ve locked the door. Many mornings I’m suddenly seized with panic when I’m a block or two from home and have to turn my bike around, run up the stairs to our apartment, and confirm that the door is indeed locked. Of course it always is.
I’ve tried doing things to bring the locking of the door into my conscious brain. Like, when I lock the door I say the words, “lock, lock, lock, lock” aloud (we live on top of a bar and so we have a mega security door with a six huge bolts, and the key turns four times in the lock). Or, I’ve tried changing the hand I hold my keys in to shake up the routine a bit. Still, I can never remember.
It’s funny how those daily automatic actions become so tucked away in our brains that we can’t remember doing them. Of course I locked the door. But why can’t I trust that I’ve done it?
Getting into a food routine requires much higher level of consciousness, but if you keep with it, eventually it’ll stick. Meal planning, meal prep, and lunch packing in particular are things I harp on about a lot because I believe them to be key to healthy eating. Eating the way I do (you’ve seen my meal plans, dinner has been in the same weekly rotation for over a decade) isn’t for everyone, so you’ve got to figure out a routine that works for you and your family.
One thing that I think works well is having an arsenal of what I call ‘fridge salads’. Sturdy concoctions that will last the better part of a week in your fridge, pack well for lunches, and make for grab ‘n’ eat meals when you come home tired and hungry.
This Savoy Slaw ticks all of those boxes, and with cubes of smoked tofu up in it, it can serve as either side dish or hearty salad meal. It’s a riff on a recipe I posted long ago, which I’ve streamlined to make it faster and easier. Using smoked tofu cuts down on the prep time as you can simply cube it up and toss it in. No sautéing or crisping required. I do take the time to caramelize the good amount of shallots that goes into this slaw, and though I think you’ll find it’s worth the effort for the sweetness it brings, if you’re crunched for time you can simply leave them out. Everything else is chopped or shredded (all of which you could do with your food processor if you have a shredder blade – I do not) and tossed together quickly.
A tangy miso dressing bring everything together. This slaw is sturdy enough that it can be dressed and the savoy cabbage will soften with time in the fridge, but not unpleasantly. If you’d prefer to leave the dressing off that’s fine too. I experimented with packing it for lunches both dressed and undressed, and I have to say I prefer dressed. But if you’re looking for a crunchier salad, then simply tuck a little jar of dressing alongside and toss it through a few minutes before you’re going to eat.
Cabbage is chock full of anti-inflammatory, anti-oxidant, and cancer fighting glucosinolates. It is an excellent source of vitamins C, K, A, manganese, folate, and dietary fiber. Additionally, cabbage has cholesterol lowering benefits. When you eat cabbage, fiber-related nutrients bind together with some of the bile acids in your intestine, which causes them to remain in the intestine and then pass through you (you know what I mean) rather than being absorbed. Your liver then needs to replace these bile acids and does this by using up some of your existing supply of cholesterol, which then causes your cholesterol level to go down. Cabbage for the win!
- 4 shallots, thinly sliced (about 1½ cups)
- 1 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil
- ½ a medium savoy cabbage, thinly sliced or shredded
- ½ a small red onion, finely diced
- 1 large carrot, peeled and grated
- 1 large apple, peeled and grated
- 200g pkg smoked tofu, sliced into small cubes
- 2 Tbsp white miso paste
- 2 Tbsp nutritional yeast
- ¼ cup rice vinegar
- ¼ cup extra virgin olive oil
- 1 tsp toasted sesame oil
- salt and pepper to taste
- Heat a medium skillet over medium heat. Add the olive oil and the sliced shallots and cook, stirring only every once in a while, for about 15 minutes or until the shallots are deeply browned.
- While the shallots are cooking, prep the rest of the slaw. Shred the cabbage, dice the red onion, grate the carrot and apple, and cube the tofu. Place everything into a large bowl.
- In a small bowl whisk together the miso paste, nutritional yeast, rice vinegar, olive oil, and sesame oil. Taste, and season with salt and pepper as needed.
- Once the shallots are browned remove them from the heat to cool slightly, then add to the bowl with the rest of the slaw ingredients. Toss to combine well.
- TO SERVE IMMEDIATELY:
- Pour some of the dressing over the slaw (you may not need all of it) and toss to combine well. Let stand for 10 minutes, toss again, and serve.
- TO PACK FOR LUNCHES:
- Distribute the slaw amongst 4 lunch boxes. The slaw can be dressed in advance, OR, tuck a small jar of dressing alongside to be used just before eating.
This recipe is adapted from my Savoy Slaw which was originally adapted from 101 Cookbooks.