Last night I was making cabbage for dinner and thought “how can I make it different?” I also had an orange pepper and figured I would combine them somehow.
I cut the cabbage into shreds and roasted the pepper over a gas flame, removing the skin. After cutting the pepper into strips, I started cooking the cabbage in a little bit of peanut oil in a wok. When it started to soften, I added the pepper, a little bit of kosher salt and some smoked paprika. Then I tasted it. I thought it needed something more. I added maybe about a teaspoon of sugar and some dried cranberries both for the bit of tartness they would add, as well as color.
The flavor was marvelous. The colors were fantastic. And the only thing I might do if I made it again would be to sprinkle on the top some almond slivers for crunch.
What made this dish so great was not only did it taste great but what a powerhouse of nutrients it provided. The cabbage provided phytochemicals that pack an anticancer wallop from isothiocynates to sulforaphane. And if I make it again, I might try it with red cabbage that is a great source of anthocyanins, a flavonoid that is a powerful antioxidant that fights free radicals and has anti-inflammatory effects – a great weapon against cardiovascular disease.
The orange pepper is a great source of vitamins C and A (beta-carotene) and a good source of potassium that’s protective against hypertension.
Lastly, the cranberries contain a bunch of flavonoid compounds including anthocyanins (think red color), flavonols, and proanthocyanidins that could be protective against many types of cancer. The heart is helped with these, as well, since flavonoid and phenolic compounds found in cranberries can potentially reduce bad LDL-cholesterol and raise good HDL-cholesterol.
The bottom-line is that you can get so many health compounds through food without having to resort to popping supplements. Best of all, the dish was delicious!
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