No, for me, carbs actually make up a major part of my daily intake of calories. I avoid the processed, refined kind, such as white rice, or white bread, but generally eat many portions of whole grain carbs each day. That, combined with lots of vegetables, has helped me maintain high energy levels and excellent health throughout my life.
One of the carbs that is most unfairly maligned by the low-carb crowd is the potato.
Potatoes are great little food packages, particularly when you leave the peel on and skip the toppings like sour cream, butter, and bacon bits. In fact, as far as I’m concerned, they are one of nature’s perfect foods. I often will eat a couple of them for snack. I’ll cook them in the microwave for about 5 minutes and then eat them with a bit of salt and pepper, and some yogurt on the side. Yum.
And I also love cabbage. It’s a powerhouse vegetable, full of good nutrition. That’s a reason I add some of the red variety to my daily dinner salad at every evening meal. It adds nutrition and color.
This old recipe combines those two loves and flavors perfectly in this very cheap, very simple, very easy, very nutritious, and very fast meal. It can be on the table in about 20 minutes if you use a pressure cooker.
This is also one of my meal recipes that is geared to smaller households. Which is not to say that it couldn’t easily be doubled or halved to make more or less.
Here’s the recipe:
Makes approximately 6 hearty servings
Total Prep Time – 10-15 minutes
Total Start to Finish Time – 30-40 minutes (20 with a pressure cooker)
Recipe Cost – approximately $5
Total per person meal cost with salad – approximately $1.00
4-6 cups water (start with the smaller amount and add more at the end of the cooking process, if desired)
1 large or 2 small vegetarian bouillon cubes
2 cloves garlic
1 medium onion
2 large potatoes
4 medium-large carrots
1 -1 ½ pounds cabbage (approximately ½ of a medium sized head)
1 teaspoon black pepper (or to taste)
1 teaspoon Italian seasoning blend
¼ teaspoon each of parsley, oregano, thyme, basil, or seasoning mix of your choice
1 teaspoon lemon (to taste)
2 cans cannellini beans (14-16 ounce size)
- Put the 4 cups of water and the bouillon cube in a covered pot or pressure cooker pot over high heat.
- Meanwhile, cut the ends off the onion and peel it. Cut it in half through the stem area and lay each half, flat side down. Cut each half lengthwise into strips and then cut across the strips to coarsely dice the onions.
- Wash and peel or scrub the potatoes. Cut them in half lengthwise, and then each half into thirds, lengthwise. Cut across the thirds to make pieces about ¾-inch in size.
- Wash the carrots, cut off the ends, and then cut them into rounds about ¼- inch thick.
- Wash the cabbage and cut wedges off the head. Cut the wedges into strips about 1-inch wide, and then cut across the strips to make pieces and chunks about 1-2 inches in size.
- Peel and mince the garlic.
- Add the garlic, along with the cut up onion, potatoes, carrots, and cabbage to the bouillon broth on the stove.
- Stir in the 1 teaspoon of pepper, the 1 teaspoon of lemon, and the 1 teaspoon of Italian seasoning.
- Re-cover the pot and bring the contents to a boil. Reduce the heat to medium and continue cooking for about 20 minutes, until the vegetables are tender. If you are using a pressure cooker, bring the contents up to pressure, reduce the heat to low or medium low, and cook for 10 minutes. Set a timer to remind yourself. When the timer goes off, take the pressure cooker to the sink, run water over it until the steam and hissing stop, and the pressure has been released. Remove the weight and the lid, and continue with the recipe below.
- Meanwhile, open the 2 cans of beans. You can opt to rinse and drain them in a colander, or use them with their liquid.
- Add the beans to the pot with the vegetables, and carefully stir them in so they are distribute evenly.
- Taste test and adjust seasoning and water levels, as desired.
- Serve the soup with a side of tossed green salad, and some fresh, whole grain bread.