Caribbean Cabbage from the AICR Test Kitchen


In its ongoing effort to promote healthy, cancer-preventive lifestyle choices among the public, the American Institute for Cancer Research creates dishes that are nutritious, delicious and excellent for our health, and they ask for nothing in return. This week's entry from the test kitchen is Caribbean cabbage.

The AICR says you can get the most nutritional value out of cabbage by shredding it yourself, but if time does not permit, you can buy it shredded. About eight cups is equal to one head of cabbage.

The organization goes on to say:

What gives the dish its decidedly Caribbean flavor is the combination of sweet, spicy hot and sour tastes. And, the Scotch bonnet is the pepper of choice in the islands – although you can easily substitute any pepper, especially the habanero, for it.

Sautéing the pepper infuses the cabbage mixture with its spicy flavor. This is done without having to cut the pepper. Those who enjoy even more heat can experiment with either adding an additional pepper or even some red pepper flakes.

Caribbean cabbage can be served warm, at room temperature, or even chilled depending on your preference. No matter how you decide to serve it, this cabbage salad pairs well with roasted or grilled chicken – either a freshly prepared bird or chilled leftovers. Add a pitcher of unsweetened iced tea and serve it up on the patio or terrace for a taste of the tropics.

Keep in mind, all recipes offered by the AICR have been vetted and approved by a registered dietitian.

Caribbean Cabbage

  • 2 Tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 medium onion, sliced thin
  • 1 medium green bell pepper, diced
  • 1 scallion, including green stem, sliced thin
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 4 sprigs fresh thyme
  • 1 whole Scotch bonnet chile pepper or habanero pepper
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • ¼ cup white vinegar
  • 2 Tbsp. honey
  • 1 medium green or red cabbage, tough outer leaves removed, cored and shredded (about 8 cups, shredded)
  • 1 cup shredded carrots
  • 1 plum tomato, diced

In a large skillet heat oil over high heat. Stir in onion, bell pepper, scallion and garlic. Sauté until softened, about 5 minutes. Stir in thyme and whole Scotch bonnet pepper. Add salt and pepper to taste.

In small pot on medium heat, warm vinegar, do not boil, and stir in honey, mixing well.

Add cabbage and carrots to onion mix. Stir to combine well, cover skillet and cook over medium-low heat, stirring occasionally, until cabbage begins to soften, about 10 minutes.

Stir in vinegar-honey sauce and tomato into vegetable mixture. Continue stirring until cabbage is tender, about 4 minutes more or until desired tenderness. Remove the Scotch bonnet pepper and thyme sprigs. Serve.

Although typically served warm, you can also refrigerate to cool before serving.

Makes 6 servings.

Per serving: 130 calories, 5 g total fat (0.5 g saturated fat), 21 g carbohydrate, 3 g protein, 4 g dietary fiber, 60 mg sodium.

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