Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Versatility: Cabbages, Kings, and Seven Random Things (Happy ICLW!)

Happy ICLW!  (*For those of you just joining this program, already in progress, I'm ranting about my CSA, coming to terms with pregnancy after loss and preparing for a baby in February (!), and taking pictures of food.  An ICLW-ish post follows the recipe.)

The cabbage saga continues.  Apparently it's the world's most versatile vegetable, in the garden and in the kitchen. Good source of vitamin C, vitamin A and some vitamin B, minerals, calcium, and phosphorus;ideal roughage to aid digestion; contains indoles (block cancer-causing substances before they can damage cells) phenolic acids (help resist cancer by inhibiting cell proliferation induced by carcinogens in target organs; inhibit platelet activity; decrease inflammation and act as anti-oxidants) sulforaphane (induce protective enzymes, suppress tumor growth), and choline (used by the brain to make acetylcholine, a neurotransmitter that plays a role in memory function).  Oh yeah ... and not a good vegetable in mass quantities for thyroid patients watching their hormone levels.  Well, we'll just ignore that little detail.  This summer and fall I have baked it, fried it, steamed it, put it in stir fry and soup.  Not that I want more of it, mind you.  I think I've had quite enough.

This recipe is a good one to have in your back pocket, when you have to use it up (though of course, there is one more in my refrigerator for later this week):

Rustic Cabbage Soup

1 T. extra virgin olive oil
a big pinch of salt
1/2 lb. potatoes, skin on, cut 1/4-inch pieces
4 cloves garlic, chopped
1/2 large yellow onion, thinly sliced
5 c. stoc
1 1/2 c. white beans, precooked or canned (drained and rinsed well)
1/2 medium cabbage, cored and sliced into 1/4-inch ribbons
1/2 c. Parmesan cheese, freshly grated

Warm the olive oil in a large thick-bottomed pot over medium-high heat. Stir in the salt and potatoes. Cover and cook until they are a bit tender and starting to brown a bit, about 5 minutes - it's o.k. to uncover to stir a couple times. Stir in the garlic and onion and cook for another minute or two. Add the stock and the beans and bring the pot to a simmer. Stir in the cabbage and cook for a couple more minutes, until the cabbage softens up a bit. Now adjust the seasoning - getting the seasoning right is important or your soup will taste flat and uninteresting. Taste and add more salt if needed, the amount of salt you will need to add will depend on how salty your stock is (varying widely between brands, homemade, etc)...

Serve drizzled with a bit of olive oil and a generous dusting of cheese.

On a less cruciferous note, I've been nominated for a Versatile Blogger Award.  Thank you, InBetween!  I don't usually do these, but for a change of pace, and since it's just about time for ICLW, here goes.   First, the instructions are to link back to the wonderful person who nominated me.  Visit InBetween!  She is a wonderfully witty, thoughtful, and honest writer.

Now I'm supposed to share 7 things about me.

1) I have lived on both U.S. coasts and set foot on most of the world's continents, having traveled to Brazil, South Africa, Italy, France, Spain, England, Thailand, Japan, Puerto Rico, the Dominican Republic, Mexico, Canada, and across the country (even to Alaska, Seattle, Portland, up and down the coast of CA) and back.  I'm still missing Australia and Antarctica, and have not, spent much time in the Midwest, though I did get a speeding ticket in Kansas (sorry, Kansas ... you were just so temptingly flat that day that I couldn't help myself). I miss international traveling and am looking forward to showing children the world some day.

2)  I took 11 years of piano and dance lessons, 8 years of flute, and none of guitar. I now play the three instruments with the same level of skill -- mediocre -- but I can still dance.  It makes for good yoga practice.

3) I don't watch TV (with the exception of House, MD, which is more about occasionally  making time to sit next to the husband on the couch). We don't own a TV, because we find that there's simply nothing on. My father, who once forbade us from watching TV for a week (while, I might add, he digested five hours of it every night), would be proud.  Of course, I spent hours and hours online ...

4) I cannot be trusted with a canister of raisins, a jar of peanut butter, and a chopstick. Late at night you would find me with the chopstick in the peanut butter jar, scooping out gobs to which I can stick raisins.

5) I met my husband online. It meant that I could test his ability to write in complete grammatically correct sentences with capitalization and punctuation.  (These things are important to a former English major, despite Garrison Keillor's merciless ribbing of the lot of us.)

6) I only started running because I wanted to impress my (then future) husband; now it's the most expedient form of exercise I can manage, and I was pretty proud of my Turkey Trot time last year.  At 25 weeks pregnant, I've still been running most mornings.  This will no doubt end soon.

7) I once taught sex ed to 9-11th graders, and can now talk about just about anything without blushing.

The second part of the instructions is to forward this award to seven other bloggers.  I think rather than do that, what I'll suggest is that you visit and comment on some wonderful women's blogs just because their blogs are inspiring, thought provoking, and/or just plain good to read (and apologies if your name *isn't* on this list ... the truth is, I think that you're ALL worthy of reading and commenting!).  Whether they want to post the seven things or not is up to them.

Keiko at
K at
Mel at
Rebecca at
Jenn at
Adele at
JeCaThRe at
Suzy at
Andie at
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  1. Hi There:) Just wanted to say thanks for the comment....

    I have been checking out your blog and the food you make is amazing:) All looks so good and yummy...Im not much of a cook so I am def jealous of your talent..

    Congrats on your pregnancy as well:)

  2. Aw, thanks for the shout out. :)

    I am jealous of all your travels! Also, the running, even though I hate running, the idea of it is very inspiring and whatnot. My cousin ran, then jogged, almost everyday up till about 38 weeks or so. She had to get one of those belly support bands, but she was able to keep it up for most of her pregnancy.

    I shake my head in wonder at that - I can't make myself run, even when not pregnant. :)

  3. I am so going to have to try that recipe!


  4. Wow, your travel is amazing! As is your ability to not watch TV. I must say I have given it mostly up now, but that is just due to lack of time with a full time job, masters classes and a 17 months old! :)

    ICLW #8

  5. Awww, you're such a sweetheart. Oh and you'll love this, Boyfriend has his own folders of bookmarks for web pages that he loves on the internet and there was your blog, at the top of his recipe folder. So now you've converted me, my mom, and my man. Congrats on the well deserved award.

  6. Hi, I'm visiting form ICLW. I am trying to work more vegetarian dishes into our meals so I will be back to look for recipes. I have a question about the cabbage soup. I grew up on a farm and my mom grew tons for cabbage every summer. Does your cabbage soup have the same, um, "gastro-intestinal side effects" that cooked cabbage usually has? I know it's a silly thing, but with my family it's a factor.

  7. Chopsticks, raisins, and peanut butter not a combo I have ever heard of. I love the recipes I might just have to give them a try.

  8. Hi! stopping by from *ICLW*

    The Rustic Cabbage Soup looks Good! Too Bad though, my husband doesn't like cabbage at all and would never eat I might try to make a little though for myself sometime it looks good & heathy which is definitely a plus:)

    Also want to say Congrats on your Pregnancy! Hope everything continues to go smoothly it.

  9. Ugh. I am so jealous that you don't own a TV. My hubby is completely in love with his 60" Sony and wayoverpriced sounds system. If I didn't watch TV with him I'd probably never see him! I did convince him to cancel cable this year though so now it's Netflix streaming every day!

    I am totally addicted to the Internet though :)

    Happy ICLW!

  10. Although I'm not a big fan of cabbage, this soup looks yummy!
    I love peanut butter too and I'm jealous of your travels! I would love to do that someday! Happy ICLW! (#72 & 106)

  11. My husband isn't a big fan of cabbage but this looks incredibly delicious. Something I would totally make for myself =) Thank you for sharing the recipe.

    (ICLW #163)

  12. Your cabbage soup recipe looks much more delicious than the dreaded cabbage soup recipe I used to eat to fill myself up in the winter while on Weight Watchers. I will definitely try it.

    Our favourite cabbage recipe is this:
    1 head Savoy cabbage, chopped into slices or squares
    1 large clove garlic, chopped or crushed
    1 pkg of smoked bacon lardons or pancetta chopped into 1/2 pieces
    Olive oil - 2 Tbls
    1/2 fresh red chile, deseeded and sliced diagonally into thin strips or 1/4 tsp dried chili flakes
    Salt + freshly ground black pepper to taste
    Fry the bacon in the olive oil until slightly browned, then add garlic and chile. Saute 1 minute to soften. Add cabbage to frying pan, reduce heat to low and cover. Check every 5 minutes and stir so it doesn't burn. It should be done in about 12 - 15 minutes. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

    I hope you enjoy it.

    Lisa (Your Gret Life - ICLW #63)

  13. Oh.... that soup looks yummy!

    Cece ICLW

  14. stopping by to say Hi from ICLW! I have never been a big fan of cabbage ... but I can totally relate to eating PB from the jar!

  15. The recipe looks great; pb and raisins are yummy, too!

    Hi from ICLW. :-)

  16. Thanks for the shout-out, Justine. I don't think I have 7 interesting facts about myself (I'd start saying things like "I have pretty hair." and people would assume I touched in the head.) But I did leave you a present over at my blog. Hugs.

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  18. Thanks for sharing such beautiful information with us. I hope you will share some more information about cabbage. Please keep sharing.
    Health Is A Life


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