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Fast Cheap and Easy January 22, 2013  RSS feed

Fast, Cheap, Easy and Healthy #2

By Sherry Matney

So it is the end of the first week of our thirteen week commitment. How did you do? I saw no comments at the end of the column on leoncountytoday.com, but then I didn’t see how anyone could have made any comments. So I will assume there were many but you simply could not do what I asked.

To report on my week, I did pretty good. Since it was so rainy and cold on Tuesday and Wednesday, I did not get to walk and until today, I did not have my treadmill in the house. But I still walked two miles on five of seven days, giving me a total of five miles walked this week, which converts to 1135 calories used. A little more than one slice of carrot cake with cream cheese frosting.

I was able to keep my calorie intake at or below the 1300 level except for one day when Paul and I had guests and I was forced to eat. My weight today was 154.

This week I am featuring a humble but powerful food; the lowly cabbage. I am about to celebrate my 70th birthday, which classifies me as being old enough to be cynical about what I read about health food, especially since the information changes regularly. But, if you believe what you read, cabbage reigns supreme among vegetables. Eating cabbage more than once a week has been credited with cutting men’s colon cancer odds by 66 percent. It also stimulates the immune system, kills bacteria and viruses and is a good blood purifier.

Add the fact that cabbage is low in calories, high in fiber, has no fat and very little sugar or sodium. Even for a skeptic that should surely qualify as healthy.

Today I paid .59 per pound for a head of cabbage at Lacey’s in Centerville, and it was not on sale. The three pound head cost $1.71 and that makes it cheap.

Although I do not mind cutting up the cabbage - it will take less than five minutes - it is available in shredded packages ready to be dumped into a bowl and add dressing. What you may not think about is that you can cook that shredded cabbage and save time there as well. When I was living in Dallas and came home to visit my parents, my mama almost always cooked cabbage, especially for me. She knew I loved it and that my family didn’t so the only time I got it was when we went to a Luby’s or came home.

My favorite way for her to cook cabbage was to fry it. She would start by cooking some bacon, if she had it, if not she would put bacon drippings in a skillet. Then she would cut up the cabbage, not as fine as for slaw, but fairly thin. After she browned the cabbage a little she would add some water and salt and let it cook down. Soooooo good.

Of course today we try to stay away from bacon and bacon drippings but we can make cabbage almost as good. Start with canola oil in the skillet, heat it some and add the cabbage. (Remember you can do this with slaw mix.) Brown it slightly then add some water, just enough to cover the bottom of the pan. To add some flavor cut up some Canadian bacon and add to the cabbage. Don’t salt. The Canadian bacon has a similar flavor without as much fat and sodium. If you wait until the cabbage is on your plate to salt, chances are you will end up with less sodium than if you salt it while cooking.

This really is fast and easy. Maybe not as easy as popping a frozen pizza into the oven but pretty close, and much better for you. The Canadian bacon provides some protein and served with a black-eyed pea salad and cornbread, you’ve got a fast, cheap, easy and healthy Leon County meal.

Following are a couple of cabbage recipes, in case you don’t like Fried Cabbage and next week I’ll give
you the Black-eyed Pea Salad along with some tidbits about that healthy super food.
Creamed Cabbage
1 large head cabbage,
coarsely chopped
1 medium-sized onion,
1 cup water
¼ tsp black pepper
1 can cream of mushroom
soup (low sodium)
1 2-oz jar chopped pimientos
In large pot bring first
four ingredients to a boil and
allow to cook for 10 minutes.
Drain off water and add soup
and pimientos; mix well. Reduce heat to low and simmer
for 20 minutes, or until cabbage is tender.
Country Coleslaw
6 cups shredded cabbage
1 cup shredded carrots
OR 1 package of slaw mix
1 cup light mayonnaise
3 tbsp lemon juice
2 tbsp Splenda or sugar
OR prepared coleslaw dressing

Mix dressing ingredients in a large bowl. Add cabbage and carrots and toss to coat well. Salt when served.
This week look at what you have been eating and try to focus on getting at least five servings of vegetables
and fruit each day. Write down the amount of water you drink and shoot for 8 glasses. Keep moving. Put
on a hat and gloves and take a walk. If you can, try again to talk to me on leoncountytoday.com.

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