Thursday, January 20, 2011

I've Got the REAL Golden Ticket

In which our Heroine eats yet again. 

My subject today is the unassuming cabbage.  I made a simple cabbage soup today.  It involved cabbage, grated carrot, bouillon, pepper, and paprika.  It doesn’t sound like much, but it was actually rather tasty.  And the best part is that I felt healthy by eating it too.
Cabbage has been given a bad rap.  I think of movies like Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, where cabbage shows up in a sad, starved soup.  In comparison to the “I’ve got a golden ticket” Willie Wonka candy bar, this poor cruciferous vegetable just doesn’t have a chance.  I also end up thinking of that Russian cabbage soup, borscht.  The first time I ate it, I thought little enough of it to assume that only a starving Siberian family during the Cold War could ever eat this stuff regularly.  When I moved to Alaska I learned that cabbage is extremely hardy against cold weather and heard a strange story about people freezing their cabbages out on the back deck during winter—thus increasing my belief that only those with no other choice—and who are inevitably very cold—would ever eat this stuff. 
I am beginning to learn that my assumptions (and consumptions, ha ha ha) were wrong.  Cabbage and its cousins have been considered a healthful food for centuries.  The Greeks and Romans especially considered it a sort of cure-all.  Scientists today find that cabbage can not only prevent against tumors, but can also encourage cancer cell apoptosis.  This means that the cancer cells self-destruct.  That’s right, they commit suicide.  It’s weird to say it, but I really hope that certain cells in my body commit suicide.  I wish for it every day. 
So what are cancer’s cousins, or cruciform vegetables?  They include: brussel sprouts, collard greens, kale, watercress, turnips, broccoli, cauliflower, bok choy, and pai tsai (Chinese celery cabbage).  When was the last time you ate one of these?  According to my source, Foods that Fight Cancer, eating broccoli just four times a week effectively blocks colon polyps from forming.  That’s not much of a hassle, now is it?
Take that, Willie Wonka, and your delicious chocolate candy bar too.


  1. Yum - I love cabbage, especially in a delicious soup. Kale is great in soup too. I've made it in Zuppa Toscana (Olive Garden recipe) and loved it. You can find a link to the recipe on my blog: I've had both broccoli and cauliflower this week. Unfortunately, I also discovered Brownie Oreos. YUM!

  2. It was ironic to read this post after I just got back from the grocery store today. I actually just bought cabbage, cauliflower and broccoli to make some dishes and kale for the first time to try.

  3. I love cabbage! We use it a lot in Japanese cooking (bokchoy is an Asian cabbage) and people on my mission in the Philippines cooked with it a lot too! Funny thing, on the flip side of Charlie and the chocolate factory, I'm not a big fan of chocolate bars or chocolate in general unless it's super dark and bitter, and even then it has to be in very small amounts.

  4. I remember being served canned spinach at the school cafeteria. In my efforts to imitate the mighty Popeye I tried to eat the spinach (Mom wouldn't let me smoke a pipe) but found the sloppy green mash less than palatable.

    It took me YEARS to discover that the dark green leaves on salad bars and buffet tables that I loved to put on top of my salad were actually spinach leaves. Quality and freshness make all the difference.