The weather has warmed up enough for me to, once again, engage in the pleasure of eating outside – especially on weekends. Barbeques are a summer staple for many reasons, including their adaptability to road trips, the opportunity to replenish vitamin D levels thanks to sunlight, and the general social appeal of sharing food with your loved ones. They’re not perfect, of course, as they generally revolve around greasy processed sausages or rich, cholesterol-laden cuts of meat. And the sides! Barbeque sides are one of my favorite-ever sub-categories of food, although they cannot be counted on as a healthy meal by themselves – too many carbs, plenty of added sugars and oils, and not enough protein or micronutrients for me to be able to get away with eating only sides (and still keep a clear conscience).
Of course, most BBQs are handled on a potluck basis, so nobody will stop me from trying to make something healthier out of a typical dish. For example, I found a way help the never-ending goal of keeping osteoporosis away: collard slaw! It has a lot less carbohydrates than traditional coleslaw, with the added nutritional benefits of leafy greens. Plus, collard greens are a more budget-friendly alternative to trendy kale – with almost twice as much calcium per half a cup!
- 1 bundle of collard greens
- 6 thinly sliced scallions
- 1 green cabbage head, shredded (core removed)
- 2 peeled and shredded carrots
- 2/3 cup plain Greek yogurt
- ¼ cup lemon juice
- 1 ½ tablespoons sugar
- 1 ¼ teaspoon salt
- ¾ teaspoon black pepper
- ¼ teaspoon ground celery seeds
- Wash the collard greens, cut off the center stems, and slice the remaining leaves into ½’’ strips.
- Combine collards with cabbage, scallions, and carrots in a large bowl and reserve.
- In a smaller bowl, mix Greek yogurt, lemon juice, salt, pepper, sugar, and celery seeds. Whisk together until well-combined.
- Pour over vegetable mix and toss thoroughly – use your hands if you can!
- Let the salad marinate in the fridge for at least four hours, covered, so the greens have a chance to soften.
For best results, prepare this collard slaw a night in advance, as it will render a much more pleasant tanginess to the collard greens. The recipe also has a lot of iron and is very low in fat, so I think I’ll make it a weekend staple this summer – alongside my Macafem, I’m predicting sunny skies a top-notch health for the months to come!