apple cinnamon coleslaw

Picnic in the fall? Why not, eh? We’re expecting 14 degree weather tomorrow which is a nice break from the frost-bitten days we had earlier in the week. I’m going to take the dogs for a 3-hour trek in the woods tomorrow and plan to pack a lunch for the trip. What could be more perfect than a crisp coleslaw filled with local, seasonal produce to take along?

lovely apple cinnamon coleslaw

This crunchy coleslaw recipe uses cabbage, apples, carrots, radishes and beets and is tossed in an apple-cinnamon vinaigrette. It’s sweet, it’s spicy and it’s perfectly delicious!

lovely apple cinnamon coleslaw

For the salad, you’ll need more-or-less equal parts of cabbage, courtland apples, carrots, and beets. Throw in a bit of radish for a little extra zing. Grate each ingredient in your food processor.

Crunchy Fall Coleslaw

1-1/2 cup grated cabbage
1 cup grated carrots (3 medium sized carrots)
1 cup grated apples (2 courtland apples)
1 cup grated beets (2 small beets)
1/2 cup grated radish (1 medium sized winter radish)

(A heads up: you will want to rinse off the beets before you toss them with the other ingredients as the colour bleeds immensely. Also, know that once you add the dressing, the beet juice will spread like wildfire. I expect that by the time I sit down to eat my coleslaw tomorrow, the whole salad will be a bright red! You can always leave the beets out of the recipe if this is a concern for you.)

lovely apple cinnamon coleslaw

Tanya Lea is a vegan-at-home cook who loves working with fresh, seasonal produce.
Her blog is

melted cabbage soup

Okay. So two green cabbages from last week, two more from the week before plus a napa = FIVE cabbages in my fridge. Thankfully, they’re not all huge.

I must admit some defeat here and confess that I gave my mom two cabbages yesterday. I would only ever give my local box bounty to someone I know would put it to good use and I feel confident that those cabbages have gone to a good home.

That leaves me with three more to get working on. Make that two, because tonight I made something called Melted Cabbage Soup.

The recipe itself is actually called Melted Cabbage and Green Garlic, and it is, on account of the latter ingredient, a spring dish. Replace the green garlic with a combo of regular garlic and leeks, though, and you’ve got yourself a cosy winter dish.

It is, in fact, a side dish, but you could toss it with pasta, stir it into risotto or, with the addition of more chicken or vegetable stock, make it into a soup. That’s what I did tonight, adding 4 cups of stock in instead of just 1/2 cup. This will be lunch for the week and should be a good, healthy foil to the boxes of Turtles and such that will likely start turning up at work any day now.

This recipe serves six and comes from Amelia Saltsman’s The Santa Monica Farmers’ Market Cookbook. Saltsman notes in her intro that the quick boiling of the cabbage before sauteeing takes care of its hidden sharpness and brings out the sweetness.

Melted Cabbage and Green Garlic

1 large head green cabbage (2 to 3 pounds), cored and cut into narrow wedges
3 or 4 bunches green garlic (1 to 1-1/3 pounds) or 3 large leeks, white part only, and 4 cloves garlic
4 tbsp unsalted butter
1 onion, chopped
kosher or sea salt and freshly ground pepper
1/2 cup chicken or vegetable stock, or as needed (4 cups if making soup)

Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil, add the cabbage, and boil for 3 minutes. Drain well, chop finely and set aside. Trim the root end and tops off the garlic so that you have the white part and about 4 inches of the green. Chop the garlic. If using leeks and garlic cloves, chop the leeks and mince the garlic. You should have about 3 cups.

In a deep, wide pot, melt the butter over medium-low heat. Add the onion, green garlic (or leeks and garlic) and a little salt and cook gently, stirring occasionally, until translucent and soft, 5 to 7 minutes. Add the cabbage and 1 tsp salt and cook, uncovered, for 5 to 10 minutes. Cover, reduce heat to low, and cook slowly until the vegetables are reduced and very creamy, about 1 hour. Stir occasionally and add the stock after 30 minutes. If there is a lot of liquid the next time you check the pan, leave the lid off for awhile. If the mixture is dry or sticking, add a bit more stock or water. Season to taste with salt and pepper. This dish can be made a day ahead and reheated over low heat.

melted cabbage

– Dinah Murdoch lives, eats and writes in Kitchener.

winter borscht

I made a big batch of soup to use my dill this weekend and, in the end, nearly forgot to put the dill in. I had the soup all portioned into containers to freeze and opened the fridge to grab something else and saw the dill looking at me like, “Haven’t you forgotten something?” Oops. Chopped it up and stirred the bits and pieces into my various containers. Better late than never.

This was a great recipe for using up lots of Loft items — a half-cabbage from a couple of weeks ago that was getting a bit brown in spots, a few beets, an onion, some carrots and, yes, the dill.

The soup is called Winter Borscht, and the recipe comes from Simply in Season, the same recipe book I went on about in last week’s post about vegetarian chili. I made some changes to the recipe, which has the whole soup cooking for only 30 minutes, which I found odd. Stewing beef will never get tender in 30 minutes, so I turned this into a whole-day affair and just let it simmer and simmer until everything was tender.

Miraculously, my 14-month-old ate a giant bowl of this not once, but twice. I had to puree it first. It’s terribly ugly that way — it turns into a colour for which there is no name — but what more can a mother ask for than for her kid to eat something as healthy as this?

Winter Borscht

1 lb stewing beef, chopped
1 cup onion, chopped
8 cups water
2 cups potatoes, chopped
1/2 head cabbage, shredded
1 cup beets, peeled and chopped
1/2 cup carrots, diced
1/2 cup barley
2 bay leaves
1/4 cup fresh dill, chopped
1 tsp salt
1/4 tsp pepper
1/2 cup fresh chives (optional)
1 tbsp oil

1. Heat oil in a large pot over medium heat. Brown beef on all sides, about 10 minutes. Remove from pot and set aside.

2. Add onions, carrots and beets and saute until onion softens.

3. Add cabbage, beef, bay leaves, water, salt and pepper. Bring to a boil and reduce heat to a simmer. Let simmer until beef is very tender, which may take a few hours. (A slow cooker is a good option if you have one — follow the same steps, transferring everything to a slow cooker.

4. About 30 minutes before serving, stir in the barley and dill.


– Dinah Murdoch lives, eats and writes in Kitchener.


Okay, the cabbage is now half gone. I hate to be so predictable, but I made coleslaw — a big bowl of it. Some with tonight’s dinner, some for tomorrow’s lunches, some still left in the fridge. I had some red cabbage left from a bag three or four weeks back and I also grated five or six carrots and threw those in, too.

There are a million ways to dress coleslaw, starting with the most traditional, which involves mayo and vinegar or lemon juice. Or you could do an Asian-style dressing (1/4 cup soy sauce, 2 tbsp each white wine or rice vinegar, chopped ginger and sesame oil, 1 tbsp sugar and a pinch of dried crushed red pepper) and add cilantro, scallions and maybe some sliced sweet peppers to the cabbage.

Tonight I kept things simple with a recipe loosely based on one from Mark Bittman’s How to Cook Everything: Whisk together 2 tbsp each red wine vinegar and Dijon, add a dash of salt and pepper, half a grated garlic clove (if you use a rasp, it gets it almost pulpy fine so you don’t get strong chunks — this, I find, is the key to putting raw garlic in anything). Slowly whisk in 1/4 cup or so of your oil of choice (I used sunflower). Done and done.


– Dinah Murdoch lives, eats and writes in Kitchener.