Pardon the delay in posting—turns out I left my battery charger in Tallahassee after a trip there at the beginning of March (oops!). And speaking of that trip, I feel an intense desire to re-experience hot boiled peanuts, and to recreate the amazingly non-nutritional-yeasty/-mustardy vegan macaroni and cheese from the Vegan Soul Food cart. Until I manage those endeavors, though, I’ve decided upon a healthier route involving a lot of shredded vegetables and raw dressing.
I’ve never been a huge fan of coleslaws, probably as a result of not being a huge mayonnaise and/or sour cream dressing kind of person. But when I first tried a peanut slaw a few years ago, I knew there was more to the world of coleslaw than rich and dairy- or egg-laden varieties. This one straddles the line between creamy and vinegar-based, with a bit of richness from raw almond butter and a tinge of tangy vinegar. I definitely would have tried a bit of fresh squeezed lime juice if I’d had it on hand, but the apple cider vinegar provides the necessary acidity and still keeps it raw for the purists out there And if you’re not interested in being raw, you can use rice vinegar, some mirin and even roasted almond or peanut butter for a more “authentic” Asian-style slaw.
Along with the typical cabbage (I used a mixture of savoy and red) and carrots, this salad features a recent arrival to the co-op that’s been tempting me for weeks: the mild beauty heart radish, whose unassuming pale green exterior conceals a brilliant magenta center. But if you can’t access this where you live, any milder (or not so mild, if you like) radish will do. Finished off with some fresh cilantro and Thai basil, this is a great easy and appliance-free raw recipe great for parties, or scaled down for just a few servings.
Spicy Raw Almond Slaw
(makes about 8 cups)
6 cups thinly shredded cabbage (about 1/2 medium head)
1 beauty heart radish, julienned (about 1 cup total)
2 medium carrots, julienned
1/3 cup thinly sliced red onion
1/3 cup chopped fresh cilantro
2 tbsp thinly sliced fresh basil
3 tbsp almond butter
1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
2 tbsp raw sesame oil
2 tbsp agave nectar or Coconut Nectar
2 tbsp tamari, nama shoyu, or Coconut Aminos
2 tsp red chili flakes, or to taste
salt, to taste (if using coconut aminos, see note)
additional chopped cilantro and almonds to garnish as desired.
Prepare the vegetables as directed – I used a mandoline for the onion, radish, and cabbage and a knife for the rest. Combine them in a large bowl and toss to distribute. In a small bowl, whisk together the dressing ingredients and pour over the vegetables, and taste for seasoning. Toss to coat evenly and garnish with additional cilantro and chopped almonds if desired. Can be served immediately, but tastes best after an hour or so when flavors are left to mingle.
Coconut Aminos are organic, gluten-free, soy-free and vegan! I just discovered them at the co-op. They have far less sodium than regular soy sauces, so I found I needed to add a little salt to emulate that aspect of what tamari brings to dressings. Also made by the same company, Coconut Secret, is Coconut Nectar, which is a low glycemic sweetener with a pretty neutral flavor. Both are raw and contain 17 different amino acids. (Normally I’m not in the business of promoting brand names on my blog, but these things are too amazing to me not to mention.)
My 2 teaspoons of chili flakes barely spiced it for me, but since I was serving it to other people whose spice sensitivity I didn’t know, I didn’t add any more heat. I think it would be even more delicious with at least twice that amount!
As the vegetables begin to wilt in the dressing, the slaw will lose a bit of volume, so keep that in mind if you’re making it in advance.