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Divas on a Dime: I fought the slaw and the slaw won

This has been going on since my youth.

I fought coleslaw as a kid because I only remember greasy tasteless limp cabbage served in a little cup, like an afterthought, on the side of sandwiches and fish and chips.

It took traveling and falling in love with Southern barbecue (OK, all the barbecue) to fully appreciate this wonderful side dish. Enter the slaw. (Hear that in a 1970s movie trailer voice, please.) You see, the rich smoky meats need something tangy, crisp and cool to bring contrast and balance to the plate. And every meal can benefit from a bright, fresh veggie side dish. Right?

My fridge usually has some variation of cabbage-based slaw at any time. They keep so well, you can make a big batch and have a quick versatile side dish for days. I like to make a basic slaw and add additional ingredients to tailor it to whatever foods I’m serving. Wanna try that? I’m so glad!

Basic cole slaw

This recipe is so easy I almost feel funny publishing it. But because it’s so good, I must. Over the years people who insist they hate coleslaw admit to really enjoying this recipe. I think it’s because it’s so simple. It’s just a dressed cabbage without any weird stuff. But there’s a time and place for the weird stuff, so I add it later.

What you’ll need:

½ medium head green cabbage and 1 carrot

OR 1 (14 to 16 oz. bag) coleslaw mix

¼ cup mayonnaise

2 tablespoons rice vinegar (or rice wine vinegar – not seasoned)

1 teaspoon sugar or sweetener of your choice

Here’s how:

Shred the cabbage and carrot to your liking. I like mine very thin like angel hair but thicker shreds keep better, longer. Up to you. Set aside. In a large bowl mix the remaining ingredients. Add the cabbage mixture and combine. Stir, stir, stir. Easy. Done. Because cabbages vary in size, you may need to make additional dressing. It’s all good. Either serve immediately for a crunchy slaw salad or refrigerate for an hour for the flavors to meld and cabbage to soften.

Variations:

Asian Slaw - Add a splash of sesame oil, chopped cilantro, chopped roasted peanuts. This is great with teriyaki anything or any Asian-inspired burgers and sandwiches.

Tex-Mex Slaw – Add corn, black beans, red bell pepper, avocado, cumin, lime juice, cilantro. Upgrade your taco game or serve with pulled pork.

Bleu Cheese Slaw – Add parsley, whole grain mustard, pepper and crumbled bleu cheese. Serve this with steak or brisket. Crazy good.

Apple Cranberry Almond Slaw – Switch rice vinegar for apple cider vinegar, sweeten with honey, add Granny Smith apples, sliced almonds and dried cranberries. We’re ready for Autumn.

A word about purple cabbage: add this colorful ingredient as close to serving as possible. It will turn the whole mess Pepto-Bismol pink if allowed to set. Personally, it doesn’t bother me because it still tastes delicious but some people are particular about color.

You can let the green cabbage soften a little in the dressing then add the purple cabbage right before serving for super crunchy texture.

Fabulous Food by Patti Diamond from Divas On A Dime – Where Frugal, Meets Fabulous! - www.divasonadime.com Join us on Facebook at DivasOnADimeDotCom

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