Spicy Cabbage and Potatoes

I grew up eating a lot of healthy, simple dishes. My mom was a fantastic cook, so by simple, I don’t mean boring or bland. But in general, simplicity was her signature and was actually what I think made many of her dishes distinguishable. Sometimes simple is downright better, and when you’re juggling a few kids, it’s particularly appealing. For me, I often crave simply steamed veggies and don’t need all of that other jazz that’s typically throw in at restaurants (i.e., a ton of fat, salt, and/or other flavors that take away from the veggie itself). Growing up, I ate a lot of unadorned steamed vegetables, lightly dressed with olive oil and vinegar. A lot of plain brown rice with just a touch of soy sauce. Oatmeal with a dash of salt and some sliced fruit. Tea, hold the cream and sugar. Etc.

When cabbage was growing in the garden, my mom would make various slaws and curried dishes, but often she would just pair the cabbage with new potatoes and give them a good steam. A little olive oil, and salt and pepper, would seal the deal. It’s a clean combo. I still enjoy today. So in the following cabbage and potato recipe that I slightly modified from one seen in Vegetarian Times, I stepped up the easy, childhood favorite just a tad, while still keeping the dish relatively simple and focused on the veggies themselves. Feel free to add some veggie sausage for a boost of protein and make this dish a main meal.

Spicy Cabbage and Potatoes

(Serves 6)

-1 large onion, sliced
-1/2 medium head green cabbage, roughly chopped
-5 medium potatoes, chopped into large pieces
-1 jalapeño, seeded and minced
-2 Tbsp. tomato paste
-1 tsp. sugar
-1/2 cup cilantro, chopped
-Lime, sliced
-1 Tbsp. olive oil
-Salt and pepper, to taste
-1/2 cup cooking water from potatoes and cabbage

Bring a large saucepan of water to a boil. Add potatoes and cook 3 minutes. Add cabbage and cook another 8-10 minutes, or until cabbage is tender. Drain, saving 1/2 cup of water.

Meanwhile, heat oil over medium-high heat in a large saute pan. Saute onions and jalapeño with salt and pepper, to taste, until onions are browned and caramelized, about 8 minutes.

In large saucepan, whisk sugar, tomato paste, and reserved cooking water over low heat. Add onion mixture, cabbage and potatoes back to saucepan. Adjust salt to taste. Remove from heat. Serve, topping with generous handful of chopped cilantro and squeeze of lime.

You Might Also Like


  • Reply
    Simply Life
    January 11, 2011 at 7:03 am

    sounds like you had some great foods growing up!

  • Reply
    January 11, 2011 at 8:21 am

    oh this sounds great! i have never cooked with cabbage before :O

  • Reply
    January 11, 2011 at 9:48 am

    The simplest dishes are often the hardest to make, since every ingredient and technique is highlighted and can’t be hidden behind piles of exotic and dazzling additions. It’s the sign of a good cook to pull those things off! And this one definitely looks like a delicious success. 🙂

  • Reply
    January 11, 2011 at 2:32 pm

    Reminds me of Kimchi, which I love! So good. Now I’m in the mood for Korean food.. any good restaurant recommendations you know of?

    • Reply
      January 11, 2011 at 6:55 pm

      Love Kimichi. Can’t say I know of any Korean restaurants…the closest thing I’ve had to Korean in awhile is the Tepanyaki truck near Temple…and I can’t say that will get you anywhere near having knock-your-socks-off Korean food. Vientiane Cafe is pretty good though if you’re in the mood for Thai-styled food…Decent pad thai and some kind of really excellent stuffed peanut satay tofu appetizer.

      • Reply
        January 11, 2011 at 8:30 pm

        Those both sound delicious.. love Thai.

  • Reply
    The Candid RD
    January 12, 2011 at 7:36 am

    Thanks for your honest opinion about the price of my granola. I really appreciate it. I am working on getting the price lower, but I’m starting to realize why packaged foods are so expensive!

    This recipe sounds fabulous. I think I need a subscription to Vegetarian Times!

  • Reply
    Raw Spinach Dip « Food-Fitness-FreshAir
    March 17, 2011 at 5:31 am

    […] don’t tend to eat a lot of traditional Irish food. Meat and potatoes? No thanks. Cabbage and potatoes, that I’ll do once in awhile. But even that combo. is somewhat of a rarity in my everyday […]

  • Leave a Reply