We’re big fans of cabbage slaw in our house. Whether on top of chili and barbecue sandwiches, or as a base for a grain bowl, slaw adds flavor, texture, heartiness and nutrients-galore to meat-centric and vegan meals alike.
Cabbage slaw is not only inexpensive and easy to make, but it’s a meal-prep all-star. Shredded cabbage, even when tossed with dressing, holds up really well in the fridge. Once the cabbage has reduced in volume, after the first hour or so after tossing, it maintains it’s shape and texture for days to come.
This recipe is my vegan version of a simple, all-purpose cabbage slaw. I use red cabbage here because it’s what we picked up at the farmers market, but the recipe works just the same with green cabbage. I season the dressing with garlic powder and onion powder, but the real flavor star is my celery seed addition – it’s a classic, plus it’s the way my mom does it.
To be honest, I hardly ever use the same exact slaw recipe twice. I’ll change this slaw around depending on my mood and upcoming menus, it’s easy to play with the flavor profiles and adapt the recipe to your preferences. Change the vinegar to oil ratio if you prefer more or less of one. Throw in a shallot when blending the dressing, it adds a ton of subtle onion flavor. Add fresh herbs to the shredded cabbage…use infused oil and different spice combinations in the dressing…mix in toasted nuts, seeds or dried fruit when tossing… you get the point.
All-Purpose Creamy Cabbage Slaw
1 medium-large head red or green cabbage, shredded
1/2 cup raw cashews (soaked, if needed)
1/2 cup white wine vinegar
1/3 cup olive oil
1/4 cup water
2 teaspoons dried oregano
2 teaspoons garlic granules/powder
2 teaspoons celery seed
1+ tablespoons maple syrup (or sweetener of choice, to taste)
Blend all dressing ingredients, cashews through celery seed, plus 1 tablespoon maple syrup, 1.5 teaspoons salt and black pepper to taste. The consistency should be that of a creamy vinaigrette, add a splash of water if too thick.
I don’t go overboard on the sweetness typically, but in some instances I like a really sweet slaw. Add additional sweetener gradually to achieve your desired sweetness (up to 3-4 tablespoons of maple syrup/honey or 2-3 tablespoons table sugar).
Toss dressing with shredded cabbage. After a few minutes, toss again. Cover and refrigerate for an hour, or until slaw is significantly reduced in volume. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Toss well before serving.
Cabbage salads are great for meal prep because the sturdy, hearty cabbage, tossed with dressing, holds up really well in the fridge (it’s actually better the next day).
For high-power blenders, soaking cashews isn’t necessary. For conventional blenders and immersion blenders, soak cashews for 1-3 hours, in nearly boiling water or room temp water.
Use raw sunflower seeds in place of cashews, use 1/3 cup instead of 1/2 cup and adjust water as needed to achieve a creamy vinaigrette consistency.