Category Archives: Side Dishes

Bacon and Apple Braised Cabbage

Bacon & Apple Braised Cabbage | AmandaNaturally.comCabbage isn’t many people’s first choice of veggie. It has a bad reputation that it simply doesn’t deserve! Cause you know what? It’s one of my favourites and I’m not a notorious eat what most normal people don’t like person. I have learned that if you cook food properly, it can taste amazing. Case in point – cabbage and brussels sprouts. When I ask clients what their dislikes are, the overwhelming majority responds “brussels sprouts” (which btw are the same family as cabbage – they’re pretty much just baby cabbages). To which I respond, “have you ever had it cooked any other way than boiled?”

<< silence >>

Exactly. I wouldn’t want to eat that $h*t boiled either! So trust me when I say that as long as you cook it right, cabbage and brussels sprouts can be amazingly delicious!

I love cabbage in slaw form, but hands down my favourite way to eat it is braised, or more specifically as Bacon and Apple Braised Cabbage. It turns deliciously sweet as the onions and apples get caramelized! My favourite dishes to pair braised cabbage with are pork chops, sausages or roast chicken. 

One of the best parts about cabbage is it’s super inexpensive, local, easy to find organic (and reasonably priced!) and it makes a huge amount. The leftovers seem to get better as they sit in the fridge, and they reheat amazingly well. I love the leftovers because they pair so wonderfully with breakfast! (anyone who works with me knows I am always trying to get people to eat veggies at breakfast!) Scramble up a few eggs, cook up a few extra pieces of bacon, side of apple braised cabbage – boom. Incredibly healthy breakfast.

Speaking of healthy, I’m just going to remind you the incredible health benefits of cabbage (I listed these over in my Simple Coleslaw recipe, but it can’t hurt to be reminded!).

Cabbage, along with other cruciferous veggies (kale, chard, collards, brussel sprouts, broccoli, cauliflower, bok choy), are nutritional powerhouses. Here are some of their health benefits:

  • very high in the sulfurous compound, glucosinolate, which is metabolized by the body into potent antioxidants isothiocyanate and thiocyanate.
  • isothiocyanates have also been shown to be effective in protecting against cancer, specifically breastcoloncervical and prostate.
  • help the body excrete excess estrogens (this is particularly helpful for someone coming off of birth control, or anyone who has estrogen dominance. Also a good idea for everyone, because many of the chemicals we are exposed to daily, from plastics to fragrances to pesticides, are xeno-estrogens, which means they mimic estrogen in our body) (additional source)
  • contains sulforaphane which may reduce hypertension and improve kidney function
  • packed with nutrients – vitamins, minerals, phytonutrients, fibre
  • contains indole-3-carbinol which supports phase 2 liver detoxificationphase 1 is also supported via the sulforaphane content. This balance is important because many “liver supporters” only up regulate phase I. Phase 1 often turns chemicals into more toxic substrates, before phase 2 neutralizes them. Only supporting phase 1 liver detox can result in nasty symptoms. (Note: supporting phase 1 and 2 liver detoxification is real detox, not juice-cleansing, cayenne shooters, no protein “detox” – that’s a load of crap.)

Cabbage Prep

Never prepared cabbage before? Here’s how I do it for braising:

1. Remove the outer few layers of the cabbage.

2. Chop the thick end off.

3. Cut into quarters. If the core is really dense, slice out a bit of it and discard. (I didn’t have to for this cabbage)

4. Roughly slice.

Bacon and Apple Braised Cabbage
A trusted recipe for making cabbage actually taste delicious!
Write a review
Print
Prep Time
5 min
Cook Time
45 min
Total Time
50 min
Prep Time
5 min
Cook Time
45 min
Total Time
50 min
Ingredients
  1. 1 large head of cabbage, roughly sliced
  2. 2 apples, sliced thin
  3. 2 onions, sliced thin
  4. ½ lb pastured bacon, diced
  5. ¼ cup apple cider vinegar
  6. sea salt
  7. black pepper (optional)
Instructions
  1. In a large pot, braiser or sautee pan (make sure it has a lid), cook the bacon pieces over medium heat, until crispy. Approximately 10 minutes.
  2. Remove the bacon pieces and set aside. If there is an excessive amount of rendered grease, pour of some to use another time.
  3. Reduce heat to medium low, add onions to remaining bacon grease and sauté for 5 minutes.
  4. Layer apples over the onions and immediately top with the sliced cabbage.
  5. Add in apple cider vinegar, and about 10 grinds of sea salt.
  6. Cover and cook for 45 minutes, stirring every 10 minutes or so. (if you find it's starting to burn, reduce temperature to low)
  7. Season with additional sea salt and pepper (to taste), top with crispy bacon bits and serve!
Notes
  1. You can absolutely make this without the bacon (but why would you?) For a bacon-free/vegetarian option use your favourite cooking fat such as avocado oil, olive oil or butter.
  2. Feel free to sub in apple cider (the juice or the alcoholic beverage) in lieu of ACV if you want! I'm sure beer would work well too if you tolerate it.
  3. You can use red or green cabbage. I just think red is prettier!
Amanda Naturally http://www.amandanaturally.com/

75 Healthy Holiday Recipes

The holiday season can be challenging when you avoid certain foods. If you’re lucky, you can indulge in a few treats that you wouldn’t normally indulge in – if that’s the case go ahead! Just make them count!

However if you’re like me, there’s a line you can’t cross. I don’t care how delicious that apple pie is – the butter and the wheat in it are going to make me pay for days, even weeks. So for anyone out there who, like me, sticks with their way of eating through the holiday season (albeit with a little more sugar!), but misses some old standards, or is stressing about what to make for a potluck – look no further! From dinners to appetizers, to pot lucks and edible hostess gifts, this round up, 75 Healthy Holiday Recipes, has you covered! (PS. I think there are now more than 75 on this list…!)

Bacon, Guac & Tomato Bites | AmandaNaturally.comAppetizers

Christmas Dinner

Veggies & Sides

Cranberries & Gravy

Stuffing (bread-free)

Desserts/Treats Maple Balsamic Kale | vegan , paleo, AIP, delicious | AmandaNaturally.com

Cookies etc.

Cocktails & Drinks

Hostess Gifts

Maple Balsamic Kale

Maple Balsamic Kale | vegan , paleo, AIP, delicious | AmandaNaturally.comI love kale. But I am also very aware that kale is an acquired taste. I didn’t love it right off the bat, and in fact I was kind of intimidated to cook it! 

I hate soggy cooked greens, and raw kale salad can be kind of overwhelming (both from a chewing and taste perspective).

After multiple attempts with different styles of cooking (steamed, baked, sautéed) I discovered that the best way to cook kale is by doing a steam-sauté. I’m not sure if that’s the technical cooking term, but it’s what I call it!

How do you Steam-Sauté?

1. Take your kale, break off the tough ends and roughly chop it into bite sized pieces.

2. Thoroughly wash your kale.

3. Shake off most of the excess water, but don’t dry it out completely. (If you’re using pre-washed kale, see note in step #6.)

4. Heat a deep pot, or a large deep sauté pan with a lid, over medium-high heat.

5. Add 2-3 tbsp of your favourite fat (I love bacon grease!), let it melt and cover the bottom of the pan.

6. Throw in the damp kale and put the lid on. (NOTE: if you are using pre-cooked kale that’s dry, add in 2 tbsp water)

 

7. Toss kale every 2 minutes or so. It’s done when it’s bright green and tender – approximately 5-8 minutes.

 

8. Season liberally with sea salt and serve!

Maple Balsamic Kale

You can just serve it as is (which I love, but I’ll admit is still very kale-y tasting), or you can spice it up a notch by using the following recipe. This is the very first way I prepared kale that I loved. I can’t remember where I first saw the suggestion to combine balsamic vinegar, maple syrup and kale together, but it’s totally amazing. It pairs really well with proteins (especially pork tenderloin and maple salmon), and is also great with bacon as part of a breakfast!

Maple Balsamic Kale
Serves 2
A slightly sweetened kale dish - a great intro to this nutritious leafy green!
Write a review
Print
Prep Time
5 min
Cook Time
5 min
Total Time
10 min
Prep Time
5 min
Cook Time
5 min
Total Time
10 min
Ingredients
  1. 1 large bunch of kale
  2. 2-3 tbsp fat of choice (ghee, olive oil, bacon grease)
  3. 3 tbsp balsamic vinegar
  4. 2 tbsp maple syrup
  5. sea salt
Instructions
  1. Break the tough ends off the kale and roughly chop into bite sized pieces.
  2. Wash thoroughly.
  3. Shake off most of the excess water, but don't dry completely.
  4. Heat a deep pot, or a large deep sauté pan with a lid, over medium heat.
  5. Add 2-3 tbsp of your favourite fat, let it melt and cover the bottom of the pan.
  6. Throw in the damp kale and put the lid on.
  7. After 2 minutes, toss kale and add balsamic vinegar.
  8. Place lid back on pot and keep cooking, tossing kale every 2 minutes or so until bright green and tender - approximately 5-8 minutes.
  9. Drizzle maple syrup over kale and let cook for 30s, tossing frequently.
  10. Season liberally with sea salt and serve!
Notes
  1. If you're using pre-washed kale, add 2 tbsp water to the pan with the kale.
Amanda Naturally http://www.amandanaturally.com/

So tell me, what’s your favourite way to prepare kale? Share in the comments below!

Copyright 2014 Amanda Naturally | Design by The Nectar Collective