Happy St. Patrick’s Day, Everyone!
My family loves St. Patrick’s Day! My mother, Rita Dunnigan, was Irish and we love all things Irish—Irish music and watching the traditional Irish dance the Jig! Growing up, all five of us kids went to Catholic school from Kindergarten through 12th grade, and so many of our priests and nuns were Irish. On St. Patrick’s Day, EVERYONE is Irish, so your St. Patrick’s Day celebration may include green beer, or some yummy Irish soda bread…or maybe some traditional corned beef and cabbage!!! Well, whatever your day’s recipes and celebrations include, let’s talk about all the amazing health benefits of CABBAGE!
You CAN lighten up your St Patty’s Day fixings with some healthier options, and cabbage is a great choice! I LOVE including cabbage in my Souper Vegetable Soup from my 360 Plan (see recipe below!). Remember the Cabbage Soup Diet??? Years ago, someone came up with a diet consisting of eating nothing but cabbage soup every day! Well, that’s way too extreme, but cabbage IS really good for you, and an excellent source of vitamins and nutrients that makes a super low-calorie addition to so many dishes.
There are lot of different types of cabbage and so many great ways to eat it…red cabbage, Asian cabbage, green cabbage, bok choy or even brussell sprouts! Cabbage is an excellent source of iron and vitamin C and has been known to help regulate blood sugar. It’s also a great way to get your daily dose of vitamin K & calcium, both of which help to make your bones stronger and healthier, and prevent osteoporosis. And cabbage is a good source of folate, which has been shown to prevent birth defects in pregnancy, as well as the prevention of blood diseases and certain cancers.
It’s also well-documented as being healthy for your digestive system and an excellent source of dietary fiber. In fact, studies also show that eating cabbage can be helpful in treating ulcers specifically because it has been shown to speed up the healing process for wounds and damaged tissues, and it contains anthocyanin, which is an anti-inflammatory! Amazing!
I love including cabbage as an ingredient in so many recipes in my 360 Plan. Cabbage is very versatile and can be prepared in just so many different ways and in a variety of foods from different countries. They can be pickled for dishes such as sauerkraut ,and kimchee, steamed, stewed, sautéed, braised, or even eaten raw in a salad.
So, Irish or not, whether you like it in coleslaw, stir fry or soup, enjoy some yummy cabbage! And happy St. Patrick’s Day, everyone!
Here’s my recipe for Souper Vegetable Soup. It’s not corned beef and cabbage, but I promise you’ll feel a lot better about your food choice after you eat it!!
Super Vegetable Soup
2 tsp. olive oil
1/2 green cabbage, thinly sliced
1/2 cup diced carrots
1/2 cup diced yellow onions
1/2 cup diced parsnips
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 cup fresh basil leaves, chopped
1 cup canned, diced tomatoes (with liquid)
6 cups low-sodium chicken or vegetable broth
Black pepper (to taste)
Chopped fresh parsley (for garnish)
- In a large soup pot, heat the oil over medium heat.
- Add the cabbage, carrots, onions, parsnips, garlic, and basil and cook until soft, 10 to 15 minutes.
- Add the tomatoes, broth, and black pepper and simmer for 20 to 30 minutes.
- Garnish each bowl with chopped parsley.
Makes 6 servings (serving size = 1 cup).