I’m back after a short vacation hiatus to catch some sun in Playa del Carmen, Quintana Roo, MX. It was an epic, beautiful trip, despite travel warnings due to a spree of cartel-related violence in the area. The resort we stayed at had very tight security—we never once felt unsafe.
The food was really good, but after a week I was really ready for a healthy, home-cooked meal.
That brings me to the business at hand: I’ve been a little lax in the realm of side dishes, so I’m gradually remedying that situation. I’ll start with one of my favorite, healthy go-to sides: my spin on a classic sauteed cabbage recipe.
Piquant Cabbage-Bacon-Onion Saute: a perfect side dish for roasted meat
I wanted to call this dish “Sweet ‘n’ Sauerkraut”, but decided it was too gimmicky. “Piquant” sums the flavor up quite nicely: there’s a nice tartness from vinegar and a bit of mustard. This is balanced out by the smoky saltiness of bacon and a bit of sweetness from Vidalia onion (and a tiny bit of sugar or Splenda [you can also use honey or agave nectar]).
Piquant Cabbage-Bacon-Onion Saute is a really quick side dish that I now make all the time. It’s especially nice with pork chops, pork tenderloin, or my Herb-Roasted Rack of Pork (as in the photo below). Cabbage is a nutrient-packed superfood, so I feel good about putting this dish on the dinner table. It’s also filling, so—in theory—you eat less of whatever protein you’re serving alongside your sauteed cabbage and bacon.
Although you can certainly use the bagged, pre-shredded green cabbage from the grocery, I prefer to save money by shredding it myself. I either use a food processor or do it the old fashioned way (my own two hands and a knife).
You can easily make Piquant Cabbage-Bacon-Onion Saute vegetarian by omitting—you guessed it!—bacon. Just use a touch more olive oil—you’ll have tangy, delicious fried cabbage.
This side dish makes a good substitute for high-glycemic-index carbs, if low-carb is your thing. Or, it’s also great if you are following a diet for diabetics. I have used Piquant Cabbage-Bacon-Onion Saute in place of my usual, go-to carbs—e.g., rice or mashed or roasted potatoes—without even a blink from the hubster.
I hope you and your family enjoy it!
I’m linking my Piquant Cabbage-Bacon-Onion Saute recipe up with:
- #CookBlogShare, a great food blogger recipe-share at Recipes Made Easy.
- #RecipeOfTheWeek hosted by A Mummy Too.
- #BrillBlogPosts, a link party with a variety of lifestyle reads hosted by Honest Mum.
Piquant Cabbage-Bacon-Onion Saute is a perfect side dish for roasted meat—but especially for pork. With just a few healthful ingredients, this side comes together in short order. You'll need a large skillet with a tight-fitting lid.
- 2 tsp extra virgin olive oil
- 2 strips thick bacon cut into lardons
- 1 Vidalia onion cut into thin half-rings
- 5 cups green cabbage shredded
- 1/4 tsp freshly ground black pepper
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1 tbsp rice vinegar
- 2 tsp yellow mustard
- 1/2 tbsp sugar see Recipe Note #1
Heat the olive oil and bacon in a large skillet over medium heat. Sauté, stirring frequently, until crispy, 8–12 minutes. Remove the lardons to a bowl and set aside.
Keep 1 tbsp of the bacon fat/olive oil mixture in the skillet and add the onions. Sauté over medium heat until soft and translucent, 3–5 minutes.
Add the cabbage; sprinkle 2 tbsp of water over the top. Lid the skillet and turn heat to low. Sauté until soft, stirring occasionally and checking the softness of the cabbage, until it's done to your liking, about 10–12 minutes.
Remove the lid from the skillet and allow any remaining water to evaporate. Sprinkle the rice vinegar over the top and add in the mustard, sugar, and bacon lardons. Mix well and serve.
- I use Splenda rather than sugar. You can also substitute 1/2 tbsp of honey or agave nectar (or to taste).