This past weekend we celebrated Canadian Thanksgiving and it was beautiful! We spent a lovely weekend surrounded by family and loved ones. Actually we also attended a wedding on Saturday which was an added bonus to my favourite time of year! I love all the holidays, but Thanksgiving is special to me. I’m not sure what it is, but as summer comes to an end and back to school nears, I seem to be consoled by the fact that Thanksgiving is just around the corner. Maybe it’s because it’s a holiday with little hoopla – it’s simple. Cook great food, enjoy time with family and be grateful for all of your blessings. No shopping or distractions involved. Just a simple holiday to be surrounded by love.
Thanksgiving came and went and it was wonderful as always! I got to spend some time with the people I love, we laughed, counted our blessings, enjoyed a bit too much pie and stuffing and here we are on Tuesday getting back to real life. So to get us back on track and back to eating balanced meals packed with nutrients, I wanted to share my favourite kinda steak :). A perfectly roasted, sweet, savoury, crispy and juicy cabbage steak. Yum! I love love love this dish! It tastes great, the flavours are perfectly balanced and so are the nutrients. The cabbage is a great detox ingredient as are most of the other ingredients in the dish, and our body can use some extra detoxing support after a weekend of indulging :). This meal contains healthy fat, carbs, fibre and is packed with plant powered protein. So good and good for you. A total win-win!
Cabbage contains antioxidant nutrients and anti-inflammatory nutrients in the form of vitamin C, manganese, flavonoids and polyphenols and has been studied to be helpful for cardiovascular health, diabetes and cancer prevention.
Before we delve into the recipe I want to share some of the key nutritional benefits found in cabbage. Cabbage is a cruciferous vegetable that is super cleansing for your liver. Cruciferous veggies have been extensively studied over the years due to their benefits for cardiovascular health, diabetes and cancer prevention. In fact there are over 475 such studies to date! Cabbage is packed with anti-cancer benefits thanks to the three properties it carries including (1) antioxidant nutrients, (2) anti-inflammatory nutrients and (3) glucosinolates. Let’s look at each a bit more closely. Antioxidant nutrients include vitamin C, manganese and nearly 20 different flavonoids and 15 different phenols that have been identified to date. This impressive list of antioxidant phytonutrients in cabbage is one key reason why an increasing number of studies link cabbage intake to decreased risk of several cardiovascular diseases and for its cancer prevention benefits. Insufficient intake of antioxidants can lead to oxidative stress which in and of itself, can be a risk factor for development of cancer. The polyphenols found in cabbage as mentioned earlier also render the high anti-inflammatory benefits found in cabbage. Just the anti-inflammatory and anti-oxidant properties alone would explain the anti-cancer properties of cabbage, but glucosinolates further contribute to its cancer fighting effects. Glucosinolates are essentially sulfur containing compounds found in cruciferous vegetables. They give those vegetables their characteristic bitter flavor and pungent aroma that you probably love. There’s nothing bitter about this roasted cabbage! It is caramelized, sweet and delicious!
The instructions for the recipe are pretty straight forward. For the cabbage I use locally grown green cabbage, any variety will do. I like to use the centre large pieces and save the ends for salads, stir-fries or juicing. The centre pieces are larger and make a great large steak for roasting. Cut the pieces you’d like to roast into at least 1 inch thick slices and brush lightly with oil and dress with salt and pepper. It’s best to roast at a high heat to ensure the cabbage crisps nicely on the outside. Roasting at 400°F will ensure the cabbage caramelizes and retains a crispy texture. Cooking at lower heat will make for a soggy vs crispy cabbage – not such a yummy steak.
- 4 large slices of cabbage cut 1 - 1½ inch thick
- 2 tbsp avocado oil
- salt and pepper
- 4 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
- 2 cloves of garlic
- 4 cups of cherry tomatoes
- 2 cups of cooked chickpeas
- 2 green bell peppers
- 1 cup of sliced black olives
- 3 tbsp chopped basil
- 1 tsp dried oregano
- salt and pepper to taste
- Preheat oven to 400 and heat baking sheet for a few minutes. Meanwhile slice cabbage into 4 large slices approximately 1 to 1½ inch thick. Lightly coat cabbage with avocado oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper, to taste. Place on warmed baking sheet and bake for 30 min until crispy edges form and cabbage is cooked through. Flip over at the 30 minute mark and roast for another 10-15 minutes.
- Pour olive oil into a large bowl and add to it the 2 cloves of garlic, crushed or finely minced. This will allow the oil to be infused with the garlic flavour. Slice the cherry tomatoes into half and add to the oil mixture. Add to this, 2 cups of cooked chickpeas. If you're using canned chickpeas ensure they are thoroughly rinsed ad strained. Cut green peppers into small cubes, ½ inch pieces and add to the bowl. Add black olives, basil, oregano and salt and pepper and mix until well combined.
- To serve, place each cabbage steak into a large plate and top with ¼ of the salsa mixture.