Merry Christmas Cabbage & Kale

I think God had a sense of humor the day he created the pomegranate.

I’ve never in my life experienced such a sweet, juicy and delectable fruit… that was so absurdly difficult to get at. (Although the coconut ranks high up there too).

But all the hard work and time is usually worth it in the end.

Health benefits of the pomegranate:

  • Pomegranate seeds contain high levels of flavonoids and polyphenols–some pretty powerful antioxidants that fight free radicals and protect us against disease.
  • Contains phytochemical compounds that stimulate serotonin and estrogen receptors, improving symptoms of depression.
  • May be useful in fighting osteoarthritis, by cutting levels of inflammatory chemicals and stopping enzymes that erode cartilage.
  • One pomegranate has about 40 percent RDA of Vitamin C, along with Vitamins A, E, folic acid, fiber, potassium and niacin.
  • In recent studies, compounds only found in pomegranates called punicalagins are shown to offer powerful benefits to the heart and blood vessels by lowering cholesterol, blood pressure, and increasing the speed at which heart blockages dissipate.

And this is just a portion of the health benefits this miracle fruit is said to provide. But what are the best ways to enjoy a pomegranate? 

Enjoy seeds plain or frozen (yumm!)

Sprinkle seeds over salads or other prepared dishes

Mix seeds into yogurt, oats, cereal or desserts

Make homemade pomegranate sorbet from frozen seeds

Enjoy fresh pomegranate juice (you know I did!)

Energizing Pomegranate Juice: Seeds from one pomegranate, 4 lg. carrots, 2 apples, 1 cucumber

But I also got a bit creative with these seeds and had a practice run with one of the dishes I think I’ll be making for Christmas dinner. Let’s call this, Merry Christmas Cabbage & Kale. I started off with a base of chopped fennel, leeks, celery and red cabbage in the slow cooker. Cabbage takes awhile to cook so I let it go for about two hours. I later added some  curly kale, dried cherries and a sprinkling of pomegranate seeds.

Merry Christmas Cabbage & Kale

by Lindsay

Prep Time: 15 min

Cook Time: 2.5 hours

Keywords: slow-cooker saute party food side gluten-free low fat low-carb nut-free soy-free sugar-free vegan vegetarian kale cabbage Christmas Easter Thanksgiving winter fall

Ingredients (serves 6)

  • 1/2 head red cabbage, chopped
  • 1 sm. fennel bulb, sliced
  • 1 leek, chopped (may substitute onion)
  • 4 stalks celery, chopped
  • 4 c. green curly kale (stems removed and chopped)
  • 2 tbs. balsamic vinegar
  • juice from 1/2 lemon
  • 1/4 c. orange juice
  • 1/2 c. dried cherries (may substitute dried cranberries)
  • 1/4 c. pomegranate seeds
  • salt and pepper to taste

Instructions

Wash, prep and chop veggies.

Combine cabbage, fennel, leeks, celery, orange juice, lemon juice, balsamic vinegar, salt and pepper in slow cooker.

Add about 1 c. water and cook on high for about 2 hours until cabbage is fully softened.

Remove cabbage and veggies using tongs into large saute pan on stovetop.

Add kale and dried cherries and cook until kale is bright green and cherries have softened.

*It’s important to discard the kale stems, because they require longer cooking time to soften. If using stems, cook until stems soften, but you will loose the bright green color of the kale.

Add pomegranate seeds and stir until slightly warmed.

Serve and enjoy!

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This turned out absolutely delicious. The bittersweet taste of the cabbage and the spiciness of the fennel, combined with tart dried cherries and juicy pomegranate seeds… is one heck of a combo! Full recipe here.

Merry Christmas Florida-style! We are still enjoying some gorgeous weather around here. Gorgeous enough that I’ve been spending a lot of time studying for my finals out on the patio.

Last two finals are done and over with after tomorrow–then I’m home free! Finally time to relax and enjoy some much needed time off.

My study companion, “squirrel stalking” on the patio.

 To everybody else cramming for finals this week–hang in there! The end is near! ;)

10 comments

  1. Sarah Elizabeth says:

    Love poms, but insanely frustrating to get to and such a red mess <3 but totally worth it. wish you could buy it already de-seeded! lovely salad. by the way, all the girls at my work want your sweet potato fries recipe ;) so i will be sharing that with them asap! good luck with finals… i'm sure i'll be seeing much more of you after that! xoxoxoxo

    • Lindsay says:

      I know I love Poms too, I think the work is worth it (as long as I’m not wearing white while in the kitchen, hehe_ I think I’m making sweet potato fries tonight! The secret is a little cornstarch before you bake them!!

  2. Melissa @ Will Work for Veggies says:

    Ahhh, sometimes I’m really glad to be on the quarter system… we got done with finals 3 weeks ago ;) Then again, school starts Jan. 2nd so in no time, I’ll be crying again. Haha! GOOD LUCK with finals! With brain food like that, I’m sure you’ll do great :)

    Btw, never thought of putting pom seeds in my yogurt, and I have that stuff like every day. I didn’t like pom when I tried it before, but I think now I’ll have to give it a shot. Thanks for the idea!

    • Lindsay says:

      Yum, I love pomegranate seeds in yogurt! You’re welcome! They are a great addition to any dessert too, because of the sweet and tart flavors. Sometimes I deseed a couple of pomegranates and keep them in a gallon ziplock in the freezer for easy use. :)

  3. Stephan Hilson says:

    Pomegranate juice looked nice too. But I wonder if the local grocery supplied pomegranate. Maybe I should try making the salad and try to look for pomegranate seeds too. Thanks for sharing the lovely recipe. Your cat looked very cute too.

    • Lindsay says:

      Some grocery stores do supply pomegranate juice, but generally speaking bottled juices never have the same nutritional quality as freshly squeezed. But if you are in a pinch, bottled juice works too! There is a company called POM that makes pomegranate juice that’s really yummy.
      But the actual seeds are so good for you too, so if you can get your hands on a real pomegranate I recommend it!! :)

  4. VegWhoHatesTofu says:

    Your Merry Christmas Cabbage and Kale looks delish! I will have to try it out, I love pomegranates! I usually sprinkle them on salads or eat them as a snack. I’ve never tried them over a cooked dish before but yours looks fantastic! :)

    • Lindsay says:

      Thanks Michele! This recipe was definitely a twist on something different but it turned out SO delicious and I decided I’m making it for Christmas for sure. :) Happy Holidays to you girl!!

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