Admittedly, that doesn’t sound very good. But I am hard pressed to find a dish that cinnamon can’t perk up, make more interesting, or downright improve. I love Middle Eastern and Carribean foods that utilize cinnamon amongst other savory spices, so I decided that what the head of cabbage sitting in the garage (no need to put it in the refrigerator lately) really needed was to be cooked with some cinnamon and cumin. From there the direction is clear. Savory or sweet, can you use cinnamon without thinking of raisins at least once or twice?
Raisins are frequently in the back of MY mind, especially since I don’t eat a lot of commercial sweets. Raisins are little deep brown wrinkled bits of heaven. Wrinkles are good, right? They increase complexity and surface area and provide places for spices and oil to hide….. and perhaps they hold little spaces for laughter and tears, right? Yes, I am on board with this notion that wrinkles are indeed good. 50 is fast approaching, so this is a very self-serving notion if you hadn’t already guessed.
A short aside on cabbage…. which is such a versatile vegetable with a bad rap. Sure it can be a little gassy and can be cooked badly, but it lasts for a very long time, so can be used for different purposes over a period of several weeks and if you are without refrigeration you can bury it in the backyard, dig it up when you need it and peel off the spoiled outer layers. Pretty cool, huh?
Hopefully, we will make it through the winter without burying any cabbages, but nice to know in a pinch. And when cooked well it is delicious AND nutritious, so on to what to do with that tenacious cabbage! I know that I present lots of throw everything together type meals, but I find that so much easier than timing many different dishes. When the one dish is done – it’s ALL done. I like that.
Cinnamon Cabbage Stir Fry
3/4 head of a cabbage chopped small (about 6 cups)
2 – 3 carrots chopped (about 1 cup)
1 large yellow or red pepper, chopped
1 – 2 Tbsp coconut oil
1 Tbsp cumin seed
1 Tbsp. cinnamon
1/2 onion – chopped
1 large clove garlic
1 tsp salt
1/2 cup water to help steam the cabbage
raisins for garnish
hot sauce (to personal taste – right on each helping!
Whatever you would like to serve this over. I chose to serve this over yellow lentils which are a mild and soft lentil that cooks quickly and provides more protein than using rice. But you are free to use rice or some other grain!
1 cup yellow lentils
2.5 cups water
Combine lentils and water and set on high until boiling. Then cover and simmer on low for about 25 minutes or until soft.
Heat coconut oil on medium in large pan or pot. Add cumin seed, cinnamon, and salt.
Heat until seeds start to pop then add carrots and peppers for a few minutes.
Add cabbage and cover, stirring frequently and turning down to avoid burning.
After 5 minutes, add 1/2 cup water and re-cover to help steam the cabbage.
Cook until desired tenderness.
Drain lentils if too soupy. Mine did not need draining.
Serve over lentils or grain and garnish with raisins and a touch of hot sauce to personal taste.
Very tasty – enough for leftovers and there’s still about a third of a cabbage in the refrigerator…. I could bake it, make some dairy free slaw, or some psychedelic slaw with mint, or whatever you like to do with cabbage!
Whatever it is… Enjoy knowing that January is done, there’s more cabbage where that came from (perhaps someone’s backyard) and we are indeed so blessed by the wonderful foods that grow on this busy planet.