Green Cabbage and Edamame – Cooking on a Shoestring Budget

My guileless childhood and callow youth was spent immersed in books. Glorious home spun tales, soaring visions, untraveled lands and boundless imaginations captured my every waking moment. I remember spending an inordinate amount of time in the bathroom and being yelled at by my sisters who were waiting for their turn because I had a book in my hand and couldn’t set it down for long enough to get out the bathroom. 🙂

Books, and their authors, spoke to
me in vivid pictures. My mind wove and embellished the tales I read. I saw, heard, felt and smelled every single event in the book. Thus it was, that the descriptions of the smell of cooking cabbage was always associated in my mind with poor households.

This was because then, as now, the humble cabbage is one of the cheapest vegetables you can get. Humble it might be, in terms of cost, but there is certainly nothing humble about cabbage’s nutritional profile. It is the star of nutrition and you would do well to incorporate it routinely in your diet. Cabbage has cleansing and cell detoxification ability, promotes cardio vascular and gastro intestinal health and is a huge powerhouse of Vitamin K.

Regardless of its fantastic nutritional profile, the reason cabbage is generally disliked is because it is cooked so much out of recognition that it loses its texture, taste and color and ends up looking and tasting like a mish-mash of a foul smelling goulash.

So here’s a well known secret tip about cabbage: dont overcook or over boil then you wont have to deal with the smell of cooking cabbage, the smell that has been described and immortalized in many many books by many many authors!

The cabbage recipe that I provide today is, in my opinion, the ultimate in culinary perfection. The taste, the color, the crunch and above all the enhanced nutrition because of being combined with fresh edamame beans makes this dish a gourmet addition to your dinner. Best of all, this is one of the easiest and quickest dishes to make. So go ahead and give it a shot. Next time you go grocery shopping, succumb to the temptation of the fresh green cabbage. Buy a whole head and indulge!

Here is what you need:
1/2 head of fresh green cabbage (washed, drained thoroughly and chopped fine)
handful fresh, frozen edamame beans
1 green jalapeno pepper (chopped fine)
1 tsp Olive oil
1 tsp black mustard seeds
1 pinch asofoetida powder
1 tsp skinned, split black lentil seeds (optional, to provide extra crunch!)
3/4 tsp salt

Here is how you make this:
Heat olive oil in a pan. When the oil is hot, add the mustard seeds. Wait for them to crackle and add the asofoetida powder, green chili and lentil seeds. Brown lentil seeds until they are crisp and golden brown. Add the chopped cabbage and edamame beans. Add salt. Cover for no more than a couple of minutes. Remove the cover and stir fry on high heat for another couple of minutes.

Remove from pan and serve with spiced yogurt rice or spicy tamarind rice.

Cabbage: $0.60
Edamame: $0.15
Oil : $0.05
Spices: $0.10
Total : $0.90

Makes 6 servings.

Cost per serving: $0.15

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