Apr 09, 2013

Kale and Purple Cabbage Salad

It’s official. Spring is here! At least in the Great Smoky Mountains it is. The temps rose into the low 70s at our house yesterday and my very first green veggie popped its head out to say hello in the garden!

mustard greens sprouting in my garden!

I can’t tell you how excited I am to be growing my own produce this year. I’ve wanted an organic garden for YEARS. Now I will have my very own greens, lettuces, beans, peppers and more!

The bees are buzzing…

and the butterflies are stopping by, too!

So in honor of Spring’s arrival I made a simple and colorful, nutritious salad! Kale, of course, is a nutritional powerhouse. The addition of purple cabbage adds not only a vibrant color but also a rich supply of anthocyanins, which can help lower your risk of cancer, heart disease, macular degeneration and many other diseases.

Purple cabbage contains a whopping 36 different types of antioxidants. Given the roles of oxidative stress and chronic inflammation as risk factors for cancer, the antioxidant and anti-inflammatory richness of cabbage would provide anti-cancer health benefits without the addition of cabbage’s glucosinolates (sulfer-containing compounds). But glucosinolates are cabbage’s trump card with regard to “anti-cancer” benefits. The glucosinolates found in cabbage are converted into isothiocyanate compounds that are cancer preventive for a variety of different cancers, including bladder cancer, breast cancer, colon cancer, and prostate cancer [1]
A recent study showed that a 100 gram (about 3 ounces) serving of raw purple cabbage delivers 196.5 milligrams of polyphenols, of which 28.3 milligrams are anthocyanins. 
This salad is very satisfying as a main dish, especially with a nut-based dressing. I used orange cashew dressing which was a wonderful accompaniment with its sweet and creamy flavor.


  • 1 large bunch curly green kale
  • 1 small head purple cabbage
  • 1 small jicama
  • 1 cup chopped parsley
  • 3 oranges
  • dressing of your choice

  1. Chop the kale and the cabbage into bite-sized pieces and steam until slightly tender. You don’t want to cook them too long or you will lose their beautiful colors! Wilting them just a bit helps make them easier to chew and brings out the natural sweetness of the cabbage.
  2. Dice the jicama.
  3. Peel the oranges and cut the sections out.
  4. Rough chop the parsley.
  5. Combine all and top with your favorite dressing.
  6. If you want to you can add some garbanzo beans, too. I did… just be aware that they will turn purple from the cabbage!

Makes 2 very large salads… remember, the salad is the main dish!

Healthy trails,

1. Bosetti C, Filomeno M, Riso P, et al. Cruciferous vegetables and cancer risk in a network of case-control studies. Ann Oncol 2012.

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