Vegetable Kingdom: Memphis Coleslaw

August 28, 2020

How is everyone’s stress level? I feel like mine has been through the roof because of getting ready for the school year to begin. I work in higher ed, so getting ready for this unusual school year has been a little insane. Also, I have two sons who still haven’t started school yet (it was pushed back to after Labor Day), and we don’t even know for sure yet what their schooling will look like. Anyway, all of that is to say I haven’t been super focused on reading new cookbooks lately.

I did pick up Vegetable Kingdom: The Abundant World of Vegan Recipes by Bryant Terry from the library the other day. My family is attempting to cut down on our meat consumption, so I’m trying out more vegan/vegetarian cookbooks.

This book is a lot of fun. Not only are Terry’s stories that go along with each recipe entertaining, but he even includes a song that goes along with each recipe. Unfortunately, many of these recipes are compound recipes (I think I just made that up :-), which require you to make one or two other recipes first in order to make the main recipe. I think it’s fine if there are a few of those types of recipes in a cookbook, but it can get annoying if they are all that way. I just don’t often have time to do all the steps. Another problem with this cookbook was that there were very few recipes that I could make with normal pantry ingredients. But I did find a few interesting recipes, and I ended making something that was pretty simple–coleslaw.

It’s almost Labor Day, so maybe you will get to spend some socially-distanced time with friends and family. Or maybe you will have a Labor Day celebration with just the people you live with. Either way, here’s a new coleslaw recipe to try out.


  • 1/2 small green cabbage (1 pound), cored and coarsely chopped
  • 1/8 small red cabbage (1/4 pound), cored and coarsely chopped
  • 2 teaspoons salt, plus more as needed
  • 1/2 cup coarsely grated carrot
  • 1 cup thinly sliced green bell pepper
  • 1/2 cup thinly sliced red onion
  • 3/4 cup vegan mayonnaise*
  • 2 tablespoons rice vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
  • 2 teaspoons sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon molasses
  • 1/4 teaspoon whole-grain mustard
  • 1/3 teaspoon celery seed
  • Freshly ground pepper
  1. Combine the cabbages and 2 teaspoons of the salt in a large bowl. With clean hands, massage the cabbage until soft and wilted, about 3 minutes. Transfer to a colander set in the sink and rinse the bowl. Put a plate atop the cabbage and weight it down. Let set for an hour.**
  2. Rinse the cabbage under cold water, then transfer it back to the bowl. Add the carrot, bell pepper, and onion. With clean hands, mix well.
  3. In a small bowl, whisk together the mayonnaise, vinegar, sugar, molasses, and mustard. Pour just enough of the dressing into the bowl to moisten the slaw and mix well with clean hands. Add the celery seeds, taste, and season with salt and pepper. Cover and refrigerate for at least 1 hour.
  4. Bring to room temperature and toss well before serving, adding a tad bit more dressing, if desired.

My notes: I did think this was very good coleslaw, so if you want to get out of a backyard BBQ rut, I would try this out. Full disclosure: It was not a huge hit with the fam. Both of my boys didn’t care for it, probably because it had green peppers and a lot of red cabbage. You could easily adjust those ingredients to your taste.

*My coleslaw was not vegan because I just used regular mayonnaise.

**OK, so I didn’t do all the steps with the cabbage. It wasn’t explained why I was supposed to, so I didn’t. (That’s just my personality, I guess. Lol) If someone can let me know the purpose of all that, I’d appreciate it.

I hope you enjoy this recipe, and I hope everyone is staying safe and healthy!


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