Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Cabbage Salad with Lime Vinaigrette

I love salad any time of the year. There is something so refreshing about them and they just taste so good to me. Plus, eating a salad also make me feel like I am being really healthy. But, I'm picky about salad dressings. I don't like bottled dressings except for Kraft Seven Seas Red Wine Vinegrette or Masa's Asian Dressings or Annie's Lemon and Chive Dressing. So, I usually make my own. It took me a really long time as a cook to master salad dressings that suited me and one of the most important reasons why is that I didn't use very good olive oil or vinegar and switching to the better brands has made a lot of difference. I also had to learn that using a little mustard emulsified the oil and vinegar or in this case lime juice. I also like my citrus dressings not very tart so I always add sugar or honey to sweeten them up, but not too much.

I have been baking a lot of cookies so I've ingested more butter and sugar than I need to eat for a while. So, to cleanse my palate (and my liver), I made a cabbage salad with fresh lime juice tonight. To make the salad more interesting, I added some red bell pepper and green onions. The crunchy cabbage combined with the tart dressing, sweet peppers and pungent green onions really hit the spot. It's a lovely light salad that has great contrast in color and taste, so you know it has to be good for you too!

Cabbage Salad with Lime Vinaigrette

1 head of cabbage, cut in quarters with the core cut off and chopped into small pieces
1 red pepper, deseeded and cut into small pieces
3 slender green onions, ends removed and cut into small pieces
1/3 cup fresh lime juice
1/3 cup light tasting olive oil
1 teaspoon Dijon Mustard
1 garlic clove minced
2 - 3 teaspoons sugar (depending on the sourness of the limes)
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper

In a large bowl, add the cabbage, red pepper and green onions together. In a separate smaller bowl, mix together the lime juice, olive oil, mustard, garlic, sugar, salt and pepper. Whisk to mix and taste. Add more sugar if necessary. Pour over vegetables and toss to coat. Let sit with dressing for at least 15 minutes up to overnight in the refrigerator before serving.

Five Element Analysis

Cabbage belongs to the Earth Element and that is the dominant element of this salad. However, the red pepper and bit of black pepper brings in the Fire Element, the lime juice contributes the Wood Element and the green onion, garlic and mustard add the Metal Element. Only the Water Element is a little deficient as the small amount of salt isn't enough. So this would be a good salad to serve as a side to fish or you could sprinkle some toasted sunflower or sesame seeds on top to give it more balance.

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