Smokey and sweet, this slaw has it all. Crunchy cabbage, crispy Asian pear, shredded carrots, and a smoky peanut sauce to bring it all together. This gluten-free and vegan side dish will bring new meaning to the term coleslaw.
So I gave you my version of pasta salad, potato salad, macaroni salad, and now, the ever-loved, coleslaw! I mean really, is any BBQ or summer cook-out complete without a coleslaw? I think not! The best part about this slaw is that you can make it year-round and it won’t seem weird. It’s totally not your traditional coleslaw, but you should get excited about that. Also prepare yourself for a long story that goes along with this slaw. A bloody and gruesome story (kind of). But an important, lesson-learning story for you and myself. Now let’s start from the beginning.
It was a dark and stormy night…okay no, it was a bright and sunny summer afternoon. I realized I had a bag of red cabbage that really needed to be used or it would become the worst, food waste! Without a moment to spare, I grabbed that bag of cabbage along with the whole savoy cabbage and Asian pear I had. As well as some bright orange shredded carrots to brighten things up. Coleslaw. I needed to make coleslaw. I hadn’t had that creamy cold summer side dish in years and with my obsession this summer of re-creating old summer favorites, my plan was set.
Of course, just like all these summer recreations, the “sauce” or “dressing” was the next hurdle to overcome before the recipe could come to fruition. I really had no idea what I wanted to do for this component. The creamy sweet sauce is the most important part of a good coleslaw in my mind. Since I had a bit of an Asian theme already started with the savoy cabbage and Asian pear, I decided to go in that direction and take it a step further. Peanut! Or shall I say, peanut flour! I forgot about my peanut flour in the fridge all summer; how neglectful! It would be used for this slaw, neglect no more. Using peanut flour would allow me to bring tons of flavor and make it saucy enough without blowing the health factor. I’d also keep it sweet to highlight the Asian pear, but since peanut could go either way, I decided to add a bit of smokiness and make this the best of both worlds.
Now, lucky me, the red cabbage was pre-shredded and so were the carrots. The savoy cabbage was easy enough to chop for the slaw, but the Asian pear posed a bit of a dilemma in getting a good “slaw cut” with just my knife skills. What to do? Then I remembered I had a mandolin which I’d only “tried” to use once when I first got it a few years ago, was frustrated with it, and never used it again. I was determined to make this attempt be a success, so I dug it out of the depths of the bottom kitchen cabinet (which is a scary, precarious, stuffed place) and set it on the counter. The box was all in German or Swiss, so were the directions (until I realized there was some English hidden on the actual device).
This is where things get a little…messy. I had no idea how to get the actual mandolin out of the safety case. I was pulling with all my might and it wouldn’t budge. I then regripped with my hand and ended up placing my finger into the side of the sharpest blade known-to-man, and gauged out the tip of my pointer finger. There was blood. In my sad moments of pain, but also pure determination to get that thing out, I then saw (covered in red), the “press here to release” button. Wow. A little to late. So I got the thing out, washing everything off while my finger continued to bleed and then wrapped my finger as best I could. I grabbed my Asian pear, placed the holder/safety guard on it, and took a deep breath. I was surprised by just how easy it was to slide the pear back and forth over the sharp blade to produce perfect “slaw-strips”.
Once the first side of the pear was flat, I needed to do the other side. Done. But then I wanted to do the 2 other side of fruit so no part of the pear when to waste. The safety holder didn’t fit as perfectly on these sides, so I ended up taking my chances and holding the edge of the pear. This was a bad idea. I ended up with another blood bath and sliced under my other pointer finger nail, as well as about 4 other cuts on my finger. My hands, my poor hands, at this point were burning, bleeding, and not in cooking condition. But I had to finish the slaw! So off to the bathroom I went and wrapped my my hands as best I could while keeping them movable for use. At least the hardest part was over now and I just had to mix up the peanut sauce. O how my hands burned and hurt…so much.
I stirred up the sauce quickly and without any further damage to my hands. Tossed everything together and then forced myself to hold out a little longer to photograph before I cried of hand-pain. Thankfully that didn’t take too long which allowed me to then put my slaw in the fridge to chill and then clean up the mess I made…big mess, and make myself a mug of hot tea to comfort my damaged little foodie soul and hands. Now, don’t get me wrong, I love that mandolin now that I know “how” to use it after the lessons I’ve learned nd how I’ve seen how easy and efficient it is if you take you’re time and be a patient proper cook. So from this experience, read directions thoroughly even if it’s hard to find the English, already use the safety guard, buy some knife gloves, and calmly do you’re prep work. I ended up with gouged out fingers for weeks and my one pointer finger tip still hurts when I touch it. All for the slaw as I say. I sacrificed my hands all for the perfect coleslaw. :/
Smokey & Sweet Peanut Slaw
- 1 Small Savoy Cabbage (about 6 cups chopped)
- 3 Cups Chopped Red Cabbage
- 1 Cup Shredded Carrots
- 1 Large Asian Pear (thin julienne with mandolin or grater)
- Peanut Sauce:
- ⅓ Cup Peanut Flour (or peanut "powder")
- ⅓ Cup Water
- ½ Tsp Minced Garlic
- ½ Tsp Onion Powder
- ½ Tsp Smoked Paprika
- ¼ Tsp Black Pepper
- 2 TB Apple Cider Vinegar
- Unsalted Roasted Peanuts (optional, topping)
- Prep your veggies as described about and add all to a very large mixing bowl. Toss to combine.
- In a small bowl, combine the peanut sauce ingredients and stir to combine.
- Pour the the sauce over the slaw, massage in and toss with your hands. Add peanuts if desired.
- Refrigerate for at least an hour before serving to chill and allow the flavors to "marinate".
- Amazing make-ahead and produces so much slaw it's perfect to have the whole week or to bring to a potluck!
This slaw was absolutely worth the pain and injury. It’s crunchy, sweet, savory, nutty, and best of all, smokey! The Asian pear and peanut flavors are the stand out with that subtle hint of smokiness in the background. I made a perfect healthy, gluten-free, and vegan slaw that satisfied my coleslaw craving for yet another summer. With all these sides and burgers I’ve made this summer, I think I could throw the greatest gluten-free and vegan summer bbq yet! I’d say mission accomplished in showing the world you can throw the best plant-based healthy gluten-free summer party without missing any of the stereotypical classic components! I may be battered and bruised, but more knowledgeable and nourished than before and wise enough to teach you not to make my silly mistakes 😉
So tell me:
+ Do you like coleslaw? If not, try this one! Promise it will change your mind!
+ Ever use a mandolin? Great invention, just not “kid-friendly” 😉
*Recipe linking up for the week! Allergy Free Wednesdays, #RecipeOfTheWeek,#StrangeButGood, Gluten-Free Wednesdays, Real Food Friday, Gluten-Free Fridays,Tasty Tuesdays, Savoring Saturdays, Healthy Vegan Fridays, Tasty Tuesdays, Meatless Mondays, Lena’s Tasty Tuesdays, TFFM Meatless Monday, Waste Not Want Not!*Strength and Sunshine Twitter: @RebeccaGF666 Instagram: rebeccagf666 Pinterest: RebeccaGF666 Bloglovin’: Strength and Sunshine Google+: Rebecca Pytell