Cabbage, Quick and Easy Healthy Dinners and Sides

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Cabbage is often an underappreciated vegetable, but it’s truly a dieter’s friend. It’s strong-flavored, and may be prepared in a variety of ways, but the diet friendly feature adds extra points for adding this vegetable to your meal plan.

Green cabbage provides a fiber boost and a good amount of vitamin C. Two types of cabbage, savoy and bok choy, provide beta-carotene — an antioxidant that battles cancer and heart disease. For those who don’t eat dairy products, bok choy is an important source of calcium, which may help prevent osteoporosis and aid in controlling blood pressure. The big payoff with cabbage is that it has the fewest calories and least fat of any vegetable. This powerful veggie is a must for dieters trying to lose weight.

I love cabbage and can eat it almost any way you fix it, but here are some recipes that may take this figure friendly veggie to a whole new set of taste buds.

Deconstructed Egg Rolls


  • 3 cups shredded cabbage
  • ½ c slivered red or green pepper
  • ½ cup grated carrots
  • 2 Tbsp. soy sauce
  • 1 tsp. garlic, chopped
  • ¼ c olive oil
  • 2 tbsp. sesame oil
  • 2 tsp. sugar
  • 4 6″ wonton wrappers
  • 1 bunch cilantro


  1. Heat large saucepan over burner until warm. Place wonton wrappers in one at a time and heat till browned slightly about 2 minutes Turn over and brown until crispy (about 2 minutes) set aside.
  2. In same saucepan add oil and garlic and cook for 1 minute. Add shredded cabbage, carrots, peppers, and mix and toss over medium heat for 5 minutes. Add soy sauce, sugar, and sesame oil and mix in and cook for 3-4 minutes. Add chopped cilantro (about 2 tbsp.) and remove from heat.
  3. Cut wontons diagonally and place on serving platter. Top with cabbage mixture and sprinkle with a garnish of cilantro.

Serves 2-4.

Garlic Roasted Cabbage Wedges


  • 1 large head green cabbage, sliced into wedges vertically from head of cabbage about ¾ to 1-inch thick
  • 3½ Tbsp. olive oil
  • 3 cloves garlic
  • 1 tsp. dried marjoram
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • Minced fresh parsley, for garnish (optional)
  • Fresh lemon wedges or crumbled bacon, for serving (optional)


  1. Preheat oven to 425° F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or foil. Pour olive oil into a small bowl then press garlic through a garlic crusher into bowl (or mince), stir well to infuse garlic flavor then pour and press mixture through a fine mesh strainer into another bowl to remove garlic pieces (I like to do this just so they don’t burn while roasting at high heat for so long. Use a rubber spatula to press garlic against strainer to extract juices). Stir marjoram into oil mixture.
  2. Lay cabbage wedges on prepared baking sheet and brush both slides with olive oil mixture and season with salt and pepper. Roast in preheated oven 15 minutes then carefully rotate and roast 15 minutes longer (if you don’t want the slightly charred edges you can cover with foil during last 10 minutes). Garnish with parsley if desired. Serve warm with optional bacon crumbles or spritz with lemon wedges.


Mexican Cabbage Soup


  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 cups chopped onions
  • 1 cup chopped carrot
  • 1 cup chopped celery
  • 1 cup chopped poblano or green bell pepper
  • 4 large cloves garlic, minced
  • 8 cups sliced cabbage
  • 1 tablespoon tomato paste
  • 1 tablespoon minced chipotle chiles in adobo sauce
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • ½ teaspoon ground coriander
  • 4 cups low-sodium vegetable broth or chicken broth
  • 4 cups water
  • 2 (15 ounce) cans low-sodium pinto or black beans, rinsed
  • ¾ teaspoon salt
  • ½ cup chopped fresh cilantro, plus more for serving
  • 2 tablespoons lime juice


  1. Crumbled queso fresco, nonfat plain Greek yogurt and/or diced avocado for garnish
  2. Heat oil in a large soup pot (8-quart or larger) over medium heat. Add onions, carrot, celery, poblano (or bell pepper) and garlic; cook, stirring frequently, until softened, 10 to 12 minutes. Add cabbage; cook, stirring occasionally, until slightly softened, about 10 minutes more. Add tomato paste, chipotle, cumin and coriander; cook, stirring, for 1 minute more.
  3. Add broth, water, beans and salt. Cover and bring to a boil over high heat. Reduce heat and simmer, partially covered, until the vegetables are tender, about 10 minutes. Remove from heat and stir in cilantro and lime juice. Serve garnished with cheese, yogurt and/or avocado, if desired.

Serves 8,. Each serving contains Calories 174, Fat 4 g., Carbohydrates 7 g., Protein 7 g., Cholesterol 0 mg., Sodium 413 mg.

Spicy Stuffed Cabbage Casserole


  • 1 pound spicy bulk pork sausage
  • 1 pound lean ground beef
  • 1 (28 ounce) can diced tomatoes
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 1 (6 ounce) can tomato paste
  • 2 tablespoons distilled white vinegar
  • 2 teaspoons chili powder
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ¼ teaspoon red pepper flakes, or more to taste
  • 10 cups shredded cabbage


  1. Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat. Cook and stir sausage and beef in the hot skillet until browned and crumbly, 7 to 10 minutes; drain and discard grease.
  2. Stir diced tomatoes, onion, tomato paste, vinegar, chili powder, salt, and red pepper flakes into the sausage mixture; add cabbage and fold into the mixture. Reduce heat to medium-low and cook, stirring occasionally, until the cabbage is tender, 20 to 25 minutes.

Serves 8. Each serving contains Calories 314, Fat 17 g., Carbohydrates 17 g., Protein 22 g., Cholesterol 68 mg., Sodium 890 mg.

Black Pepper Beef and Cabbage Stir Fry


  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 4 cloves garlic, chopped
  • ½ pound ground beef
  • ½ small head cabbage, shredded
  • 1 red bell pepper, cut into strips
  • 2 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 1 teaspoon cornstarch
  • ½ cup cold water
  • 1 teaspoon ground black pepper, or to taste
  • Salt, to taste (optional)


  1. Heat a wok or large skillet over medium-high heat, and add oil. Sauté garlic for about 5 seconds, then add ground beef. Stir-fry until beef is evenly brown; drain excess fat.
  2. Stir in cabbage and pepper, and cook until vegetables are tender and beef is fully cooked. Stir in soy sauce. Mix together cornstarch and water, and stir in. Season with pepper; add salt to taste. Cook, stirring, until sauce has thickened.

Serves 4. Each serving contains Calories 280, Fat 22 g., Carbohydrates 9 g., Protein 11 g., Cholesterol 48 mg., Sodium 547 mg.

Creamy Vegan Coleslaw


  • 6 tablespoons vegan or eggless mayonnaise
  • 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
  • 1 tablespoon cider vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • ½ teaspoon caraway seeds or celery seed
  • Pinch of salt
  • Pinch of ground pepper
  • 2 cups thinly sliced red cabbage (about ¼ of a medium head)
  • 2 cups thinly sliced green cabbage (about ¼ of a medium head)
  • 1 cup shredded carrots (about 2 medium)


  • Combine mayonnaise, mustard, vinegar and sugar in a large bowl. Add caraway seeds (or celery seed), salt and pepper. Add red cabbage, green cabbage and carrots; toss well.

Serves 6. Each serving contains Calories 114, Fat 10 g., Carbohydrates 6 g., Protein 1 g., Cholesterol 0 mg., Sodium 160 mg.