As we quickly approach April, I am realizing that "Spring Planting 2016" will be in motion before I can blink! Planting is always a fast-paced time of year. We are getting seed delivered to seed customers, seed coming in to be able to use on our farm, and equipment is moving from the barn lot to the fields.
Right now, we are a little slow. We've already started Spring with what seems to be an abundance of rain (the weather patterns have been this way for the last couple years). This abundance certainly puts the damper on getting spring tillage work done (fields where we will typically be planting corn; our soybeans are no-tilled into last year's corn stubble - conservation practice we use). In the whole big picture of things, it is still pretty early to be getting into the fields.
As I said, things get pretty fast-pace when Spring planting arrives, so as we approach this time, I usually get excited to continue trying new recipes on the family. I know that when we hit the fields hard, trying new recipes won't be a favorable option for most of the mouths I am feeding!
Tonight, I'm looking to add some "spice" to the evening and really branch out with a healthy entree' and two healthy sides. My boys have been doing a pretty good job of adjusting to a healthier food lifestyle around here - I guess they don't have a choice, I'm the grocery buyer and the food fixer!! They get what they get and won't throw a fit!!
Our dinner tonight will be Jamaican Jerk Steak (round steak that was butchered from a local farmer friend of ours). The steak was part of a freezer meal workshop that I hosted for my friends that are doing the 21 Day Fix meal plans. To keep the theme going, I am baking up some good old fashioned sweet potatoes (store purchased in the bulk section, these will be a healthy carb for us tonight) and also a Cabbage Mango Slaw that is absolutely beautiful in color and will really add some dimension to the plate!
Cabbage is an interesting vegetable. It has some really cool properties that allow it have some cholesterol lowering benefits (more so even when it is steamed). In recent studies, cabbage has been shown to prevent cancer prevention properties. Because of Red Cabbage's deep colors, it has a higher concentration of anthocyanin pigments which gives it some credit for being a good anti-inflammatory vegetable.
For my recipe, I decided to go ahead and use Red Cabbage (Green Cabbage WAS more economical at the grocer - $0.69/pound vs $0.99/pound for red). The recipe is pretty quick, simple to throw together in advance (builds up the flavor) and offers up some great items that we need in our daily food intake: good veggie, good fruit component, and healthy fat).
I adapted this recipe from a friend of mine, Kari Gray Lynfoot.
Cabbage Mango Slaw
2 cups red cabbage, finely sliced/shredded
1 cup cucumber, diced (I used English cucumber)
1 small red onion, diced
1/2 cup ripe mango, diced
2-3 Tablespoons finely minced Cilantro
1 Tablespoon Balsamic Vineger
2 Tablespoons Olive Oil OR Grapeseed Oil
Freshly Ground Pepper to taste
Dash of Sea Salt
Mix all together in a bowl and let marinade for a bit before serving.
I can't wait to serve this dish with the family tonight AND have some leftovers! I think it will be easy to add diced chicken to for lunch leftovers later in the week! If it works well, it may just be something I can take to the fields when I am on "chuck wagon" duty!!