If ‘coleslaw’ makes you think of mayo- banish it from your mind! This is not your mayo based coleslaw for sure. Red cabbage is beautiful, inexpensive and an excellent source of vitamins C, K, and A. You could do all red cabbage for this slaw, or all green if that’s all you can find, but I like a combination of the two for the colours. In the middle of winter it can be difficult to find good produce that is reasonably priced. This colourful meal checks a number of boxes- easy, fast, healthy and economical!
RANDOM SCIENCE FACTS AND FUN HOME LAB FOR KIDS– skip this and scroll down if you want to straight to the foods!
You can also make an AWESOME natural indicator with red cabbage. An indicator is a substance that changes colour depending on pH. Red cabbage contains a pigment molecule that is an anthocyanin- this is what is responsible for the colour changes. Want a fun little science lab you can do at home? I have done the following MANY times with my science students. I usually have them test a variety of ‘mystery liquids’ with both pH strips and a few drops of the red cabbage indicator. They are always surprised with the variety and brightness of the colours produced.
To make the indicator, boil some chopped red cabbage(about a cup or cup and a half) with a half a cup of water for about 5 minutes- it doesn’t matter too much proportions, but you want to end up with a dark purple liquid – that being said, the colour of the liquid will very much depend on the pH of your tap water and how close to neutral your water is. Strain and cool (keep tightly sealed in the fridge) Once cooled, you can test a variety of household substances.
Start with something you know is acidic- lemon juice or vinegar and something you know is basic- bleach for example, so you have a baseline and know what colours to expect from acids and bases. In science class we use spot plates and pipettes, but you can just place a few drops of your testing liquid onto a plate. You want just a few drops of the substance you are testing, and then place a few drops of your indicator into it and record your observations.
If you drip this liquid into a substance that is basic, it will turn green, and if you drip it into an acid it turns bright pink. (Neutral solutions will stay purple). Have fun checking a variety of household liquids!
Time: 40 minutes for the sausages, about 15 minutes for the slaw or less if you are using a food processor.
You will need:
- 350 g (about 4 cups) red cabbage thinly sliced
- 200 g (about 3 cups) green cabbage thinly sliced
- 140 g (1 large) carrot grated
- 3 salt and pepper sausages (can be found at Maltese if you are in Thunder Bay) or 3 mildly flavoured sausages of your choice
- 1 clove garlic finely minced
- 2 tbsp sesame seeds
For the dressing:
- 1/2 cup (125 ml) balsamic vinegar
- 1/4 cup (60 ml) safflower or olive oil
- 2 1/2 tbsp (37 ml) pure maple syrup (don’t use maple flavoured whatever!)
- 1/2 tbsp (7 ml) toasted sesame oil
- 2 tsp (10 ml) smooth dijon mustard
- 1/2 shallot, finely minced (about 1.5 tbsp)
- 1 clove of garlic finely minced
- a few grinds of fresh pepper
Heat oven to 400F while you make the dressing.
Whisk together all dressing ingredients. This makes about 1 cup of dressing.
Thinly slice cabbages and grate carrot. I used a food processor today, but have often just sliced by hand. Dress slaw in half of the dressing and refrigerate and reserve the other half of the dressing. (This is fine made ahead, but ensure you don’t add the toasted sesame seeds until serving)
Add 1 additional clove of garlic to the reserved dressing. Place sausages in a small casserole dish with the half cup of reserved dressing. Bake for 40 minutes, flipping them over periodically and basting in the dressing.
In a small frying pan, add the sesame seeds and toast over medium heat, shaking them up until golden- about 5 minutes. Set aside to cool.
Add a generous amount slaw to each plate. When sausage is thoroughly cooked, slice on the bias and place on top of slaw. Sprinkle with a teaspoon or two of toasted sesame seeds.