This is a fun and hearty play on summer slaw . It's crunchy with clean, bright flavors and a creamy almond butter-based dressing. Unlike the typical slaw slathered in mayonnaise this one is still rich and creamy but completely dairy-free, which makes it a great option for summer picnics or outdoor barbecues. For a fresh, crisp crunch I use kohlrabi. But it's very similar to jicama, and for this slaw or the Jicama, Lime, and Pepita Slaw I shared last year, kohlrabi and jicama are interchangeable.
Salads like this slaw or last week's Ghee-Roasted Carrots and Lentils can be a hearty side, or with a few protein or healthy fat additions, can become their own meal. They may take more effort to prepare than say boiling pasta and opening a jar of tomato sauce, but the payoff is well worth it when I know these salads will feed me for several quick meals or fill in as a substantial contribution to weeknight dinners, allowing me to get the whole meal on the table faster.
I've learned over the years that I'd rather take time in advance to make a few thoughtful bulk meals that are waiting for me and I'll look forward to and feel good about eating. Even more than saving time, this approach prevents me from having to start over with a new meal everyday and from feeling like cooking is more a rushed, dreaded daily chore than an enjoyable activity. For most of us we have to cook to eat well, so we might as well proactively do what we can to enjoy it, or at least not dread it!
Advance meal planning and preparation was part of the discussion in my cooking workshop on Saturday. We talked about formulas for bowl meals and turning salads into a meal, we cooked, and we enjoyed a tasty lunch from our creations. I shared my personal mantra that anything worthwhile in life takes some effort. Those "worthwhile" things are what contribute to our health, happiness, and well-being, and delicious, nutritious food is certainly part of this equation. Wouldn't you agree? The good news is that the more we practice and experiment fitting meal planning/prep into our lifestyle, the less it will feel like a great effort and the more quickly it will become a routine ritual we instinctively do out of habit and benefit from.
Creamy Kohlrabi and Red Cabbage Slaw
Inspired by Amy Chaplin
Notes: Leftovers of this salad keep well in the fridge for 2 days; double if you're serving 4 and would like extra for a few more meals.
- 1 medium kohlrabi, peeled & cut in matchsticks
- 1/2 medium red cabbage, cored & thinly sliced
- 1/2 bunch cilantro, chopped
- 1 medium scallion (or 2 small), thinly sliced on a diagonal
- 2 handfuls pumpkin seeds, toasted
- Almond Butter Dressing (recipe below)
- 1/2 avocado, sliced or cubed
- Combine everything together in a large serving bowl. Pour over dressing and toss to combine thoroughly. Season with salt to taste.
- Top with avocado slices, and serve immediately.
Almond Butter Dressing
- 2 Tbsp. almond butter*
- 3 Tbsp. lemon juice (~1 lemon)
- 1 Tbsp. apple cider vinegar
- 1 small garlic clove, minced
- 2 Tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil
- Pinch of salt (amount will depend on whether your nut butter is salted)
- Whisk everything together in a small bowl until well combined.
- Taste and adjust for salt as needed.
*Substitutions: Another nut butter, such as peanut or cashew butter, can be used for a different flavor profile. Tahini paste also works but it is more bitter than nut butters, so some honey or maple might be needed to balance flavors.