Last week, I had big plans for a new exciting recipe(!) to kick 2016 off. But, things don't always go as planned. Since G wasn't feeling super awesome, we had her on a daily dose of the extreme healing power of whole foods chicken noodle soup (we swear by it), and I resorted to a delicious recipe that I have made many times in the past that would (a) use up a lot of the ingredients we had on hand already and would spoil soon otherwise and (b) be easily transportable to work.
I'm all for the make-my-life-easy substitutes when they don't sacrifice flavor or nutritional value. One of such substitutes is precut, prewashed veggies. Now, sometimes I shy away from these types of products if the vegetable in question is on the dirty dozen list -- this is a general list of fresh fruits and vegetables that are recommended to buy organic due to the use of pesticides and other harmful chemicals. We buy organic anytime it is available AND not cost prohibitive, except when the item appears on the dirty dozen list- then, it is non-negotiable to buy organic. And, we always buy dairy and meat products organic unless it is simply not available at all.
However, the coleslaw and shredded red cabbage I am using in the recipe today are not on the dirty dozen list. Is it hard to shred green and red cabbage? No. But, the time and energy I would expend to do such takes away from my motivation to eat something healthy like Apple Slaw, and so, I make my decisions accordingly. The granny smith apple is on the dirty dozen list, and so that is organic, as well as the green onions- they were available organic and not that much more expensive than conventional. I find that organic products usually taste better than conventional also, so if the price is right, I get the upgrade.
Cooking Tip: I use a ton of fresh ginger in recipes since asian recipes are some of my favorite. Powdered ginger just doesn't cut it because the flavor is significantly different, so it doesn't make the make-my-life-easy list. What does make my life easy?? Buying a nice big piece of ginger that doesn't have too many knobs sticking out off the sides, peeling it while it's fresh, and then freezing it. Using a micro-planer (in the picture below - I LOVE mine) or other fine grater to grate frozen ginger is a cinch!! So easy, and the rest goes back in the freezer and keeps for at least a month or more.
This recipe originates from Juli Bauer's cookbook: The Paleo Kitchen. She uses a different mixture of cabbage and carrots for her slaw, mine uses the coleslaw mix which makes the recipe super simple and fast. She also originally made the recipe with pork burgers instead of beef. I had 1lb of organic 93/7 beef and 1lb of organic ground bison on hand, and so that's what I used. But, any ground meat at all will work - turkey, chicken, pork, lamb, beef, or combination of any of them.
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Some before and after pictures for you with most of the ingredients needed to make the slaw: