Meal Plan

Braise a Ton of Cabbage, Be Rewarded with a Week's Worth of Meals

January  2, 2017

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All hail cabbage, the King of the Crisper. I salute you, and routinely toss your head into my shopping cart. You're economical, reliable, long-lasting, and a gift to your subjects, us loyal home cooks.

There is no vegetable that can languish in your crisper as long as cabbage and still survive to produce a totally pleasing vegetable dish (or five). The lightly overlapping layers of hearty, smooth leaves are like nature’s version of Saran Wrap, and keep the underlying leaves fresh longer than you could reasonably expect. Just peel off and discard any leaves that go a little limp and mangy, until you reach the sturdy, firm usable parts.

Your standard issue green cabbage, will yield at least 8 cups of cooked vegetables. It tastes savory and earthy, yet when caramelized has a sweet undertone. So at under $1.00 per pound, you’d be hard pressed to find better value in a vegetable. What more can you ask from your king?

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For a week or so worth of cabbage-y meals, make a batch of Braised Cabbage today (you should double the recipe if you’re feeding a crowd), and serve it as a side dish with roast chicken or pork chops for dinner tonight.

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Top Comment:
“The braised cabbage covering keeps the loaf from drying out; the result is really good eating, especially in winter. ”
— Susie W.

Then, for the rest of the week, use it up as follows:

Tossed with penne pasta and refry. Cook a pound or so of penne (or other short pasta). Fry the pasta with a cup or two of leftover braised cabbage in olive oil. Shower the top of each serving with grated Parmesan or Romano Cheese, and fresh ground black pepper.

Put-an-egg-on-it. Heat the cabbage leftovers in the microwave, while you fry an egg. Douse with hot sauce.

Soup. Substitute braised cabbage for the smothered cabbage called for in this Marcella Hazan recipe. Top with plenty of grated Parmesan.

Colcannon. Fold the remaining cabbage into buttery mashed potatoes to make Colcannon. Top with fried onions.

Pierogi-potstickers. Just when the family might rebel against cabbage week, fill wonton wrappers with the leftover potato-cabbage mixture from the Colcannon. Cook them like pot stickers with water and butter in a pan, simmering until the water is evaporated and they’re golden and crispy on the bottom.

Tell us: How would you use braised cabbage (besides eating it as a side, of course)?

Lucinda Scala Quinn is the author of numerous cookbooks, including the Mad Hungry trilogy—Mad Hungry Family: 120 Essential Recipe to Feed the Whole Crew, Mad Hungry: Feeding Men & Boys, and Mad Hungry Cravings—and appears regularly on both morning television and QVC with her top-selling Mad Hungry Kitchenware line. Lucinda is the former senior vice president and executive editorial director of food and entertaining at Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia and the host of her own television show, Mad Hungry: Bringing Back the Family Meal. She lives and cooks with her husband and three sons in New York City.

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Cook, Author, Founder: Mad Hungry.


Susie W. June 25, 2017
I mix some into meatloaf then pat a layer of it over the top and sides of the loaf. I bake meatloaf on a foil-covered wire mesh rack, set over a rimmed baking sheet, with holes poked in the foil. That way, the fat drains away and the top and sides develop a nice crust. The braised cabbage covering keeps the loaf from drying out; the result is really good eating, especially in winter.
AntoniaJames February 1, 2017
Made a tasty frittata with this. Crisped up the bacon in the skillet; then browned the cabbage a bit, and used in the frittata. Delicious. ;o)
Jose O. January 8, 2017
Either kimchi or as an awesome crunchy topping for fish tacos.
c January 8, 2017
Fry a couple of strips of bacon to crumble. Saute leftover cabbage in a bit of the reserved fat. Add a dollop of sour cream and bacon crumbles for Russian Cabbage.
Anna January 8, 2017
Would red cabbage work in all these recipes? I seem to have that around more often than green.
Bawa January 3, 2017
I call cabbage my desert island vegetable for all of the reasons you mention.
One of my favorites is a shredded cabbage stir fry with ground pork or chicken and whatever other veg I have on hand plus something crunchy to garnish. The seasoning profile depends on mood but usually something Chinese or Thai. Wrapped up in butter lettuce leaves or just eaten out of a bowl. Fast, easy, reheats well. Yum.
JulieKay January 2, 2017
Saute with skinny (cooked) egg noodles, browned onions and chopped smoked sausage or kielbasa! Let it get crispy on the bottom....Wonderful!
MRubenzahl January 2, 2017
Sauerkraut. I cannot believe anyone buys it. Shred it (mandoline makes it easy), mix with 1/2 tablespoon of kosher salt per pound of cabbage and a few herbs like 1/4 tsp of caraway seeds, compress into a jar and cover with a zip top bag of salt water to keep air away. Leave out on the counter a few days or a week.
Irenehope January 8, 2017
Thank you! My husband will love this.
Frederique M. January 10, 2017
Saurkraut is so much better tasting and so much better for you when you lactoferment it ALL the way! 4 weeks minimum! is just slightly probiotic coleslaw before that ! :P
mcs3000 January 2, 2017
I love everything by LSQ!
marlene January 2, 2017
Add crisp bacon and top off with ketchup mixed with sirachi
Emily January 2, 2017
Add it to a panini! I made some braised cabbage to go with Christmas ham, and used leftovers of both (along with seedy mustard, rye bread, and provolone) inside a panini for days afterward.
Sara January 2, 2017
Yes! Love batch cooking and love cabbage. Great inspiration :)