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Turmeric and Mustard Chickpea Cabbage

Cabbage's anti-carcinogenic properties are well known. Turmeric (another anti-carcinogenic powerhouse), mustard and cumin come together for an Indian inspired dish. Chickpeas add protein and heartiness for a warm and nourishing dish.

My family and I became vegan in 2008, right when my brother started chemo. One of the books I read early on was Foods to Fight Cancer, which I loved for how straightforward and easy to grasp it is. Published in 2007, it begins with an exceptionally clear explanation of how cancer develops in our bodies, and divides 11 chapters into ingredients and foods noted for their cancer fighting properties. Two of those ingredients are turmeric and cabbage.

This dish is the ultimate comfort food for me: warm, filling, nourishes the body and soul. Overcooking the cabbage will render out many of its nutrients, so make sure to cook it until it just looses it structure, then remove from heat.

I highly suggest using some or all of the additional toppings, as they will bring freshness and texture (crunch) to the dish.


1 cabbage head, cored and sliced into thin ribbons

1 chickpea can, drained and rinsed well

1 tablespoon of ghee (clarified butter) or olive oil

1 small white onion, thinly sliced

1/2 serrano, seeds removed, minced

1 teaspoon turmeric

1 teaspoon cumin

1/4 teaspoon powdered mustard (sub 1 teaspoons dijon)

1 1" inch coin ginger, peeled and minced

1 teaspoon kosher salt

freshly ground pepper


1/4 cup unsweetened coconut flakes, toasted until golden brown

1/2 chile serrano, sliced (seeds removed if sensitive to spice)

other optional: cilantro leaves, 1/3 cup slightly crushed roasted unsalted peanuts or pistachios, lemon juice, hemp seeds

Heat ghee or olive oil in a pan over medium high heat (use more if using a cast iron). When oil is shimmering, add turmeric, cumin, powdered mustard, ginger and minced serrano. Stir for 10 seconds to infuse spices into oil, moving quickly so they don't burn.

Add onion and stir to coat. Add chickpeas and stir, then cook in a single layer for a few minutes, untouched, until the bottoms brown a bit. Toss and continue cooking, until all sides are browned and crispy.

Add cabbage and season with salt. Cook, stirring and scraping from the bottom. Remove from heat when cabbage just looses its structure.

Season with freshly ground pepper, sliced serrano. If serving immediatley add toasted coconut flakes, otherwise serve as a side so they don't become soggy. Add any additional toppings. Best if eaten immediatley.

Serves 4 as main, 6 as side

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