Sunday, December 20, 2009

Orange-Wasabi Cabbage Salad

I absolutely love raw cabbage. I love the crispy crunch with every bite. I love the way it makes me feel...healthy and alive, my digestion strong. It feels cleansing. Luckily my children like cabbage too, though my girls have decided they like their cabbage plain, no dressing please. I gave this salad to my twin boys who turned two yesterday and one of them loved it while the other one spit it out (photo below).

I have found that the first three years of life is the most important time for introducing foods. Offering toddlers a wide variety of foods is key to their eating habits for the rest of their lives. They will most likely go through phases where they turn their nose up at foods they loved just a month ago. For example, our first daughter, Lily, decided around 3 years old that she didn't like beans. She was almost 4 until she ate them again. I just kept offering and didn't give up. One trick I have found to be helpful is to offer a child a "try-it bite" of a new food or flavor. I tell my girls they can spit it out if they don't like it. Every time we have that food I offer anther "try-it bite" and sometimes, but not always, they decide they like it. The key is to not give up on your children just because they don't like something at first.

So if you have young children, you may want to save some of this salad before dressing it. They can munch on the cabbage and carrots with their meal and then try some with the dressing too.

Fun Food Fact: Did you know that the phytochemicals in cabbage signal our genes to produce enzymes involved in detoxification? In addition, the phtyochemicals in cabbage are cancer-protective. So eat up! :)

Orange-Wasabi Cabbage Salad

This festive winter salad was inspired by a salad I tried at a friend's house. It would be great as part of any holiday celebration meal. It is quick and easy to prepare. Plus, you can add the dressing up to 30-60 minutes before serving (which actually improves the flavors). Add toasted sesame seeds to garnish the salad if desired.

3 to 4 cups thinly sliced green cabbage
3 to 4 cups thinly sliced red cabbage
4 to 5 large carrots, peeled* or shredded
3 to 4 green onions, sliced into thin rounds

1/2 cup freshly squeezed orange juice
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar or brown rice vinegar
1 to 2 tablespoons wasabi powder
1/2 teaspoon Herbamare

You can either use your food processor fitted with the slicing disc to cut the cabbage or first cut it into chunks then slice thinly with a sharp knife. For the carrots you can use a vegetable peeler to make wide, thin strips (pictured here) or shred them. Place all salad ingredients into a large bowl and toss together.

To make the dressing add all ingredients to a blender (or use an immersion blender in a glass jar) and blend on high for 30 seconds or so. I find that the wasabi powder doesn't mix in very well unless blended. Pour dressing over salad, toss, and serve. Source:

Other salads you might like:

About the Author

Alissa Segersten holds a Bachelor's of Science in Nutrition from Bastyr University. She is the founder of Whole Life Nutrition, the mother of five children, a whole foods cooking instructor, professional recipe developer, and cookbook author. She is passionate about helping others find a diet that will truly nourish them, and offers elimination diet recipes, healthy gluten-free recipes, paleo and vegan recipes, as well as tips for feeding your family a nourishing, whole foods diet. Alissa is the author of two very popular gluten-free, whole foods cookbooks and guidebooks: The Whole Life Nutrition Cookbook and Nourishing Meals. She is also the co-author of The Elimination Diet book. Connect with her on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, and Instagram!


  1. Oh my gosh! The boys are so cute! I love their matching brown sweaters! I hope you got my e-mail this morning with my address! Just wanted you to know how excited I am to have won!
    Hope you had a great weekend!

  2. Mmm, your dressing with orange and wasabi sounds delicious! Can't wait to try it. I love cabbage salad too- I like to make my dressing with Ume plum vinegar and garnish with cilantro. Your description of how healthy it feels to eat cabbage is spot on!

  3. I have learned to love cabbage, too. That's party because of WLNK's smoothie recipe. It just seems lacking with no cabbage. I had one this morning and I'm out of cabbage. It was good, but not quite as tasty and revitalizing. Cabbage does make me feel the way you described. This salad looks fabulous, but I am scared of wasabi. LOL

    Adore the photo of the boys! It's so cool that you let them "explore" food like that. I think your approach for foods with children is a great one. Yes, just a bite. I have to say that it was my son's grandparents and babysitter and her husband (a third set of grandparents) that allowed him to learn to love many foods. I am very grateful for that.


  4. What adorable little guys! So sweet.

    The recipe looks very yummy. Always looking for new ways to dress up cabbage salad (one of my favorites). The addition of wasabi is a fantastic idea. =)

  5. I love serving cabbage salads especially in the winter months when, here in Wisconsin, our grocery stores don't always have the freshest looking lettuce. I'm looking forward to having a new recipe to try out instead of my standard cabbage-onion-carrot combo.

  6. Cabbage is one of those funny vegetables. It's kinda smelly, especially when cooked, but it's very sweet tasting. It's one of my personal faves, raw or cooked.


  7. Just way too adorable! I love how they're searching through the food, exploring its wonder! This salad looks great as well Ali =D.

  8. Such cute boys! And I love the sweaters!

  9. I made this a few days ago and it was amazing. Highly recommend trying this recipe. So yummy, refreshing with a bit of zip.

  10. Thanks for the reminder about cabbage -- I am in a vegetable slump so this is good! Your boys are adorable!!

  11. My favorite trick with kids is to tell them in a conspiratorial voice, it's really for grown-ups, but you can try a bite since you might like it.

  12. Adding this one to the menu this week. We love cabbage. The dressing on your kale salad sounds great too. Both those dressings have some heat and citrus that sounds really good right now to brighten up the soups, stews and slow cooker meals I've been making since the weather got cold and snowy.

  13. This is both gorgeous and sounds delicious!

    -- Anne

  14. I just want to say that I recently won your nourishing meals cookbook from a giveaway (I was beyond happy) and it is now my absolute favorite cookbook! Thank you so much for all that you do! Keep it up! :)

  15. Made it for my family today. We loved it


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Thanks and Happy Cooking! ~Ali :)