Eating for life: Kick off salad season with colorful Southwestern Coleslaw

05/20/2014 3:34 PM

06/03/2014 10:17 AM

Memorial Day signals the start of salad season.

Coleslaw clearly trumps potato salad in the nutritional department, but cabbage slaws made with a traditional mayo-based dressing can still bump up the calorie count of a cruciferous vegetable that starts out at a humble 16 calories per cup.

The Star’s Southwestern Coleslaw keeps it clean and bright with a colorful salad that combines fiber-rich black beans with creamy bits of avocado that contain good fat and lycopene-rich tomatoes, all dressed in a light vinaigrette of fresh lime juice, rice vinegar and olive oil spiked with earthy cumin.

Some researchers believe cruciferous vegetables contain compounds known as indoles and isothiocyanates, which may reduce the risk of cancer.

Shopping tip: Sometimes convenience is worth the price; other times it’s not worth the compromise in flavor.

Heads of cabbage are inexpensive, but pre-shredded bagged “mixes” of cabbage and carrots have made it easier than ever to whip up coleslaw. Minus messy chopping, this recipe takes just minutes to prepare.

But resist the urge to buy lime juice in a squirt bottle, the contents of which have a tinny taste that can’t compare to fresh-squeezed. One medium lime produces 1 to 2 tablespoons unstrained juice. For the half cup of juice in this recipe, figure 4 to 8 limes depending on their juiciness.

Serving suggestions: Sprinkle Southwestern Coleslaw with crushed baked tortilla chips right before serving for a take on a crunchy, ramen noodle-style salad. Or serve with sliced grilled chicken in a tortilla wrap.

Southwestern Coleslaw

Makes 8 (1-cup) servings

1 (14-ounce) package coleslaw mix (cabbage and carrots)

1 cup canned black beans, rinsed and drained

1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro

1 medium tomato, seeded and diced

1/2 medium red onion, diced

1 jalapeño, seeded and finely diced

1 avocado, pitted, peeled and diced

1/2 cup fresh lime juice

2 tablespoons unseasoned rice vinegar

2 tablespoons olive oil

1/2 teaspoon ground cumin

Place coleslaw mix, black beans, cilantro, tomato, red onion, jalapeño and avocado in large salad bowl.

Whisk together remaining ingredients in small bowl. Pour over coleslaw and toss gently.

Serve immediately or refrigerate for a few hours until chilled through.

Per serving: 113 calories (39 percent from fat), 5 grams total fat (1 gram saturated), no cholesterol, 13 grams carbohydrates, 4 grams protein, 115 milligrams sodium, 4 grams dietary fiber.

Recipe developed for The Star by professional home economists Kathryn Moore and Roxanne Wyss.

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