Balsamic Braised Red Cabbage

I’ve already admitted to you how “bad” I’ve been with my cooking lately. With the exception of Monday’s triumphant return to the kitchen, it’s barely been happening at all. Aaaaand while technically I did help “cook” a little bit during last night’s fondue session, I realize that dipping cubes of white bread into bubbling vats of cheese isn’t exactly the kind of healthy cooking I should be striving for (but oh, was it delicious!)

Luckily, where motivation fails, monetary incentives prevail (who wants to pay me to lose these last 20 lbs? Anyone?) So when a Clever Girls Collective opportunity with Marzetti Simply Dressed Salad Dressings presented itself, I jumped! They sent me a coupon, so I picked up a jar of the balsamic vinaigrette at the grocery store and forged ahead with another culinary adventure.

IMG_2910.jpgIMG_2907.jpg
CABBAGE!

Despite a lifelong avoidance of the stuff in salads and a grudging acceptance of it as a topping for fish tacos, I’ve been obsessed with red cabbage lately. At my dad’s birthday dinner last month, I had the most incredible braised, sweet, sour, and savory dish of it. It had this barbecue-like flavor to it… oy, just thinking about it now is making my mouth water! So, having absolutely no experience cooking red cabbage, I winged it (er, wung it? Wang it?) and ended up with a beautiful, delicious, easy-peasy dish that bore an amazing resemblance to the dish I was trying to replicate, for once!

IMG_2913.jpg

This salad dressing ended up working really well because it had this great creaminess to it (which probably accounts for the 90 calories per 2 tbsp serving instead of your typical 45 calories or less for vinaigrettes — but I digress.) If you happen to have a more watery vinaigrette on hand, however, you could probably try adding some yogurt or cream at the tail end of the cooking process to simulate a similar texture. The Marzetti’s Simply Dressed dressings pride themselves on containing “a minimal number of all-natural and simple ingredients” and no preservatives, HFCS, or artificial colors/flavors, but if you wanted to cut out the processed-foods middleman altogether, you could also just experiment with using straight balsamic vinegar.

IMG_2902.jpg

Balsamic Braised Red Cabbage
Print this recipe!

Prep time: 5 minutes
Cook time: 10 minutes active, 30 minutes passive

This sweet, tangy, and colorful dish would make a fantastic addition to any holiday feast. It’s melt-in-your-mouth tender and has a subtle smokiness that’s sure to perk up your plate. To lighten it up even further you could forgo the butter, but why would you want to? Each 1-cup serving is packed with flavor at only around 150 calories!

Ingredients:

1 tablespoon butter
1/2 medium red onion, sliced
1 head red cabbage, chopped/shredded (about 5 cups)
1 cup balsamic vinaigrette of choice (I used Marzetti’s Simply Dressed, as noted above.)
1/2 cup water
Salt to taste
1 tablespoon sugar, optional
1 tablespoon white vinegar, optional

Instructions:

1. Melt butter in a large pan on medium heat. Add red onion and cook until slightly soft and translucent, about 5 minutes.
2. Add cabbage and, if using, sprinkle sugar evenly over it. Saute until cabbage begins to wilt, about 5 – 7 minutes.
3. Add balsamic vinaigrette and water, then reduce heat and simmer until liquid has reduced almost completely, about 30 minutes. Taste and adjust flavors with salt, vinegar, and additional sugar as needed. Enjoy!

IMG_2929.jpg
Might not look like much, but it tastes like heaven. Nom.

Et voila! A perfect side dish for me to consider adding to my potential Thanksgiving For One next week. Womp womp, that’s right. With no leave on the books and a Federal-holiday dictated job that doesn’t give me the day after Thanksgiving as a freebie, it;s looking more and more like it’ll just be me and the pups for Turkey Day this year. If anyone else in the area is on their own this T-Day, mayhaps we should arrange a potluck? I can bring the cabbage. Also, schnauzers.

I was one of the bloggers selected by T. Marzetti Company and Clever Girls Collective to host a Marzetti Simply Dressed review. They provided me with product to test myself and compensation for my time. However, my opinions are entirely my own.

PS: If you haven’t already, check out the article I wrote for MochiMag earlier this month on coming to terms with my body type!

Sponsored Post: All Dogs Go To… iPhone?


Thank you to Cube Dog for sponsoring this review. For more information about Cube Dog please visit the Facebook page or download it on iTunes.

So here’s the deal: I love my dogs.

IMG_8041.jpg

I mean, this shouldn’t be news — you guys already know this! You’ve been with me through birthdays, health scares, and even Daxter’s misguided attempts at blogging. You know these dogs are my life.

IMG_5769.jpg

And while I would be lying if I said that I didn’t think everyone’s lives would be better if they had a canine companion of their own, I also understand that’s not always possible. Whether it’s because of an allergic spouse, a stubborn landlord, or just because you’re a cat person (shudder), having a pupster to cuddle up with might not be a reality for you.

Streeeeetch!IMG_7908.jpg

Enter: Cube Dog.

Cube Dog is an app that you can download for your iPhone or iPod that gives you the ability to create a hot diggity dog of your own — with none of the mess! (Which even I will admit would have been a nice alternative to cleaning Harry’s puke off the floor two days ago… hahaha!) The app comes with several customizable “parts” for you to make your pupster your own. See that little guy above? His name is Haxterry (get it?), and while I think the bro would probably flip his lid if I actually tried to dye Daxter purple, with this virtual guy I can go nuts. Plus, this little guy is way more talented than either of my lazy mutts are:

Yup. This dog is a ninja. NBD.

As tends to be the case with most free apps, it comes with a small selection of customization and trick options to begin with, and then provides additional items that you can purchase. Personally, I see myself opening this app anytime I need a laugh throughout the workday. The reactions when you “pet” your Cube Dog are pretty great, and the clarity of the app make it look really sharp. The coolest feature is definitely the ability to take a photo of your “pup” in real time, using the actual camera on your phone. Here’s Haxterry chillin’ out at the foot of my bed:

Baaaahahahaha. And while I can’t say that an app like this will ever come close to having the real thing, it’s fun nonetheless.

IMG_7750.jpg

In the spirit of integrity, I do have to say that this is the kind of app that I would probably phase in and out of enjoying. Like, I’d play around with it for a day or two, then forget I had it, then after a while I’d see it hanging out in a folder on my phone and the cycle would begin again. Maybe it’d be more perpetually engaging if you could feed and take care of your Cube Dog. You know, to feel more engaged? Like a Tamagotchi! Hahaha. But hey, it’s a free app, and if you’re like me and always need to have some kind of procrastination fodder available on your phone, it’s a great one to kill time with!

If you’re curious to learn more about the (I reiterate: free!) app, check out Cube Dog on Facebook (where they’ll be running a fun contest between June 13th and 17th!) or watch the following vid:

While Cube Dog provided me with the app to review, the opinions I’ve expressed here are solely my own and represent my honest viewpoint. Cube Dog, Clever Girls Collective and I promote Blog With Integrity.