A Delish (and Healthy) Side Dish!

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Hello friends! I hope you’re enjoying a safe and healthy summer! It’s been crazy around here, even though the 4th has passed, we have continued to gather for cookouts. Must be due to living in our forever home- finally!

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We have 3 acres and a big pond, so we have plenty of backyard in which to enjoy these gorgeous summer evenings.

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We also like to gather around the fire pit after dinner to roast marshmallows. One last great part of our yard is my HUGE herb and vegetable garden, more on that in a later post!

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I wanted to share a GREAT side dish/salad to consume mass quantities of at your next cookout. I call it “Super Cabbage Slaw”, because it’s far more than just coleslaw. But did you know that coleslaw is really good for you? Coleslaw comes from the Dutch word Koolsla, which means “cabbage salad”. Traditionally coleslaw is made with raw, shredded cabbage and some combination of shredded carrots, jicama, raisins and other healthy ingredients. It’s usually made with a dressing of mayonnaise, or buttermilk with vinegar and spices.

Cabbage is a cruciferous vegetable along with broccoli, Brussels sprouts and cauliflower, and they are renowned for their ability to protect against cancer. Recommendations are that you eat a minimum of 1 1/2 cups of cruciferous vegetables 2-3 times a week in order to reap the best benefits from this cancer fighter. Cabbage is an excellent source of a compound called sinigrin, which is particularly effective in helping to prevent cancer of the colon, prostate, and bladder. The health benefits of cabbage are greatest when it is eaten raw, as cooking it destroys much of it’s cancer fighting compounds, which is why coleslaw is such a great way to eat cabbage.

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Cabbage also is a good source of fiber, is high in vitamin C and K, and is loaded with calcium, potassium, vitamin A, vitamin B6, manganese and folate. In addition, it’s high in glutamine, which is an amino acid with anti-inflammatory properties. To top it off, cabbage is low in calories, only 50 calories per cup!

Why I call my side dish “Super cabbage slaw” because in addition to the cabbage, I make a vinaigrette as the sauce instead of a creamy dressing. The vinaigrette pickles the cabbage, which is great for the digestive system (see my previous post, “Peter Piper knew what he was talking about”  https://vitalvaldecap.com/2015/07/16/peter-piper-knew-what-he-was-talking-about-heres-why-you-should-do-it-too/ ). Also, remember that extra virgin olive oil is a healthy fat (monounsaturated fatty acid or MUFA), which adds even more good health to this dish. And it tastes delicious too!

It’s super easy to make, too, so it won’t take much time away from sitting outside and celebrating these beautiful summer nights. To borrow a phrase, it’s “semi-homemade”. All you need is a bowl and a knife to make this so here we go!

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Valerie’s Super Cabbage Slaw

  • One cabbage chopped finely or shredded (Or if you want to save time use a bag of already prepared coleslaw mix from the grocery store)
  • 1/2 of a red onion (provides pretty color) finely chopped
  • 1 large jalapeno (remove ribs and seeds if you don’t want a spicy slaw)
  • 1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/2 cup white wine vinegar
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon pepper
  • Fresh herbs- I used basil and chives- about a tablespoon each

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First, chop the cabbage (or open the bag of already prepared mix), and add to a large bowl. Next chop the onion and jalapeno, and add to the cabbage. Then, prepare the vinaigrette.

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Combine the last 6 ingredients in a smaller bowl and whisk. The last step is to add the vinaigrette to the vegetables and mix until it’s fully incorporated. Taste, and if it needs more salt, go for it.

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If you are not a coleslaw person, you will like my version, I promise you. It’s crunchy, light and flavorful. This is not your grandmother’s coleslaw! Danielle and I are actually making another batch right now as we speak (or as I write) with cabbage, onions and peppers I grew in my garden. It is addictive and we really can’t get enough of it!

So try this recipe, and you’ll like it. Oh by the way, you can add whatever healthy ingredients that you enjoy eating to this super slaw; you really can’t mess it up. Eating my super cabbage slaw will help you to live a life of vitality- with Valerie! 🙂

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Even More Healthy Reasons to enjoy your cup of morning Joe!

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I made this beautiful cup of coffee! #barristaintraining

 

Hello friends! I hope everyone is enjoying this lovely spring day! I definitely am. I started out the day as I always do, with a delicious cup of coffee. I’ve written about the health benefits of coffee previously, but recent studies that I’ve read made me think it’s worthwhile to revisit the topic with you, my lovely readers. I’ll conclude with my “recipe” for healthy coffee. So grab a cup of coffee, sit back and read this post. It will be worth your while, I promise!

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Right now, as I write, coffee is being consumed!

 

New evidence has shown that coffee drinking may help minimize the risk of malignant melanoma, the most deadly form of skin cancer. In a study at Yale, researchers analyzed data from over 440,000 people, followed up with them 10 years later, and found that caffeinated coffee drinking lowered the risk of melanoma by 10%. If 4 or more cups of caffeinated coffee per day was consumed the risk was 20% lower. Decaf coffee did not change the risk of melanoma. It is thought that the reason for this is that caffeine protects against UV radiation.

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Coffee drinking Snap Chat to my girlies! Love my Epcot ball coffee mug!

 

In addition to protecting against melanoma, research shows that coffee drinkers may have a higher protection against other cancers like breast, colon, prostate and even liver. Coffee drinking also has been shown to reduce the risk of type 2 diabetes. Harvard School of Public Health researchers gathered data from 3 different studies and found that study participants who increased their coffee intake by more than one cup a day, to be exact 1.69 cups per day over a 4 year period, had an 11% lower type 2 diabetes risk than people who did not change their coffee intake. Another study has shown that drinking coffee in moderation protects against heart failure (Moderation= 2 8 ounce servings per day). People who drank 4 cups per day had an 11% lower risk of heart failure, compared to those who did not.

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Coffee drinking Snap Chat back at me from Jac!

 

One of the coolest benefits to drinking coffee I’ve found is the study that showed evidence that drinking coffee may reduce mortality. That’s right, drinking 4-5 cups of coffee daily may reduce the risk of early death, even for those who drink decaf. Coffee drinking can also protect against developing Parkinson’s disease, lower the incidence of cirrhosis of the liver for alcohol drinkers by 22%, and lower the risk of developing multiple sclerosis. That’s some compelling evidence for drinking coffee, isn’t it?!

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Gorgeous cappuccino from Milktooth, one of my fave restaurants in Indy!

 

However, and I’ve said this before, sugar is one of the worst things we can put in our bodies on a daily basis, and excessive sugar leads to diabetes, heart disease, and cancer- the very things from which coffee protects us. So you cannot drink 4-5 sugary cups of coffee, and think you are doing something good for your body. That being said, I have developed a cup of coffee over the years that tastes like it’s bad for you, but is actually very healthy. I’ve shared it in past posts but it’s so good, it’s worth repeating.

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Coffee station at my casa!

 

First step, start out with good coffee. I have a Nespresso machine and make espresso by using Nespresso capsules. I pull a large espresso, but if you have a regular coffee maker use the best quality coffee you can and make a good sized cup of coffee, leaving room at the top for the other ingredients.

Second, I add 1 teaspoon of organic cinnamon and 1 teaspoon UNSWEETENED cocoa powder to the coffee and stir. I like the warm, spicy taste of cinnamon in my coffee and the cocoa powder adds a delicious, chocolatey flavor, without adding any sugar to it. Both these things are essential to a yummy cup of coffee for me, and add more to the healthiness of the beverage also. Unsweetened cocoa powder may reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease, is low in calories and contains essential minerals that support the heart, bones and immune system. Cinnamon also lowers the risk of cardiovascular disease, helps reduce blood sugar levels in diabetics, improves brain function, protects against Parkinson’s disease, and helps reduce the risk of diabetes. See? Delicious and healthy!

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Next step, I use my milk frother to whip Organic half and half with French vanilla coconut milk creamer. Remember that healthy fats are good for you, like half and half, so don’t feel guilty using it. It makes the coffee very creamy and rich. I use the coconut milk creamer for sweetness. I use about 2 tablespoons half and half, and 1 tablespoon coconut milk creamer. The coconut milk creamer only has 5 ingredients, all of them healthy, and 4 grams of sugar per tablespoon. No added sugar needed. I like using a frother because it makes the cream warm and frothy, but it isn’t necessary if you don’t have one, just add the ingredients into the coffee.

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Next goal is to learn how to make designs in my cappuccinos! 😉

That’s all there is to it, my friends! My coffee contains only 65 calories and 4 grams of sugar, provides so much protection for your overall health, and is delicious too! So drink your HEALTHY coffee, and know you are doing something really great for your body. It tastes so warm and comforting that it’s good for your soul too! Drinking healthy coffee will help you live a life of vitality-with Valerie! 🙂