Sweet and Sour Cabbage

Last week I had a lot of fun on the blog sharing a bunch of easy and delicious treats made with pumpkin and protein powder. This probably didn’t seem too out of character for me. After all, some of my longtime readers may as well know me as the Pumpkin Princess and I’ve talked many times about how important working out and eating healthy are to me. But today I want to touch on a more serious topic that is equally a part of me.

A few weeks ago my local synagogue invited Joanne Caras to speak about her amazing project, The Holocaust Survivor Cookbook. I had the privilege of listening while Joanne recounted the events and people that inspired her to seek out Holocaust survivors around the world to share their recipes for a cookbook. Her goal was to publish a book whose sales would directly benefit Carmei Ha’ir, a soup kitchen in Jerusalem unique in its commitment to serve the needy with dignity. Joanne not only achieved her dream but gave the world another gift: a uniquely joyful way to recall and honor a time and people almost completely lost during World War II.

Typically we remember the persecuted by what was taken from them: personal objects, family, dignity. Pictures in textbooks, artifacts in museums, and written accounts illustrate piles of shoes and clothes, children being ripped away from their parents, and despicable conditions in which to live and die. But The Holocaust Survivor Cookbook is different. Within its pages, those same victims have chosen to give something to us: their recipes. These are not typical artifacts; recipes as we know can continue to be passed on and spread joy around a table from generation to generation. At the same time, these recipes honor those who were able to pass them on, and their loved ones left behind. Each recipe is accompanied by a story so that their memories are never lost.

Some of the recipes in the book are similar to ones my family traditionally makes and others are completely new to me. For my first recipe from this book I wanted something that hasn’t already appeared in my kitchen and was (or could be adapted to be) relatively healthy. Regina Freeman’s Sweet and Sour Cabbage fit my criteria. Cabbage is not something I normally make, and the recipe as written was not entirely specific, therefore encouraging a little interpretation. Ms. Freeman was able to survive due to the generosity and courage of her aunt’s (a dentist) patients, who hid Regina and her aunt. The majority of Regina’s nine siblings were not so fortunate.

Regina’s guideline for sweet and sour cabbage inspired me to come up with my own version, a little healthier and updated to use clean ingredients. But the important things remain the same: it’s a warm, comforting, hearty side dish reminiscent of a family from long ago and far away. On top of that, it’s delicious, and I’ll definitely be making it again.


Sweet and Sour Cabbage

1 tablespoon olive oil
1 medium onion, chopped (about 1 cup)
1 medium head of cabbage, shredded (yields 600gm)
14oz can diced tomatoes
2 tablespoons tomato paste
1 large Granny Smith apple, peeled and chopped
2 tablespoons cider vinegar
1/4 teaspoon pure stevia extract, or other sweetener to taste

In a large, deep skillet, heat the olive oil over medium heat. Cook the onions until softened, about 5-8 minutes. Gradually add the cabbage, a few handfuls at at time, tossing it with the onions and letting it cook down. Add the diced tomatoes, tomato paste, and chopped apples. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer until the cabbage and apples are soft. If the mixture seems dry, a little bit of water can be added. Finally, add the cider vinegar and sweetener, and season to taste with salt.
Nutritional Info
Servings Per Recipe: 4
Amount Per Serving
Calories: 164.6
Total Fat: 4.0 g
Cholesterol: 0.0 mg
Sodium: 943.2 mg
Total Carbs: 31.7 g
Dietary Fiber: 7.6 g
Protein: 3.2 g

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16 Responses to “Sweet and Sour Cabbage”

  1. 1

    flavourfulbounty — November 16, 2010 @ 1:49 pm Reply

    This looks great, Cara! I will have to try this version when I get cabbage next. I usually have a hard time finishing a whole head by myself!I fell in love with cabbage with this recipe. Give it a try for very sweet, melt-in-your mouth cabbage:http://tastespace.wordpress.com/2010/05/14/braised-green-cabbage-with-onions-carrots-and-a-poached-egg/

  2. 2

    Dawn — November 16, 2010 @ 2:05 pm Reply

    What a great recipe. I will remember this one if I get any cabbage from my CSA. I love the meaning behind it too.

  3. 3

    Tasha — November 16, 2010 @ 3:16 pm Reply

    Thank you for sharing this amazing cookbook! It will make a perfect gift. The recipe sounds yummy. While I enjoy it, cabbbage rarely makes it way into my kitchen. Maybe it's time to change that.

  4. 4

    diaryofamadhausfrau.com — November 16, 2010 @ 3:30 pm Reply

    Great recipe. Thanks. I have a similar cookbook at home "In Memories Kitchen" The women imprisoned at the concentration camp Terezin recorded their recipes. It's Incredible.

  5. 5

    Katie @ Health for the Whole Self — November 16, 2010 @ 4:48 pm Reply

    Love the recipe, but especially love the story behind it and your connection to it. I love that this recipe has been made. Very powerful stuff.

  6. 6

    Joanne — November 16, 2010 @ 6:24 pm Reply

    Oh Cara I love the concept behind this cookbook and think that it is a great way to both benefit people in the present and future but also to remind those in the path. Thank you so much for sharing this with us!

  7. 7

    Jennifurla — November 16, 2010 @ 6:48 pm Reply

    What a great idea for this book, this recipe looks tasty

  8. 8

    carascravings — November 16, 2010 @ 11:44 pm Reply

    Your version looks great!I love cabbage…i will have to give this recipe a whirl.

  9. 9

    Emily — November 17, 2010 @ 8:32 pm Reply

    This sounds like an interesting cookbook. The cabbage sounds really good! I actually like cabbage but rarely eat it.

  10. 10

    grace — November 18, 2010 @ 11:18 pm Reply

    i'm sure that cookbook would leave a powerful impression on me–thanks for bringing it to my attention! great recipe choice, too.

  11. 11

    Joanne — November 26, 2010 @ 3:21 am Reply

    Thank you Cara for your wonderful review of our amazing cookbook. To date we have given over $125,000 to the Carmei Ha'ir soup kitchen. To purchase a cookbook please visit our website http://www.survivorcookbook.orgJoanne Caras

  12. 12

    Kelsey — November 30, 2010 @ 11:00 pm Reply

    What an amazing opportunity to hear a Holocaust survivor speak. I've heard two survivors speak and I've never been so moved. It never ceases to amaze me how people survived such horrors only to come out as loving and forgiving individuals. A true life lesson, for sure. Thank you for sharing this cookbook and this recipe.

  13. 13

    Kelsey — April 5, 2011 @ 1:11 am Reply

    What an amazing opportunity to hear a Holocaust survivor speak. I've heard two survivors speak and I've never been so moved. It never ceases to amaze me how people survived such horrors only to come out as loving and forgiving individuals. A true life lesson, for sure. Thank you for sharing this cookbook and this recipe.

  14. 14

    carascravings — April 5, 2011 @ 1:11 am Reply

    Your version looks great!I love cabbage…i will have to give this recipe a whirl.

  15. 15

    Joanne — April 5, 2011 @ 1:11 am Reply

    Oh Cara I love the concept behind this cookbook and think that it is a great way to both benefit people in the present and future but also to remind those in the path. Thank you so much for sharing this with us!

  16. 16

    Katie @ Health for the Whole S — April 5, 2011 @ 1:11 am Reply

    Love the recipe, but especially love the story behind it and your connection to it. I love that this recipe has been made. Very powerful stuff.

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