Monday, July 4, 2011

Meatless Monday: Happy Fourth of July!

Just in time for your holiday celebration, here is the coleslaw recipe I promised you a while back. It is based on a recipe from a column by Cecily Brownstone which appeared in the New Haven Register, back in the days when everyone read the paper. According to Brownstone, the salad was “made famous by the Santa Fe Railway restaurateur Fred Harvey.”

Shred one medium head of cabbage and one small onion. 
Cover with 1/2 cup sugar. 
Combine in a small saucepan: 
1 teaspoon sugar, 1/2 tablespoon salt, 1/2 teaspoon dry mustard, 
1/2 teaspoon celery seed, 1/2 cup peanut oil, 1/2 cup vinegar
Bring to a boil.
Pour over shredded vegetables.
Cover and refrigerate.
Let stand at least 4 hours before serving.

My tweaks:
Use a medium Vidalia onion.
Shred two medium-sized carrots along with the other veggies.
Cut the salt by half.
Substitute canola oil for peanut (being mindful of those with allergies).
Note: I have only made this using white vinegar.

Cabbage is readily available year-round. It stores well in the vegetable bin of the refrigerator, so it is easy to keep on hand. It is inexpensive (as are the other ingredients in this slaw), a big plus when feeding  a crowd. Cabbage is an excellent source of Vitamins C and K and other nutrients, is low in calories, is purported to have a number of disease-preventing properties, and is Number 11 on the 2011 “Clean 15” List, recently released by the Environmental Working Group (EWG). What this means is that conventionally-grown cabbage is one of the vegetables lowest in residual pesticides. [For more on EWG, the “Dirty Dozen,” and the “Clean 15,” see last year’s post.] Be sure to check out the EWG site where you can download your own pocket guide.

I’m sure you are aware that Meatless Monday falls on July 4th this year. Just so you know, I had this post worked out way before Mark Bittman wrote about it in the New York Times and everyone tweeted it all over. Yes, this coming Monday may be a tough Monday to go meatless, especially if you are at a traditional cook-out as someone else’s guest. It’s certainly not the easiest day to begin the Meatless Monday habit.

But take this advice from someone who often rides the guilt train. Don’t be too hard on yourself. If you’re an omnivore and find yourself craving a big, juicy, burger, just go meatless on Tuesday this week instead. [Chances are that you are going meatless more than once a week anyway.] Enjoy your Fourth, wherever you are, and whatever you happen to eat. 

Have a good week, and please come back soon for more food facts, recipes, and my latest edible discoveries.

I often blog on food or food issues on Monday in support of Meatless Monday, one of several programs developed in the Healthy Monday project, founded in 2003 in association with Columbia University’s Mailman School of Public Health, Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health and Syracuse University’s Newhouse School of Communications. Meatless Monday’s goal is “to help reduce meat consumption 15% in order to improve personal  health and the health of our planet.”


  1. You and your readers might want to check out The Fred Harvey Cookbook Project where we post a "new" archival recipe from Fred Harvey chefs each day and encourage experimentation. Yours is the third version we posted.
    Stephen Fried
    author, Appetite for America: Fred Harvey and the Business of Civilizing the Wild West--One Meal at a Time (Bantam)

  2. What a great site. Thanks for the tip!