2013-09-19 / Local & State

Enjoy Some Fresh PA Cabbage

Home-grown Pennsylvania cabbage is high in vitamin C and fiber as well as the cancer-fighting indole compounds. Cabbage is grown on about 1,200 acres in Pennsylvania, ranking the state thirteenth in cabbage production in the nation. It is grown on about 360 farms and brings in three to five million dollars in sales to growers. While cabbage is harvested throughout the summer, the fall cabbage crop harvest is now well underway and will continue until winter sets in.

Eating cabbage – and other vegetables in the cabbage family like broccoli, Brussels sprouts, cauliflower, and kale - has been linked to decreases in cholesterol levels, blood pressure, peptic ulcers and various kinds of cancer as well as to increases in mental sharpness. The cabbage family is also known as the Cruciferae family because their flowers are shaped like a cross. According to the Wellness Encyclopedia of Food and Nutrition of the University of California at Berkeley, cruciferous vegetables contain indoles – nitrogen compounds – that seem to protect against cancers of the stomach and large intestine. They also are generally high in fiber and antioxidants like vitamin C and carotenoids. Antioxidants neutralize the action of free radicals – unstable oxygen molecules – which promote cancer. Cruciferous vegetables also contain compounds that stimulate the release of anticancer enzymes. Dietary experts have long recommended including cruciferous vegetables in the diet regularly, at least several times a week.

Some people object to the odor produced by cooking cabbage. The odor is caused by the release of sulfur compounds as the cabbage cooks. While boiling cabbage in large amounts of water in an open pot will minimize the characteristic strong cabbage taste, it maximizes the loss of nutrients. Steaming, stir-frying, microwaving or quick cooking in small amounts of water minimizes nutrient loss in the cooking process. Of course, cabbage can be enjoyed raw by itself or in salads and slaws.

The following finalist recipes from the 2013 Pennsylvania Vegetable Recipe Contest are tasty ways to include cabbage in your menus.

Cabbage and Shrimp with
Easy Thai Peanut Sauce
Serves 2
1 medium onion
1 small head of cabbage
1 tablespoon extra-virgin
olive oil
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon pepper
1 cup low sodium chicken
1 cup uncooked instant
brown rice
1 tablespoon peanut butter 1 tablespoon reduced
sodium soy sauce
1 tablespoon honey
1 tablespoon lime juice
1/4 teaspoon srichacha
8 ounces uncooked
shrimp, deveined & tails removed Roughly chop the onion
and the cabbage into bitesize pieces. Sauté the onion
and cabbage in a large pot
with the olive oil and then
season with salt and pepper.
Once the veggies are softened (about 10 minutes) add
the broth and uncooked rice.
Cover and cook for about 10
minutes, until the rice is
done. While the veggies and
rice are cooking, make the
peanut sauce. Whisk together the peanut butter, soy
sauce, honey, lime juice and
srichacha, then set aside.
Once the rice is done, add
the shrimp, cooking for
about 2 to minutes until
opaque. Top with peanut
sauce, divide among 2 bowls
and serve.
Finalist recipe submitted
by Kelly Paul, Harrisburg
Seaslaw Salad
Serves 6
1/4 cup Chardonnay wine
3 Tablespoons fresh lemon juice
2 Tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
3 teaspoons honey
4 fresh basil leaves,
coarsely chopped or 1/4 teaspoon dried basil
1/4 teaspoon celery salt
pinch of cayenne pepper
3 1/2 cups finely shredded
white cabbage
1 1/2 cups finely chopped
green pepper
1 small red or purple
onion, quartered and thinly
1/4 cup chopped fresh
2 cups chopped or cubed
fresh cooked crab meat
1 can artichoke hearts,
rinsed, drained, halved and
thinly sliced.
1/ 2 pound medium or
large shrimp, cooked and
Prepare a lemon
Chardonnay vinaigrette
dressing by placing the first
seven ingredients (Chardonnay wine, lemon juice, olive
oil, honey, basil, celery salt,
and cayenne pepper) in a
blender and blending until
uniform. Combine 3/4 cup of
the vinaigrette with the remaining ingredients except
the shrimp in a large mixing
bowl and toss gently with
two forks to blend. Cover and
chill for at least 2 hours before serving. Remix several
times while chilling.
Serving Options 1) Halve
a honeydew melon about 8"
in diameter and scoop out
the seeds. Slice three whole
circles from each half. Remove rind from circles and
place melon on individual
plates. Place a scoop of the
Seaslaw Salad in center of
each plate and arrange
shrimp on each serving. 2)
Hollow out the center of a

fresh cabbage (saving a few of the outer leaves to place on serving platter) and cut bottom side to sit flat. Place the Seaslaw Salad in the hollow and arrange shrimp around the bottom on the fresh cabbage leaves. This option is especially nice for a picnic.

Finalist recipe submitted by Mary Ellen Miller, Orwigsburg

Red Cabbage,
Red Quinoa Stew
Serves 5
1 cup water
1/2 cup red quinoa, rinsed
2 medium sweet potatoes, peeled and cubed
1 cooking apple, peeled
or 1/2 cup dried apples
1/3 cup golden raisins
1/ 4 cup dried minced
1 teaspoon garlic minced
2 teaspoons apple cider

2 teaspoons Mirin rice
cooking wine
28 1/2-ounce can Italian
plum tomatoes
10- ounce package red
Prepare ingredients and
then place all ingredients
into a pressure cooker. Cook
on medium pressure for 4
minutes. Take the cooker off
the heat and let it sit for 10
minutes - quick release if
needed. Serve over leafy
greens. To cook in a soup
pot, place all ingredients into
a soup pot and stir. Bring to
a boil and then simmer for
about 35 minutes or until
sweet potatoes and cabbage
are to your liking, stirring
several times. Serve over
leafy greens

Finalist recipe submitted by BJ Reed and Tom Sabo, Chambersburg

Quick Buying Tips for Pennsylvania Cabbage

The Pennsylvania Vegetable Marketing and Research Program offers these tips when buying fresh cabbage:

Select firm, compact heads.

Choose heads that are free of yellow, wilted or splitting leaves.

Avoid cutting cabbage until just before use.

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