We’re all familiar with kale and its many benefits. It’s been the darling of the food world for many years but I think there’s a new kid on the block. I propose that we give green and red cabbages the attention they deserve. Yes, cabbage is one of the healthiest foods you can eat, and this vegan coleslaw with creamy dressing is just one example of how delicious it can be, as well!
Coleslaw is a perfect side dish for many meals but we often think of it during the summer for a potluck or BBQ. It’s great alongside a veggie burger or vegan ribs along with some BBQ beans…. Yum!
It’s also perfect for a picnic or a potluck because it will serve a lot of people and is easy to make.
Tradition coleslaw is made with mayonnaise and although there are vegan versions of mayonnaise, notably the Vegannaise brand, I suggest using homemade mayonnaise made with tofu and cashews. This will be a lighter version than if it was made solely with cashews which have a lot of fat.
You can use store-bought mayonnaise (about 1/2 cup) in a pinch.
Healthy Benefits of Cabbage
Like most vegetables, cabbage is chock full of plant-based nutrients! It’s high in vitamin C, potassium, folate, vitamin K, magnesium, and calcium.
In addition, cabbage is anti-inflammatory and high in fiber. It’s also high in an amino acid called L-glutamine and may be beneficial for healing a leaky gut, and other gut-related issues, by increasing the integrity of the gut barrier.
For a delicious twist on cooked cabbage, but sure to try this recipe for Garlicky Roasted Cabbage Steaks from a fellow blogger at The Wimpy Vegetarian. It’s a perfect side dish and only takes 10-15 minutes to prep.
How to Make Healthy Creamy Vegan Coleslaw
TOFU-CASHEW DRESSING: Start by making the creamy dressing. Soaked raw cashews, tofu, dates, and flavorings make a perfect combination of flavors. This recipe makes about 1 cup of dressing, and you’ll have some leftovers. Keep in the refrigerator until ready to use.
After pressing the tofu, measure out 1/2 cup and add to the blender with the soaked raw cashews, mustard, date, apple cider vinegar, and soy milk. You can use a tablespoon of maple syrup if you don’t have any Medjool dates.
Blend, scraping the sides every few seconds until you have a creamy dressing. A small spatula is very handy for scraping the sides of a blender. I use the smaller spatula in this set quite often. You don’t realize how handy they are until you have one!
Keep in mind that once the dressing is on the cabbage, it won’t be as pungent as when you taste the dressing alone so you might want to add more vinegar because of that.
The dressing is great leftover and is very similar to mayonnaise. It’s perfect for tofu egg salad or other dishes that use mayonnaise.
THE TRICK TO PERFECT COLESLAW: The trick to making perfect coleslaw is the way you shred the cabbage. This will keep the salad light and fluffy without large chunks. If you have one, use a mandolin to quickly make the slices uniform. You can also use a food processor.
Otherwise, using a large knife, slice the cabbage as thinly as possible after quartering the head of cabbage and removing the core. Check out the video below for mandolin instructions.
Shred the carrots and combine them with the cabbages. Add 1/2 of the dressing. Toss to make sure all of the ingredients are covered in dressing. Taste to see if there’s enough and add more if needed.
SUNFLOWER SEEDS: Mix in the sunflower seeds if used and place in the refrigerator to cool.
Other Cabbage Recipes:
- Scalloped Potato and Cabbage Casserole
- Red Cabbage Soup with Caraway Seeds
- Irish Cabbage Potato Soup with Dumplings
- Kimchi (a fermented version of cabbage)
- No official recipe but add it to your smoothies!
There are many ways to use cabbage. It can be used in salads, soups, wraps, burritos, or made in sauerkraut! It’s also great for juicing, so remember to use this great vegetable in your weekly whole-food, plant-based meals.
How to Thinly Shred Cabbage with a Mandolin
Coleslaw with Healthy Creamy Dressing
Dressing (makes about 1 cup)
- 1/2 cup firm tofu (measure after pressing)
- 1/3 cup raw cashews
- 1 tsp Dijon mustard
- 4 tbsp apple cider vinegar
- 3 tbsp soy milk (or other plant milk)
- 1 large Medjool date
- ¼ tsp salt (or to taste)
- 3 cups green cabbage shredded
- 2 cups red cabbage shredded
- 1 cup carrot peeled and shredded
- 1/3 cup raw sunflower seeds (optional)
- Read the notes for tips and substitutions.
Dressing (makes about 1 cup)
- Using your favorite tofu press, press the tofu for 10 minutes and then measure 1/2 cup. Soak the raw cashews in very hot water for about 10-15 minutes.
- Drain the cashews and add them to a high-speed blender with the tofu, mustard, 3 tablespoons vinegar, soy milk, date, and salt. Pulse a few times, then blend on high for a few seconds. Scrape down the sides and continue to blend. Do this several times until the dressing is creamy.
- Taste and add more vinegar and/or soy milk to thin. The mixture will be quite thick and creamy. Transfer to an airtight container and refrigerate. This makes about 1 cup and keeps well up to one week in the fridge.
- In a large bowl, combine the cabbages and carrots.
- Top with ½ of the dressing and mix until well combined adding more dressing as needed.
- If using, top with sunflower seeds and combine.
- Refrigerate until ready to serve.
- If you have one, use a small high-powered blender. The dressing will be easier to remove. Use a small spatula to scrape it out of the blender.
- Packed Coleslaw Mix can be used.
- Only Use Tofu: You can leave out the cashews and use all tofu if you'd like to have less fat.
- Maple Syrup: Substitute maple syrup for the Medjool date.
- Regular mustard can be substituted for Dijon.
- The Dressing: once the dressing is on the cabbage, it won't be as pungent as when you taste the dressing alone so keep that in mind when making the dressing.
- This is best served immediately. It will do well chilled in the refrigerator but make be less crunchy over time.