Saturday, June 8, 2013

Crispy Cabbage and Rice Bowl with Miso Molasses Dressing...

Lately, when it comes to food I’ve been feeling really uninspired and over-stimulated. What I mean by that, is in my mind I’ve been battling two contrasting desires. On the one hand I want to make everything. I want to make all those delicious, gourmet meals that has my mouth watering when I log into the blogosphere, or crack open a cook book, yet on the other hand everything sounds so good that nothing seems right, does that make sense? Plus I just can’t seem to muster the energy to do any ‘gourmet’ cooking. I want food that quick, simple, and easy, I want food that’s low calorie and high in nutritional density, I want food that’s good for my body, food that is fuel. Yet I want it to taste amazing and I want it to seem decadent.

All these contrasting desires have been leaving me feeling so blah in the kitchen, not to mention that I’ve just been feeling really ‘fooded’ out since being back from Vancouver. In Vancouver we didn’t exactly eat junk, but we did eat a lot, and I mean a lot. There are so many good vegan restaurants in Vancouver that we probably ate double the amount of food we normally do, so that’s where this intense desire for simple, and basic food is coming from.  Since our return I’ve been really into smoothies, juices, beans, salads, bowls and superfoods. We ate a lot of that kind of stuff in Vancouver and now that I’m back I want to really focus on good for you whole foods. Unfortunately there are only so many salads and so many bowls that one can make before you start to get bored. As I already said the 100+ cook books in my collection haven’t been much help as I feel kind of uninspired to actually put in any of the work they require.

So lately my meals have revolved around four basic principals, and I actually find that these four things are actually the best things to consider when making a bowl - or even a salad. Firstly a survey of what you have in the pantry and fridge is an absolute necessity. Second it’s good to look for what you have in abundance or what needs to be used ASAP. Third it’s always important to take into consideration any food craving or interest you may be having that day. Lastly pick one culinary or cultural theme, whatever inspires you the most in that moment. Once you’ve gone through these steps putting together a bowl or salad is pretty effortless work.

At least that’s how it works for me. This is the method I employed to make dinner Thursday and surprisingly it came together rather well. As it happened I had a lot of cabbage, rice and various seeds. The cabbage needed to be used. I wanted something sugar-free and nutritionally dense, and I was interested in an Asian sort of flavor. The miso molasses dressing might sound strange to you, but I assure you it’s quite good. Molasses is great because it’s relatively low in sugar with a low-glycemic load plus it has a bounty of trace minerals like copper, iron, calcium, magnesium, manganese, potassium, B6, and selenium. The cool thing is that you don’t even need to eat that much molasses to get the nutritional benefits, a Tbsp is enough to enjoy the nutrition. It’s also much lower in calories then other liquid sweeteners - such as Agave or Maple Syrup. So when I decided to add a touch of sweetness to my miso dressing that’s why I chose to try Molasses. “What’s the worst that can happen?” I reasoned, and much to my surprise it turned out fantastic.

I also love the combination of slightly wilted cabbage with crispy kimchi, crunchy seeds, a creamy dressing and cooked rice. All these things just seem to go together in perfect textural harmony. Give it a try and you’ll see what I mean!

Crispy Cabbage and Rice Bowl with Miso Molasses Dressing 

1 C Brown Rice
3 C Shredded Green Cabbage
1 C Shredded Red Cabbage
½ Large Yellow Onion
5 Green Onions Sliced
1 Tbsp Hemp Seeds (per serving)
1 Tbsp Black Sesame Seeds (per serving)
1 Tbsp Ground Golden Flaxseed (per serving)
1 tsp Toasted Sesame Oil
1/3 C Kimchi (per serving)

Miso Molasses Dressing 

1/3 C Rice Vinegar
½ C Water
4 Tbsp Mellow White Miso
1 ½ Tbsp Molasses
2 Garlic Cloves
1 Tbsp Nutritional Yeast
1 Tbsp Toasted Sesame Oil

- Cook brown rice according to package instructions.

- Heat sesame oil in a large pan over medium-high heat. When hot add the cabbage and the onion and stir-fry for 6-8 minutes until onion begins to turn soft and cabbage is sightly wilted. Do not overcook, you want the cabbage to still have some texture!

- Combine all dressing ingredients in a blender and blend on high until smooth.


- Divide the rice amongst 2 - large portions - or 3 - smaller portions - bowls. Divide the cabbage mixture evenly between the bowls and sprinkle each bowl with 1 Tbsp hemp seeds, 1 Tbsp black sesame seeds, and 1 Tbsp Ground Golden Flaxseed.

- Garnish with desired amount of sliced green onions, and add 1/3C of kimchi to each bowl. Top with desired amount of dressing and serve!

*** Note - Can be made soy-free if using a soy-free miso like Chickpea Miso.***


  1. This looks so awesome! I am going to make this tomorrow, I have all the ingredients except the for the cabbages...tomorrow I will walk to our local farmer's market & pick it up....can't wait to try this!!! S.T.
    Oh can I use regular Miso or do I need to pick up the Mellow white Miso? Thanks!

  2. Thank you! Sure you can use a different kind of Miso, I like the white because it's very mild in flavor, but if you don't have white you can use red or brown miso instead. Just remember that the darker the miso the stronger the flavor so you may not need as much to equal the same flavor. Too much dark miso might make the dressing really salty!

    I hope you like it, enjoy!

  3. Made it yesterday!!!!! LOVED IT!!! S.T

  4. This was SO delicious & everyone should try it! I'm not a HUGE kimchi fan but this was just perfect. It was so filling & the flavors just came together perfectly. - Matt