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cole-slaw-064

Running has resumed. My pity party has ended and it’s time to get back on the roads, trails and treadmill. Time to get busy. And everyone in my house is breathing a collective sigh of relief.

Thank God she’s not tapering anymore.

Thank God she’s not racing anymore.

Thank God she’s not recovering anymore.

Thank God she’s back running so she’ll start making good stuff again.

And then I made this – Blue Cheese Cole Slaw.

Wait! Where are the brownies and the cupcakes and the stuff we actually want to eat?! You’re running again! We want dessert!

But I have a confession to make: I love cole slaw. I know that may come as a “Say wha?” from those of you (and my befuddled family members) who are keeping count of all the dessert recipes I post here because obviously cole slaw does not contain flour or sugar or butter. But let’s be honest folks, this is a vegetable with mayonnaise and sour cream and cheese. Come on. What’s not to love?

I think most of us will probably say that our first memory of cole slaw involved a colonel in a white suit. (Okay, if not, just pretend because that’s how this whole blogging thing works.) In order to get to eat all the crispy goodness on the outside of our drumsticks and the chocolate parfait in a cup, we had to take a few bites of the “vegetable” that came with the big bucket of chicken. Parents – so demanding. Anyway, the Colonel was no dummy. He knew that to get kids (and most adults) to be willing to eat his chopped up cabbage concoction with his bucket of bird, he was going to have to add a lot of sugar. As a kid, this made it a vegetable I could get behind. Now, not so much.

When it comes to “adult” cole slaw (please don’t let that phrase put me on some weirdo search result list), I like mine to have a little more POW! I want my cole slaw to get my attention so that it will hold it’s own against all the other components I’m serving. I don’t want the cole slaw to be the thing people feel they “have” to eat just to get to the main course and the dessert.

This Blue Cheese Cole Slaw delivers when you need a side dish with a backbone, something that will stand up to those ribs, that brisket or that turkey burger. This is cole slaw you can serve as a main dish, if you are so inclined (I’m not, but some of you have more self-discipline than I). This cole slaw just might make you forget about the dessert (okay, that’s entirely unlikely, unless the dessert is something like a graham cracker or those weird orange marshmallow peanut candies). This is grown-up cole slaw.

But dear family (and dessert loving readers), no worries. The desserts will be back, because we all know I’m already obsessing about that chocolate parfait in a cup.

 

Blue Cheese Coleslaw

3/4 cup mayonnaise

1/2 cup sour cream

1/4 cup crumbled blue cheese

1/4 cup red wine vinegar

1 tablespoon honey or cane sugar

1 teaspoons salt (more or less to taste)

1 teaspoon pepper

5 chopped green onions

2 cups thinly sliced/chopped green cabbage

2 cups thinly sliced/chopped purple cabbage

 

 

In a large serving bowl, mix all ingredients except the cabbage. Taste and adjust seasoning as needed (Want it sweeter? Add more honey or sugar. Need more salt or pepper?).

Toss cabbage into dressing and coat well. Let the mixture rest for 5 minutes, toss again, taste. Adjust seasonings as needed.

Cover and refrigerate until serving.

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granola2

Back in the eighties, my sister, Linda, and my brother-in-law, Mike were doing a lot of long distance running, mountain climbing, and camping. (And the whole time, Linda was also teaching school and working on her first book. Yes, I still feel like a slouch just thinking about it.) Linda and Mike were the coolest people I knew – hip (before hip was a thing), fun, outdoorsy and granola-y (in the good way). They ate the healthiest I’d ever seen. And they loved cereal. Whenever I was with them early in the morning, it seemed like they were eating a bowl of some sort of cereal. Never like any cereal I was eating – the stuff that came out of cartoon-covered boxes and made your hair stand on end for an hour – but bowls of oats and nuts and fresh fruit. As a kid, I equated being cool with eating granola.

As I have lamented time and time again, I am not a big cereal fan. Well, that’s not entirely true – I do love some Cap’n Crunch or Cocoa Krispies at two a.m. if I can’t sleep (both go well with reruns of the Nanny). But some days, especially before long runs, I want something quick that will stay with me for the hours it takes to cover twenty to thirty miles, or more.

For awhile, I stuck with the traditional runner’s meal: oatmeal. Then the gag reflex kicked in and I could no longer stomach a big bowl of gloop before I ran. Just thinking about it now makes me feel sort of ugghhh. So, I switched over to store bought “healthy” cereals. Nope. Too sweet, too processed, too…just no. Same with “energy bars”. I just couldn’t.

And then I went to visit Linda and Mike in Manhattan. Both are still super fit and super cool – and still eat bowls of oats and nuts with fruit. Hmmm… Maybe it was time to revisit this whole granola-is-cool thing. I came home and started mixing different kinds of oats, nuts and fruit, and realized you really can’t go wrong. What’s in your pantry? Almonds and prunes? Throw ‘em in. How about pecans and maple syrup? Yup, that works, too.

Now, obviously granola is neither new, nor rocket science. We all know about mixing oats, nuts, cinnamon and some sort of sweetener, toasting it to golden goodness, and ending up with a crunchy, healthy potpourri. But I thought we all might need a gentle reminder about just how easy, delicious, and versatile homemade granola can be. And how cool.

 

Granola

This is a base recipe. Feel free to add, subtract and substitute any ingredients that tickle your fancy. Some suggestions: ground flax seed, sesame seeds, pecans, pistachios, cashews, shredded coconut, dried fruit (cranberries, apricots, dates, prunes), and various spices (cayenne pepper, ground ginger, ground cloves, nutmeg).

 

2 tablespoons coconut oil, olive oil or butter (unsalted)

3 cups whole oats (not instant)

½ cup slivered almonds

½ cup walnuts

½ cup pumpkin seeds

1 teaspoon salt

2 teaspoons cinnamon

2 tablespoons honey

2 tablespoons brown sugar or maple syrup

 

Preheat oven to 300 degrees. Put coconut oil or butter on a large baking sheet and put it in the oven to melt.

Mix all ingredients. Taste for seasoning. Add more salt, sugar, or spice as desired.

 

Spread mixture onto sheet pan making sure it is a single layer so all ingredients get evenly toasted.

Gently bake for 10 minutes. Remove from oven and stir. Return to oven for another 10 to 15 minutes, or until golden brown. Be careful not to burn it.

 

Serve plain, with your favorite milk (dairy, flax, coconut, almond, soy, cashew), or over Greek yogurt.

 

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