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Karista's Kitchen Kid Friendly Life Around My Table Sassy Side dishes vegetarian

Braised Red Cabbage

Braised Red Cabbage pairs perfectly with slow cooked pork roast, roast pork tenderloin or roast chicken // Find it at Karista's Kitchen

I often prepare braised thick-cut pork chops for dinner and I love to serve this braised red cabbage with the pork chops.

I get juicy, perfectly thick-cut chops from my favorite Willamette Valley farm, Red Bird Acres.  I should have posted that recipe first but the chops always get gobbled up before I can snap a photo. I promise, I’ll post it soon.

Although this braised red cabbage recipe is divine with pork chops, it’s also lovely with my Italian slow roasted pork, roasted pork tenderloin or roast chicken.  If I’ve got a bowl of apples to use up, I’ll toss in some apple slices during the last half of braising time which gives the braised red cabbage a bit of a sweet with savory flavor. Pears also “pair” nicely with this cabbage dish. 😉

I’ve always had an affinity for cabbage. I adore it thrown in my weeknight greens and mushroom sauté which adds a bit of “crisp” to the greens.  I also like shredded cabbage mixed in with my salad, added to a soup or stew, grilled and topped with a chimichurri sauce or roasted in big “steaks” like my friend Alyssa’s recipe from Everyday Maven.  I even toss it in this pasta dish that was inspired by my trip to Italy.

I believe cabbage is best when it’s in season from late fall through winter. It’s economical, satisfying and full of all the good stuff to make a body healthy.  

When I was researching cabbage a few years ago, I stumbled across this little bit of trivia.  Ancient healers said cabbage contained moon power because it grew in the moonlight.  How dreamy is that?! I am such a romantic about food, I know it sounds weird. But I’ve always admitted to being a wee bit quirky.

Cabbage is truly a power house of vitamins and an excellent source of folate. It contains a large amount of vitamin C, which is good for the immune system.  It also contains vitamin K, which helps with mental function and concentration. Not to mention it’s a great source of fiber and helps fill you up so you don’t grab that extra cookie after dinner.

The next time you put the slow cooker on with a pork roast or you’re roasting a chicken for dinner, try pairing this braised red cabbage recipe with your entrée. It’s a simple, seasonal and fresh side dish that will compliment your fall or winter meals.

Delicious Wishes and Loads of Love!


Braised Red Cabbage

Serving Size: 4-6

Braised Red Cabbage


  • 2 tablespoons of ghee, clarified butter, divided
  • 4 ounces of bacon, diced
  • 1 red onion, halved and thin sliced
  • 1 head of red cabbage, cored and shredded
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • ½ cup apple cider vinegar or balsamic vinegar
  • ½ cup vegetable broth
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • Chopped fresh parsley for garnish


  • Pre-heat the oven to 350F.
  • In an oven proof skillet or Dutch oven, heat one tablespoon of ghee over medium high heat. Add the diced bacon and cook until the bacon is crispy and fat is rendered.
  • Remove the bacon from the pan and set aside. Remove all but 2 tablespoons of oil from the pan.
  • Next add the sliced onions, shredded cabbage and minced garlic to the pan. Cook for about 5-8 minutes until the cabbage begins to wilt. Add the bacon back into the pan.
  • Stir in the vinegar and vegetable broth. Bring the liquid to a boil and then cover the skillet or Dutch oven with a lid and place it in the oven for about 45 minutes. Give the cabbage a little stir about every 15 minutes or so.
  • Remove the cabbage from the oven, stir in the last tablespoon of ghee and season to taste with salt and pepper. Garnish with fresh chopped parsley.
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    Karista's Kitchen Pasta vegetarian

    Pasta Cortona

    linguine with napa cabbage and mixed mushrooms drizzled with truffle oil

    Pasta Cortona

    How could I travel to Italy and not visit the mountain top village of Cortona?  I resisted.  Truly I did.  I didn’t want to be one of those blurry eyed, dreamy looking tourists on a quest to visit a place they’ve read about in a novel or seen on television in a movie.

    With a clever grin and knowing eyes, my darling husband kindly dispelled my silly notion by telling me I’d already been walking around for days like a blurry eyed tourist with eyes the size of saucers.  Hmmm… and I thought I was being rather cool and collected.

    Early one morning, my husband, who is a sport, no – he’s a super sport,  kindly obliged my longing to see Cortona. We hopped a train and arrived at the small, more modern town of Camucia Cortona which lies at the bottom of the mountain where Cortona is so beautifully is perched.

    Camucia Cortona Train Station

    Camucia Cortona Train Station

    Once inside the walls of the medieval city I felt myself becoming the blurry eyed tourist, eyes wide with amazement of this ancient city.  The architecture so unique with steep narrow streets and views of the surrounding countryside.  Breathtaking.

    Nonni's of Cortona

    Nonni’s of Cortona walking home from mass.

    Ranger Craig and I spent the day walking the steep and narrow streets, talking to the locals, snapping more pictures than I thought was possible, touring the churches and viewing art of the Renaissance.  A magical day that ended with food.  Actually, I think we ate our way through Cortona.  Pasta, soups, salumi, pastry, wine, more wine and then caffe.

    Trattoria in Cortona

    Trattoria in Cortona

    One of the most delicious meals I dined on in Italy was in Cortona.  A dish of fresh handmade linguine tossed with savoy cabbage in a light wine and butter sauce, topped with shaved truffle and fresh pecorino.  A little heaven in a bowl.

    dog in cortona,Italy

    A furry friend in Cortona saying hello as we passed by

    mountain garden in Cortona, Italy

    Mountain garden in Cortona

    Piazza Garibaldi in Cortona, Italy

    Piazza Garibaldi in Cortona

    Now that I’m home, I wanted to create a lovely version of that dish.  Something fresh, simple but flavorful.  We don’t have an abundant of truffles here in the states so I decided to make this an easy dish to prepare with local mushrooms and my favorite Napa cabbage.  And of course, if you wish, a drizzle of black truffle oil over the top.  A tribute to the lovely day in Cortona.

    Delicious Wishes and Loads of Love,


    Pasta Cortona

    Serving Size: 3-4


    • 12 oz. linguine, cooked according to package directions
    • 2 tablespoons butter
    • 4 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil, divided
    • 1-2 oz dried porcini mushrooms (I love porcini mushrooms so I use 2 oz)
    • 2 cloves garlic, minced
    • 1 leek, white part only, root trimmed, halved and then thinly sliced
    • 1 medium shallot, finely diced
    • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh Italian parsley
    • ½ cup white wine
    • 1 cup heavy cream
    • 3 cups sliced Napa cabbage (about ½ a medium cabbage)
    • ¼ cup grated parmesan
    • Pinch crushed red pepper flakes
    • Salt and pepper to taste
    • Squeeze of lemon
    • Drizzle of black truffle oil (optional, but it’s really good!)
    • Shaved aged Pecorino for garnish


  • Prepare the pasta according to package directions. When draining the linguine, reserve ½ cup of pasta water.
  • Place the dried porcini mushrooms in a sauce pan and pour boiling water over the dried mushrooms. Give them a stir, cover and let them sit for about 20 minutes. When they are soft, drain the liquid, let them cool for a moment and then lightly chop the mushrooms.
  • While the pasta is cooking, heat the butter and 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat.  When the butter/oil is hot, add the shallots and leeks and sauté until wilted and fragrant.  Add the garlic and saute one minute longer.
  • Stir in the chopped porcini mushrooms and Italian parsley. Let them cook for about 1 minute and then add the white wine. Let the wine reduce by half and then stir in the heavy cream, grated parmesan and pinch of crushed red pepper flakes.
  • Next toss in the sliced Napa cabbage, and gently toss with the mixture, adding the additional olive oil as needed.
  • Take the skillet off the heat and season to taste with salt and pepper and a squeeze of lemon.
  • Add the linguine and ½ cup of pasta water to the cabbage and mushrooms. The sauce will thicken as it cools. However, if the sauce seems a bit thin, place the skillet back over medium heat and let the sauce cook for a few minutes which will thicken the sauce.
  • Transfer the pasta to a platter or individual serving bowls and drizzle with truffle oil if desired and shaved aged pecorino cheese. Serve immediately.
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    Karista's Kitchen Salad Sassy Side dishes vegetarian

    Spicy Cabbage Salad



    cabbage salad with Sriracha dressing

    My favorite Spicy Cabbage Salad

    Over a thousand pictures, an enchanting week, the loveliest new friends and more wine and food than one could ever imagine.

    Tuscany.  The DaVinci Wine Storytellers Experience 2013.

    An event that has forever changed the heart of this Chef.  I have so much to tell you, to show you and new recipes to share with you.

    While I’m making my way through the memories and photos, here are just a few snapshots I wanted to share; and my favorite cabbage salad.

    My final post, including eight new enticing and delicious recipes, will be revealed on the DaVinci Wine Facebook page after the 1st of November.  Stay tuned!

    Ciao and Buon Appetito!


    (By choosing to click and read this blog post, you confirm you are of legal drinking age in the country where this site is accessed.  Thank you.)


    Vinci, Italy

    Vinci, Italy


    Streets of Montalcino, Italy

    A visit to the Medieval Tuscan town of Montalcino


    DaVinci Wine Storytellers

    Jenna, Leela (Storyteller) and Lisa. Our first Storytellers dinner


    DaVinci Wine Storytellers

    First evening with 2013 Storytellers Kristina Laurendi Havens and Karista Bennett


    Trattoria in Montalcino

    Trattoria in Montalcino.

    2013 DaVinci Wine Storytellers

    Storytellers Jim O’Donnell and Leela Cyd with Videographer Keston Migdal walking to a vineyard near Montalcino

    2013 DaVinci Wine Storytellers: Karista Bennett, Leela Cyd, Kristina Laurendi-Havens and Jim O’Donnell

    My Favorite Spicy Cabbage Salad

    This is one of those salads that can be tweaked to your tastes.  A little more of this a little less of that and it’s perfect.  I’ve given my basic recipe but feel free to prepare this salad how you wish.  I also love this cabbage salad as a slaw for tacos. I use this one for pork, chicken and grilled fish tacos.  Yum!  Delete cukes and replace with thin sliced apples for fish tacos.


    For the salad:

    1 head of Napa cabbage, halved and thinly sliced

    1 cucumber peeled and thinly sliced

    1 bunch of cilantro, coarsely chopped

    1 bunch of green onions, thinly sliced


    1/2 – 3/4 cup mayonnaise

    1-2 dashes Sriracha (or more to taste)(Sriracha is Asian hot sauce and can be found in most markets)

    1 teaspoon fine ground sugar or dash of agave syrup

    1/2 lime juiced (or more to taste depending how juicy the lime)

    salt and pepper to taste


    Whisk together the mayonnaise, sriracha, sugar and lime juice.  Toss the cabbage in a large bowl with salt and pepper.  Then toss the cabbage with the dressing and plate.  I like to put the salad on a platter and then layer with cucumbers, cilantro and green onions.  It makes a beautiful presentation.

    If making this for one or two, I place dressed cabbage in salad bowls or plates and layer with cucumbers, cilantro and green onion.  I have a friend who doesn’t like cilantro,  This salad is just as delish without the cilantro.  To substitute cilantro, toss in some sliced radishes or shredded carrots.




    Kid Friendly Salad vegetarian

    Asian Noodle and Cabbage Salad

    Asian Noodle and Cabbage Salad

    I love a good salad.  In fact, I probably eat a salad everyday, with the exception of those super cold winter days when my “salad” ends up in my soup.

    When my girls were younger I’d do anything to get them to eat a salad.  I’d add pasta, Asian noodles, assorted bread cubes, crackers, potato chip crusted chicken pieces, or tortilla chips just so they would at least try the salad.  Finally, now that my girls are older, they love salad.   And of course, it can’t be a plain salad, it has to have lots of good stuff all mixed in.   Their absolute favorite?  Asian Noodle and Cabbage Salad.

    Any type of Asian noodle works well in this salad.  I love using the unique soba noodles my brother sent me from Japan; green tea and buckwheat soba noodles.  Sometimes I use ramen noodles and sometimes I use rice noodles.  Whatever noodles you decide to use, this flavorful salad will delight the senses and tickle the taste buds.

    For a fresh and simply delicious spring or summer dinner, pair this salad with your favorite grilled meats, fish or shrimp.  It’s also lovely with teriyaki marinated grilled organic tofu.  Makes me hungry just writing this post!

    Keep dinner simple… Enjoy the flavors of life!

    Serves 6-8



    1 small head cabbage, thinly sliced (Savoy and Napa are excellent choices)

    1 small head purple cabbage, thinly sliced

    1 cup shredded carrots

    1 bunch green onion, sliced (add more or less if you like)

    1 bunch cilantro, chopped (add more or less if you like)

    1 tablespoon white or black sesame seeds, toasted if you like

    ½ lb Asian noodles, cooked and a dash of oil to keep them from sticking (Example: Soba, Udon, Ramen, Chinese, etc)


    ¼ cup Tamari (or soy sauce)

    3 tablespoons sesame oil

    ½ cup olive oil

    ¼ cup rice wine vinegar

    3 tablespoons sugar

    Squeeze of lime juice

    Pinch of red pepper flakes (optional)

    Pepper (and a little salt if needed)


    In a small bowl whisk together the tamari, sesame oil, olive oil, rice wine vinegar, sugar, squeeze of lime juice and dash of pepper.  Taste for salt and pepper.  I love to play around with this dressing, so if you feel the need for more of this or less of that, this is the perfect dressing to make your own.

    In a large bowl toss together the cabbage, carrots, green onions, cilantro and sesame seeds.

    Toss the salad with the dressing and then mix in the Asian noodles until well combined.  Transfer to a platter and sprinkle with extra sesame seeds and chopped cilantro.  Enjoy!

    To prep a day in advance: Chop all the veggies and bag separately, and whisk the dressing and keep in the frig until ready to use.  I think the noodles are best when prepared day of as they can get soggy.

    The sky is the limit with this salad recipe!  Feel free to add in diced roasted or grilled chicken, toasted almonds, bell peppers for a little zing, sliced fresh zucchini and a little fresh grated ginger to the dressing is divine.

    Kid Friendly Pork vegetarian

    Yakisoba Noodles with Pan Seared Pork Tenderloin, Fresh Cabbage, Carrots, Shallots and Bean Sprouts

    Recently, I had the fun privilege of cooking with my sister-in-law while she, my brother, neice and nephew were visiting from Japan.  Originally from Colombia, South America,  Paula, her Mother and Grandmother prepare the most delicious South American food I’ve ever had the pleasure of tasting (which I’ll blog soon!).  However, the dish Paula and I created this time was a divine little Yakisoba she learned while living in Japan. 

    Cam (my handsome little brother) poured Paula and I some Plum Sake and we started cooking.  What we ended up with was a yummy dish of Yakisoba noodles tossed with fresh sautéed cabbage, carrots, shallots and bean sprouts.  Top with chopped fresh green onions, chopped Anori (seaweed) or fresh cilantro and you’ve got one heck of a meal! 

    If you live here in the Pacific Northwest you’ll probably find Yakisoba noodles readily available in your local market.  My two Bennett gals prefer the refrigerated noodles that contain the seasoning packets (makes for a quick meal).  If you can’t find the refrigerated Yakisoba with the seasoning packet, check in the Asian section of your market for “Soba” noodles that are dry and can be cooked just like pasta.  I’ve listed a quick recipe for the sauce if Yakisoba sauce is not available.  It’ll still be tasty!  And better yet… try locating an Asian market in your corner of the world.  You’ll find all sorts of delectable foods, and like me, you’ll be hooked! 

    Just a side note: Leave out the pork and this will also make a fabulous vegetarian or vegan meal.  Extra veggies fresh from your garden?  Throw them in the Yakisoba, it’ll be yummy!

    Thanks Paula and Cameron for a fabulous visit!  (And for all the great food too!) Food is fun, brings families together, and creates some of our happiest memories.  Keep dinner simple… Enjoy the flavors of life!

    Happy Cooking!

    Serves 4-6


    1lb Pork Tenderloin, thinly sliced

    1 lb Yakisoba noodles (refrigerated) or Soba noodles (dry)

    1/2 cup chopped shallots (or 1 cup chopped yellow onions)

    1 small head cabbage (I like chinese cabbage or Napa cabbage)

    1 – 1 1/2 cups carrots, Julienne, shredded, or sliced

    1 cup fresh bean sprouts

    Add ins: Chopped fresh broccoli, asparagus tips, fresh green beans, fresh corn, Japanese squash, butternut squash or zucchini

    Garnish with fresh chopped green onions. pickled ginger or Anori (seaweed)

    Yakisoba sauce or sauce packets, or Japanese Worcestershire

    To make a sauce:

    1/2 cup soy sauce

    1/3 cup rice wine (Mirin)

    2 tablespoons sugar

    1 clove garlic, minced (optional)

    Mix together until sugar is dissolved and set aside.


    Over medium high heat add a little high heat oil to a large skillet or frying pan.  Add the pork and fry until it turns white.  Next, add the onion and carrot and fry until they soften slightly. Then add the cabbage and fry until soft.  Add the bean sprouts last.

    Pull the noodles apart to keep them from staying in a clump, and stir them into the mixture. When everything is nicely mixed together, pour 2 or 3 tablespoons of water over it and stir-fry a little longer.

    Add the seasoning sauce (powder or liquid) that comes with the package of noodles, or if there is no sauce, use Japanese Worcestershire sauce, or recipe sauce above.

    Toss the noodles and veggies with the sauce and serve immediately.  Garnish with pickled ginger, chopped green onions, Anori or fresh chopped cilantro.  Enjoy!